When was the last time a commercial really grabbed your attention?
It wasn’t that long ago for me. I was mindlessly watching television one night, until a Caesars Atlantic City commercial flashed across the screen. My eyes widened as an actress in a slick ponytail and sharp suit made her way through the latest updates to Caesars Atlantic City, including renovated suites and celebrity chef-backed restaurants. The message? “Everything is new,” the bellhop assured her.
As someone who spent countless childhood weekends in Atlantic City until the area slipped into decline in the 1990s, I frequently thought about the place that held so many memories. (It’s where my dad bought my mom the sole piece of jewelry I wear, a now-vintage Gucci gold bracelet.) And following a recent visit with my parents in tow, it’s clear: Atlantic City is bouncing back.
Thanks to a hefty $230 million investment, the resort that opened in 1979 and shaped the city into a popular casino destination recently underwent a sweeping transformation. Every aspect of the property was gussied up, from the lobby—which is now adorned with a domed ceiling and a statue of the Three Graces—to a reimagined pool deck with cushy daybeds, shaded cabanas, and a bar atop Qua Baths and Spa overlooking America’s oldest boardwalk.
Since rest is requisite in a nightlife-driven spot like Atlantic City, you can retreat to 750 rooms and suites with a chic new look in Caesars’ Centurion and Ocean towers. While it would have been easy go with something safe and basic—as you know, stylish accommodations aren’t quite the norm in Atlantic City—Caesars instead enlisted a contemporary design that would look sharp in any urban environment. The royal blue and cream palette is crisp and classic, as are all the furnishings, which include plenty of seating, a proper desk, and an inviting platform bed. Even the bathrooms with deluxe-sized Molton Brown amenities and customizable steam settings and shower heads impress.
But it’s the new dining and entertainment outlets that make Caesars Atlantic City a serious contender for the best resort in town. Nobu is a name that needs no introduction, and the latest outpost here channels the understated aesthetic, knowledgeable service—seriously, you can ask your server just about anything regarding the menu—and signature dishes (Yellowtail Jalapeño, Black Cod with Miso, Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna) the brand is renowned for, but with local flourishes including fresh fish caught off the Jersey Shore and the Boardwalk Collins, a thirst-quenching libation of Ford’s Gin, elderflower liqueur, and Mr. Q. Cumber soda. Meanwhile at Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen, guests can decscend into an energetic dining space where an open kitchen firing up dishes popularized by Ramsay’s hit television show, such as beef wellington and lobster risotto, takes center strage.
A few steps down the boardwalk is the iconic and beautifully restored Warner Theater, which now houses Atlantic City’s most exciting nightlife, along with new restaurants and bars. Envisioned by Spiegelworld, the creative team behind Las Vegas hit shows like Absinthe at Caesars Palace, The Hook is a 75-minute, adults-only spectacle pooling diverse talent from all over the world—including a side-splittingly funny magician and jar-dropping hair suspension artist—with gobs of filthy, raunchy humor.
Adjacent to the stage is Superfrico, the sister to the famed Las Vegas eatery specializing in “Italian American Psychedelic” cuisine. It’s where you can dig into heaping plates of fiery Lobster Vodka Fra Diavolo and yuzu-laced Chicken Parmesan as rowdy, scantily clad dancers and jugglers weave around your table. But no matter what: belly up to Horse Dive Bar for a nightcap. The service is chummy, the pours are heavy, and you’ll be surrounded with kitschy knick-knacks nodding to Atlantic City’s Golden Age in the 1920s, when diving horses were a popular attraction. While that practice is thankfully long gone, it’s nice to see that Caesars Atlantic City is making great strides to help its hometown shine bright once again.