Fodor's Expert Review Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort

777 Casino Dr., Cherokee, North Carolina, 28719, USA Fodor's Choice

The high-rise towers of the largest hotel in North Carolina loom over the mom-and-pop motels nearby. The hotel's spires are attached to the huge casino next door (open to those 21 and over) via a series of escalators and walkways, and 11 restaurants including Ruth's Chris Steak House, Uno Pizzeria, Johnny Rockets, and Brio Tuscan Grille serve hungry plungers. From higher floors, the mountains of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are visible. The lobby and other public areas incorporate traditional Cherokee art themes. Although the rest of the reservation is dry, the Cherokee tribal council permits the sale of alcohol at Harrah's, and it is available in the casino, restaurants, and hotel. There's also a spa and indoor and outdoor pools. If you're bothered by tobacco smoke, be aware that North Carolina's no-smoking laws don't apply here. Restaurants, however, are smoke-free, as is a section of the casino, and the hotel has no-smoking rooms. With the original hotel's 1,200+ rooms running at 99% occupancy year-round, Harrah's has opened a second casino and hotel farther west in North Carolina, Harrah's Cherokee Valley River in Murphy, and is adding 600 to 800 rooms in a planned $200 million expansion of Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort.

PROS

  • fitness center, indoor pool, and resort golf course nearby
  • only place within the reservation to buy alcohol
  • 11 varied restaurant options

CONS

  • hotel heavily booked year-round, with regulars getting comped
  • some public areas reek of tobacco smoke
  • huge casino environment not for everyone

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
Lively
Central
$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 800-223–7277-reservations | 828-497–7777

HOTEL DETAILS

1,220 rooms
Rate Includes: No meals

What’s Nearby