Pechanga Casino Headlines AAA Four Diamond Tribal-Owned Casino Resorts List

Many of the largest tribal-owned casino resorts in California offer a lot more than slot machines and table games. They are full-fledged award-winning vacation destinations.

Case in point: This month, Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula earned a prestigious AAA Four Diamond rating for the 22nd year. It is the longest-running Four Diamond award-winning casino resort in the state.

A 22-year run makes Pechanga stand out from other California casinos. The property’s upscale restaurant, Great Oak Steakhouse, also received the same rating in the restaurant category for the 12th consecutive year.

Long run of recognition continues for Pechanga

Only 4% of the 26,000 hotel properties inspected by AAA received a four-diamond distinction. Great Oak Steakhouse has also received accolades from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines for its remarkable wine list.

“Our team members give their all each year to make sure our service and facilities match and surpass the AAA Four Diamond standards,” Ken Perez, Pechanga Development Corporation President, said. “Prestigious awards like these promise our guests a positive and inviting experience when they visit. The quality and cleanliness at Pechanga, the comfort of our rooms and suites, and the impeccable service we pride ourselves on illustrate this for visitors each time they’re here.”

AAA noted the casino resort’s “upscale style and amenities enhanced with the right touch of service.” Ratings are based on unscheduled, annual on-site inspections from trained professionals that rate the quality, condition, hospitality and cleanliness of properties.

Great Oak is undergoing renovation and will reopen this summer.  Currently, Pechanga is the second-largest casino in the state with 5,400 slot machines, 152 table games and a luxury high-limit gaming area.

Pechanga is among 12 other four-diamond tribal-owned casino hotels in the state. Here is the list of the others.

Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage

Located in the Coachella Valley, Agua Caliente’s Rancho Mirage location has a 16-story AAA Four Diamond hotel, its fourth consecutive honor. The hotel, the resort’s spa, and its fine dining restaurant, The Steakhouse, have also earned a four-star rating from Forbes Travel Guide for four years in a row. The Steakhouse also has Wine Spectator-recognized wine list.

Gaming: 1,500 slot machines, 44 table games

Graton Resort and Casino

Graton Resort and Casino in Sonoma County is the largest casino in the Bay Area and boasts a four-diamond rating for its luxury hotel on the grounds of the 65-acre property. The massive casino resort will become even bigger as Graton announced a $1 billion expansion project recently that will include adding a six-story wing to the hotel, a rooftop restaurant plus more slot machines and table games.

Gaming: 3,000 slots, 120 table games

Morongo Casino Resort and Spa

Morongo Casino Resort and Spa is a 27-story property near Palm Springs with 17 years of AAA Four Diamond honors. The casino was also named the Best Casino in the South by Los Angeles Times readers in 2022. The resort’s Cielo Steakhouse is also a AAA Four Diamond honoree, receiving the accolade for 12 consecutive years.

Gaming: 4,000 slots, 80 table games

Pala Casino Spa Resort

Southern California’s Pala Casino Spa and Resort is an AAA Four-Diamond Award winner for 16 straight years. Located in San Diego County, the resort features over 500 rooms and a world-class spa. A distinct feature of the property is a large outdoor concert venue.

Gaming: 2,000 slots, 78 table games

Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino

Fresno residents are just a short drive away from Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino in Coarsegold. The property received the coveted Four Diamond rating for the fourth year in a row. The casino’s hotel tower has 402 luxury rooms and provides amazing views of the Sierra foothills. It is the only AAA Four Diamond hotel in the Central Valley. The resort’s Vintage Steakhouse has been a recipient of the Wine Spectator Restaurant Award of Excellence for three years in a row.

Gaming: 2.000 slots, 40 table games

Chumash Casino Resort

Nestled among the picturesque hills of Santa Barbara County wine country, Chumash Casino Resort features an AAA Four Diamond-rated hotel with newly remodeled guest rooms. The hotel has received the award every year since 2004. The resort’s fine-dining restaurant Willows is also a Four Diamond establishment with a run of honors since 2005. The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians also owns the Corque Hotel in Solvang, another AAA Four Diamond-rated property.

Gaming: 2,300 slots, 45 table games

Sycuan Casino Resort

Sycuan Casino Resort began as a bingo casino 37 years ago but is now an award-winning property. For the fifth consecutive year, the casino resort is a recipient of an AAA Four Diamond rating. The San Diego-area resort’s hotel has a 12-story luxury tower with 357 luxury rooms and suites.

Gaming: 2,300 slots, 54 table games

Thunder Valley Casino

Located 30 miles east of Sacramento, Thunder Valley Casino earned an AAA Four Diamond award for 12 consecutive years. The resort also received the Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice award for the third year in a row.  The gaming area hosts large poker and bingo tournaments for hundreds of players.

Gaming: 3,400 slots, 110 table games, 800-person capacity bingo room, 500-person capacity poker room

Viejas Casino & Resort

Viejas Casino & Resort is another San Diego-area property with a coveted AAA Four Diamond rating for both of its hotels. The Viejas Hotel first received the honor in 2013 soon after it opened. The award-winning adult-only Willows Hotel and Spa focuses on staycation visits with a range of spa therapies and treatments. The resort’s Grove Steakhouse is also an AAA Four Diamond establishment.

Gaming: 2.500 slots, 50 table games, 400-seat bingo hall, off-track betting

Cache Creek Casino Resort

Forty miles northwest of Sacramento sits Cache Creek Casino Resort. Owned by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, the property started out as a modest bingo hall but now boasts an AAA Four Diamond hotel with 659 rooms. The casino’s grounds also include an 18-hole championship golf course. This year Newsweek recognized Cache Creek Casino Resort as one of America’s Greatest Workplaces for Women.

Gaming: 2,300 slots, 80 table games

Yaamava’ Casino

Last but certainly not least is Yaamava’ Casino, the state’s biggest casino resort. Given its size and stature, it’s no surprise that Yaamava’ has two AAA Four Diamond ratings and a host of other awards. The resort’s luxury hotel is relatively new. It opened at the end of 2021 and is the first hotel in the Inland Empire to receive the AAA rating. Guests can also enjoy dining at the chic The Pines Modern Steakhouse, a AAA Four Diamond restaurant. The restaurant also received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.

Gaming: 7,200 slots, 150 tables, five high-limit rooms

About the Author

Cheryl Coward

Cheryl Coward is a writer for California Casinos with a background in sports journalism. She started her career as a news reporter in Washington, D.C. She's a die-hard women's basketball fanatic and founded the website as a result of that passion.