Counting down to the Dec. 22 grand opening of its new hotel tower and spa, the Pechanga Resort and Casino is offering eight new stay-and-play packages to encourage guests to try out its new amenities.

The Temecula resort added a second tower bringing the rooms to a total of 1,090 with a brand new 25,000-square-foot spa that includes 17 treatment rooms. Previously, the resort had a small spa in a space that was converted from hotel rooms. The casino floor spans 200,000 square feet, while there is 100,000 square feet of meeting space indoors and another 174,500 square feet of outdoor space. The resort employs 4,750 people.

Three new golf stay-and-play packages are offered and can be booked now. All include the 4-Diamond rooms at the resort as well as round of golf. “Green and Serene” could well be a favorite, including a round of golf, lodging and post-round massage. I have experienced the post-round massage at Pechanga and recommend it. The package starts at $319.

One other package includes four rounds of golf and a private one-hour lesson with either Head Pro Scott Mallory or Director of Instruction Randy Chang. It starts at $529. The other package starts at $279.

Pechanga Resort lobby

All include access to the practice facilities, spa and preferred tee times.

I have been fortunate to play The Journey several times since it opened in 2009. The terrain is similar to the Course at Wente Vineyards in Livermore. Holes run up the mountain (No. 6 has a 400-foot drop from the top tees to the fairway), while other holes run along creeks lined with Sycamore trees. Big oak trees that are more than 100 years old grace both courses. The course also is similar to San Juan Oaks in Hollister.

When I am in northern San Diego county, Pechanga and the Journey are a favorite stop.

For non-golfers, the resort offers three spa packages in the special promotion.

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By Tim Hunt