Midwest Living Review
You're driving along a country road and, boom, there it is rising out of the countryside like some sort of mirage. Although the tan exterior is pretty unassuming except for the one big flashing neon sign, there's no mistaking the Belterra Casino Resort and Spa. It isn't nearly as fancy as some of the newer additions to the Las Vegas Strip, but could be right at home on one of the little side streets there. Belterra encompasses everything you'd expect from a garden-variety Vegas vacation -- a nicely decorated atrium flanked by a row of retail shops, a Starbucks, a steak house and the ubiquitous all-you-can-eat buffet. (Other food options include the Aquarium Cafe, the Casino Cafe and a Ben and Jerry's.) Be forewarned -- smoking is allowed, but Belterra seems reassuringly clean. Housed in the hull of a docked riverboat, the casino is the main attraction, with two floors of everything from penny slot machines to high-stakes poker tables. Roulette, craps, blackjack, video poker -- the gaming gang's all here. A noteworthy feature, a complimentary soft drink station lets gamers help themselves without having to wait for a cocktail waitress. The 1,500-seat Center Stage performance venue attracts recognizable names like Jay Leno, Michael Bolton, Wayne Newton, Foreigner and Merle Haggard. You'll also find an outdoor pool and the full-service Beleza Spa and Salon, but we skipped the spa after ducking in and becoming overwhelmed by an awful sewage smell. Legendary architect Tom Fazio designed the resort's 18-hole golf course. Food and drink carts cruise around offering service to the duffers, and the fully stocked pro shop sells clubs, gear and equipment.