Yes, you read that right. I had a one-night stand with Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, and I’d do it again–and you should too because stepping foot inside this resort is like stepping foot inside a music video where everyone came to have a good time. And let’s be honest, we all deserve a good time these days, even if it’s for 24 hours.
If we’re still being honest, Atlantic City doesn’t have the glitz and glam of Vegas, but the Hard Rock certainly makes you feel like you’re on the Strip. In fact, the moment you turn on to Virginia Avenue and see the Hard Rock towering before you, you are instantly transported. For me, it all started with VIP parking (thank you very much) and VIP check-in, which may seem silly, but when you’ve got limited time, every time-saver is a lifesaver, which is why you should make sure you make reservations (dinner, spa, etc) ahead of time.
There are four fine-dining restaurants at the property, including a branch of Manhattan’s popular Il Mulino restaurant, but if you’re traveling with a group, the seafood tapas menu at the recently opened Sandpiper Coastal Bar & Grill is perfect for a fun-loving crowd who wants to try a piece of everything, which you’ll want to do—crab-stuffed oysters, truffle tots, diver scallops, bacon-wrapped dates…you get the picture. There’s even a branch of the super fun Sugar Factory and South Jersey’s favorite sandwich shop, White House Subs.
INSIDER TIPMake sure you grab a sub (don’t call it a hoagie, hero, or grinder) from White House to enjoy on your trip home. You’ll probably need an Italian sub or a White House Special (similar to the Italian sub but with more of everything) to help you recover from all the fun you’ve had.
There are so many game tables on the Casino floor with a variety of limits that you’ll be able to squeeze in some time at the Black Jack table or roulette wheel whenever you have a moment.
Another thing the Hard Rock has going for it? The 5,500-seat Etess Arena, which has a summer lineup that ranges from Andrea Bocelli and New Kids on the Block to Alicia Keys and Sam Hunt. Pitbull recently played the space, and we have it on good authority that the crowd was on their feet the whole time.
INSIDER TIPSpring for the VIP section at the Etess Arena. You’ll have more room to dance and you won’t feel like the crowds are on top of you.
If you’re into quieter activities, the Pool and Sundeck are located on the South Tower’s 4th level, and there’s easy access to Atlantic City Beach–drinks are available at the Beach Bar. The Rock Spa & Salon, however, is an oasis of chill with packages for groups including a private VIP spa suite. There’s even a menu of services centered around the vibrations and patterns of music—this is the Hard Rock after all.
How to Get There
With non-stop flights (on Spirit Airlines) from Atlanta, Tampa, Ft. Myers, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Myrtle Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, and San Juan to the Atlantic City International Airport, it’s a great spot to meet up with a group of friends, especially those located up and down the East Coast; the airport is about 25 minute Uber or taxi ride from the Hard Rock. If you’re driving, it’s about an hour from Center City Philadelphia or about two hours from Midtown Manhattan.