More about Horizon Casino Resort
Amazingly good casino buffet food
Living in Markleeville for years, on the California/Nevada border, we have eaten at many, many casino buffets over the years. We are not big fans of casino buffet food generally. However, we were very pleasantly surprised by the quality and selection of this buffet. The price was $12.95 for dinner. Entrees included prime rib, turkey, various cooked to order pasta dishes, made to order sushi, fajitas, and much more. Large salad and desert selections also. Pasta Putanesca
Friendliest staff around!
Despite the mixed reviews, I booked the Horizon Casino-Resort for the last night of my Tahoe trip and was VERY pleased with the service, so much so that I stayed an additional night.
I was already in Tahoe and had to check-out of our resort by 11 a.m. I called the Horizon and was told early check-in would not be a problem (Bonus points for that - the other resort made me wait to check-in). Arrived at noon, and was escorted to a room on the 5th floor by the friendliest bellhop. Housekeeping arrived with a crib within minutes (no follow-up call required.) My husband and I took turns sitting with the baby while the other gambled, and we spent a lot of time in the two pools--one of which is perfect for small children (2 feet deep).
When we decided one more night would be fun the front desk upgraded us to a large, corner room with a real balcony and view (room 608) for the same price ($99/night.) Jackpot! We could see the Lake on our left and the Tahoe Edgewood golf course to our right. Food was just OK, gaming was fun, but the staff really deserves a pat on the back. One call to the valet and they'd bring the car around so I could retrieve baby toys (this happened a few times, too.)
Overall I'm glad we took a gamble (no pun intended) on the Horizon. Despite a full house due to the Celebrity Golf tournament we were treated like VIP's.
Much better than expected
I have to begin by saying I was a little nervous about our stay after reading the reviews here and seeing the ranking of the hotel. We attended our niece's wedding last weekend, and since the whole family was staying here, we really didn't have much choice. While the Horizon is not the Ritz, having low expectations allowed us to have a wonderful time, and nothing horrible happened.
We were offered valet or self parking as soon as we drove up, and chose the self parking option in the garage right next door. Easy, convenient, free.
Check-in had the only glitch. We had asked for adjoining rooms since my wife's parents were going to be staying with us, and in order to get the main tower rooms as we had booked, they could only get us on the same floor. After complaining at the end of our stay, they took $40 off each of the rooms.
The last few times we have played, we have visited a couple of Indian Casinos in California, and they were so crowded, you had to line up for a popluar slot machine. I am happy to report that I really had no trouble throughout our Fri-Sun stay finding a machine I liked. I saw a roulette table completely empty Friday night, and sat down just for the opportunity. While not terribly huge, the Horizon casino had a great assortment of machines and table games. It was plenty smoky Saturday night with the added traffic due to a Harley Davidson convention, but was not too bad at other times.
We wound up on the 3rd floor, on the north side of the main tower. Our view was of the pool, some trees and the other tower. We could also see the snow-capped mountains on the other side of the lake, but the trees blocked an actual lake view. The room was clean, well appointed, with a 25" TV and a decent array of channels. The beds were pretty comfortable and the A/C worked great. (Of course South Lake Tahoe was the nation's cold spot last weekend). They provided the usual fairly fancy soaps and moisturizers. Water pressure was great, but the shower didn't get too hot. The only weird thing was the rubber bath mat thing (non-slip?) in the bottom of the shower. It had an air bubble in it or something, which made the floor in the tub not feel so solid. Strange...of course there was a lot of beer flowing late Friday night...Hmmm. Anyway, good rooms overall. Tastefully decorated too.
We were not able to try Josh's, so I can only report on the buffet dinner Friday night. Buffet, you know. It was..fine. Whatever. OK choice, pretty good quality for a buffet. We tried the Four Seasons for breakfast twice, and it was good. Nothing fancy. Eggs were institutional tasting, but the Eggs Benedict was pretty good. Service was prompt and friendly. Oh, there was a Starbucks in the lobby. That was cool!
We had two children with us, and many more as part of our large extended family. I was pleased that the Horizon has an 8-plex movie theater right there next to the casino. My 5 year old and I saw the Herbie movie, and it was really cool to do that right in the hotel. Also, they had right next to that a large video arcade that we took plenty of advantage of, with many types of games for young kids as well as old, plus skee-ball and basketball type games. (They even had Centipede for us first generation gamers). The skill games offered tickets like Chuck E. Cheese's, and my son collected over 700 during the weekend which he was able to turn in for a variety of fun toys at the end of our stay. We did not have a chance to visit the pool or hot tubs, but they looked nice. The gift shop was well stocked and open until 1:00 am. (No milk or beer though...)
Overall, we had a very pleasant stay at the Horizon. It was as good or better than our experience at Ceasar's across the street a number of years ago. I hope the rest of you can have a good time there as well. If not, there are 3 other major hotels and casinos right next door or across the street. Good luck.
Foggy skiing and hotel!
Our stay at Horizon was fraught with problems. First, we booked adjoining rooms but were given rooms on different floors upon arrival. Granted the stairs were beside the rooms so we could walk more quickly than the elevator, but this is not what was booked. Secondly, during the second night of our stay (at 1:00 am) the 7th floor and above was evacuated due to the smoke alarms sounding. Our upstairs friends called us to report this alarm sounding and we discovered our floor (6th floor) was not experiencing the alarm. The top floors were in the process of leaving via the stairs with people streaming down the stairs and the alarm sounding and announcing "Emergency, evacuate immediately". The front desk told us not to leave from our floor! It turned out to be nothing. However, I do not understand why ALL floors were not alarming and being evacuated. Thirdly, we chose to eat at the buffet on our first night. For 4 people this was nearly $60 and the food was inedible. At the ice cream bar there were no bowls. Instead, plastic cups were sitting out. There was also no chocolate syrup container. Instead, a bottle of Hershey's syrup was sitting out, dripping syrup down the sides. The entree selections were not good at all. On our last night we decided to eat at Josh's. This turned out to be another mistake. The food was all frozen dishes that were merely thawed for our meal. (For example: the chicken fingers were obviously frozen strips.) Although cheaper than the buffet it was still not good.
Fourthly, we tried to purchase lift tickets in the gift shop but could not understand the clerk well enough to know what was being offered. Her English was very poor. Fifthly, we tried to make use of the fitness room. The fitness room had two treadmills, one of which did not work. The drink machine was out of order and the water cooler was out of water. The two stair climbers could not be adjusted and the weight machine was missing cords on one apparatus so that it could not be used.
Lastly, we accidentally left money on the table in our room ($7) and housekeeping took it. This is not a lot of money and perhaps they thought it was a tip, but still it was not marked as such. We consider it stolen.
On a good note the valet service was excellent. We did wonder why the bellman kept telling us to 'shhhhh'. That was a little strange. The front desk allowed us a late check out on our last day.
The weather was extremely overcast and foggy, making skiing difficult. This is not the fault of Horizon, of course, but the fogginess of this hotel is certainly something to think about before booking your stay here!
Where are the windows?
We got there half an hour before check-in and the room wasn't ready for over an hour, despite numerous calls to housekeeping. Not all is lost we thought; a beautiful lake, glorious mountains - let's unwind with a beer overlooking Lake Tahoe. Great in theory. Except there are no bars or cafés above the rather depressing ground floor. And none of them has windows!!! Even if they did, the fantastic architectural planning of the building would still render it impossible to see anything worth looking at thanks to the enormous parking lot between the hotel and the lake.
We were staying with friends who had arrived a day before. They'd stayed one night in the 'older' block and requested a move for various reasons including ineffective heating. After 2 nights next door to us in the main block, we all moved again. DO NOT STAY ABOVE THE 9th FLOOR!!! The rooms on the 14th floor got to a rather unbearable 90degF. After a quick physics lesson (apparently heat rises...), the staff admitted this was a common complaint above the 9th floor and moved us again.
Did I mention the Four Seasons restaurant? It seems is has world renowned crap service. We actually left one morning before getting breakfast because of a lack of service after 15 mins at the table. The buffet was edible. Didn't try anything else as the casino was too depressing to be near.
In short, if you like the constant ching-ching of casinos and you can think of nothing better to do at 9am that have a beer and line the casino's pockets with a game of craps (I kid you not), then this is the perfect place for you. It is geared 100% towards gamblers - if you're there for skiing or anything else, forget it! The Embassy Suites looked very nice and is on the Californian side of Tahoe - that would be my recommendation.
In my book, it offers the minimum of what it acceptable. Some things function well - decent casino, fairly clean rooms. However, we had many problems, including ...a three hour delay in check in because their computers broke. It was not until we had to hassel them to get them to put us in a room. The problem was not availability or access to the rooms, but rather, they could not authorize the credit cards. Eventually, after we complained, they pulled out an oldschool credit card machine. The point is, they could have checked us all in, but chose not to. Also, we had problems with the plumbing, and the responsiveness of housekeeping. I would consider staying her again, but only if there were no other reasonable options.
After reading many negative reviews of this hotel, I was a little hesitant to stay at the Horizon. But, much to my amazement, most people were just overly critical. Granted, it is not as fancy as the others in the area, but it is perfect. The casino is the perfect size with options for every gambler. The choices for food were also great! We ate at the buffet numerous times and enjoyed it every time. We also had breakfast and lunch in the 4 Seasons and enjoyed our meals each time. We also had dinner in Josh's and it as absolutely delicous. If anyone is willing to splurge, I would suggest going there for delicious steak and lobster.
So, overall, our stay at the Horizon fantastic! I would stay there again in an instant!
I booked a room at the Horizon Hotel, and requested a Lake View. After telling me that there were none available when I got there, the concierge acted like they were giving me a nicer room to make up for it. He said I would have a view of "the forest" and be on the top floor. When we got to our room, it was not the top floor, it was the 14th, and our room overlooked the parking lot. It was also right up against the elevator shafts. No sound barrier either. Can you imagine how frequently the elevators run in a 24 hour casino? I got maybe 2 hours sleep.
On another note, the room had a sliding glass door that opened up to.......nothing! No balcony, just a straight drop 14 stories to the parking lot below. Dangerous!!!
DON'T STAY HERE!!! .......................................EVER!!!