Last weekend I had the pleasure of being invited to check out the recently remodeled ShowBoat Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City
, which happens to also house the Atlantic City House of Blues
. This was my first time visiting the "Vegas of the East" so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I did have a fantastic time and this hotel would make a great spot for a man trip. There is so much to share about our trip that I'll have to put it in several different parts rather than cramming it all into one gigantic article.
ShowBoat is located at the north end of the Atlantic City strip, and our room even had a nice ocean view to it, so that was nice - except our weather was pretty gray. But who cares! You don't go to a casino hotel to sit in your room and watch the ocean, you go to party and have fun ... and that we did!
After freshening up in our gorgeous room I went downstairs to check out the casino area of ShowBoat. Atlantic City (or maybe all of New Jersey) has a regulation where 75% of the gaming floor must be "non-smoking" but they arranged it in such a way that you were really never sure what areas were smoking and which areas weren't. It was so confusing that they even provided color coded maps if it was essential that you avoided the smoking areas. Over all, it didn't matter too much as the smell of smoke wasn't bad unless you happened to be sitting directly next to someone who was smoking. I am not a gambler, but I do love playing video games, so I pretty much avoided the card tables, and headed over to the penny slots where after a few different machines I finally doubled the money I started with and stopped while I was ahead. If only it was $100 instead of $20 that I doubled! Harrah's casinos are always really nice and don't seem to mind those people like myself who don't wager big amounts and prefer to stick to the penny slots. I suppose they hope that someday we'll feel more comfortable and graduate to larger amounts. In Vegas, at Rio, Bally's and other Harrah's locations the attendants always come around asking if I want a beer or cocktail, but at ShowBoat, they only offered water and coffee. Still, they were always around if you needed something, so that was nice.
House of Blues Studio Suites
Our next stop was a tour of the exclusive House of Blues Studio Suites
at ShowBoat. These suites were absolutely stunning and would be perfect as the home base for a bachelor party, concert at House of Blues, or pretty much any occasion where you just wanted to feel like a rock star. If you have ever been to a House of Blues, you pretty much know what the theme is like - dark, voodoo / folk / international religious art, and exceptionally "cool". Well, it would be no surprise then than their hotel suites match that vibe PERFECTLY.
Dinner at the Foundation Room
Our next stop was dinner in the Foundation Room
where we were treated to one of the best dinners I have EVER had in my entire life! The already extravagant feast then turned into an even bigger feast when the host started bringing out items that we didn't order - so we could taste a little bit of everything. The menu, like the entire House of Blues, was extravagant. Foundation Room's menu featured entrees like a 3.5 pound lobster, Berkshire Pork (think Kobe beef but with pork!), 21-day dry aged sirloin, as well as other items such as a delicious lobster and shrimp bisque thickened with rice instead of flower and the most amazing fried calamari I have ever tasted and many more items than I can even remember.
Wallflowers and Salvador Santana
After we rolled out of the Foundation Room from our 3-hour dinner!, we went to the House of Blues to see Wallflowers and unfortunately missed all but one song from SSB - the Salvador Santana Band
, who seemed much more entertaining than the Wallflowers
who were missing one of the members and the rest seemed there only to support Jakob Dylan. Their music was good, it just wasn't a great performance and the band as a whole didn't show the enthusiasm that I enjoy in a live music performance.
Harrah's Pool Party with Tila Tequila
Our last stop of the evening was going over to Harrah's Atlantic City
for the sold-out Pool Party
with Tila Tequila ... yes, that Tila! While we didn't get to see Tila (darn!) Harrah's Atlantic City sure seems to have put together an interesting night club that seemed to attract a variety of interesting women from around the area. Our host tells us that this is now a hot spot where people from New York will come down just for the parties here and to see the various celebrities. If you are coming to Atlantic City for a man trip and you are wanting to see a bit of skin, this is as good as any place as without trying I saw women swimming in the pool making out, girls trying to keep their ridiculously skimpy tops on as they walked down the hall towards the party, and others that kept pulling their skirts down as they were walking for fear of exposing themselves prematurely. (one of the girls with us commented that she was sure she saw one sans-underwear) The next morning we ordered breakfast in the room which had excellent service but the food was just average room service quality. Though to be fair, nothing could compare with the previous night's dinner that I was still full from! Thank you Harrah's and House of Blues, I had a great time and it is my pleasure to recommend ShowBoat and House of Blues to all of our readers who are planning an Atlantic City Man Trip.
Places to Stay -