Greater Vancouver’s entertainment hot spot
193 Rooms / 203 Suites
Located along the Fraser River in the Vancouver suburb of Richmond, River Rock Casino Resort is a hub of entertainment, a quick hop from the area’s international airport.
With its soaring ceilings, natural stone and wood finishes, and curved escalators, the multistory lobby feels like a contemporary mountain lodge, although the activities here include British Columbia’s largest casino, an expansive indoor pool, and a 1,000-seat theater decorated with one of the world’s biggest disco balls; performers have ranged from comedian Margaret Cho to crooner Tony Bennett. Two towers above the lobby house the resort’s sleek, modern guest rooms, all one- or two-bedroom suites.
You have plenty of space to splash out in the 525-square-foot one-bedroom and 650-square-foot two-bedroom suites with clean-lined dark wood furnishings. The white-sheeted beds are topped with chocolate-brown throws and pillowcases embroidered with the River Rock name. The spacious bathrooms come stocked with luxe Gilchrist and Soames toiletries.
Standard amenities include free Wi-Fi and local calls, espresso machines, and flat-screen TVs in the living rooms and bedrooms that provide guest services — from arranging wake-up calls to checking flight departures — in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese to serve the resort’s multilingual clientele. For the best views of the river, the 144-slip marina and the airport, choose a waterside room above the fifth floor; triple-glazed windows block the sounds of approaching aircraft.
If you need more space to entertain, opt for one of 10 penthouse suites. Measuring 1,000 to 1,200 square feet, they’re done in two different designs; one is modern with light wood furnishings, the other a more classic ski-lodge style.
Opposite the main building, Hotel at River Rock is a hotel-within-the-hotel with standard guest rooms on floors eight through 12 above the resort’s parking garage. Simpler than the casino resort rooms, the 336- to 365-square-foot units are furnished with one king or two queen beds, light wood cabinetry and colorful drapes and artwork.
The Gym and Spa
Swimmers can play in the freeform indoor saltwater pool, with a kid-friendly 70-foot waterslide and adjacent hot tub amid rainforest-style greenery. Overlooking the pool, a 24-hour fitness facility has stationary bikes, elliptical trainers, treadmills and a small weight room. For some pampering, head for the spa, run by the Vancouver-based Absolute Spa group, where the private treatment rooms include a hydrotherapy suite and a couple’s room.
The window-lined Tramanto restaurant serves steak and seafood with river views. The Buffet is the resort’s casual eatery, offering numerous breakfast, lunch and dinner selections, from a salad bar to Asian food. In the lobby, Curve lounge puts out light bites with local beer and wine and live music several times a week. On property but under separate management, the Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant is among the area’s most highly regarded Chinese dining rooms.
The resort has a tucked-away location in an industrial corner of Richmond. However, from the station adjacent to the resort, the city’s modern SkyTrain can speed you to downtown Vancouver in less than 20 minutes. The River Rock is an easy stroll from the popular summertime Richmond Night Market, and a short drive or SkyTrain ride to many of Richmond’s top Asian eateries.