Savvy Stews: Layover

Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lake Charles, Louisiana

Trivago Travel Tuesday took us to Lake Charles, Louisiana. With over 75 festivals held each year, Lake Charles is known as the “Festival Capital of Louisiana.”   Lake Charles has a strong Cajun culture because of its location in south Louisiana. It is home to a number of museums and art galleries. The largest, Imperial Calcasieu Museum, features a permanent historic exhibit with artifacts and an art gallery. Its grounds are home to the Sallier oak tree which is estimated to be over 400 years old. The USS Orleck Naval Museum, a naval destroyer from 1945, is open for public tours as a veterans memorial and museum.

With fresh water marshes, warm sandy beaches, scenic rivers and miles of trails the area is a joy for those who love the outdoors. There is a variety of shopping, dining, arts and entertainment that draws visitors all year around.

We consulted Trivago to find the best deal for a place to stay and chose the L’auberge Casino Resort.


L’auberge Casino Resort

lake charles auberge golf

View from the golf course


The 26-story L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort is a sprawling waterfront resort with nearly 1000 guest rooms, as well as a casino, a golf course, spa, and meeting center.  There is a marina, and marina boat slips can be reserved at the hotel front desk.

Situated on the waterfront, this spa resort is within 3 miles of Prien Lake Mall, Prien Lake Park, Lafleur Beach and the Imperial Calcasieu Museum . This resort features restaurants, a marina, and a full-service spa.

lake charges lauberge room

All rooms offer free WiFi and free wired Internet, plus pillowtop beds and flat-screen TVs with cable channels. 24-hour room service, coffee makers, and hair dryers.

lake charles lauberge pools

Besides the meandering “Lazy River” where swimmers can float along under the open sky and let go of all their cares, or paddle up to a poolside bar, there is a serene “adults only” pool.


lake charles casino

Contained within an enormous glass dome with a grand vaulted ceiling, the L’auberge Casino has  over 70 table games and 1,600 slots.  There is also an  elegantly appointed high limit casino, featuring a variety of table games, slot machines in denominations up to $100 and a plush VIP bar and lounge area.

Designed by world-renowned golf architect, Tom Fazio, Contraband Bayou is a spectacular backdrop for your game. No living designer has more courses credited on Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses and Golfweek magazine’s collection of America’s Best than Tom Fazio.

The 8,700-square-foot luxurious spa houses eight facial, massage and custom body treatment rooms; a fitness center featuring Cybex cardio equipment and weight training area; men’s and women’s private locker rooms, saunas, whirlpools and vanity areas; and a full-service salon offering hair styling, manicures, pedicures, professional make-up services and teeth whitening.

lake charles spa



There are 8 dining outlets at the resort: Le Beaucoup Buffet, Ember Grille & Wine Bar, Jack Daniel’s Bar & Grill, Asia, Le Cafe, Lattes, Desserts and Touloulous.

Gailen had the sweet pleasure of meeting Desserts‘ chef Bill Foltz who showed off his show stopping — and winning — expertise with sugar showpieces. Foltz and fellow chef Cori Schlemmer took home the prizes for “Most Excellent/Best Overall, Best Sugar Showpiece and Competitors’ Choice” at  the 2014 National Showpiece Championship at Pastry Live in Atlanta.


Gailen tries his hand at creating a sugar showpiece with Chef Bill Stoltz

Gailen tries his hand at creating a sugar showpiece with Chef Bill Foltz


Bill Foltz's spectacular sugar showpieces

Bill Foltz’s spectacular sugar showpieces



lake charles heckhaven eagle

Suzi Heck and a rescued Golden Eagle



We were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet Suzy Heck a true friend of wildlife.  She operates the Heckhaven Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, a non-profit 501c, animal welfare organization, with federal and state rehabilitation permits.


Suzi Heck showed us orphaned baby opossums.

Suzi Heck shows Gailen orphaned baby opossums.

Every year Heckhaven is a haven for hundreds of injured or orphaned wild animals and raptors, including deer, pelicans, eagles, owls, ospreys, hawks, raccoons, foxes, mink, opossum, nutria, squirrels and wild rabbits, most of which are brought in by Animal Control Officers, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Agents, and Louisiana Park Rangers.  The Center provides care and medical treatment, and then releases the animals back into the wild on protected reserves and refuges.  They also take in and care for abandoned or abused exotic pets.


HECKHAVEN WILDLIFE REHABILITATION CENTER provides crucial services and relies on public donations and out-of-pocket contributions from kind and concerned citizens.  All donations are tax deductible.  If you would like to help there are several options:

ADOPT AN ANIMAL: For as little as $10.00 a month you may “adopt” an animal of any species you choose and will receive a picture and status reports of your adoptee!

CONDOLENCE DONATION: The loss of a pet can be as heartbreaking as the loss of a family member. For a contribution of $20 or more, a condolence card will be sent to the pet owner in your name.

DONATE MUCH NEEDED SUPPLIES: Heckhaven always needs building and fencing supplies for pens and runs, blankets, towels, pet food and other supplies. Please call them at (337) 477-6129 if you would like to contribute supplies!

You may make an instant donation using your Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express card through PayPal by clicking HERE


6927 Starboard Drive
Lake Charles, Louisiana 70605




lake charles heist


Heist Wine Bar is located at 700 Ryan Street on the corner of Ryan and Division Streets in a one hundred year old bank building in the heart of downtown Lake Charles. Lovingly renovated, Heist has an atmosphere that could go toe to toe with trendy spaces in Manhatten or Los Angeles.  The old bank vault is still in residence, and, in case you missed it, the name “Heist” is a nod to the building’s former life as a bank.

Gailen talked with bartenders Justin and Erin, who explained all their cocktails are made with fresh fruit and other all natural ingredients. Heist has a menu of sixteen signature cocktails to choose from!


Gailen shakes it up with Heist bartenders Justin and Erin

Gailen shakes it up with Heist bartenders Justin and Erin



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