Romantic Atlantic City
Move over Las Vegas. The East Coast is making a big splash. Honeymooners with a hankering for action and luxury will find what they’re looking for at the Jersey Shore. Atlantic City is growing faster than you can spin a roulette wheel. Several hotels and casinos rival the best of Vegas; great chefs are showing off their top skills; and famous entertainers grace stage after stage. A brand new multibillion dollar casino is shooting up on the boardwalk at a record clip. But the best kept secret of Atlantic City is something Las Vegas can only dream about — the Boardwalk and the sparkling surf.
Atlantic City has much to offer in all seasons, but it’s at its romantic best in summer. Days are spent lounging on Brigantine Beach, lunching at the Laguna Martini Bar, embarking on a dolphin watch from Gardner’s Basin, shopping at The Pier Shops at Caesars and enjoying the hypnotizing water and light show, eating ice cream on the Boardwalk, climbing up to the back of Lucy the Elephant in Margate, and driving along Ventnor Avenue to Longport, exploring historic Marven Gardens and other Monopoly properties along the way. Yes, Marven, the Monopoly game spells it wrong!
The action after twilight goes deep into the night. mur.mur at Borgata is a happening scene of beautiful people. The Quarter at the Tropicana Casino and Resort has several restaurants, nightclubs, comedy shows and an Imax theater. Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City in the Marina District has one of the best buffets in the world, and the fabulous pool transforms itself into an evening nightclub wonderland.
Atlantic City’s unparalleled renaissance is giving birth to a plethora of new places to play. Cranes show up and almost magically leave sparkly towers in the skyline. One such tower, The Water Club, A Signature Hotel by Borgata, is the current jewel of the Jersey Shore. The rooms and suites are blissfully elegant — every surface offering a surprising fusion of pleasing colors and textures with no painted surfaces to be seen anywhere. A night in the Residence Suite might seduce Paris Hilton to change her name to Paris Water Club. Paris did stay there recently and it is said that she enjoyed partying at mur.mur. There are three Residence Suites at the Water Club, but the $15,000 per night price of having your own massage room, grand piano or pool table in your suite might be prohibitive. The Hideaway Suites are a bit more affordable at $3000 per night and still offer quite a bit, including personalized butler service.
The two-story Immersion spa at The Water Club on the 32nd and 33rd floors looks like a giant blue opal from the highway. It’s even more pleasing and intriguing from the inside. The floor-to-ceiling windows make you feel like you’re floating in midair. Couples massage rooms offer sweeping views of the city and ocean. Weightless wraps and double deep soaking tubs are featured in the massage rooms. Plush lounge chairs adorned with fresh flowers, lucid pools and glittery green waterfalls are aphrodisiacs for every sense.
At some point during your stay at Borgata’s Water Club, stop into the seductive Sunroom for a snack. Sit under the trees at the indoor pool and sip a lusty cocktail. When it’s time to dine, the options are endless. All of the restaurants at the Borgata are superior, and my favorites are, in order, Izakaya (Japanese), Old Homestead (steak), Ombra (Italian), SeaBlue (seafood), Wolfgang Puck American Grille (California), and Bobby Flay Steak (steak and lobster).
Another notable addition to Atlantic City’s skyline is the 782-room Chairman Tower at TrumpTaj Mahal Casino Resort. If possible, request an “E-room” on the corner with a view of Steel Pier (the amusement park on the pier.) The #1 Zagat-rated restaurant, Il Mulino New York, one of the world’s finest Italian restaurants, recently opened its doors in the Taj, and the food and service is as exceptional as you will find in New York City--except here, when you’re finished, you can stroll on the Boardwalk and spend some time gambling in the casino before returning to your luxurious bed.
Two other new hotels are The Chelsea, Atlantic City’s first non-casino boutique hotel, with an award-winning restaurant, Chelsea Prime, solar-powered rolling chair rides and full-service beach cabanas; and Harrah’s new Waterfront Tower. The Tower itself is a canvas of LED lights on all sides, making it a huge LED TV screen. It provides an astonishing light-show for miles around, which is ironically best seen from the surface parking lot at its rival casino, Borgata.
Tranquil, serene, glorious, luxurious, exciting! It’s all right here in Awesome and Authentic Atlantic City.