Viejas unveils details, sets opening date for new hotel

Viejas Casino & Resort has started taking reservations for its new hotel tower, which is slated to open on Feb. 1.

The 159-room all-suites Willows Hotel & Spa promises to offer an adults-only, luxury boutique resort experience unique to San Diego-area casino hotels.

Among the next-gen hospitality offerings are an Amazon Alexa in every suite and a reinvention of the traditional hotel check-in/check-out model, with guests choosing their own arrival and departure times.

“You will be able to tell us what time is best for you to arrive, and your room will be waiting for you,” Viejas Tribal Chairman Robert Welch, Jr., said in a statement Monday, unveiling details about Willows Hotel & Spa.

“And, even better, guests who arrive in the evening can check out in the evening, allowing for them to have access to their room for their entire stay.”

The 600- to 700-square-foot suites are outfitted in warm, white stone, rich woods and neutral tones with pops of gold throughout the contemporary decor. A floorplan on the Viejas website shows a generously sized bathroom that appears larger than the living room and only slightly smaller than the bedroom.

Rates for February were going for $269 on the site. Swanky hotel rooms, however, are often given free to casino players — local and out-out-town visitors alike — as a coveted perk. That’s one of the factors driving the San Diego region’s casino expansion building boom.

On Friday, Pechanga Resort & Casino’s new 568-room hotel tower will have its soft opening. Pala Casino Spa & Resort will open a new 349-room hotel in 2019. And Sycuan Casino will debut its first hotel, with 300 rooms and suites, in the first quarter of 2019.

Among the other details announced by Viejas:

  • Willows will have a “pillow preference program,” allowing guests to choose from various bedding options.
  • The resort will focus on providing a “Wellness Experience,” with select suites offering vitamin-C infused showers.
  • The adults-only salt-water pool complex has dedicated space for meditation and poolside massage treatments. The pool will officially open in the spring.
  • The new Willows Spa will feature a tranquility garden, salt sauna, seven indoor treatment rooms and two outdoor treatment cabanas. There will also be a full-service salon and 24-hour fitness center.
  • Willows will sport three dining concepts: The signature restaurant will be called Locale Kitchen and Lounge and will serve modern fare made with local ingredients; Ginger Noodle Bar will be a modern Asian restaurant; and The Daily Roast 24/7 cafe.
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