Harrah’s Atlantic City is one of the premier destinations in AC. Behind Borgata and Revel (now closed), Harrah’s is generally considered the most modern property in the city. There have been many additions to the location over the years, plus several renovations. There are many interesting and differentiating characteristics of Harrah’s that help to separate it from the other casinos and hotels in Atlantic City.
The gaming area in Harrah’s AC is exceptionally large. It spans from the Jitney/Golden Nugget side entrance and expands the width of the floor to the beginning of the walkways towards the new hotel towers (Bayview and Waterfront). Unlike many casinos that have a rough “rectangle” and boxed in style, Harrah’s gaming area winds around varied walkways, shops, and the hotel check in area.
The poker room is tucked away, adjacent to the horse betting section. If you are looking to bet on the ponies, Harrah’s may not be your absolutely optimal location. The off track betting section is effectively part of the poker room, is not closed off, and is relatively small.
If you are playing poker, Harrah’s has a room that is likely to meet your needs. With the exception of the WSOP Circuit events, however, you are unlikely to find consistent games running above low stakes. Usually there will be a few low stake limit games and a handful of low stake no limit Texas Hold’em games running at any given time. A bit larger games do run, but you will need to catch them at peak times, namely evenings and particularly on weekends.
Harrah’s table game and slots selection is about as diverse as you will find anywhere. There is a separate high limit slots and high limit table game area. The high limit table game area offers a more dynamic selection of games than you will typically find in most Atlantic City casinos. While many other AC casinos do have high limit areas, they are usually only one or two blackjack tables and potentially one roulette wheel. Beyond this, you will often times need to travel to Borgata to find a greater selection of high limit games to choose from.
The main gaming floor comprises the bulk of the action in Harrah’s. Though the sections have been re-arranged many times over the years, you will not have a tough time finding any popular table game or slot machine. There is a dedicated video poker section, slots abound throughout the entire floor, and table games take on many different variations.
One of the more popular sections for table game play is outside the main bar near the taxi and valet main entrance. This area is particularly loud and active in the evening hours, even on weeknights. A DJ is frequently playing at the bar, which in turn attracts players to the tables in the vicinity of the bar. The catch 22 to playing at the tables that surround the loud and active bar is that you will frequently be sitting with quite inebriated people. If you are in the same position, this is not a big deal, but it may be a consideration if you prefer a more quiet, controlled environment.
The hotel in Harrah’s is separated into two different primary sections, the newer tower and the older tower. The older tower includes the Marina and Harbour towers. These rooms have been upgraded, but they are still clearly older. They are smaller, do carry “unique” smells, and are generally lower overall quality than you might be looking for. Of course, these rooms are also available at lesser rates than you will usually pay for rooms in the newer tower.
The Marina and Harbour towers are located adjacent to the poker room and high limit slots area. There are not many substantial differences between these two particular types of rooms, so the general suggestion would be to choose the one that is lower priced if you are selecting between these rooms specifically.
On the other end of the property you will find the new tower which features the Bayview and Waterfront rooms. These are much nicer rooms with higher quality amenities, more room, and newer furnishings. As you might expect, the caveat to these features is that you should expect to be paying more. If the difference in price between these rooms and a Marina or Harbour Tower room is minimal, it would be practical to choose a Bayview or Waterfront room.
Dining at Harrah’s Atlantic City would be best described as above average, but not out of this world. There are a few different restaurants that have unusual hours, and it would be recommended to plan ahead before committing to visiting any restaurant on the chance that they are not open.
McCormick and Schmick’s is branded as a seafood restaurant, but is quite comparable to The Steakhouse in Harrah’s as well. These are the two most costly options at the resort. From here, Dos Caminos is a popular choice that is not terribly expensive. This restaurant features Mexican food and a bar.
Lower end dining options abound in Atlantic City. Aside from Bill’s Burgers, The Buffet is always a popular choice. The quality of the buffet is not terribly far off from what you would expect to find at Las Vegas resorts, and the cost is about the same (roughly $35 per person, depending on time of day and specials). There is also a food court across from the iThe Pool which is a good option for quick, reasonably priced lunches and dinners.
Room service at Harrah’s is not particularly worth noting. The pricing leaves something to be desired, the hours are not conducive to all night ordering, and delivery times tend to be quite long. Of course, room service is going to be more hit and miss than other standard dining options at Harrah’s.
The Pool After Dark is arguably the most well-known facet of Harrah’s Atlantic City, depending on the age of the person that you ask. This nightclub is known for its frequent celebrity appearances and its unique pool side dynamic. While only a few people will actually end up in the water, the pool in the middle of the club atmosphere certainly sets this local apart from its Atlantic City competitors. The nearest comparison would be to XS in Las Vegas, but it would be a stretch to say that The Pool After Dark is quite as luxurious as a Wynn property’s nightclub.
The cost for a table at The Pool After Dark is fairly reasonable. Depending on the night, you should be able to reserve a table along with a few bottles for roughly $500-$1,000. Of course, this rate depends on the type of bottles that you select, the placement of your table, and how popular the particular night you are attending is expected to be.
The Pool After Dark at Harrah’s open on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights. If you are staying at Harrah’s you may be able to obtain free entry, depending on the day of the week, but this may include stipulations such as entry only before 11pm.
There are several bars scattered throughout Harrah’s. The most active bar, by a good bit, is the X Bar. This can be found near the taxi drop off entrance. If you are wandering around the gaming floor on any given evening, you will not miss this bar as it is almost always very active. The drinks are somewhat expensive. They are not extremely over priced, but most would consider them on the high end for Atlantic City bars.
Beyond X Bar, you will find a bar next to Bill’s Burgers, nearer to the Jitney/shuttle entrance. This is a much quieter bar that is generally attended by an older crowd than you will find at the X Bar. If given a choice between the two, the X Bar is a definitively better option.
Harrah’s AC is one of three casinos in the city that is located off the boardwalk, in addition to Golden Nugget (formerly Trump Marina) and Borgata. If you are staying at Harrah’s, you may not leave the property at all. If you are traveling back and forth from the boardwalk, you should expect to spend $13 per trip via taxi. This is the maximum amount that can be charged between any two destinations within the city.
In order to visit the boardwalk or beach, you will need to travel. Neither of these areas can be (easily) reached by walking. Borgata is next to Harrah’s but is a longer walk than it appears and it is usually best to take a taxi or Jitney, especially at night.
The Pool After Dark would be considered the most unique element of Harrah’s Atlantic City. Outside of this, the casino and hotel does not carry any particularly noteworthy characteristics. In terms of bang for your buck, odds are that you will likely be satisfied with your stay.