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“Waterfront Tower is Very Nice, but a Quieter Experience Would be Preferred”

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Harrah's Resort Atlantic City
Ranked #5 of 49 Hotels in Atlantic City
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 28 March 2012

I recently returned from a one-night stay at Harrah’s on a Friday night. Overall, I was happy with the hotel, but the casino environment and what comes with it does detract in some sense. I’m the type of person who would prefer a non-casino hotel any day. Looking among casino hotels, though, I would probably say it’s one of the best options in Atlantic City.

I was staying with my girlfriend for one night to celebrate her birthday. After visiting several of the Atlantic City casinos in the past for daytrips or meals, we concluded that Harrah’s is one of the nicest, other than Borgata/Water Club, which were cost prohibitive when we were visiting.

I put quite a bit of time and research into figuring out which room type to book and when to book it. Rates on Sunday-Thursday tend to be dirt cheap, and it really doesn’t seem to matter when you book. There will always be some sort of deal. For a Friday night, I found that the rates stay consistently high, but fluctuate a lot. I found a decent rate about three months before the trip and booked it, but I continued checking rates and rebooked when I found something cheaper a little bit closer to the trip. A couple weeks before the trip, I saw that the rates still fluctuated, but tended to jump higher and higher, to a point of being double what I was paying. My advice would be to book as soon as possible to get a lower rate, and keep monitoring price changes. Unlike most hotels, where prices are more or less fixed in a small range, rates change can vary greatly here.

In terms of choosing a room, I found it very confusing to figure out the differences between the towers, and I still don’t fully know the difference. The names are even quite similar. It seems that the towers were simply built at different times, which other reviewers have indicated is reflected in their décor and general condition. I ended up choosing the Waterfront Tower, since it is the newest and appeared to be the nicest in pictures. It did have the highest room rate of any of the towers, but it seemed worth it based on previous reviews. Some of the older towers sound dingy and seem to attract a louder, more drunken clientele, which I was hoping to avoid as much as possible. I understand that casinos are meant to be fun places that attract partiers, especially on weekends, but when it comes to my hotel room, I want it to be as quiet and nice as possible. I requested a room on a high floor of the waterfront tower, as I also read that the sound from the Pool After Dark can carry to rooms on the lower floors.

We arrived at Harrah’s around 7:30 pm to check in on Friday night. It is definitely a decent walk from the self-parking garage to the check-in area across the casino floor, but it’s generally well marked. The line was quite long to check-in, which was the first thing I didn’t like about the hotel. I’ve stayed at many hotels of similar size in the past, and often had no line at all to check-in at peak times. Standing in a twenty minute line felt more like a cattle call than checking-in to a nice resort. There were a good number of people working the front desk, but they simply weren’t moving people through very quickly. I’m not sure what the hold-up was with everyone else, since it took about a minute for us to check in. I wasn’t overly happy with the service, either. Maybe it was just because of the long line, but the employee wasn’t very friendly or helpful at all. He basically just swiped my credit card and handed us room keys, without even any explanation on where to find the elevator for our tower or offering any information about the hotel.

I didn’t realize until after we had left the front desk or I would have said something, but I was initially not happy that my request for a room on a high floor was not honored. We were only on the 7th floor of the 45-story waterfront tower. It ended up being fine, and we made our way to the elevator for the lower floors of the tower, which is located just across from the buffet. The elevator for the higher floors is a longer walk down past the pool. Our room (7078) was the first room past the elevator on our floor, and I was still not impressed to find a room service cart full of dirty dishes right outside the room when we arrived. However, things got better as soon as we entered the room! The waterfront tower rooms really are four-stars in terms of furnishing and well worth the money. The room was a great size, with a beautiful and stylish modern décor. It basically had everything we could want, from an iPod dock, a nice seating area, and a great bathroom with an excellent large tile and granite shower. The only small negative I noticed was that the wood surfaces and the door were a bit dinged up, but this was nothing major at all.

After settling into the room, we enjoyed a late dinner at McCormick & Schmick’s. I was very happy with our dinner here. The restaurant was nice, but not too stuffy, and the food was quite tasty. I got one of the daily specials and was quite happy with it. Service started a bit slow, but was friendly and got better over the course of the meal.

We spent some time in the evening in the casino. We’re far from fans of gambling in general, but thought it would be fun to play slots for a while. It was definitely crowded that night, but it was enjoyable. I do like the new system Harrah’s has for ordering drinks directly from slot machines. It helps to see exactly what is offered and order something without having to track down one of the elusive servers. We found that the service could be quite slow, but the machine does confirm when your drink has been ordered and update to let you know when it’s on its way. We had drinks within 5 minutes in one section of the casino, while it took closer to 30 minutes elsewhere. It seems to depend on how motivated the server for your section is to get drinks to you.

It was pretty late by the time we were going to bed, and I was excited for the comfortable king bed in the room. Unfortunately, I was reminded of the fact that it was a casino and not a high-class hotel at that point. It turns out that the doors on the rooms are very thin. I was awoken each and every time a group of loud, drunken guests came back to their room. This happened quite frequently until at least 6 am, creating a basically sleepless night. So much for the Waterfront Tower attracting better people or being quieter. I understand that the hotel wants people to have fun and drink and stay over, but they could at least have thicker doors to prevent the noise from waking others at all hours of the night. I will note that I couldn’t hear any noise from the Pool in our room, though. We were on the side of the tower that did not overlook the pool, so that may have been part of it.

We ended up leaving a bit earlier the next day than we had planned, for no fault of Harrah’s. We were planning to enjoy the Pool during the day, and take advantage of more of the restaurant options. We do hope to return to do that in the future, so I’d say we had a good stay at Harrah’s. I loved the Waterfront Tower room itself, and a casino resort does present a lot of things to do and places to eat, which was fun for a birthday trip. I would prefer to feel more separation between the hotel and the casino, but that’s just the reality of what it is. If you’re not used to this, I would just be aware of it. In the future I’ll be more prepared for the annoyances, and better equipped to enjoy it and insist on a quieter room.

Room Tip: Book a room in the Waterfront Tower
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank mrg0137
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 March 2012

I have been going to Harrah’s in AC for a few years now and although I’m not exactly what you would call a high roller I have always had very good experiences there, that is until recently. The disappointments began with making a reservation. I had enjoyed staying at Harrah’s so much in the past that I chose it to be my destination to celebrate my birthday. My boyfriend often receives mailings for free or discounted rooms but oddly the latest mailing listed prices that exceeded those offered to the general public on their website. Upon calling he mentioned this and the person he spoke to was less than helpful so he requested to speak to a supervisor for further assistance. He explained the situation and mentioned that he had just spent hundreds of dollars on a room to stay there on a holiday weekend to host a bachelor party and since this is not a weekend nor is it a holiday there should be some flexibility in pricing as there has always been in the past. The supervisor frustrated him to the point that my boyfriend actually hung up without booking the room. Knowing how much I wanted to go he decided to try again and called back the next day. Oddly enough he spoke to someone very helpful and without a supervisor needed they offered a far better rate in our usual Waterfront Tower.
Once we arrived check-in was great and we received our usual complimentary upgrade and free passes to the Pool After Dark. It does depend on who checks you in but usually all we have to do is ask if it’s not automatically offered. As is our routine, we changed into our bathing suits and headed down to the pool. One of the things we enjoy most is relaxing in the hot-tubs and getting happy hour drinks. We immediately noticed that their largest hot-tub was now gone and replaced by a bar. While this was very helpful in getting drinks in the evening it was very noticeably missing during the day. While getting our drinks the bartender who we’ve seen there before informed us that happy hour was almost over and snuck a little more alcohol in my drink to make up for it. We were a little confused because we’d always had more than enough time to check in and get to the pool in the past and it was no later than usual. We shrugged it off and slipped into a hot-tub to relax when shortly after we were abruptly told that the pool was closing in ten minutes. Now we were really confused. We assumed the hours must have changed and thought we’d finish our drinks and go back to our room. We thought wrong! About two minutes later the same lifeguard came over to the hot-tub and shut it off while we and a couple of other guests were still in it! I have seen some rude customer service in my life but never before have I seen anything as rude as this. I have never felt more unwelcome in a hotel’s pool area as I felt in that moment. One of the things we always previously loved at Harrah’s pool was the staff. They were always so friendly and never made you feel like an inconvenience. We never usually stay until closing time but when it got close the staff always went about their business around us and never would’ve dreamed of shutting the hot-tub off while you’re still in it! (Our experience the next day was no better when we went to the pool much earlier and the entire one side was closed off for a supposed event that we never actually saw take place in the hours we were there. Many guests seemed very upset about this since now we all had to share the only two hot tubs left.)
We were understandably upset but decided to try to try to make the best of the rest of the trip. We took showers and got ready for the evening only to notice that something was wrong with the shower because water seeped all over bathroom floor. This wouldn’t have been nearly as much of a problem if we had been given the exterior shower mat to clean some of it up. When we spoke to the woman on our floor from housekeeping about it she simply said it wasn’t her side of the floor and evidently not her problem so we had to call the front desk to at least request the mat that normally is in the bathroom. If we ever had an issue like that in the past the housekeeping staff was always more than happy to assist in any way they could.
That evening we enjoyed drinks at the Pool After Dark. I must commend one of their bartenders, an older gentleman who every time we go is very attentive and lets us know what the drinks specials are before we order. The new, younger bartenders didn’t seem to care how long we waited for a drink or care to inform us of any specials. The music was so-so as it always is. I very much enjoy the atmosphere but ladies need to be extra careful walking or dancing there in heels as the floor is not particularly nightclub friendly. As expected the hour came when we decided to leave and as we were walking out, with no prior warning, the music seemed to abruptly stop and any one left inside was quickly ushered to the door. I imagine if they hadn’t finished their incredibly expensive drink they were told too bad.
We like to hit the casino after the nightclub and for some reason we always get carded. I shouldn’t complain. I’m flattered in fact but it does get annoying since we are in our early thirties. My favorite slot was surprisingly generous but the tables as usual were cold and yielded no winnings.
When we returned to our room it became obvious why all these negative changes were being made. On the table was the new hotel book with their new general manager John D. Smith on the front page. As it turns out Mr. Smith has absolutely no casino management experience! In fact he has no casino business experience at all! Harrah’s new senior vice president is a former retail exec. with an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering. Huh? His boss and president of the Eastern Division of Caesars Entertainment Don Marradino is actually quoted as saying, “He’s just the right man for the job.” What!?! Clearly he is not! I say this not just based on his seeming lack of qualifications but from personal experience as a guest under his new management. It seemed that the staff we’d encountered from our previous trips were trying very hard to keep the customer service as great as it had been despite the changes but unfortunately I don’t imagine it will last since the new staff is horrible and senior management will eventually force the old employees to adhere to their ridiculous anti-customer service oriented rules. They now seem to be headed in the retail direction rather than hospitality. It’s a shame that they have no understanding that I (and probably many others like me) have always loved going to Harrah’s and would love to continue to go but if things continue to be run the way they are now we will seriously consider looking around for a new casino that knows what it means to strive to be five star.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank AuroraSB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2012

My husband and I just stayed at Harrah's over the weekend. He liked the place as soon as he saw the huge fish tank behind the front desk. We waited for approximately 30 minutes before getting to the front of the line for check in. They could speed up that process a bit...they seemed to be spending a little too long with each person yet when we went up there is wasn't like they were giving tons of information for it to take so long. Anyway we went straight up to our room and on our way we were noticing in the hallways of the Harbour Tower which were in need of some paint and definite touch ups. So we got to our room and realized the entire tower is in need of desperate updates! The furniture is old and dirty, the alarm clock had a thick layer of dust on it, the carpet had stains throughout, and don't even get me started on the couch. It should have had a sign on it saying "Sit at your own Risk!" because you may get a disease if you sat on it...it was so stained and dirty with things that I won't repeat. The bed and bathroom both were thankfully clean! I would've asked for a different room but I just figured they were all the same. I did find it funny that there is a hole around the shower head that was never covered up like it should have been after installation and the lights made an annoying buzzing sound but I could deal with that being it was only in the bathroom. I wouldn't walk around without my shoes on which I did find annoying cause I was on vacation and I that made me feel like I couldn't fully relax. Also a bunch of the towels had a funny smell to them so I would just keep tossing them to the floor til I found a non smelly one. I think maybe it is from the pool ....they probably just rotate them all and the chlorine is possibly what I was smelling. Also just beware that you can hear everything in the next room ... that's a little annoying too cause you feel like people are listening to you at all times, especially since the people next to us seemed to always be in their room at all hours day or night.
But aside from the room that needs to be fixed up, we did have a good time in the casino. The layout was nice and easy to get used to where you were so we didn't spend the whole time getting lost and circling around. We played some slots and my husband played around at some of the tables...obviously we didn't win but if you go expecting to win you will be extremely let down. If you want to order a drink while sitting at the slots be prepared to wait half an hour before it shows up...usless you are winning big just get up and get it yourself...you will end up saving money in the end even though the drink is free if you are gambling. It takes so long for them to get to you with your drink you will spend way more then the drink is worth while you wait for it. There was a round bar in the center of the gaming tables which was cool ...most of the bartenders were really friendly and fast ...I only encountered one grumpy one. We also loved Bill's Bar & Burger! Their burgers were awesome...and it was an easy bar to just walk up to and grab a drink then head back to the casino. We went to the buffet for lunch one day and breakfast another day....it was good...enough choices for you to find something....but don't waste your time on the crab leg line...we waited out of curiousity being that it seemed like such a hot item but then we realized if you are a true seafood eater you can't eat these crab legs...they were beyond awful! It was like ringing out a soaked towel full of water...disgusting! So stay away from those and stick to the other stuff...everything else was pretty good.
The pool looked really nice but we didn't get a chance to use it...It's open until 7pm then it's turned into a night club full of "Jersey Shore" wannabe's.
Do beware that if you use the Jitney service for $2.25 per ride to the other casino's you will be on the bus with locals as well as vacationers...it can be a little sketchy and we had a bit of whiplash when we got off the bus...the drivers are nuts...it's one thing to be an aggressive driver and it's another thing to totally drive on the wrong side of the double yellow line...SCARY!! We used a cab after that experience.
Oh and sign up for a rewards card...if you are there as a couple go up separately and don't look like you are together...I didn't get anything cause they saw me and my husband were together but my husband got a bunch of free stuff since he went first (comp room, slot play etc...) ...they didn't even give me the $10 in slot play...all I got was the plastic card...I was a bit disappointed by that.
All in all we had a great time even though the room left a lot to be desired....I would probably give it another try if we stayed in the waterfront tower which I heard was more updated....I wish I knew that before we booked our stay....the website didn't really tell you which tower had the newer rooms so I would be sure to ask for a newer room when booking and once you are there!

Room Tip: Ask for a NEW room and DON'T stay in the Harbour Tower!
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank LThia25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2012

Visited for two week nights only because the room was comped. Welcomed warmly by Richard at checkin. Very pleasant to speak with. When I visit a resort I act like an adult. I don't demand the best room like others do. And I was rewarded for my kindness with an atrium mini suite. The room had a small living area with leather sofa. King size bed and nice furniture. Two flat screens and two mini fridges. Bathroom was okay. Didn't visit for the bathroom accomondations. Overall room met our needs. Will stay again.

  • Stayed: March 2012
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1  Thank hotmickey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2012

Stayed here in February with my fiancee. We had stayed here a couple years ago and loved the indoor pool. First of all its a joke that this place charges for parking. Maybe it's like this at other places but we go to Mohegan Sun in CT all the time and they don't charge for parking. If you use self park you have to lug your bags down an elevator, then down some stairs, then down an escalator, then across the casino floor and after about 15-20 minutes of walking through crowded areas with your luggage you are finally at check-in. Last time we stayed there they upgraded us to a nice room with a seat in the shower, flat screen, nice room appointments. The room they put us in this time was garbage. Old everything, wetspot on the floor, small, smelly. So we got upgraded back to the other kind of room (Waterfront I think) for like $15 a night which was fine.

The pool is a great place to beat the cold in the winter but it's hard to get a chair in there if you're not in there early. The "hot" tubs scattered about are luke warm at best. The drinks are very expensive and very terrible. Beer is $8...unbelievable. My lady ordered a blueberry mojito. They have a picture of it in the menu...it's a clear drink. When it comes it is blue from the blue curacao they put in it even though it's not an ingredient on the menu. Nothing tastes better with blueberry vodka then sweet orange liquor! The guy gave us a hard time about it even even after showed him the picture in the menu. He was a jerk...and the drink was $12 and still bad even when made right.

The casino is big and it has lots of games but since we went on the weekend you had to get up early to get to the low minimum tables. We played more slots and those were fun. They are adding a service to the slot machines where you can order your drink through the maching while you are playing. It wasn't operational yet but seemed like a good idea.

The new restaurant near the pool called Sammy D's was EXCELLENT. We ate there like 4 times in a couple days. It was expensive but about waht we would expect to pay in Atlantic City and delicious. Try the "One Chip Left" for breakfast. It is a delicious man's breakfast.

We may stay here again but only for the pool, which is the only real reason we drove down to Atlantic City from CT in the winter. Other wise it's nothing special and you're probably better off close to the strip.

Room Tip: Get the waterfront tower
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank David N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Harrah's Resort Atlantic City

Address: 777 Harrah's Blvd., Atlantic City, NJ 08401-1911
Phone Number:
Region: United States > New Jersey > Jersey Shore > Atlantic City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Atlantic City
#3 Spa Hotel in Atlantic City
#4 Romantic Hotel in Atlantic City
#4 Casino Hotel in Atlantic City
#4 Luxury Hotel in Atlantic City
Price Range: $89 - $510 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Harrah's Resort Atlantic City 4*
Number of rooms: 1174
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Harrah`s Resort Atlantic City Hotel Atlantic City
Harrahs Hotel Atlantic City
Harrahs Casino Atlantic City
Harrahs Ac

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