My November 2010 visit to Harrah’s Hotel & Casino in Joliet Illinois was the first time I actually stayed overnight. Previously I had played at this location two other times. The first time being 3 or 4 years ago. It’s interesting how much things can change in just a few years time. After my Harrah’s St. Louis disaster I pretty much swore off playing at any of their properties. Until my visit to Bally’s Las Vegas last year I hadn’t stepped foot in a Harrah’s location since my first visit to Joliet. That first Joliet visit took place after my horrible experience in St. Louis. Although I have played in a St. Louis casino it hasn’t been Harrah’s. Keep in mind Missouri has since changed it’s gaming laws and how you enter the gaming floor. Which is what caused my less than pleasant Harrah’s St. Louis stay.
Forward a couple years and my opinion was become once again positive in regards to Harrah’s. Granted their Harvey’s Lake Tahoe property gave me one of the better customer service experiences I’ve had to date. St. Louis ruined all that. Over the past year I’ve now visited several Harrah’s locations. This started at Bally’s Las Vegas early last year. Then 2 visits to Harrah’s Joliet. My most recent Harrah’s experience was at Tunica Resorts Mississippi. I’ve only had a hotel stay at the Joliet property.
The photos included here are of my room at Harrah’s Joliet. Compared to the St. Louis property the room is much more spacious. However my view was just as lousy. In St. Louis the room was tiny and offered a parking garage for scenery. My room in Joliet was larger but offered a view of the heating cooling units and roof portions of the property. So both properties were equal in regards to view. Of course Harvey’s Lake Tahoe wins for best view of any Harrah’s property we have stayed at.
After my first visit to Joliet last year I came home and waited to see what they would offer comps wise. Illinois, Iowa and Missouri casinos aren’t very consistent with their comp offers. Even though I normally play with the same buy-in amount and give similar action. I was pleasantly surprised that a 1 day visit with a minimal buy-in got me decent comps in return. Although after my 2 day hotel stay with 3 craps sessions I ended up with similar offers.
Getting to Harrah’s Joliet from Amtrak Union Station is a bit of an adventure. Finding a cab in that area is a real pain. When you arrive at the hotel it’s like many other casino properties on the first visit – a game of hide and seek. When I entered the doors in Joliet there was no one at the door to guide me. Then again no one was there to get the cab door or earn money taking in my bags. So I entered and had to figure out where the hotel check-in was located. I don’t recall any easy to view signage directing me. I found an elevator to the left and headed up. Once in what I’d describe as a main lobby I easily found the check-in.
The check-in process went smoothly and the young lady behind the counter was very friendly. Elevators for room access are right around the corner from the front desk. Something you rarely find in a casino hotel. In most it’s an adventure to find the elevators – especially in the larger Las Vegas properties. Monte Carlo Las Vegas is an exception to that rule.
I was nicely surprised with the room size and quality at Harrah’s Joliet. The only room amenity needing a major upgrade is the television. Very few casinos offer decent channel selection. They want you out of the room gambling or purchasing pay per view. But almost all casino hotels offer flat screen televisions. Lumière Place Hotel & Casino in St. Louis actually offers 2 very large screen TV’s in their basic room. Jumer’s Rock Island and Isle of Capri in Bettendorf IA also offer flat screen televisions. Only the Par-A-Dice in East Peoria offers an older model TV.