Biloxi, Mississippi – With gas prices across the region hovering around $4.17 per gallon, it would currently cost roughly $200 just to make a round-trip to Orlando, Florida – a popular vacation
destination for many.
With the cost of gas rising, many are looking to stay close to their homes while planning their holidays. In some cases, people look forward to “stays” for rest and relaxation.
To that end, the Mississippi coast has a lot to offer, starting with the resort properties that dot the coast. Most obvious—literally—is the Beau Rivage Resort, the tallest building in Mississippi at 346 feet.
“The Beau,” as most locals call it, opened in March 1999, and at the time was the largest hotel/casino in the United States outside of Nevada. It features 1,740 rooms and suites, 10 restaurants, and 85,000 square feet of gaming, including the BetMGM Sports Book Bar & Grill.
There’s also a 1,500-seat theater, a shopping walkway, the Black Clover Lounge with Topgolf suites, and just a few miles down the road is Fallen Oak, the championship golf course designed by Tom Fazio.
Those are nuts and bolts at that, but first-hand experience tells a better story, so we recently visited Beau for an overnight stay to see for ourselves what the resort has to offer. Here are some ideas from our stay:
Spa and salon
After a quick and simple check-in process, we made our way to the spa and salon area, on the same floor with the pool and fitness centre. Beau spa is ranked number six on the list of North America’s 100 Best Spas, and we can see why. The spa facility is fantastic, with separate and luxurious wet areas for men and women which include shower facilities, locker, hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms.
A full range of services are available, including aromatherapy massages and warm Himalayan salt stones. Guest service was great, even the spa attendant Patrick was checking to see if the bottled water we got was the right temperature for us. The massage therapists Teresa and Rhiannon were equally excellent. Locker rooms include showers and a full range of complementary shaving equipment.
Although we didn’t use it, the fitness center is large and stocked with the latest equipment, with a row of treadmills overlooking the pool area. We didn’t test the salon either, but it features a full service skin, nail, and hair care service.
From the spa, and after a quick tour of the pool area (more on that later), we headed to the Atrium Cafe for lunch – the first two visits. Located within the main entrance to the resort, the Atrium is a 24-hour coffee shop that always overlooks the Beau lounge/lounge.
The menu features a wide range of Southern favorites, including Cajun fettucini ($22) and Biloxi Steak Sandwich ($17) which we highly recommend. We also tried the Cobb Salad ($14) and Buffalo Wings ($18), which were very good. The portions are very large. Bring your appetite if you plan to clean your plate.
After lunch, we knew our room was ready and our keys were handed over. We made our way to the eleventh floor of the resort and found ourselves in a corner room, with wall-size windows on both the room’s west and south walls, providing great views of the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi Coast, and MGM Park. Sadly, Shakir Biloxi was on the road this weekend.
Beau guest rooms are undergoing a $55 million remodel, with the remodel of the resort’s 95 suites already complete. Our room was very large, as was the bathroom, which features a glass shower and separate garden sink.
We counted no less than 11 water bottles in the room, including four in the minifridge. There are Keurig coffeemakers in the room, and two Beau Rivage bathrobes hanging in the closet, which, I can tell, are made of butter that they somehow manage to turn into cloth.
The king size bed was firm, but not hard, and provided a great night’s sleep.
Pool bar and pool
After a short nap, we returned to the pool area, and discovered a wonderful area on the west side of the pool where guests can relax while looking out over the bay and coast.
Clearly designed with functionality over fashion, the pool bar primarily serves to accommodate the guest using the pool, but offers bar seating – shaded and cooled by several ceiling fans. We were comfortable despite the temperatures soaring to 100 degrees during our visit.
The bar offers 32 ounces of specialty drinks for $23 in a souvenir mug or $22 in a souvenir bucket, as well as traditional poolside meals, including burgers, salads, egg rolls, and nachos.
Black Clover Lounge
We tried stopping by for a drink at the BetMGM Sports Book, twice, but each time we were turned down due to limited seating for non-eating guests, despite a large number of empty tables. Seating for those who want to wet their whistle is only available at the bar or video poker seats.
So we moved to the Black Clover Lounge in the resort park. The place was perhaps the most pleasant surprise during our entire stay, thanks in large part to the staff, including manager LB Wilson – who entertained us with the story of a woman who adopted an orphaned kitten, only to learn later it was a tiger.
Our waitress, Christine, was also great and filled us in with some of the menu items, including wings with an Indian spice sauce, which she highly recommended. Do you have a group? You can get 36 suites for $24.
Black Clover has happy hour from 4pm-6pm Sunday through Thursday, offering $3 local beer, good drinks, and house wine. There is also live music from 4pm to 9pm on Sundays.
The Topgolf Swing connects to the Black Clover Lounge, but while the name suggests this is a golfer-only attraction, the computerized suites offer several other games, including throwing soccer balls, baseballs, kicking a soccer ball, and – a personal favorite – playing dodgeball against zombies.
Suite rentals are $80 per hour ($40 during happy hour) for up to eight people. Bring a group and you’ll be entertained, with cocktails served by Black Clover.
For dinner, we chose Stalla, the sparkling Italian Beau, located between BR Prime Steakhouse and Jia Pan-Asian Restaurant.
The service was amazing, except for an overzealous cheese grater which led to a running joke about ‘cheese water’. The calamari ($14) appetizers arrived before the server could even return to bake us, while the fettuccine Alfredo ($24) with mushrooms and Grand Budano and grilled chicken were among the best we’ve ever eaten, as was the chicken Parmesan ($26), which It had the best marinara sauce I’ve ever tasted. The tiramisu was equally delicious. And again, the portions were such that we ended up with boxes ready to take into the room.
Stalla’s menu is inspired by the northern Italian countryside, and also features excellent Italian wines.
EIGHT75 Bar and Breeze
For an after-dinner drink we stopped at EIGHT75, which is right around the corner as you enter the casino. Next door is the Breeze Bar on the casino floor, with ample seating and video poker machines. EIGHT75 often features live music, along with classic cocktails and signature martinis.
The Beau also features other amenities we didn’t have time to enjoy on this trip, including the Roasted Bean Café, the Snacks Café outside of BetMGM, or the buffet which we’ve visited several times in the past and consider one of the best on the beach. For the kids, there’s an arcade on the Corniche, along with an ice cream shop.
We had high expectations for Beau Rivage, given its status as an MGM resort and an icon of the Mississippi Coast. It did not disappoint. All facilities were first class and service was what one would expect from an AAA Four Diamond Resort.
However, one of the biggest takeaways was food. Without exception, from the bread to the appetizers to the appetizers, the food was superb. We can’t say enough about quality or quantity. It’s impossible to leave Beau’s hungry.
To book a stay at the Beau Rivage, visit the resort’s website or call 88-386-7472. Room rates start at $159 and vary by occupancy.
Oh, by the way, the total gas cost we have for our trip to beau? $2.67.