Phoenix casino guide: We-Ko-Pa Resort, Fort McDowell Casino
We-Ko-Pa Resort, formerly the Radisson Fort McDowell, is unique among casino hotels in metro Phoenix because the casino is next door to rather than in the hotel. The two properties couldn't be more different: We-Ko-Pa is polished and upscale with all the amenities of a traditional Scottsdale resort, while the casino is dark, outdated and smoky, but oh-so-close for vacationers who want a little gambling with their resort getaway. Nearby attractions include Fountain Hills' signature fountain, one of the largest in the world, as well as Fort McDowell Adventures, which offers horseback riding, jeep tours and Segway tours. The resort offers a shuttle to Fountain Hills.
Opened: The resort opened in 2005. The casino in its current form in 1993.
AAA rating: 4 diamonds out of 5.
Room with a view: Book a deluxe king with a mountain view.
Resort fee: $20. Increases to $25 on Jan. 1, 2017.
Pool scene: The pool is a big draw at We-Ko-Pa, with a bar and grill, complimentary putting green, splash pad, fire pit, two hot tubs and stunning views.
Golf: Shuttles are offered to We-Ko-Pa Golf Club.
Spa: Spa and salon services are available at the small Amethyst Spa and Boutique.
Casino: The adjacent Fort McDowell Casino is 13,000 square feet with 700 slots, poker, bingo and keno.
High-limit gaming room: No.
Casino smoke scale: 5 out of 5, with 5 being the smokiest.
Buffet: The Red Rock buffet is open daily. Prime rib is featured on Tuesdays and crab legs on Wednesdays.
Best place to eat in the casino: Noodles Sushiya, which opens at noon and features many sushi specials. Sushi not your thing? Check out the Silver Platter for milkshakes and burgers.
Splurge restaurant: Ahnala at We-Ko-Pa.
Late-night munchies: A New York Deli at the casino is open 24 hours.
Best spot for a drink: The lounge or patio at Anhala restaurant, which has a daily happy hour with drink and food specials, including pico fry bread, street tacos and shrimp ceviche.
Best place to watch sports: At the casino, the video poker bar just outside the Lucky 7 Saloon has individual TVs at each spot.
Gift-shop essentials: $1 for water, $2 for soda.
Gift-shop souvenirs: $17 dreamcatcher.
Bonus attraction: Look for Native American art, crafts and images throughout the resort, starting with kachinas in the lobby.