My 50th birthday celebrations kicked off in early October with a girls weekend at Pala Casino Spa and Resort. I first experienced this beautiful, fun and luxurious property last summer when Bill and I attended an influencer event at Pala.
The lovely people at Pala Casino Spa and Resort invited me back to celebrate my 50th birthday by seeing Olivia Newton-John in concert – they know I’m a big fan!
I invited longtime friends since high school, Chrissy, who also turned 50 this year, her mother, Chadda, and our friend Lillian. All of us are from Las Vegas.
I flew down Friday morning and met Chadda and Chrissy at the San Diego airport. Lillian lives in Southern California so she picked us up at the airport and took the short drive to Pala.
We arrived mid-morning and were greeted by the friendly staff. After checking in at reception, we went to our rooms. We had two adjoining rooms, which made our stay even more fun!
I never tire of the gorgeous views of the pool and the mountains in the background from the guest rooms on that side of the hotel. Our rooms were comfortable, peaceful and spacious. We had plenty of room for all our clothes, shoes and beauty products.
We were delighted to discover that the kind and generous staff at Pala Casino Spa and Resort left us a refreshing fruit plate in each room.
Just across the lawn from the resort and casino is the pool area, spa and Poolside Cafe. We were thrilled to spend the afternoon relaxing in our own cabana, which also included access to the Pala Spa’s amenities.
We got settled in our cabana, which had a couch, two chairs, a table, a tv and refrigerator filled with cold water, then ordered some cocktails and lunch.
Our server from the Poolside Cafe made sure all our needs were met. So we took our time and enjoyed a leisurely and tasty lunch in our private paradise.
After lunch, Chrissy and I headed to the spa for our scheduled massages. Last summer, Bill and I had a couples massage and it was truly the best I have ever had – Bill too!
Our massages lived up to our high expectations. Chrissy and I were so relaxed and felt refreshed and rejuvenated after our pampering.
After our pool time and massages, we returned to our rooms to get ready for dinner. We celebrated my and Chrissy’s 50th birthdays at The CAVE, an elegant and chic Mediterranean inspired restaurant.
We shared a delicious meatball appetizer and some flatbread then we each ordered and entree. I had a tasty eggplant parmesan, Chrissy had halibut, Lillian a steak and Chadda lobster.
We finished off the meal with giant slices of layered chocolate cake, made in house. So moist and chocolatey. What a fun and delectable meal!
After dinner, we did some gambling in the casino and I won $78 with the $25 in playing money Pala gave each of us. Later we went up to our rooms to hang out and talk before heading off to dreamland. We all slept great in our comfy beds and the next morning, decided to check out the Pala Nature Trail for a bit of exercise.
We checked in at the front desk as you need a key to access the trail. It’s 1.5 miles long and begins with an option to walk the rock maze, which we did. It’s a meditative walk designed to help you live in the moment, slow down and feel calm.
After we completed the maze, we walked the trail which weaves through a picturesque desert. We passed pretty desert flowers and shrubs, cactus and trees. The Palomar Mountains provided a scenic backdrop.
We built up an appetite on our nature trail walk so after a quick change of clothes, we headed down to the casino floor to Pala’s Choices, The Buffet. This over-the-top buffet is a food extravaganza! And it’s huge, accommodating up to 625 guests.
The buffet features exhibition cooking so you can watch the chefs prepare the food at various stations. There are over 200 different food options with cuisine from Mexico, Asia, Italy, and American favorites too. I loved the Mongolian style stir fry, the King Crab legs and the wide variety of delectable sweets. We did not leave Choices hungry, that is for sure!
A few hours later and it was time to eat again! We decided to fit in an early dinner before the concert. We dined at Sushi Sake, adjacent to the casino. Sushi Sake is a sushi-bar style restaurant that offers a tempting menu of fresh sushi choices. They also have a collection of hot and cold sake and Japanese beers. The sushi chef accommodated all our food requests with a cheerful smile and even posed for a few photos!
Just next to the CAVE, where we had our birthday dinner, and down a flight of stairs is the Underground Wine Cave. With over 480 wine labels from California, France and Italy as well as top shelf spirits and craft beer, there is something for every palate. We stopped by the Underground Wine Cave before the concert began for a drink and to listen to some live entertainment.
After enjoying a glass of wine in the Underground Wine Cave, we found our fantastic seats. Pala treated us to 7th row seats, we were so close to the stage. What a thrill!
I have been an Olivia Newton-John fan since I was in middle school. I used to play her records in our living room over and over again and memorized every word to my many favorites. What a bucket list experience it was to see her perform live!
Some highlights from the show were when she called up several cast members who were in Grease. They sang quite a few songs with Olivia from the movie’s soundtrack.
Olivia sang many of the songs that so many of us know and love like “Magic”, “Suddenly”, “I Honestly Love You” and many more, along with some of her newer songs.
It was a fantastic evening, one I will never forget!
Pala Room Service
To make our departure as easy as our arrival, the thoughtful folks at Pala treated us to room service before we checked out. I was the first to leave and since I always get a little nervous when I fly, I chose a nice light fresh fruit plate. Chadda, Chrissy and Lillian lingered a bit longer as they had more time to enjoy a full breakfast before they headed home.
What a wonderful girls getaway weekend! Thank you, Pala Casino Spa and Resort for making my and Chrissy’s 50th birthdays so memorable and special.
I highly recommend staying at Pala Casino Spa & Resort. It’s a great getaway for a couple or a group of friends. It’s chock full of great dining options, big name entertainers, a fantastic spa and I am pretty sure the new pool and Poolside Café are going to be amazing once they’re completed next spring.
Pala is an ideal destination whether you enjoy gambling or just like to relax by the pool and treat yourself to great food and drinks – or all of the above!
Disclosure: Our rooms, food, $25 gaming cards and concert tickets were all complimentary from Pala Casino Spa and Resort. We paid for all transportation, alcohol, spa treatments, gratuity and other incidentals. All opinions expressed here are my own.