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Fun at Fantasy Springs Resort

By Greg ARAGON

It’s called Fantasy Springs Resort for a good reason. It sits in the middle of the Palm Springs desert like a giant oasis, welcoming travelers with flowing fountains and swaying palm trees, a sparkling pool and a luxurious hotel surrounded by gourmet restaurants, an award-winning casino, a world-class entertainment center and more.

My getaway to Fantasy Springs Resort Casino began when a friend and I checked into a spacious and modern sixth floor room, with great views of the desert landscape and distant mountains. The room came with a king bed, TV/music armoire, office area with computer desk and free wireless Internet, and a comfortable bathroom with shower/tub.

While the room was great, we were more interested in the huge Fantasy Springs pool and tasty restaurants that beckoned below. So after unpacking, we headed to lunch at the elegant POM restaurant, where traditional California cuisine is fused with Latin American and Italian tastes.

Our lunch began with flash fried “bang bang shrimp” with crisp iceberg and spicy-sweet glaze. We followed this with a Greek-styled chicken wrap with feta cheese, tomato, cucumber, kalamata olives, chopped romaine and yogurt-dill dressing and delicious Baja tacos with grilled and fried Pacific sea bass, pickled cucumber, fresh salsa, guacamole, sour cream and lime on corn tortillas.

After lunch we strolled to the incredible 103-ft Fantasy Springs pool, where we found a shaded cabana and relaxed, sipping iced tea and playing in the refreshing water. From the pool, we headed to the casino to test our luck on a few of the 2,000 slot games. From penny to $100 machines, the resort has an impressive collection of the newest and hottest slots, as well as classic favorites such as Keno, Double Diamond, and Blazing 7s. New arrivals include Willy Wonka, Cash Express Gold, Wizard of OZ and more.

One of the most exciting games in the casino is Cash Connection, which is highlighted by a U-Spin Platinum Record Bonus Spin that prompts players to touch the game screen to spin a platinum record with their fingers for bonus credits or to activate one of three special free games bonuses. Besides slots, the casino also offers 40 tables with exciting card games including Mini-Baccarat, California Craps, Jackpot Pai Gow, Spanish 21 and best Blackjack.

After working out my arm on the slots, I worked out the rest of my body at the resort’s state-of-the-art Nautilus fitness center, which overlooks the pool. From there I went back to the room to rest before joining my friend for a fantastic Asian-inspired dinner at Fantasy Springs’ signature restaurant, JOY.

Serving tasty Chinese, Korean Vietnamese and Thai favorites such as dim sum, congee, wok fried noodles and Peking duck, the extensive menu is the essence of Asian cuisine. Our memorable meal began with hot and sour soup and the savory JOY share plate with barbecue pork spare ribs, vegetable spring rolls, beef satay and pork pot stickers. For the main course I enjoyed Kung Pao chicken and my friend devoured sizzling filet mignon with black pepper sauce and broccoli. For dessert we shared an original and delectable coconut ice cream and Chinese chocolate cheesecake doughnuts.

We concluded our evening at the very top of the hotel at the 12th floor cocktail lounge & wine bar. Here, surrounded by stunning sweeping views of the valley and mountains, we sipped vodka martinis and toasted to a wonderful time at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.

The resort also features world-class entertainment at its special events center. Past names on the marquee include Michael McDonald, Toto, Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys, comedian George Lopez, and singer Diana Ross, to name a few.

And what Palm Springs area resort would be complete without golf? Next to Fantasy Springs Resort is an 18-hole, Eagle Falls golf course, which was designed by renowned architect Clive Clark.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino is located off the I-10 in Indio. For more information and current hotel specials, call (800) 827-2946 or visit
www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Greg Aragon is a travel writer from Glendale. For the past 12 years he has authored “Greg’s Getaway,” a popular travel column which has taken him to more than 21 countries in search of exciting destinations, people, food, drink and culture. You can follow more of Greg’s travels at: www.Travelingboy.com.

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