Saturday, June 02, 2012

Weekend trips from the Lehigh Valley: Atlantic City

My friend Christine asked me a while back about weekend getaways from the Lehigh Valley. It got me thinking... as much as I love living in the Lehigh Valley, its proximity to fun nearby makes it an even better.
I visited my friend Lori in Atlantic City recently. She's working at a new resort called Revel (, which officially opened Memorial Day weekend.

The new beachfront destination is 100% smoke-free and each of the hotel's 1,800 rooms has sweeping ocean views.  On our tour, we saw indoor and outdoor pools, a SkyGarden, lounges, and a 32,000-square-foot spa. Revel offers live entertainment - Beyonce performed four nights there recently, you might have heard of her? - nightclubs, and an oceanfront dayclub. Revel features more than a dozen restaurants from renowned chefs and restaurateurs who are well-known by their work in Washington, D.C. (James Beard Award winner Chef Michel Richard and Chef Robert Wiedmaier), Philadelphia (Chef Jose Garces) and New York City (Michelin-rated Chef Marc Forgione and Chef Alain Allegretti) (Garces and Forgione are Iron Chefs!). There's everything from an upscale steakhouse to a taco truck - on trend - to Weidmaier's MUSSEL BAR. Soon the $2.4 billion resort will feature upscale shopping as well. The beach is currently being replenished, but soon it will be pristine and open for tourists to soak up some rays and play in the water. In the meantime, you'll have to content yourself with the indoor-outdoor pool, open year-round.

Each sleeping room has its own tablet (think iPad) where you can order room service, surf the internet using the property's free Wi-Fi access, and learn about the property's amenities. The ocean views from every room and well-appointed bathrooms make it worth the pricetag (slightly higher than most AC resorts, but still less than most properties in Philly and NYC at $261/night average for a king room).

My ideal itinerary would be:
Leave home after work. Drive 2 1/2 hours to AC. Check in late on Friday night
On Saturday, wake up when we wake up
Breakfast at O Bistro
Morning at the pool under a cabana
Lunch at Distro Cantina
Afternoon at the spa
Nap :)
Dinner at Azure by Allegretti (an upscale seafood restaurant - one of Lori's faves)
On Sunday, wake up whenever again :)
Order room service breakfast
Outlet shopping in downtown AC and lunch on the boardwalk before driving home

Um, and oh yeah, there's a casino with table games and machines, too. It's kind of gorgeous and unobtrusive, since you can check in without walking through it (and did I mention it's smoke-free?).

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