As my readers know, I have traveled to many corners of the world, stayed at some of the top resorts and hotels and can’t remember how many cruises I have been on. That said, living in New Jersey means we don’t take the opportunity to visit some of the great hotels in our own backyard. I have of course been to the new Atlantic City and reviewed the Borgata when they first opened, but haven’t really been back there in a very long time.
My wife who owns a travel agency and has sent many of her clients to AC, wanted to see the very new and very exciting REVEL Hotel and Casino. So we decided to celebrate our anniversary at REVEL. I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to take some amazing photos of this 2.4 Billion (yes I said Billion),dollar hotel and maybe write an article.
This hotel has been talked about since its grand opening because of some of their “break-the-rules” ideas. They would be the first hotel that didn’t allow smoking…wow, a casino that didn’t allow smoking, got to love it.
Arriving at the Hotel
As we walked through the hotel and got on to their amazing escalator we traveled up to their front desk to check in. Since we visited on a Thursday what is considered one of the slower days of the week for the hotel, we were able to register in a few minutes.
We checked some of my photo equipment bags and got ready for our site tour, courtesy of Shannon Wilbur our guest relations guide. Cameras in hand we began our journey. I knew we didn’t have much time to cover this massive hotel and resort, after all it is 6.3 million square feet, 47 stories, situated on 20 acres so it would be impossible to do in the few short hours we had.
The Spa and InOut Pool
We were able to walk through the hotel, go to their Bask Spa which was designed to be dark and calming. Their heated mineral pools, a hammam, also known as the Turkish hamam or Turkish bath and a Himalayan-salt grotto was quiet and relaxing and very intimate. You can read more about their fabulous spa and gym which is located just below the spa. Non-guests can book spa treatments and enjoy the mineral pools at no additional charge even if you are staying at another hotel, book your treatments here, they have 32 therapy rooms and all the treatments you can imagine including, acupuncture.
Now it was onto a general tour of the main pool area which features a mega sized indoor and a through the huge glass wall, the adjoining outdoor pool. No matter what the weather, guest enjoy the pools either inside or outside. Our panoramic photo shows the outside pool, a true oasis. There are 5 pool areas so everyone has a chance to get a lounge chair and they don’t have to get up at 6 AM to get one.
This is an all year resort area. Even in the winter you can enjoy many of the same features you might expect in any resort, great facilities, beautiful casino, lots of dining choices and the best suites we have seen in a very long time.
Our tour was cut short after a walk through their casino, past the Relish Restaurant and down one floor to American Cut Restaurant where I met their general manager Anthony DePaul and their Maitre ‘d Randy Richardson. I decided to cut the tour short and set up my camera and some lights to shoot them introducing their restaurant to my video viewers.
It was now getting late and I had made arrangements to return to the restaurant at 5:30 PM to meet Quincey Logan their executive chef to watch him cook one of their signature Tomahawk 40 ounce steaks. You will see this monster cut of beef in the video. But now it was back to the room to take some more photos and get ready for dinner.
Walking into our Ocean Suite with floor to ceiling walls of glass on two sides was, well WOW!
Even though my wife and I are experienced travelers, we both looked at each other and said aloud, “this is fantastic”. They have three classes of rooms, the Ocean Suite which we had, the larger View Suites and the beautiful Ocean Rooms. All have the wall to ceiling windows. We didn’t have the time or opportunity to see the other rooms and suites, but had seen photos and hope to see these on our next trip.
Their rooms weren’t going to be just like all the other cookie cutter hotel rooms, theirs would be luxurious rooms and suites that you might find in some of the most prestigious hotels and resorts. These modern rooms are designed in soft tones with frosted glass doors, rift cut oak espresso brown stained furniture and in our suite a comfortable living room area in this beautiful open design.
The suites are loaded with the latest in electronics that enabled us to pick up the 46″ inch flat screen TV remote and control all the lights in the suite, open and shut the fantastic floor to ceiling window shades and curtains too and of course control the television. So Cool!
The bathroom is also a suite in its own right. With a huge and glorious full body shower, large enough to have a party and the best of the best fixtures like Grohe faucets and Toto toilets, marble, granite and mirrors, beautiful. So much attention to details and a perfect example of good taste and spectacular comfort.
My wife jumped into the shower and yelled out to me, there is water coming from everywhere. She had turned on all the levers to the full body shower. I got jealous and decided to give it a try as well, it was wonderful.
Iron Chef Marc Forgione Redefined Steakhouse – American Cut
It was arranged for us to dine at American Cut Restaurant at 6 PM and I had just enough time to visit Quincey in the kitchen, heard him bark out his orders to his staff and watched as he prepared a Tomahawk steak, first searing it on their hot broiler to seal in the juices and then transfer it to the open wood fired oven.
Now it was time to join my wife and enjoy dinner. Camera still in my hand, ready to catch shots of the amazing food as it was served. We really didn’t have to order anything, it seemed as if they just brought out one dish after the other.
Here is what they served us…so much to eat…
Chili Lobster with Texas Toast to start. Nice chunks of lobster in a red chili sauce perfect for dipping the Texas toast.
Black Pig Meat Co. Bacon – My wife who loves BBQ ate some, but held back so she could taste the other menu items.
Wood Fired Octopus – Just thinking of octopus, well, I am not so adventurous. My wife did force me to taste it and told me it tasted like chicken, I did, it didn’t, but she seemed to enjoy it. Great to have a wife that will eat just about anything 🙂
Porterhouse Steak for Two, was a 40 ounce tender steak with bone.
Now came the sides…Oh my, when will it stop!
Twice Baked, Parmesan Truffle Potatoes topped with melted cheese and chives.
Wood Fired Cream Spinach again topped with melted cheese, another favorite of my wife.
Huge Battered Onion Rings, now they were talking my language. I finished all but one of these, my wife did a pass.
I overheard the guys on the next table mention ordering them but they seemed to vacillate on the sides. I offered them the last onion ring and one of the twice baked potatoes, they couldn’t stop thanking me.
I always shared even as a child 🙂
The Latin Quarter Show
Now it was time to run out of there because we had an 8:00 show to catch at the Social which is an entertainment venue at the center of the casino floor. It was the Latin Quarter Show, a Latino themed variety show, complete with a very funny comedian and show MC, Flamenco dancers, Gauchos, a dramatic cross bow act, I think I saw him on America’s Got Talent, a juggler and a complete cast of dancers that reminded us of the dancers we had seen when we visited Spain many years ago.
We also have an opportunity to meet the shows artistic director Luis Salgado and he was gracious and brought the entire cast out to the theater after the show to give my video viewers a high energy “Welcome To The Latin Quarter At The Revel”.
The Next Morning
It was a full work day for me on Thursday, but I knew I would have an opportunity to just take one camera and walk the grounds of the hotel. It was a beautiful sunny day so we went to their back deck where I took some amazing photos of the REVEL and some interior shots that you can see in my video and on Flickr. There are a total of 211 photos there some used in my video, but I think after viewing them you will agree this is a gorgeous resort.
Time to Check Out
It was a very short stay, but we made some new friends and promised we would return another day to cover the rest of this amazing hotel. We did register at the casino and got $15 in FREE play, but couldn’t figure out how to use some of these modern gambling machines. For a gambler this is the place to be. They are running all sorts of promotions and I understand that gamblers can earn all sorts of rewards from comped rooms to great meals and more.
Unfortunately, we are really not gamblers, we seem to always lose including so much in the stock market. I kept telling my wife I would have rather lost it in a casino, at least we would have enjoyed losing it.
We didn’t have nearly enough time to see the entire hotel and certainly not enough time to dine at some of the other restaurants, or enjoy a spa treatment or take a dip in their beautiful pool, but maybe another day, we will.
There are many hotels in Atlantic City, some good and some not so good, but for our money we would come back to REVEL any time, invited or not.
Special Thanks to everyone that helped us make this article, photos and video possible…hope to see you all soon.
Equipment Used In Production Of This Project:
Nikon D7100 DSLR Camera, Nikon D7000 DSLR Camera, Zacuto Z-Finder Pro, Manfrotto Monopod, LitePanels Microlites, RODE M1 Microphone, Beachteck Audio Adapter, Cokin Pure Harmonie Filters, Tamron and Nikon Lenses, K-Tek’s Norbert™ DSLR accessory cage, Petrol Deca Dr. Bag and a number of other acccessories.
All photos © Len Rapoport 2013 – All Rights Reserved