Tips & Ideas

Tips & Ideas

The Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa, Atlantic City, NJ

submitted by: Sheree Bykofsky

From honeymooner to hi-roller, housewife to hell raiser, you’ll find pampering, fun and relaxation at the brand-new Borgata. It’s so popular that it can be difficult to get reservations and you may encounter long lines at check-in, but once you see your room, it’ll be worth it. All the rooms are immaculate, cheerful and comfortable with gorgeous amenities. You might stay in a Classic Room, which has marble baths and a shower for two; a Studio Suite, which sports a 42-inch TV; or a Piatto Suite, featuring a wet bar and entertainment center. The regular double rooms are luxurious, too.

After a frenetic day at the Casino, head down to Spa Toccare, a state-of-the-art spa where I relaxed with a heavenly massage. You’ll love one, too, if you were sitting at the poker tournament tables all day! Or you might try the Wine and Roses special: it’s a Napa Valley grape-seed body scrub, white-rose bath, and full-body massage. What’s not to like?

And of course the Borgata is equipped with a full-service salon, workout room, and beautiful (humongous!) pool area.

Time to eat! The Borgata’s restaurants are unsurpassed – and with eleven of them, you certainly won’t go hungry. I certainly didn’t! Celebrate your win at the gambling tables at Specchio, a lovely Italian restaurant that features refined rustic cookery and a subtlely seductive ambience. I had one of the best meals of my life here. Osso buco on toast paired with wine from Montrachet is divine, as are all of world-class chef Luke Palladino’s imaginative creations. And the helpful sommelier is always on hand to guide you through the amazingly lengthy wine list.

If Asian fusion floats your boat, visit Suilan by Susanna Foo, which offers Asian cuisine with a French flair in an ambience that massages your senses. Its softly lit arches and half-circle banquettes make for a quiet, romantic retreat from the bustling casino. Feast on Kobe beef carpaccio or Grand Marnier shrimp, as I did, or sample seafood pad Thai or the signature tea-smoked Peking duck breast. Here, a meal is like a massage; soothing, comforting, and luxurious. And Ms. Foo herself is often present, keeping a watchful eye on her inventive new restaurant.

Looking for something on the trendy side? Mixx is a Latin-Asian fusion restaurant, serving until late at night when it turns into a hot, high-energy club with a throbbing dance floor – but before midnight, you could walk past it a million times without knowing it’s there. Warm red accents, theatre lights, and a black-lite aura put you in the mood to party. The “small plates” are reasonably priced and are great for sharing: split five or six with friends, tapas-style, instead of opting for one of the few “Big Plates.” And they’re good for your mojo, with names like “Baby Got Back Ribs,” “Thai Me Up” soup, and “Miso-Horny” soup. After dinner, cozy up with cocktails in the secluded banquette in the corner.

With so much to do at the Borgata, I never wanted to leave. It’s truly an experience for all five of your senses!

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Sheree Bykofsky is the author of The Best Places to Kiss in and Around NYC and the 52 Most Romantic Dates in and Around NYC