Phoenix casino guide: Harrah’s Ak-Chin Hotel & Casino

Dawn Gilbertson
The Republic |
Casino-goers at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Hotel & Casino

Harrah's is the veteran among Valley casino hotels and the least flashy but has something other local casinos don't: ties to Las Vegas casino giant Caesars Entertainment. Gambling points at Ak-Chin can be redeemed for trips to The Strip. Harrah's keeps evolving. It added a second tower of hotel rooms in 2011 and is in the midst of a major expansion that will add 230 rooms, a spa, restaurants including a wine bar, and a much-needed new casino and hotel lobby. It will be finished in stages in 2017 and 2018.

MORE: Guide to all metro Phoenix casinos | How to get discounts, deals at casinos

Opened: 2001 (the casino debuted in 1994).

AAA rating: 3 diamonds (out of 5).

Rooms: 300.

Room with a view: Book a premium poolside room.

Resort fee: None.

Pool scene: The pool area is a highlight, with colorful lounge chairs, cabanas for rent, a large hot tub and a luxe swim-up bar. On Sunday afternoons in the summer, the pool hosts Margarita Sundays with music and specials. Pool hours are seasonal so call in advance if pool time is a must.

Golf: The Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club is nearby.

Spa: None.

Casino: 40,000 square feet with 1,089 slot machines, 19 blackjack tables and nine poker tables, plus keno and bingo.

High-limit gaming room: No.

Casino smoke scale: 4 out of 5, with 5 being the smokiest.

Buffet: The Buffet is open daily. Its Friday and Saturday night seafood buffets are especially popular.

Best place to eat in the casino: Agave's Restaurant, just off the casino, serves breakfast and lunch overlooking the pool.

Splurge restaurant: Range Steakhouse, a Harrah's hallmark, features slow-roasted prime rib, steaks and seafood.

Late-night munchies: Copper Cactus Grill is open 24 hours. There also is a Dunkin Donuts just off the casino.

Best spot for a drink: The Lounge during one of its free shows.

Best place to watch sports: Next door at the Luxe Lounge sports bar at UltraStar Multi-Tainment Center.

Gift-shop essentials: $1.50 for water, $2.50 for soda.

Gift-shop souvenir: Dionis goat-milk hand cream ($2.99), cat and dog mom coffee mugs ($18), painted ponies ($65).

Bonus attraction: UltraStar Multi-Tainment Center next door has movies, bowling, laser tag, comedy shows, dining, karaoke, trivia nights and more.

Details: 15406 N. Maricopa Road. 480-802-5000,

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