Let’s face it: You’re probably headed for the Borgata (from $179). Atlantic City’s only truly modern casino upped the ante last summer by unveiling a trio of celeb-chef restaurants, the city’s largest poker room, and the after-hours mur.mur club. Rather than booking online, call the reservation desk in person and demand an ocean-view room on the highest possible floor—the casino tops out at 43, and the views are vastly superior near the top.
Though not nearly as flashy, Harrah’s (from $119) is quietly gaining ground on its neighbor. The partially complete, $550 million Waterfront Tower includes a retail promenade, Elizabeth Arden spa, and a guests-only, glass-domed indoor pool that hosts retro parties—think Flashdance, Abba, and the Bee Gees—on Friday nights. Until rooms in the Waterfront Tower open in March 2008, book a space in the most up-to-date Bayview Tower.
Some of the city’s best rentable rooms—those not reserved for big-shot gamblers—are at the Showboat (from $349), where the 22 House of Blues suites are kitted out with 42-inch plasmas, Persian rugs, and an Arabian Nights palate of maroons and purples. Suite guests also get access to the members-only Foundation room, where HOB performers—everyone from LL Cool J to the Wailers—hang after-hours, puffing away on the ocean-view deck.