Whether you're looking to be
pampered in the lap of luxury or are seeking rock-bottom budget
accommodation, there is likely to be a good
accommodation choice for you in Atlantic City.
From the casino hotels to small
individually owned hotels there are thousands of rooms available
for the visitor to choose from, so it pays to hunt around for
the best deal.
Where to Stay in Atlantic City
As you would expect for a major resort town, Atlantic City is
bursting at the seams with accommodation alternatives. Whether
you are wanting a penthouse suite at a large resort hotel, a
small room at a modest bed and breakfast, or something in
between, you can be sure to find it here.
With that said, be warned that during the summer weekends many
of the more popular places to stay fill up well in advance and
during holiday weekends such as Memorial Day or the 4th of July
it can be hard to find anywhere to stay.
Our guess is that a significant percentage of visitors to
Atlantic City automatically choose to stay in one of the
casinos. While it is hard to go too horribly wrong by staying at
a casino they do not always offer the best value for money nor
are they always the most interesting places to stay. In making
the following recommendations for places to stay we have quite
deliberately chosen to offer a few alternatives to the casinos.
If you have your heart set on staying in a casino, we have also
offered what we believe to be the pick of the casinos to stay
It is necessary to
say a few words about the pricing structure of accommodation in
Atlantic City. There are two main points to be aware of in this
regard. First, there are significant differences in price
depending on the time of week you want to stay. Most
places offer much lower rates for Sunday through Thursday
nights. On Friday night the going rate can increase by as much
as 100% and it
can double again for Saturday night - so it is usually possible
to stay Sunday through Thursday nights for less than the cost of
Friday and Saturday nights.
Secondly, hotel rates differ quite significantly according to
the time of year. Not surprisingly, rates are at their lowest
during the winter months, are somewhat higher during spring and
fall, and are at their highest during the summer months.
In addition to the 7% New Jersey
sales tax added to your hotel bill there is also a 1% occupancy
fee applied to room rentals - well below the standard New Jersey
rate of 5% and also well below what you would expect to pay in
most other parts of the country.
So, without further ado, here are some options you may wish to
consider as you decide on a place to stay.
Since opening in 2008,
Chelsea has quickly become one of the most popular hotels in
the city. The 20 story Chelsea is a sort of Soho-meets-Miami
retro boutique hotel that has opted not to host any gambling and
is attempting to appeal to a younger, hipper crowd than you will
typically find in many of the casinos.
Room rates are generally reasonable, and service is very good -
just make sure you stay in the Luxe Tower (and ask for a room
with a direct ocean view) rather than The Annex, which offers
retro-motel style accommodations. In the Luxe Tower you have a
choice of 208 stylish and luxurious rooms with either two queen
sized beds or one king size bed (all very comfortable), or a
small number of suites that are located on the top floor. All
accommodations include a flat screen TV, Wi-Fi internet access,
iPod docking station, custom mini bar and bathrobes. If your
budget allows, we would suggest you upgrade to one of the top
floor suites, the best of which is undoubtedly the Rockstar
Suite. This suite features sweeping ocean views that you can
enjoy from your private balcony, a sunroom with floor to ceiling
windows, the master bedroom along with a luxurious bathroom and
separate powder room, a full kitchen and two separate living
spaces, one of which contains a fireplace. Connecting rooms are
available that can convert this into a three bedroom suite if
you are travelling in a larger group.
The Chelsea features two
restaurants: Chelsea Prime, a good quality steakhouse in the
style of a 1940s supper club and Teplitsky's, a funky diner style
restaurant. The hotel has two pools, a ground floor outdoor
seasonally heated salt water pool and the 5th floor terrace
pool. Across the boardwalk they also have a pristine stretch of
beach where they offer guests the only full beach service in
Atlantic City, providing towels, lounge chairs, umbrellas and
food and beverage service.
The Fifth floor of the Luxe Tower is where you are likely to
find yourself spending a lot of your time. This is the hotel's indoor/outdoor playpen, featuring The Game
Room (for scotch and billiards), The Living Room (champagne and
cocktail lounge), The Chelsea Prime and, of course, the Terrace
with the pool. Two new additions, which opened Memorial Weekend 2009,
are the Cabana Club (outside by the pool, featuring nightly live
performances or DJs, private cabanas - with plasma screens,
private mini bars, Playstation 3s and a DVD and game library -
and a rotating set of services throughout the day including
massages, palm reading and chilled hand towels) and C5 (a
boutique nightclub inside, featuring over 50 types of whiskey
and tequila and a weekly burlesque).
Also slated to come on line in 2009 are a saltwater inspired
spa, fitness center and a retail store.
If you are looking for a somewhat hipper scene than is normal in
Atlantic City, The Chelsea is likely to be your best bet. 111
South Chelsea Ave. Tel (800)548-3030
Atlantic Palace Suites Hotel
Atlantic Palace Suites boasts a great location right on the
boardwalk with terrific views, especially from the upper floors
of this 31 story tower, and a room can generally be had for much
less than you would pay elsewhere. It is mainly for these
reasons that we include it in our list of suggestions as we left
with rather mixed feelings the one time we stayed there.
The Atlantic Palace actually consists of timeshares that they
rent out like hotel rooms when they are not otherwise occupied.
We have no idea where the "Suites" in the title comes from, as
we have never before come across a studio suite and even the one
bedroom suites seem at best only a little bigger than a decent
Let's start with the positives. The Atlantic Palace is one of
the very few hotels where you can walk out the front door onto the boardwalk and its central location
means that almost any destination of interest is in easy walking
distance. As mentioned, the ocean views here are some of the
best we have experienced in Atlantic City. We would wake up in
the morning with the sun streaming in and start our day watching
the surfers, who it seemed as if we were almost right on top of.
The rooms generally seem to be quite clean and offer a few more
amenities than a standard hotel room. There is a mini-kitchen
complete with microwave, 2 burner stove top, small refrigerator,
coffee maker, toaster and all the crockery, silverware, etc that
you are likely to need. DVD players are also included in the
There is a 45 foot outdoor swimming pool (open during summer) on
the 3rd floor terrace, along with a 4 person spa tub and an
expansive sun deck furnished with lounge chairs, picnic tables
and two gazebos - once again offering very nice views. An arcade
with video games, pool tables and foosball table offers a way to
keep children entertained.
Unfortunately, the good news is rather balanced out by the
following weaknesses. First and foremost there is no elevator
service to the parking garage. The elevators, in general, can be
extremely slow - to the point where if you are staying on one of
the higher floors getting to and from your room can become quite
One of the strangest characteristics of the rooms is that the bathroom
features a large window that looks out into the living area and
does not have any blinds to provide privacy. While this may not
matter if you are on your own or with your partner it
could become an issue if you are sharing with others.
Finally, a couple of comments about the staff. It was our
experience when staying here that, on more than one occasion, we
had to rebuff attempts to get us to participate in promotional
activities for their time share program. When not trying to sign
us up for their time shares the staff were somewhere between
disinterested and downright creepy - our companion actually
found herself being stalked by one particular employee on more
than one occasion.
So, the Atlantic Palace is a bit of a mixed bag. It certainly
does not offer the same level of luxury as many of our other
suggestions, but instead it offers up generally satisfactory
lodgings with unparalleled views and a tremendous location at a
lower price than more up market alternatives. 1507 Boardwalk.
The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa
is both the newest and the best of the Atlantic City casinos and
we would recommend this as the place to stay if you want to stay
at a casino. While one of the more expensive options in the
city, if you are wanting to enjoy yourself in the lap of luxury
it is worth the extra money.
Unlike most of the casinos, The Borgata is not located on or
near the boardwalk, but is a couple of miles away in The Marina
district. This provides an opportunity to experience a slightly
different side to Atlantic City, away from the crowds and the
tackiness of the boardwalk. It has been our experience when
staying here that we do not really venture out of the immediate
area surrounding the Borgata - which can be a double edged sword
as you find yourself constantly paying the Borgata's rather
high-end prices for everything you do. Should you want to make
your way over to the boardwalk, however, it is easy enough to
hop on the jitney that stops outside and runs along Pacific
Avenue, one block from the boardwalk.
The 46 story, 2,000 room Borgata is the closest equivalent to
the luxury hotel casinos of Las Vegas that Atlantic City has to
offer. You can expect spacious, well appointed rooms and suites
with great views (for a real treat, we recommend the 1,500
square foot Piatto suites, or if money is no object you can
upgrade to one of the two 5,000 square foot Residences). High
speed internet and three phones, each with dual lines, are
included in all rooms and suites.
The on site facilities are of the scope and standard that you
would expect from a luxury hotel. You can choose from 12
restaurants, including venues run by chefs Wolfgang
Puck, Bobby Flay and Michael Mina. Entertainment and nightlife is
never a problem, even without setting foot in the casino, thanks
to the 2,400 seat Event Center that regularly hosts headline
acts and the 1,000 seat Music Box which hosts more intimate
shows as well as the nightly Comedy Club. There are also four
different nightclubs on offer: Gypsy Bar (the resident rock and
tequila bar), B Bar (Borgata's ultra-lounge), MIXX (the main
nightclub) and (a more intimate nightclub featuring
During the day you can visit the 54,000 square foot European
style Spa Toccare that also includes a salon, fitness center and
barbershop. Alternatively, you may want to unwind at the indoor
pool (complete with wet bar) and outdoor gardens. Finally, if
you feel the need for a spot of retail therapy, there are 11
specialty boutiques located in the "Via Borgata" where you will
find men's, women's and children's fashions, gifts, toys,
housewares and a few essentials.
One word of warning. Make
sure to stay at the Borgata itself, not The Water Club, their new "Signature"
hotel that is next door. While we have not
stayed at The Water Club ourselves, the feedback we have been
hearing seems to suggest that you can expect to pay more but get
less than you do at the Borgata itself. One Borgata Way. Tel
La Renaissance Suites
Although nothing much to look at from the outside,
Renaissance has become the default accommodation option for us
when visiting Atlantic City.
Located just a couple of doors back from the boardwalk and in a
central location, we feel that the low cost of
accommodation here combined with the good size of the suites
makes it one of the best values in Atlantic City.
Like the Atlantic Palace, this place is made up of time shares
that are rented out and with only about 30 suites it is far and
away the smallest of the hotels on our list. Due to its make up
you will not get the same level of amenities that you would
expect at a casino or other large scale hotel. Instead, what you
can look forward to are lodgings that feel more like an apartment
than a hotel. If the thought of staying in a more relaxed,
homelike environment appeals then this could well be the place
for you too.
All suites have a generously equipped kitchenette that
includes a microwave, coffee maker, refrigerator and dish
washer. Some suites are starting to look a bit tired -
particularly the furnishings - but even
they are still reasonably comfortable. Some, but not all, suites
offer views of the boardwalk and ocean - we recommend that you
ask for ocean facing rooms as these have the added benefit of
small balconies from which to enjoy the view.
There is a small indoor pool on the top floor, along with a hot
tub, a few pieces of exercise equipment and a games room that
features a pool table. While there is no food available on the
premises there are a number of eateries very nearby and La
Renaissance's location means that any food deliveries will show
The staff are all friendly and unobtrusive and it has been our
experience that they are happy to do what they can to be of
Parking is available underneath the
hotel although there have been issues in the past with the
parking area becoming flooded. Right across the road is a large
parking lot should you encounter any problems. 190 South
Kentucky Ave. Tel (609)348-1343
Seaview Resort and Spa, A Dolce Hotel
A mere ten minutes drive from Atlantic City,
The Seaview Resort and Spa offers a completely different
accommodation experience from that of our other suggestions.
Located on 670 acres of wooded pinelands in Reed's Bay (eight
miles from Atlantic City), the Seaview's biggest attraction is
its two 18 hole golf courses that are two of the oldest and most
prestigious courses in New Jersey.
The resort features 297 recently renovated guest rooms, all with
internet access and satellite TV, an Elizabeth Arden Red Door
Spa on site, and 27,000 square feet of meeting space with
state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment. Also available are a
main dining room serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the less
formal pub-style Grille Room and the Lobby Lounge, where
cocktails are served. Room service is available from 6am to
Despite the name, be warned that the only ocean views you will
find here are from the roof. Room rates are surprisingly
reasonable and it is possible to include golfing packages with
your reservation. 401 South New York Road, Galloway. Tel
Read more in Parts 1, 3 and 4
two of a series on Atlantic City, NJ, see
All about visiting
Atlantic City, NJ
2. Where to stay in Atlantic City
Where to eat
and drink in Atlantic City
What to see and do
in and around Atlantic City
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26 June 2009, last update
28 Nov 2012
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