Atlantic City: The Water Club
View Room Service in a larger map
Address1 Renaissance Way 77710 Atlantic City New Jersey 609/317-8888 thewaterclubhotel.com
Ordering Geoffrey-Zakarian conceived snacks such as crudité with bagna cauda or delicate Philly cheesesteaks at an outdoor poolside cabana, or by the indoor swimming pool upstairs, with loungers that overlook floor-to-ceiling windows with unbeatable views of the city.
The collection of restaurants in the adjoining Borgata Casino.
Bonus: Did you know that the streets in Monopoly are named after those in Atlantic City? Be on the lookout for the full range, from Baltic to the Boardwalk. They even charge luxury tax here.
- 800 rooms and suites
- 5 heated pools
- 24 hour room service
- Wireless internet
- Immersion Spa
- 400-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets
Though I am admittedly a fish out of water in Atlantic City, I think I have found my place there: at the Water Club. The 43-story hotel is ten minutes from the boardwalk, offers five heated pools, an inviting professional spa, and room service and poolside menus designed by newly-minted Iron Chef, Geoffrey Zakarian. The first time I came here, when the hotel opened in 2008, I especially enjoyed nibbling the beautiful little vegetables in a crudité (they had been grown, I was told, especially for the Water Club at a nearby farm), and a Philly cheese steak made on a diminutive French bread flute that was about as thick as a cigar. What's so decadent about the Water Club is that you can get these little bites anywhere—whether you're in your room, poolside, or downstairs in the sun-filled lounge that seems miles away from the permanent midnight of the casino.
On more recent visits, I've grown to also enjoy venturing from the mellow Water Club into the 161,000 square feet of bling that is the Borgata, the luxurious gambling establishment connected to the hotel. At the Borgata, a massive Dale Chihuly-designed glass installation at its entrance announces its luxe intentions. The dining choices here are many, and bear the stamp of a panoply of celebrity chefs—Michael Mina, Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, and others are represented—while still catering to Atlantic City appetites: there's an Old Homestead Steakhouse, and, of course, a buffet. While the choices are all tempting, I find myself returning time and again to Wolfgang Puck's American Grille, a restaurant which, besides being good, feels particularly appropriate to the place. The portions are oversized, and there's something about eating a meal that starts with smoked salmon and crème fraîche pizza with caviar, segues into a hunk of lacquered pork belly, and finishes with a sky-high chocolate soufflé that, when in Atlantic City, seems fittingly over-the-top. —Gabriella Gershenson
In the Area
- White House Sub Shop: Sometimes the best antidote to the more extravagant elements of Atlantic City is a good, honest sandwich. That's what you'll get at White House Sub, which is a favorite among locals, and also, it seems, every celebrity that has passed through this town (and whose snapshots adorn the walls). I would choose the zesty Italian sandwich, packed with salami, provolone, sopressata, mortadella, and more goodies, over a Philly cheesesteak any day, but you can't go wrong with either. 2301 Arctic Ave; tel: 609/345-1564
- Saltwater Taffy: I can't imagine coming to Atlantic City and leaving without a wax paper bag brimming with saltwater taffy. It's tough to say why the sticky stuff holds so much allure—maybe it's the irresistible Deco typeface on the Steele's wrappers, the classic flavors (licorice, molasses, oh my!) at Fralingers, or the chocolate-covered taffies at James, which make me wonder if Charleston Chew started its life on the boardwalk.
James & Fralinger's Saltwater Taffy, 1519 Boardwalk, jamescandy.com;
Steel's Saltwater Taffy, 2719 Boardwalk, steelsfudge.com
- Atlantic City Boardwalk: One of the great pleasures of Atlantic City, let's face it, is the seediness that the place just can't seem to shake, no matter how many fancy hotels with celebrity-chef restaurants open up. The boardwalk is ripe with characters. The stretch of human theater along the Jersey shore not only offers some of the greatest people watching ever; its proximity to the veteran casinos is also a treat.