Try your luck at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee. It is located 50 miles west of Asheville at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in the town of Cherokee and Jackson County. See the results of a recent $650 million expansion that rebuilt the entire Casino and added the 21-story hotel tower.
The casino now includes 150,000 square feet of gaming space, including traditional table games such as black jack, roulette and craps. The luxury resort has 1,100 hotel rooms, the Le Fu Men gaming area, 10 restaurants, the ESSENCE Lounge, and eight retail shops. Chefs Stage Buffet features chef specialties prepared at interactive stations that are sure to please any palate! Other restaurants include Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, BRIO Tuscan Grill, Selu Garden Café, and a food court. The Grand Rotunda features eight 75-foot LED lit trees, a 140 foot-long LED screen, twin 68-foot waterfalls and state-of-the-art video and audio. You can even fish in the stream that runs through the property!
Stroll along the second floor walkway and visit the River Shops. The hotel and casino now includes a covered garage, arcade, indoor pool and workout room, and a big conference center. The 3,035-Seat Cherokee Events Center is the biggest entertainment and concert venue in the region.
The amazing Mandara Spa integrates elements of Native American culture into Balinese-inspired treatments, bringing guests the best in therapeutic luxury. The Mandara brand emphasizes beauty, rejuvenation and exotic indulgence, aiming to enhance each guest's resort experience by providing unparalleled opportunities for pampering. New for 2014 is "The Pools" with heated indoor and outdoor pools with Vegas-style cabanas, walk-up bar with covered dining area and adjoining restrooms and showers.
The very swanky South Super Suite is reserved for the high rollers!
Harrah's provides four-star lodging that include amenities like large baths, upscale furniture, and special amenities such as coffee makers and 42-inch HD plasma TVs. There are plenty of places around the hotel to hang out and relax. We love the indoor fire pit! Also, Harrah's Cherokee Hotel is pet-friendly with a special PetStay Luxury Room for up to two of your canine companions, complete with a special welcome amenity. Click here to visit their Web site.
The casino revenue have meant wonderful transformations for the Cherokee area and tribal members. The Tribal Government’s General Fund (about $100 million/year) and Cherokee Preservation Foundation (given $58 million since 2002) have funded a new $120 million K-12 school campus, a Cherokee language immersion school, dialysis clinic, funding for low interest housing and business loans, full college scholarships, training programs, perpetuation of Cherokee artistic traditions, leadership development, support of entrepreneurship to diversify the regional economy, broadband for rural schools in a five county area with technology-based learning tools, and renewable energy efficiency and amenities for the community like a movie theater, cultural attractions, golf course and parks. Half of casino profits is split directly among the tribe’s 14,000 enrolled members.
Cherokee Things to Do
There are many things to do in the Cherokee area, including museums, shopping and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. See our Cherokee Guide for more.
Hotel guest can enjoy a round of golf at the Sequoyah National Golf Club, an 18-hole, par 72 championship course designed by golf architect Robert Trent Jones II and Native American golf pro Notah Begay III.
Cherokee is just 52 miles from Asheville via I-40 West to Exit 27, then U.S. 19 to U.S. 441 in Cherokee (Just over an hour's drive). Or you can take the more scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, but this could take three to four hours. A great day trip is to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway to Cherokee and return the faster way via I-40 back to Asheville.