Some of the information on this page, particularly about food and beverage outlets [which accept Reward Credits, which – if any – accept Reward Credits but at 2:1, at which can you charge meals to your room (to use your Annual Retreat folio credit), etc.] cannot be verified because employees provide conflicting information, don't know the answer, don't return phone calls, or don't reply to emails.  It's a very sad operation.

Harrah's Reno Hotel & Casino

Updated: 9/21/18

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Overview
Having stayed and/or played at all but three Caesars casinos (Harrah's Metropolis, Harrah's North Kansas City and Horseshoe Southern Indiana) and the two newest Indiana racinos, I'd have to rank Harrah's Reno Hotel & Casino at the bottom.  Harrah's recently celebrated its 80th anniversary and it shows every day of its age and then some.

[Harrah's Reno was the first Harrah's that Bill Harrah opened back in 1946.  (He opened his first Bingo Parlor in 1937.)]

More and more, it's becoming a "locals" casino, offering substantial discounts on meals and show tickets, and other benefits.

That said, if you're passing through on your way to Lake Tahoe – it's a convenient stopover to break-up a trip, especially from the East Coast.  Otherwise, there are not a lot of reasons to stop here unless you have some sort of special interest.

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From April to July there are national bowling tournaments at the National Bowling Stadium; in August it's Hot August Nights, with thousands of classic cars from 1970 and earlier descending on Reno from all over the western United States.  Many people reserve rooms a year in advance for that event.  In September there is the Great Reno Balloon Race, followed by the National Championship Air Races and Air Show, and Street Vibrations (thousands of motorcycles from all over country for one of the largest rallies in the country) the last weekend in September.
 
The other problem is downtown Reno.  It's not very inviting, there are lots of homeless populating the streets, and there's just not a lot to do.  Another alternative is to visit one of the other casinos within walking distance (Eldorado, Silver Legacy, Circus Circus that now market themselves jointly as The Row).  These other casinos are much more interesting, and add lots more restaurant and entertainment options.

Parking
Valet and self-parking are complimentary.  The entrances are on Center Street.  If you self-park, look for the specially designated and reserved Diamond spaces on the third level.  Generally, though, they are full.  Also, during the day, it's very difficult to read any of the signs in the garage, especially if their backs face the outdoors.


Harrah's participates in the Pet Stay program.  Click here for details.
Hotel overview
There is no real "lobby" just a front desk you'll see whether you enter from self-parking, valet or Center Street where the airport shuttle drops you off.

At registration look for the Seven Stars sign for priority service.

There also are Express Check-In & Check-Out kiosks which you may want to try.

Rooms are split between two towers East and West.  Standard guest rooms are a little on the small side, so try to get upgraded.

Decor is standard-issue "Harrah's,"
but it's in desperate need of updating and refurbishing.  A lot of the furniture is scratched, wallpaper is peeling, and carpeting is stained. 

Wireless high-speed Internet access is dependable, but the Basic Package (included with your waived resort fee) is extremely slow.

All rooms have coffee-makers, but only standard rooms on floors 16 and higher have refrigerators.  All suites have refrigerators.

A newly renovated outdoor pool is open seasonally and there is a small fitness center.  Both are complimentary for hotel guests.

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Despite what Harrah's website and signage claim, there is no true spa offering services such as massages, facials, etc., or a salon.

There also is no gIft shop on the second level.  It's now called Harrah's Wine & Spirits and is located off the hotel lobby.  (See "Inside Information.")

 

Casino overview
There are actually four casinos: the Sports Casino in the East Tower, Sammy's Casino and the Virginia Street Casino in the West Tower, and a fourth mini-casino in the Skyway on the second floor between the towers
, but those neighboring casinos – The Row – are larger and more interesting.

You'll find all the usual slots (700+) and table games (blackjack, craps, roulette, etc.), keno, and a Race & Sports Book.



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With Caesars Sports, players now have a convenient way to place a sports wager anytime, anywhere in Nevada using any iOS or Android device.  Download the app at Caesars.com/Mobile-Sports.  Complete the mobile wagering applications on the site and bring them to any Caesars Entertainment sports book in Nevada to activate an account.





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The casinos are pretty smoky, but there are two small very small! non-smoking areas.  One is located just past Hotel Registration on the first level, left; the other, Sonoma Slots, is across from Hash House A Go Go on the second level.
 
Complimentary drink service in the casino is relatively frequent; and dealers, slot attendants, bartenders and servers all are extremely friendly and helpful.

Entertainment
Sammy's Showroom hosts revues and specialty acts such as impressionists and comedians.  The Outdoor Plaza often has free shows.  For nightlife only on Friday and Saturday), try the Sapphire Lounge.  Other events take place at The Robert A. Ring Convention Center at Harrah's.  For a complete calendar of events, click here.

Dining
The Steak House will split checks up to a maximum of two per table.  Also there is a mandatory 18 percent gratuity on parties of seven or more.
Harrah's Steak House is among the last of an era where tuxedoed waitstaff prepare tableside stand-bys such as Caesar salad, Steak Diane and Cherries Jubilee.  And, needless to say, the steaks are prepared to perfection.  Maître d'hôtel Michael runs a tight ship, and among the servers who are terrific are Tony and Karla, with Miguel assisting them.  Out of three meals, with the exception of a disappointing lobster bisque (not much taste of lobster and the lobster pieces were chewy and rubbery), there wasn't a misstep either with the service or from the kitchen.

It's extremely popular especially on Friday and Saturday nights (and, sometimes, on Sundays), so definitely make a reservation.

However, for such an elegant restaurant, the clientele still dresses as if they're dining at McDonald's.  It's not unusual to see men and women dressed in shorts and flip flops or track suits, and men and boys wearing baseball caps during dinner.

For Japanese cuisine (including the entertaining antics of the Teppanyaki chefs, if you enjoy that sort of thing) and a sushi bar, try Ichiban Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar.  Note, however, that Ichiban accepts Reward Credits only from Seven Stars and Diamond cardholders, and you cannot charge your meal to your room.

You can use Reward Credits for meals at Hash House A Go Go, but first you must sign the charge to your room, and use your Reward Credits to settle the bill when you check-out.  HHAGG will not accept Express Comps (deductions directly from your Total Rewards card).

If you're eligible, be sure to ask for the 25 percent military/veterans, locals and/or University of Nevada, Reno student discount.

A more casual and less expensive option is Hash House A Go Go , but two breakfasts and a lunch were disappointing.  Service was slow and food arrived tepid or downright cold.  Instead of a thick layer of thin-sliced lean corned beef, the "Pub Crawl" comes with dry shreds of corned beef griddled with shredded Swiss cheese.  A request for cheese on the side resulted in a small bowl of frigid shredded cheese that tasted nothing like Swiss.  The promised caramelized onions were nowhere in sight.  Also, be aware that portions are enormous.  Flap jacks are the size of a medium pizza.  If it's not offered, ask for the "Downsize" menu.

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If buffets are more your thing, head to Carvings.  I'm not a big fan of buffets, but it's one of the nicer and more extensive casino buffets I've experienced.  However, I wouldn't recommend it for Sunday brunch
very crowded and, oddly, missing basic options such as scrambled eggs and cold cereals.  (At least I couldn't find them.)  The crowds result from the 50 percent discount that "locals" get off the regular price.  Where else can you find a champagne brunch for about $10 a person?  Look for the special Seven Stars/Diamond entrance.

For 24-hour dining there's Joy Luck Noodle Bar.  What's curious is that Joy Luck serves pancakes and eggs as part of its late-night menu that ends at 6:30 a.m., but won't serve them after that limiting your choices for breakfast.  Also, Total Rewards cardholders are eligible for a $1 discount on all menu items, but there is a $1 additional charge (per item!) for take-out.  The menu is not available online, but you can check it out here.  Joy Luck also has a special late-night menu, again, not online, but you can check it out here.

There is also a Starbucks (which accepts Reward Credits 1:1) and a Quiznos Sub on premises, but Quiznos does not accept Reward Credits or comp slips.  Be aware that you probably will be standing in line for a while if you go to Starbucks in the morning, especially on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Special Seven Stars benefits*

  • In addition to the special Seven Stars entrance for the buffet, there is a special seating area with cloth napkins, complimentary wine/champagne, hot towels and after-dinner chocolates (see above).
  • Seven Stars and Diamond cardholders receive a 10 percent discount at the Steak House.
  • Seven Stars and Diamond cardholders receive a $2 discount at the buffet.
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Seven Stars Lounge

There is no Seven Stars Lounge, but the small Diamond Lounge also called the Diamond Club or the Diamond Members Lounge, depending on which sign you see offers priority entrance to Seven Stars members, and allows up to three additional guests (two more than Diamond members).


For the size of the lounge, there is a relatively large bar, but not enough seats, as well as several small tables for parties of two and four.


Available food consists mainly of chips and salsa, crudités and dip, dry snack mix, sandwiches, and one or two hot items, e.g., chicken wings, mini-tacos, crab cakes, fried shrimp, etc., which are passed by a server presumably so people don't load up their plates and deplete what's being served (as they often do in other places).


Drinks may be taken out of the lounge into the casino.


Current hours (always subject to change) are:

  • Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 5 to 8 p.m. (closed Monday and Tuesday)
  • Saturday and Sunday: 4 to 8 p.m.

Should you choose this for your Annual Retreat?

Find more about Weather in Reno, NV
To put it bluntly, I wouldn't recommend it.
  • The Diamond Lounge is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Even then, it's open only until 8 p.m. (for a total of four hours on Fridays and Saturdays, and three hours on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays).
  • There are only four dining outlets where you can use your $500 folio credit (see below).  Hash House A Go Go isn't very good and not everyone likes Asian food.
  • There is no spa or salon.

  • The rooms and the public areas are drab and dingy, and appear not to be maintained very well.  (There was food and other debris all over the floor under many of the tables and bar stools in the Diamond Lounge.)
  • Many employees are clueless when you ask them a question, and you frequently get conflicting answers to your questions.
There is golf and sightseeing if you have a car, but not much to do within walking distance of the hotel, unless you are an automobile aficionado.  The National Automobile Museum (the Harrah Collection) is located in downtown Reno, but is not officially affiliated with Harrah's casino or hotel.  Parking is free, but admission ranges from $4 to $10 (free for ages 5 and younger).  The museum is open every day but Thanksgiving and Christmas.

IMPORTANT!

The $500 folio credit is good only for meals charged to your room at Carvings Buffet, Harrah's Steak House, Hash House A Go Go (select items) and the Joy Luck Noodle Bar.  It is not good at Starbucks, Quiznos or Ichiban.

Another alternative is Harrah's Restaurant To Room Delivery which offers select menu items from Joy Luck, Carvings, the Steakhouse and Hash House A Go Go.  Service hours vary depending on each restaurant.  Only the base amount of your order (and taxes) will be deducted from your folio credit, not the service charge and/or gratuity.  Click here for your options.

There is a  host office located in the High Limit area of Sammy's Casino.
When you check-in, be sure to verify that your $500 folio credit has been set-up.  Alcohol, meals at select food and beverage outlets (see left) and tickets to shows produced by the casino (ask first!) can be charged to the room and count toward your $500 in expenses, but not gratuities.  Best advice is to keep all your receipts until you settle your final bill, and check periodically throughout your stay that your bill is correct.
 
 
 

*subject to change, revision or cancellation

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Inside Information

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■ Harrah’s airport shuttle service begins daily at 4:30 a.m. with the last hotel departure from the Center Street entrance at 11:30 p.m.; last Reno/Tahoe International Airport departure to the hotel is at 12:30 a.m.  (Follow signs inside the airport directing you to Hotel Shuttles.)  No reservations are required, but seating is subject to availability and is on a first come, first serve basis. The shuttle is for Harrah’s Reno guests only.  Times may be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather, mechanical problems, etc.  For more information, call (775) 786-3232.

Alternatively, you can contact Bell Airport Service at (775) 323-3727 or (800) 235-5466. One-way fare is $6 per person.  In addition, the following taxi companies are available to provide round trip transportation:
  • Reno Sparks Cab
    (775) 333-3333
  • Reno Tahoe Taxi (775) 378-6266
  • Whittlesea Checker Taxi
    (775) 322-2222
  • Yellow Cab
    (775) 355-5555
Uber picks up and drops off near the Center Street entrance, where the airport shuttle arrives and departs.

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■ There is a small shop Harrah's Wine & Spirits in the lobby across from the front desk, but it sells more than alcoholic beverages.  You can purchase t-shirts, soft drinks and juices, snacks, and other souvenirs.

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On the second level is a Landau Jewelry store.

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You can print your boarding pass for free using one of two kiosks located across from hotel registration.just as you enter the lobby.  Harrah's calls it a "Business Center" but it's really just two laptops (that you pay to use) and a printer.

If you're going from the East to the West Tower and you're on the first floor, it may be easier and quicker just to go outdoors and walk across the street.

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There is a small, but more than adequate, fitness center on the fifth floor.  It's complimentary for hotel guests.

You can get a $5 per day food and beverage credit if you choose to forgo housekeeping during a stay of two nights or more.  You can use the credit beginning on the second day of your stay.

The Total Rewards Center and Cashier are located together and staffed by the same employees 24 hours a day.

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There is a small arcade for children and families (or anyone, really) on the second level past the West Tower elevators.  It's open daily from 8 a.m. to midnight.  No alcoholic beverages are permitted.

Seven Stars cardholders and a guest can get complimentary cocktails at casino bars Sammy's Bar, the Sports Bar and the Jade Bar just by showing their Total Rewards card.

■ There is a $4.99 per transaction fee to use the ATMs.

Hertz Rent-A-Car has a counter adjacent to the front desk.  Current hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday (closed for lunch from noon to 1 p.m.), and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.  It's closed Sundays.  Total Rewards cardholders get a 10 percent discount.  The phone number is (775) 788-2600, ext. 2600.


■ Harrah's has opened an adults-only arcade, Drink -N- Games, above, in the Sports Casino.