As the first new property in Atlantic City in ten years and the first property ever on par with one in Las Vegas, Borgata has a lot of expectations riding on its shoulders. And it almost lives up to the hype. Almost.
With shining gold outside, Borgata looks like it was transplanted right off the Las Vegas strip. Employees are friendly and staffing is, if anything, excessive. Check-in took virtually no time, although the staff is clearly not all from a gaming background. (One customer asked where the coffee shop was and the employee pointed out a Starbucks. In gambling-land, a coffee shop is actually a diner-type restaurant.)
Rooms are spacious and luxurious, although the view can be anything from a parking lot to the rest of Atlantic City. The beds are comfortable at best, but the technology and size of the room more than make up for them. Besides, who sleeps in Atlantic City, anyway? The bathrooms are enormous and the showers have a seat in them, although the lack of a bathtub is unusual.
Unfortunately, every new hotel has its issues, and the Borgata is no exception. Signage is terrible, and it is easy to walk past the elevators without knowing they are there. Restaurants are expensive, with some entrees approaching $100, and the casino floor is confusing and poorly laid out. While issues such as the signage and employee inexperience are fixable, the hotel will have to develop more AC-friendly restaurants that reflect the wishes of the crowd. By the way, skip the buffet (dinner is $25 per person) and head over to the cheaper and far superior one at the Showboat.
The hotel is located off the boardwalk in the Marina. It is not walkable from the boardwalk and a car is recommended. If you do not have a car, the Jitney or cabs are certainly available, although cabs are not cheap. A cab costs $27 from the Atlantic City aiport.
This is a property with a lot of potential, and is definitely worth a visit, particularly if you have never been to Las Vegas. Finding a cheap hotel is difficult, however, so at $179 per night, the rate is pretty good. It will be interesting to see how the hotel looks six months from now, when it has had a chance to acclimate itself to Atlantic City.