On a warm and sunny July weekend, I had the chance to head down to the Jersey Shore and spend a weekend at The Borgata Hotel and Spa in Atlantic City.
The 2,800 room resort is huge, but not overwhelming. The layout is decidedly Vegas, with high-end restaurants right off the casino floor and swanky shops in corridors. Individual Birds of Paradise flowers are suspended from the walls for splashes of color, and the whole complex is far enough away from the city's Boardwalk to have a calmer, more exclusive vibe.
I stayed at the 800-room Water Club in one of the Vista Rooms with views over the city’s marina and the ocean beyond. While not overly large, the room offered plenty of space for two people, and is configured for efficiency: The TV was suspended from the wall, freeing up counter space for storage, and the single-unit desk-and-bureau combination maximized workspace. (The desk could have used a few more electric outlets, but that's a minor quibble.) The bathroom had a single sink with built-in shelves for storage (a useful and elegant touch), with a large walk-in shower with a Rain Dome showerhead.
|A Vista Room at the Water Club|
Other room options at the Water Club include the Club Rooms, which are similar to the Vista rooms in style and amenities. At the 2,000-room Borgata, CEOs will want to book the 1,500-square-foot Piatto Suite, which has floor-to-ceiling windows and can host a small gathering (like an intimate reception) in its own right. The Opus Suite, meanwhile, covers a full 1,000 square feet.
|The Piatto Suite|
Borgata has five signature restaurants (all of which are off the casino floor): Bobby Flay Steak, Wolfgang Puck American Grille, Fornelletto Cucina & Wine Bar, Izakaya Modern Japanese Pub, and Old Homestead Steak House. We attended a private dinner in the back room of Wolfgang Puck’s, which can be closed off from the main restaurant for a more private feel or connected when the doors are left open. (The tomato risotto with seafood was fantastic, and is a must-try.)
|Rice, tomatos, crab, lobster and basil. Delicious!|
For a more private dining experience, Old Homestead, Fornelletto, and Wolfgang Puck each have private rooms that can hold parties from 10 to 80 guests. Bobby Flay Steak does not accommodate private dining, but its second level can be booked for groups of up to 70.
There’s also the Dining Room at 28West, which used to be a fine-dining restaurant. The front area of 28West was turned into a piano bar, and the main restaurant space is now a closed-off room that can be reserved for private events of up to 120 guests.The kitchen offers a limited menu for tableside ordering, so hosts and event planners don’t have to collect meal choices in advance. (When Jersey tomatoes are in season, be sure to ask for the burrata caprese salad. There is nothing like fresh Jersey tomatoes.) After the meal, guests can walk right outside and take their seats at the bar to sing along with the piano player.
Activities On-Site and Off-Site
With spa experiences a new normal for team relaxation (or teambuilding), Borgata has several options. The Spa Toccare at Borgata is a 54,000-square-foot European-style spa with 31 treatment rooms, a full-service hair salon, a barbershop, men’s and women’s lounges, a pool and gardens and fitness facilities. The Immersion Spa at The Water Club is a 36,000-square-foot spa-in-the-sky with 16 treatment rooms,an 80-foot-long infinity-edge lap pool, men’s and women’s lounges, fitness center and a spa menu by Zakarian. (I unwound early on a Sunday morning with a full-body massage courtesy of Sarah Daly, and can highly recommend her for soothing tense muscles.)
For those looking to get their dance on, Borgata has two nightclubs that attract guests from neighboring cities. mur.mur (yes, that's how it's spelled) is intimate and dark and has tables lining the walls for private service. (Good to know: Table service can also include carafes of shots.) MIXX, on the other hand, is larger and has multiple levels for spreading out. Table service here can include punch bowls for as many as eight partiers (the Sucker Punch looks terrific), but these don't count toward the minimum for table service.
In the summer months, The Water Club hotel has two outdoor pools for relaxing al fresco, and the property is a quick drive from a private beach, guaranteeing a more exclusive experience than the beaches just off the main boardwalk. (The resort offers shuttle service to the beach, but the shuttle only operates every 45 minutes--a notable drawback for those looking to walk on the sand.) Even better: Guests can leave their towels behind at the hotel and pick up clean ones when they arrive at Brigantine beach. There are also some traditional Atlantic City eateries right on the sand for grabbing a bite or a drink or just getting out of the sun.
For golf enthusiasts, 22 golf courses are within a 45-minute drive of the resort’s front door.
Borgata has a private fleet of 25 limousines that go to seven neighboring states to bring in guests, making transportation easy for VIPs or smaller groups. (The limos, of course, come stocked with soda and snacks
For those coming in from farther away, Fly Borgata is a charter jet program that provides direct flights to the residents in cities without direct flights routes to Atlantic City, including Akron, Ohio; Baltimore, Maryland; Bedford, Massachusetts; Buffalo, New York; Charlotte, North Carolina; Cleveland, Ohio; Providence, Rhode Island; and Richmond, Virginia. The plane has 30 seats and complimentary food and drink service.
Borgata can arrange transportation for guests flying in to the Atlantic City airport, and buses and trains provide easy access to the city from New York and Pennsylvania.
For more information and special requests, contact Director of Hotel Sales Bernard Sefcik at [email protected].