Pechanga Resort & Casino, the largest resort/casino in the Western U.S., announced that it is embarking on a major renovation to change the entire look and feel of three of its 10 existing restaurants, and add an 11th food and beverage outlet.
The hotel/resort/casino will close its lobby, two casual dining establishments, one fine dining outlets and hotel retail shop, on Tuesday, September 3. Designers have drawn up plans for a transformation of look and feel of the two casual restaurants – the 24-hour Pechanga Café and the popular Blazing Noodles with many favorite Asian dishes gracing the menu. The acclaimed Seafood Grotto will be turned into a modern sushi and oyster bar. The hotel’s retail space is being overhauled to become the resort’s 11th dining outlet – a modern coffee and wine bar. By the end of 2013, the completed project will offer a more contemporary and modern entrance through its hotel valet grand entry. Upon check-in at the hotel, guests will immediately see the updated eateries, as well as the total transformation of the hotel lobby and rooftop nightclub.
“The property is now a little over 10 years old and it is time for a renovation of our grand entry and some of the restaurants,” says Pechanga Development Corporation president, Patrick Murphy. “Quality has always been a cornerstone of our success and we are always looking at giving our guests the very best experience possible. The new look will be elegant, timeless and will still convey the importance and use of natural elements for the Pechanga people.”
At the unveiling at the end of the year, interior designer Ann Fleming of Cleo Designs of Las Vegas says the new look “will amaze guests because of the scale of the ceilings, that are so high even currently, but it’s hard to tell since there are décor items that made it appear lower than it was.” She also pointed out flowing water features that will be added, one being a “rain curtain” that looks as if it is emanating from an imaginary place about 25-feet high. “When it’s all done, we hope visitors will come in and stop and say, ‘Gosh, did you see this?’” referring to the featured finishes such as the 20,000 square feet of marble flooring or the live wood edges of the reception tables.
While the Pechanga hotel lobby transformed into a comfortable and timeless space, the 24-hour Pechanga Café and Blazing Noodles restaurants are being overhauled concurrently and will emerge with a complete makeover. Several of the architectural elements of the Pechanga Café will remain intact. Items such as grand archways and stonework speak to the influences of the Southern California region. The Seafood Grotto will morph into a modern and inviting sushi and oyster bar with a long dining bar, which will be flanked by tables and booths, as the focal point of the restaurant. Diners will be able to enjoy sushi, oysters, and other fresh-from-the-sea specialties at an additional bar that will look out onto the casino floor. Those looking for a latte or favorite pastry in the morning or a glass of fine wine and live Flamenco guitar in the evenings will be able to find it at the brand new coffee and wine bar that will be housed in the former location of the resort’s gift shop. (Another gift store is being constructed at the bottom of the hotel elevators for guests who may have forgotten any necessity or in search of sundry items.)
“Staying competitive and offering lounge and dining space that our guests feel like they want to come back to again and again is of top importance,” says Dennis Khanh, vice president of food and beverage. “Equally important is offering the highest quality food presented to exceed our Four Diamond standard. With the help of Cleo Designs, as well as maintaining the caliber of ingredients and of our chefs, both criteria will be met and surpassed when our renovation is unveiled.”
Resort staff has made sure that patrons will not go hungry during the construction period. Six of the restaurants inside Pechanga Resort & Casino, as well as Journey’s End inside the resort’s golf club house will be open for regular business and some have even added hours and favorite menu items from the eateries that will be unavailable for the four-month period.
Builders are also renovating the Eagle’s Nest rooftop nightclub beginning in early October and turning it into an expanded venue by removing walls that currently separate adjoining meeting space. Guests seated in every area, inside and on the outdoor patio, will experience sweeping views of the Temecula hills to the southeast, or of the valley to the northwest. The feel of being in a nest will be accentuated with uplit branches on the walls, natural wood and stone finishes and colorful furniture and accessories added to make the venue modern and fun. Builders say they plan to work on the Eagle’s Nest during the week and the venue will open for regular business on Fridays and Saturday from 9:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Hotel officials say guests staying in any of the resort’s 517 rooms during the renovations will not see any change or disruption in service, or their sleep. The resort will relocate its hotel check-in to an area right inside from the Casino Valet and all the same amenities – complimentary valet service, bellhop service and more – will still be available to all guests. “Even room service will continue to run 24 hours a day,” says Grant Channing, vice president of hotel. “Our goal is to make guests feel totally welcome and with no disruption to their relaxing and enjoyable stays, they won’t notice the renovation until it’s all done.”