Mayor David Hasselhoff summons you to his city to have fun.
Funner, California lives up to its name: It is, in fact, very fun.
On the way to Funner, California, just 50 miles outside of downtown San Diego, you’ll drive by several billboards depicting David Hasselhoff with a falcon perched regally on his arm. When you get there, you’ll discover something truly incredible: Funner, California, the town where David Hasselhoff, the actor, is the mayor, contains just one casino in it…and it is fun. It is very, very fun.
Something I honestly cannot say enough is that that there is only one thing in Funner: A Harrah’s. Funner, California is home exclusively to Harrah’s Resort Southern California, and (and I also cannot state this enough) David Hasselhoff is the mayor and also a frequent guest (and sometimes performer) at the resort.
Immediately upon walking into Harrah’s Resort Southern California, you’ll think: Ah, yes–this is definitely a casino. There are a line of restaurants, bars at almost every corner of the casino, an events hall, and a Starbucks–and of course, the actual casino.
There are many reasons to make Harrah’s Resort SoCal your new favorite weekend getaway (other than the possibility of running into Mayor Hasselhoff, which, to be honest, would be good enough for me). Here are just a few.
The Rooms Are Really, Really Nice
The rooms at the resort are startlingly posh–mine contained a bathtub that looked (and felt) more like a small jacuzzi, right there in the comfort of my own bathroom (of which there were two in my room). The views from the 20th floor are fantastic, looking down at the desert below, as well as the insane pool area that looks like a mini-Vegas resort good time. Also, there’s a 7-11 (important). You almost just want to hang out in the hotel room all day, but then you’d miss the actual fun that Funner has to offer–and it has a lot of fun to offer you, my friend.
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The Drinking Options Are Plentiful
Craft cocktails are the specialty at Spiked, where mixologists serve everything from traditional drinks to their own Funner-specific creations (some of which are literally on fire). Corked, a craft beer and wine bar, is nestled in the corner of the casino. It’s by far the most peaceful and relaxing area of the casino, with plenty of extremely comfy couches to lounge on.
Just outside the lounge, there’s a biergarten-esqe space, described by the hotel “as an escape from the casino”, transporting you seemingly elsewhere (as in, to a biergarten rather than a casino). In the evenings, it’s lit up by string lights and the firepit blazes. There’s also a full brewery attached to the resort. SR76 Beerworks is the first casino and Native American brewery in Southern California, and features an array of delightful beers brewed on site.
The Casino Is a Trip
What better way to begin your day of casino fun than paying your respects to the mayor at his shrine?
Yes, this small shrine to Funner’s mayor sits in the casino–and yes, that is a statue of the mayor made entirely out of cheese. The casino atmosphere is fun in general, and everything around you is larger than life, including the gargantuan ’Ritas Cantina (with its fantastic margaritas and happy hour) and accompanying “taco truck” just outside of it. If you need a moment away from the gambling, you visit the 11,000-square-foot spa right in the lobby, and relax in the saunas and baths–or make a reservation for a treatment (such as Mayor Hasselhoff’s favorite oxygen facial).
Spend Your Whole Day at the Straight Up Insane Pool
Just past ’Ritas is the thing you probably came here for: a giant pool area. The pool at Harrah’s Resort SoCal is Vegas-esque and has both a luxury resort and party atmosphere, somehow, simultaneously.
Cabanas are scattered about, and you may lounge on them freely. It is casual as heck in the best possible way (a fancy way). The pool has a swim-up Dive Bar (the only one in Southern California), where you can order almost anything without getting out of the water. Chaise loungers are literally everywhere, including IN the pool. You can easily spend entire days at this pool (recommended).
Stay in the Mayoral Suite
If you want to treat yourself like a true mayor, you can do that. It’s the mayoral suite that will really throw you for a loop, however, because walking in, you’re greeted by the mayor himself, who will watch over you with his small cat throughout your stay.
This room runs about $5,000 a night, and Mayor Hasselhoff himself is a frequent guest. It also has some of the best views at the resort from its two balconies. Oh, and there are three bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a dining room, and three bathrooms. It is essentially a small (very fancy) home with enough beds for up to six people.
There’s also this llama. Is this a llama? I think this is a llama. Anyways, this thing is here, as well, and you can greet him.
This is a sentence I honestly never thought I’d write in my lifetime but we spoke with Mayor Hasselhoff and asked him a few questions about his special town of Funner, California.
FODORS: What makes Funner, California (aka Harrah’s Resort SoCal) so fun, in your opinion?
MAYOR DAVID HASSELHOFF: “The people and the experiences. Everyone is so excited to come into work, ready to make each day better than the one before. Everyone is looking for a different kind of fun, whether that’s a day spent lounging at Dive or enjoying a treatment at The Spa or seeing a concert or comedy show at The Events Center. Harrah’s Resort SoCal has it all.”
If you were to only spend one full day at Harrah’s Resort SoCal, what would your itinerary be?
MDH: “I’d start my day at The Buffet, which has some of the most delicious dishes at the resort. After that, I’d soak up some rays poolside at Dive (specifically at the 400-foot lazy river!) and would grab a mid-day juice at Robek’s before getting my favorite oxygen facial at the spa. For dinner, I’d choose the surf & turf with a side of mashed potatoes at Fiore and would end the night with a concert or show at The Events Center.”
What is your influence at Harrah’s Resort SoCal? How have you put yourself into the experience?
MDH: “I like to think the guest experience is a reflection of my personality–it’s a good time and is very lighthearted. There’s nothing like having a place where you feel like you don’t have any responsibilities and can just enjoy life and I think I have left a very ‘fun’ mark on Funner, California.”
What is your most memorable experience at Harrah’s Resort SoCal to date?
MDH: “I have two: definitely my inauguration as mayor in May 2017, and also ringing in 2018 with resort guests and team members for New Year’s Eve. When I was inaugurated, I got a key to the city which was really special for me.”
What is it like to be mayor of Funner, California? What are your duties?
MDH: “Being the mayor of Funner is exactly what you’d think–it’s fun! My main job is to make sure people are always enjoying themselves and living life to the fullest while they are at the resort. I have helped implement things like hidden golden tickets to surprise guests and I helped introduce the Fun Police that give citations (that are really prizes) to guests that are spotted having a good time.”
Funner? More like Funnest.