The Oyster Bar at Encore Boston Harbor.
The shuttle bus seats were quite comfy and had that newly-fresh car scent. They are free and run about every 10 minutes or so from both Wellington Station and Malden Center on the Orange Line. Hey, you might even get a new train, too! Seriously, doing this saves one an instant $20-40 in parking fees. There is also a water shuttle from the Seaport District. The cost for that is $14 per person round trip.
You will definitely want to walk around and get the lay of the land before you do anything. There are some interesting sights to see. It is over the top ornate with lots of shiny marble and brass. I've only been to Mohegan Sun as a comparison but this was much more Vegas-style glitzy, so it seems.
The Jeff Koons Popeye statue cost a reportedly cool $28.2 million dollars. I have my doubts and some might say there is a sucker born every minute (at a casino? never) but is IS quite the attraction.
The grounds, from this angle, are beautiful. The landscaping is quite nice and it's a fine stroll on a warm, sunny day. I'm not so sure how this will play out under four feet of snow but for now it's great. From a different angle the view is of industrial buildings and, yes, that huge turbine.
They were setting up an outdoor beer garden on the afternoon we visited which seemed like a fun idea for that evening but we were not there for the night life. We'll be going back for that.
We did gamble a bit because we signed up the red card program that offered an initial credit. Believe it or not, we took home about $200 on the slots. Some of the gaming areas are strictly for high rollers, which Encore seems to cater to.
Our overall first reaction is that the place is very nice. All of the shops are very high end designer goods. I suppose if some people win big they will want to start spending right away. When we perused the clothing shops we were pretty much the only customers, or browsers, there. On the other hand, the clothes and products ARE both great quality and gorgeous. Everywhere we went the staff was both extremely polite, helpful and courteous. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out over the next few years and we have already heard they want to expand even more by adding a concert venue and then a golf course.
We did not dine anywhere on this visit but will certainly be back to try at least a few of the restaurants. We looked at some menus and it is expensive. At Sinatra, for example, with an appetizer, entree and glass of wine plan on spending $175 per person or more. So, this was just a curiosity tour for us. Stay tuned for more.