“Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty, and meet me tonight in Atlantic City,” sings Garden State rocker Bruce Springsteen. For his fellow New Jerseyans, a quick trip to A.C. is always a possibility. Even those who don’t want to drive can hop on the recently launched ACES train, which makes weekend runs from New York and Newark to the city once dubbed “America’s Playground.”
Nestled amid the crop of grand hotels and casinos that line the boardwalk is Caesars Atlantic City (2100 Pacific Ave, 609-343-2455; caesarsac.com), with 1,144 luxurious guest rooms and suites in three towers overlooking the ocean and city. There are more than 135 table games and the highest limits in town—but even those who aren’t into the gambling scene can find plenty of fun things to do.
At the top of the list is Qua Baths and Spa, a space that was designed with the baths of ancient Rome in mind. Using natural light, the spa features three pools (cool, warm, and hot) for relaxation and healing, a tranquil tea room where a tea sommelier will pair teas with specific treatments, fourteen treatment rooms (including a couple’s studio and a crystal body art room), a steam room, and a sauna, all encompassed by neutral stone and dark wood decor.
Dozens of treatments are available, but the Ayurvedic Journey is one to try; it features a full-body botanical mask, a scalp massage with warm oil (fair warning: the oil might linger in your mane, but it’s worth it), and a gentle scrub and heat wrap. The Optimum Hydration Facial relieves the effects of sleepiness or stress, and men can loosen up with the Shorebreak Sports Massage, which incorporates stretching, deep tissue, and sports therapy techniques. For those who want to earn their pampering, there’s a roomy fitness center—along with a fitness concierge who creates individual work out routines.
Shoppers don’t have far to venture. In addition to outlets just a few blocks north of the hotel, the Pier Shops at Caesars extends 900 feet out into the Atlantic, with luxury retail stores such as Coach, Bur-berry, and Tiffany & Co., as well as traditional favorites such as the Apple Store, the Body Shop, Quiksilver, and Banana Republic.
The pier also hosts a water fountain show, collections of deck chairs overlooking the water, and eight excellent eateries, including Buddakan, which transports diners into a Chinese village where they can enjoy restaurateur Stephen Starr’s take on modern Asian cuisine. In the hotel lobby, Mia is another top-notch dining experience. The creation of chef Chris Scarduzio, it features contemporary Mediterranean cuisine and an innovative wine list. For a quick bite during the day, you can’t get any better than the wonton soup at Kwi on the casino’s first floor (and check out the mural, made of 150,000 chopsticks, while you’re there).
For your entertainment fix, the newly minted Circus Maximus Theater seats 1,500 in plush red-cushioned seats and sofas for acts such as Jerry Seinfeld, Martina McBride, and David Gray.
Down the road, the House of Blues at Showboat draws not only the best blues singers, but also rock, punk, alternative, rap, country, jazz, and other acts in an intimate performance space. A golf course and rooftop pool keep guests busy in warmer months, and Caesars offers “Stay and Play” packages that incorporate a little bit of everything, depending on your taste (from a party weekend to a couple’s getaway).
So answer Bruce’s call, makeup or no makeup, and make the trip.