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.
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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