on April 23, 2004
The newest casino hotel in Atlantic City, the Borgata, has often been compared to the Bellagio in Las Vegas. With about 6,000 rooms, the hotel offers many room options, from standard accommodations to large suites. (Residences are reserved for high rollers only, and are not bookable by the public.) I was fortunate to stay in their top-of-the-line, 1500-square-foot Piatto suite.
The suite's floor-to-ceiling windows afforded a wonderful view of the marina, where the hotel is located (as opposed to the boardwalk, where the majority of AC hotels were built). Other in-room features included an entertainment center (complete with a plasma television, DVD player, and stereo system), high-speed internet access, dining area, small refrigerator, powder room near the entry, and a large bathroom with shower, soaking tub, double sink, and separate room for the commode. Larger-than-usual-sized amenities included shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, shaving paste, razor, body wash, facial soap, bath salts, loofah sponge, shoe horn, shoe buffing cloth, toothbrush and paste, cotton swabs, cotton balls, robes, and slippers. Unfortunately, all of the amenities were not in the room upon arrival. I had to call for the robes, and the full set of toiletry items showed up the next day, after housekeeping had serviced the room. Other disappointments included rough, scratchy towels (at least there were full-sized bath sheets among them) and the lack of jets in the tub (a Jacuzzi would have been appreciated).
Service varied in consistency. Check-in was great. As a suite guest, my registration was handled by a special staff in a private lounge, which circumvented the line at the regular check-in desk. Additional needs were handled by these dedicated hotel representatives, who followed up with telephone calls to verify that the items had been delivered. Requests made directly to respective departments (like housekeeping) were not handled as timely, nor followed-up with phone calls. Unfortunately, I made the connection later. If you're staying in a suite, make all of your service requests through the lounge staff.
Overall, the room was nice; the Asian-inspired decor, tasteful. Though it's a new hotel, the room definitely showed signs of wear already. Minor things, like the stopper in the basin, were broken. The floor was scuffed, some of the furnishings chipped, and the appointments were sparse. There was only one small waste receptacle, which was located in the master bathroom, to service the entire suite. There were no drinking glasses or ice tongs provided with the ice bucket.
Housekeeping was problematic. The tub was used, yet not cleaned. Amenities were not properly replaced. No soap or soap dish was in the powder room. Turndown service seemed incomplete (a towel was placed on the floor at the side of the bed, but the slippers were not.)
The Borgata may be the best Atlantic City has to offer, but it's not the Bellagio. I'd say they are at a four-star level, compared to the Bellagio's five-star status.
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