Revel Resort opened this summer with a blitz of New York City advertising and a grand plan to up-class the Atlantic City hotel scene so that cosmopolitan New Yorkers would think of it as worthwhile destination. Did they succeed? We investigated.
While part of the plan for this 1,400-room behemoth involved chic nightclub options, the resort also made a point of including healthy ones. Going way beyond the (very welcome) no-smoking policy, it recruited fresh-food dining spots Azure and Mussel Bar, and Exhale, which opened the gorgeous 32,000-foot Bask Spa, complete with a bathhouse, bodywork therapies, and boutique fitness classes.
Revel was smart to put its small casino below ground level, so you can enjoy the pool, spa, and outdoor patios and cabanas without ever even encountering the slot machine din.
The only real downside of this Atlantic City resort is that it’s in Atlantic City.
The crowd skews slightly younger and hipper than at other hotels on the strip, but kids, senior citizens, and strange characters still abound. And venturing 50 feet down the boardwalk means encountering a depressing stretch of grimy tattoo parlors and discount clothing stores. Our advice: Don’t leave.
Instead, take advantage of these three healthy highlights:
1. New York City-caliber fitness and yoga. The gym is stocked with brand-new Life Fitness equipment, and you can hang ten year-round in SurfSet fitness class. You can also book a Core Fusion, yoga, or beach boot camp (seasonally) for a fraction of Exhale’s prices in the city ($20 per class!). My de-stressing Music Flow Yoga class on a terrace overlooking the ocean turned into an exercise in concentration as I tried to ignore tourists snapping photos of my tree pose.
2. Luxe bathhouse. Inside the photogenic spa, you’ll find a super-friendly staff and a gorgeous co-ed bathing area with a main mineral pool, smaller hot pool, Himalayan salt grotto, saunas, and steam rooms. My 60-minute Flow Massage included an uplifting eucalyptus oil (you choose from three scents) and so many hot towels I almost fell asleep in my cocoon. If you’re not in the mood for a treatment, hotel guests can access the bathhouse for $55 (or $70 with a fitness class included).
3. Actually healthy food. Mediterranean-style Azure by Allegretti was created by Michelin-starred restaurant veteran Alain Allegretti, who also owns Bistro La Promenade in Chelsea. His cuisine is inspired by the French Riviera and a childhood full of farm-fresh foods, and he pairs fresh seafood with imaginative vegetables and grains. An amazing grilled octopus appetizer came with citrus-y farro salad, and red snapper was served with brown rice and a coconut milk-cilantro sauce, topped with carrots and radishes. The service was impeccable.
Other options: Mussel Bar serves up more fresh seafood, and the pub-inspired Village Whiskey makes a fabulous lentil-based veggie burger topped with red cabbage and avocado. —Lisa Elaine Held
Revel, about $300 and up, Atlantic City, New Jersey, approx 2.5 hours from NYC, www.revelresorts.com