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Funky Spa Treatments / Hotel Spas / Hard Rock Hotels / Punta Cana Hotels / Dominican Republic Hotels / Casino Hotels / → All Tags
A while back, we wrote about the Hard Rock Hotels' Rhythm and Motion Massage. Continuing the rigorous research, our newest contributor, Linda Marcisano, put herself on the table to experience something called "Synchronicity."
I walked into the treatment room at the Hard Rock Punta Cana for the “Synchronicity” massage ($210 for 50 minutes) only knowing that music was involved. Upon spotting a guitar lying on the massage table, I started to panic. Would I be serenaded during the treatment? Would an aging rock star (preferably Bon Jovi) appear to perform a solo? Would my masseuse, who didn’t appear musically inclined, use one hand to knead and another to strum?
But I'm getting ahead of myself. The Rock Spa has quite the prelude to the actual treatment, so let’s start there.
I arrived 30 minutes before the massage (it was recommended to check in an hour before but we were in knee deep at the casino’s craps table) and led to the locker room where I was introduced to a guide. Whereas other spas show you where the amenities are and let you have at it, the Rock Spa actually accompanies you, kind of like a circuit, recommending how long to use each and in what order.
For a long time, especially during late 70s and 80s, Atlantic City was considered the Las Vegas of the east, attracting gamblers and partiers from the nearby cities of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and D.C. for getaway weekends with its combination of casinos and beaches.
But as it typically does in tourism, a lack of long-term planning has led the city into the despair it currently finds itself today. The Revel was an absolute disaster - an insult to the State's taxpayers - and two other boardwalk casinos also closed down this fall.
When we arrived in Atlantic City last Friday night, it was certainly sad to see the three buildings on the boardwalk essentially abandoned. Things simply did not feel the same. But meanwhile, off in the distance, bright lights could be seen.
It was The Borgata, a Boyd Gaming hotel that, in the midst of all the closures and negativity, was jammed pack to the gills. Indeed, back in October, it was reported that the revenue at Borgata was up by five percent.
So we had to ask--what makes this property seemingly successful when so many others have failed?
Hotel Openings / SLS Las Vegas / SLS Hotels / Viva Vegas / Las Vegas Hotels / Casino Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
We've just taken you inside a World Tower room at the SLS Las Vegas but the beauty of this casino, and all casinos in Vegas really, is that you don't need to stay the night to take it all in. Here are 10 ways to see, like and savor the SLS Las Vegas without spending the night.
1. Werk Your Arrival: The grand entrance to the SLS is rather spectacular. After admiring the Philippe Starck-designed sculpture/caricature of SLS Hotels CEO Sam Nazarian out front, you walk through simple glass doors into an entryway that features a mirrored ceiling (perfect for #selfies!) and light-up floor squares which make you feel a little like Michael Jackson in the "Billie Jean" video. This "stage" of sorts then gives way to the casino floor. Overall, it just gives you a baller sense of arrival.
2. Gamble In Style: The casino is smaller than most Vegas casinos, but it's filled with shiny, new things like flat-screen TVs in the gambling pits and funky Starck-inspired figures atop some of the slot machines. There's also a throwback slot machine for the Sahara in the center of the casino if you're missing the good old days.
UPDATE, 8.12.14: The Revel Resort and Casino will close on September 10. Over 3,000 jobs will be lost. The resort never turned a profit in the two years it was opened. #rip
It's been nearly two months since we learned The Revel Casino in Atlantic City was in danger of closing yet sadly, there doesn't seem to be much improvement in the boardwalk casino's financial health.
Revel is set to go up of auction on Thursday but NBC Philadelphia reports that as of today, there are no qualified bids. The resorts' board of directors are supposedly meeting this afternoon and will determine whether or not the resort will close. There should be an update on this later today. We'll be keeping our fingers crossed.
Meanwhile, this weekend, rooms are sold-out on Saturday night and running about $499 a night for the next two weekends. Rates during the week are as low as $129 a night. And judging from the hotel's Facebook post earlier today, you'd never know anything was amiss.
Whoa. The Revel Resort in Atlantic City, home to an expensive taco truck, sent out a letter to employees recently saying that if the resort couldn't find a buyer before August 18, it would close down. Did you catch that? REVEL COULD CLOSE.
But it's not surprising. Revel has had drama from the start when its groundbreaking coincided with the global financial collapse of 2008. After finally receiving the funds to finish the construction job, the resort was open, and losing money, for just six months before Hurricane Sandy walloped the Jersey Shore. Then in early February, Revel filed for bankruptcy. But despite picking up new owners and having a ton of debt removed, the resort is still struggling.
Now, Revel is asking interested buyers for about $300 million. But we're not so sure there are many folks out there who want to buy a resort that's losing even more money than when it first opened. (Gothamist pointed out that Revel lost $130 million last year versus $110 in its first six months open.)
So, with all these money woes at Revel, perhaps room rates will be cheap? Think again.
Best Room to Book / Hotel Renovations / Casino Hotels / San Diego Hotels / Harrah's Hotels / Caesars Entertainment / Hotel Pools / → All Tags
The Harrah's Resort Southern California, an all-encompassing Vegas-style gaming resort just north of San Diego, has not only undergone a name change (it used to be Harrah's Rincon) but it also added an entirely new tower to its property.
Called The Resort Tower North, the 403-room tower joins the resort's two existing towers and bump up the total room count to 1,065 rooms. But these new tower rooms are clearly the ones you want to book with their modern furniture and decor and upgraded amenities. (Rooms in the older towers are very outdated.)
And if you really want to splurge, book one of Resort Tower North's 48 suites which have a killer views of the neighboring mountains. Check out two of the suite types below!
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Casino Hotels / Poconos Hotels / Mohegan Sun Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
The Mohegan Sun at Poconos Downs in Pennslyvania has been open for seven years now but tonight the casino is finally hitting the jackpot--with a 238-room, seven-story hotel and spa.
Room options at the new hotel range from standard king and double queen guest rooms to king suites and king and queen bay suites. But no matter the room category, all rooms come equipped with iPad minis which feature in-room dining menus and ordering systems as well as a function to control the TV and also to read newspaper downloads and browse the internet. Plus, the hotel is promising "lightning fast" WiFi. Best of all, it's free. Um, yeah, we're not so sure people are going to leave the room for a while. They might want to spend time fooling around...with the iPad.
While the hotel is opening tonight (the Spa Sapphire will debut next month), we couldn't find rooms available on their website until November 19th for $139 a night. Seems a little pricey for mid-week but unlike Vegas, there is no $25 resort fee. Fun fact: one of HotelChatter's very first reviews 10 YEARS AGO was of the Mohegan Sun Hotel in Connecticut.
[Photo: Mohegan Sun]
We know we gave you 9 Killer Hotel Views to fantasize about experiencing in person one day so hopefully you'll forgive us for what we're about to post now--a serious anti-view from Caesars Atlantic City.
Yes, this room in the Temple Tower here has an atrium view of the casino and check-in desk below as well as into other rooms that also have atrium views. So it's best to keep those shades drawn when you're walking around naked (and we know you are.) The rest of the deluxe room was quite nice--super comfy bed, big flat-screen TV and a room service menu of epic entrees.
And fortunately, Atlantic City is not necessarily a place where you go to relax in your room. Usually, you're at the tables, at the bars or people-watching on the boardwalk. Still, if you want a room with a view when staying at Caesars, make sure to request it at check-in. Slipping a $20 probably won't hurt either. Rooms this weekend start at about $150 on Friday night and a whopping $450 on Saturday night.
Hard Rock’s coming to Canada! The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation is opening Canada’s first Hard Rock Casino this winter (an opening date announcement is imminent) in Coquitlam, which is about 18 miles east of Vancouver.
Great Canadian Gaming is reno’ing an existing casino, the Boulevard Casino, and turning it into a rock ‘em, sock ‘em entertainment wonderland. In the plans are seven restaurants ranging from cool and casual to fancy-dancy; three bars specializing in custom cocktails, craft beers and Canadian wines; gaming options which have heretofore not been seen in Canada; an intimate live performance space to feature local acts; and a 1,000-seat theater geared to showcase top music—rock, reggae, mainstream, indie, country, EDM, you name it—as well as comedy and other performance acts. We’re hoping to see some of the biggies here that turn up at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Vegas, but only time will tell.
Most important for us, the hotel-loving crowd, is will there be a luxe hotel opening to accompany all of these decadent entertainment choices? We’re told that the company is currently evaluating whether or not this will happen, but we hope that they reach the logical decision to open a Hard Rock Hotel. One needs a nice place to crash after staying up all night playing pai gow or baccarat and grooving to Tiësto.
[Renderings: The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation]
We all know that early check-ins at hotels are elusive. It all depends on a few things--how full the hotel was the night before, how fast the other guests get their belongings together and out the door and how quickly housekeeping can get in there and turn over the room.
We typically have good luck with early check-ins during the week and at huge hotels that don't always sell out like the big casino hotels in Las Vegas (mid-week of course, definitely not on a Friday or a Sunday.) But if that doesn't work, then we have to find ways to kill time in the hotel lobby, or the nearby area, for a few hours until the 3pm check-in time. Unless we want to pay extra for it with an early check-in fee.
We first noticed early check-in fees back in 2011 when we compared hotels to airlines, thanks to all the extra fees they were tacking onto hotel stays. But we've never actually seen them in the wild.
But at Caesars Atlantic City we saw this sign at check-in.
We chatted a little bit last month on the massive, $1.5 billion mega-casino complex coming to Sydney but now there's word that the Crown Sydney has just gotten the green light from the government. From the same owners of the Crown Metropol and Crown Towers in Melbourne and Perth, the Crown Sydney will offer some seriously luxe digs to go along with those baccarat tables.
Aussie businessman, James Packer, is the man behind the success of the other two Crowns and no doubt, he hopes to duplicate his success in Sydney. And he won't have much competition. Currently, the city has one casino complex, The Star, which is home to super flashy hotel, The Darling. The Crown's gaming destination will feature two new luxury hotels featuring 350 six-star rooms and 80 luxury apartments competitively positioned right next-door to the existing Star Casino in the popular Darling Harbour and Pyrmont neighborhoods.
The next hotel to open in Atlantic City could be a total departure from the usual mammoth, multi-million dollar casino resorts we've come to expect.
Philly.com reports that the historic Madison Hotel, a 14-story oceanfront property that originally opened in 1929, has been sold for $4 million, with explicit plans to re-make it as a boutique hotel modeled on its rich history. According to the report:
"The lone bidder for the Madison House was not identified. But a representative for the buyer told The Press of Atlantic City that the new owner intends to resurrect the hotel."
The article goes on to say the hotel is distinguished by its "grand stairway, marble floors and ornate chandeliers," and that it was one of the few old-style hotels in Atlantic City to continue operating even as the big new casinos started opening in the 1980s.
Though The Sands annexed it as an all-suite sister property in 2004, the Madison promptly closed down in 2006 when the Sands went kaput, and the place hasn't been touched since.