Last weekend, 14 of us piled into two limos bound for Atlantic City to celebrate the 30th birthday of my fabulous soul sister AP.
Our destination within AC -- The Water Club, a recent addition to the swanky Borgata hotel. A true sense of welcome greets you here, thanks to an enormous lobby decked out with flowers, greenery and a plush oversized sofa from which to take in the view.
Speaking of great views, Immersion Spa on the hotel’s 32nd floor boasts floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Atlantic City’s harbor and modest skyline. It’s a stunning 360 degree backdrop against which to enjoy Immersion’s hot tub and 25-yard infinity-edge lap pool. The Water Club has a total of five pools, two of which are outdoors. But despite splashy amenities -- lush landscaping, private cabanas, underwater music -- the hotel fails to deliver on the promise of its name.
Strict security attends both the entrance and exit of the outdoor pools, primarily because the complex isn’t nearly large enough to accommodate an 800-room hotel. Our group had to wait 45 minutes one day and an hour the next to gain access. For a hotel charging $539 a night (and a jaw-dropping $196 for a 50-minute massage), that’s a problem.
While waiting for the afternoon outdoor crowd to thin out, we parked ourselves in The Sunroom Lounge for some cocktails and a light snack. I chose tea sandwiches and truffle fries. I’ve since decided that truffle fries are on my short list of life’s greatest gastronomic pleasures.
We partied like rock stars in a suite before strolling over to the Borgata’s MurMur nightclub, a velvet rope venue ideal for people watching. Men with spiky hair wearing untucked collared shirts and jeans were doing their fair share of ogling as well, with plenty of fake-breasted Lolita types sauntering through the crowd.
As club dancers shimmied above MurMur‘s packed floor, we all got our groove on to the DJ’s seamless mix of classics present and past, stretching back to 80’s hits like Madonna’s “Holiday” and, this being a Jersey crowd, Bon Jovi’s exhilarating “Livin’ on A Prayer.”
The next morning, after a few hours of relaxation poolside, we hit the road and headed back to the Big Apple in a roomy party bus with limo-style seating. Though I would think twice before staying at The Water Club again, I wouldn’t hesitate to revisit Atlantic City for future celebratory occasions. With my own milestone birthday right around the corner -- gulp, the big 3-5 in January! -- it’s never too soon to start party planning.