Peppermill Resort Spices Up a Reno Vacation

Renovations and green initiatives keep the resort, spa and casino fresh By: Marty Wentzel
Peppermill Resort Spa Casino // (c) 2013 Peppermill Resort Spa Casino
Peppermill Resort Spa Casino // (c) 2013 Peppermill Resort Spa Casino

The Details

Peppermill Resort Spa Casino

Rates: Hotel rooms from $79-$289 per night, with suites from $109 to $1500.
Commission: From 10-15 percent

Peppermill Resort Spa Casino is a textbook example of keeping current. Not one to rest on its laurels — including its AAA Four Diamond rating — the landmark Nevada hotel has steadily tweaked the guest experience over time, most recently through major renovations and an emphasis on eco-consciousness.

Launched in 1971 as a coffee shop and lounge, the Peppermill has evolved over the years into a luxurious resort. Today it lays claim to 1,635 rooms, 10 restaurants, 16 bars and lounges, a spa, a salon and fitness center, two pools, a ballroom, designer boutiques and an 82,000-square-foot casino.

During a recent visit to the Peppermill, I got a firsthand look at the results of its four-year $450 million expansion and renovation, completed in August 2011 and a testimony to the property’s longevity.

I stayed in the newly improved 600-suite Tuscany Tower, sporting a modern glass exterior and Italianesque interior decor. My spacious digs featured Tuscan-themed artworks and furnishings and a marble bathroom with a European-style soaking tub and a separate walk-in shower. At the same time, it provided me with modern comforts like a pillow-top bed, a 42-inch flat-screen television and an iPod docking station.

Also benefitting from the overhaul was the redesigned Peppermill Tower, which boasts 1,032 accommodations with standard hotel rooms as well as 390-square-foot spa suites and 5,000-square-foot super suites.

Spa Toscana

As part of the renovation, the hotel created Spa Toscana, a 33,000-square-foot three-story oasis inspired by the baths of ancient Rome. Enlivened by mosaic floors, fountains and water features, it’s especially notable for its unique, indoor caldarium with a pool, a sun deck and a secret garden.

A hip nightclub called Edge is yet another impressive product of the Peppermill redo. The 8,000-square-foot hub dazzles revelers with laser effects; high-tech lights and sound; and blasts of liquid nitrogen. Open Thursdays through Saturdays, it sets an equally dynamic stage for live concerts and themed events.

The sun was shining during my Reno sojourn, so I spent some time basking outdoors at the Peppermill’s pair of lavish pools, presided over by a sparkling waterfall. Inside, I headed to the other extreme with a workout in the 10,000-square-foot fitness center, which offers a generous spread of state-of-the-art equipment; locker rooms with steam and sauna; and an exercise room for yoga and stretching.

Eager to savor a Peppermill restaurant, I opted for Bimini Steakhouse, a lovely dining room with suspended glowing lamps, rich woods, tropical plants and a virtual aquarium. While hardwood-grilled steaks and chops headlined the entrees, my fresh seared halibut with asparagus risotto and grape tomatoes — a spring menu special — was unsurpassable, as was the heady list of more than 1,000 wines.

Going Green

The Peppermill’s devotion to the environment mirrors its dedication to the guest experience. In April, the property was named a gold level partner in the new TripAdvisor Green Leaders program, which helps travelers identify the eco-friendliest resorts in the U.S.

Among the hotel’s environmental initiatives is a $9.7 million geothermal system which heats all of its domestic water and mechanical heat. It teams up with Clean the World, a nonprofit that redistributes discarded hotel soaps and shampoos to Third World children in need. And, it participates in a program that sends food scraps to a local composting facility.

Other green efforts at the Peppermill include 30,000 square feet of artificial grass turf, saving 5,184,000 gallons of water per season and reducing the use of chemicals and pesticides. Its laundry water recycling system conserves millions of gallons of water each year, and room placards encourage clients to reuse their towels. Its Human Resources department has gotten into the paperless act by transferring all of its forms and documents into digital applications.

From its expansion to its eco-features, I found the Peppermill to be a well-seasoned resort that successfully enhances the vacations of such diverse clientele as meetings, groups, couples and families.

“We hope that all our guests enjoy their time with us,” said the Peppermill’s executive director of sales and hotel Pat Flynn, “and that when they leave the property they feel we have exceeded all their expectations.”

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