The Cathedral City location is similar to the Palm Springs one in that it was built with gaming as the core offering, unlike the more complete resort experience offered by Rancho Mirage. In some smart branding and connective tissue among the properties, there’s some overlap in offerings that provide some consistency across the Agua Caliente properties.
So let’s dive in and discuss what’s unique about the Agua Caliente Cathedral City location.
The Casino Floor
As expected with a new property, the slots lean very new in this facility, and although there are a few older machines, the bulk of the games that are available are definitely games that were released relatively recently. And most of the older games featured are on newer equipment, so those games are limited to those where the manufacturers are actively keeping the games available.
One thing that I spotted was Class II (Bingo) machines from Aristocrat near the back of the facility. I’ve never been in a market where such machines existed, so I checked them out, but as it was a slower day, there weren’t a lot of other players playing.
Each of the themes featured in bingo had more than their share of machines available, probably because of how the bingo games work. I didn’t have much luck on them, but it was at least interesting to try them.
There was a bit of video poker on the main floor, and like Rancho Mirage I remember the pay tables being on the generous side for video poker relative to what I’m used to seeing in many casinos, so that was a nice plus. However my notes aren’t complete on it, and VPFree2.com doesn’t have any data, so I won’t attempt to get into any specifics here.
Table games were similar to Palm Springs in accessibility; I didn’t see a $3 table like at that location, but they had 3:2 Blackjack at a $10 level, lower than Rancho Mirage on the same night.
I had hands down one of my best blackjack dealer experiences at Palm Springs, with a gentleman who had been dealing among the three casinos for quite awhile, and had a very unique and fun style to flipping the cards over and working the table. Dealers can make or break the experience, and he was definitely one who made it a good one.
But I also had one of my more frustrating experiences here on the same day, as a cocktail waitress was talking pretty loudly in the middle of the casino floor with another employee around pay and so on. Occasionally I hear employees complaining about this or that, and it’s a bit distracting and frustrating in an experience where you’re trying to escape the world a bit.
The ACE Club is consistent across all three Agua Caliente properties, which I wrote up in detail on the Rancho Mirage article. But to summarize: $10 in coin-in on slots gets you 3 points; it’s $20 of video poker coin-in for the same. Each point is worth one cent in comps.
When you make purchases or eat at Agua Caliente properties, be sure to show your card, as you get 5% back in points, a nice rebate for your spend.
Restaurants and Other Observations
One thing that was interesting to see was repeated brands and experiences here from other properties. The 360 Sports brand seen at Rancho Mirage is duplicated here with the same menu, which is nice for those who have certain items they enjoy from them. Similarly the Java Caliente option is available here, as it is at the other two properties.
Unique to this location are the Cafe One Eleven and the Agave Caliente Tequila Bar. Cafe One Eleven is a more upscale eating option than 360 Sports, with a three-meal dining experience. Agave Caliente is located on one side and can open up to an outdoor patio, where they can have live music, DJs and other entertainment.
Speaking of which, there’s entertainment throughout the weekend, including Alf Alpha and his Super Sondio bus, which I got to experience during my visit and was absolutely awesome. They offer karaoke and a latin night, among other activities throughout the weekend.
This property, like Palm Springs, is not overly large, but they do pack a lot in a relatively compact space, so those who like gaming, music, and dining will find a good mix here.