Off the Beaten Path
Join me on an adventure. Where will we go today?
When traveling, I like to stay at the casinos for several reasons. They work hard to make me happy, so I will cheerfully spend my money in the casinos. Parking is free, and security is everywhere. I feel very safe. And, because a friend and I get comps and other perks, we often stay for a meager rate. I recently spent time at Harrah’s Hotels and Casinos in Murphy, NC, and Cherokee, NC.
First, if you are considering visiting a casino, be sure and go online and sign up for Caesar’s Rewards. You use this to earn tier credits and qualify for comps. If you get their Visa card, you are automatically platinum with all the extra perks.
Let’s compare the two.
Looking at rates for March 2023, Murphy is more affordable. The rates during the week range from $74 to $94 a night during the week. The weekend jumps to $299 a night. April on, weekday rates are $97, and weekends are $299. However, if you go to the website, you can get better rates using their codes. Either location can be booked through the website.
The Cherokee location starts at $89 during the week and jumps to $129 a night in April. The weekends are $499 a night.
The Murphy location has complimentary self-parking and a refrigerator in the room. The wifi has a charge. The rooms are spacious, with a walk-in shower. The beds are comfortable, the staff friendly, and the beds are comfortable. Our view every time was the top of the next building with the air conditioning units. We have visited three times recently. There is plenty to do with 50,000 square feet in the casein, over 1000 slots, and seventy table games. This location also boasts a bowling alley and a kid’s arcade. With 300 rooms, we have always been able to get into the hotel on short notice. The landscaping is attractive.
The Cherokee location is more, well, more everything. It boosts 1800 rooms, and the Mountain Tower was recently renovated. Every floor has small seating areas to relax. A room key is required to access the guest rooms, which added to my comfort level of personal safety. With 21 floors, some of the rooms have lovely views. We, again, had a nice view of a heating and AC unit on top of an adorning building. In the seating areas, we could see fire pits set up along the roaring stream, and people gathered and visiting. An indoor heated pool and an outdoor pool are available. Hotel guests have complimentary valet service and free wifi. Walk-in showers, spacious rooms, and comfortable beds are here. Rooms have a safe, phone, desk, iron and board, and a hair dryer. I am trying to remember a refrigerator when we stayed. It is not something we use on short one-night trips.
The conference center is 121,000 square feet with additional small rooms for smaller groups. The casino has over 3000 slots and 160 table games. It is loud and chaotic; no matter the time or day, dozens of people are around.
Both locations have reasonable food courts. The Cherokee boasts a higher-end restaurant, but I found comparable food at both locations. Both charges for alcoholic drinks but regular sodas, coffee, and cappuccinos are free. The machines have a service button where you can place an order and bring it to your location on the casino floor in Murphy. In Cherokee, you have to serve yourself soda or coffee. I had two weeks’ worth of calories in one night of french vanilla cappuccinos at Murphy.
Cherokee also has big acts in entertainment. I priced out the subsequent two big acts: Travis Tritt and Dwight Yoakum. Tickets from the back, nosebleed section start at $64 and can go as high as $827 for a front-row seat. The Cherokee location is beautiful, nestled in the mountains. I drive past Ocoee and Nantahala rivers on the way. During the summer, the rafting buses slowed me down, but the drive was lovely in January.
If I am going just for the casino, Murphy wins. The max bets are lower, and there are more games with bonus features. There are games at Murphy that are not at Cherokee. Monty Python here’s looking at you. Because it is a third of the size, it is less chaotic and crowded. It is a closer drive from Chattanooga.
To hike the mountains and enjoy a vacation outside the casino, Cherokee wins. One adventure, we tried to find all the painted bears on the reservation. The one we couldn’t find turned out to be in the casino. There is a separate blog on that adventure.