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Travel On: The Beautiful Borgata, Top Destination Spot in Atlantic City

By Nicole Pensiero| Special to CNBNews

Borgata Exterior
The Borgata’s iconic gold façade is a genuine stand-out among Atlantic City’s casino resorts. Photo provided by Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.


It’d been only a few minutes since I’d stepped on the casino floor at Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa when I had the feeling the weekend was definitely going to be winner. After all, I was feeling like a winner after nabbing $200-plus dollars on a penny slot machine I’d only fed $20 to. It was the start to what turned out to be an amazing three-day getaway.


I’d often wondered what it would be like to spend a weekend at an Atlantic City casino-resort in the peak of summer – and with the Borgata celebrating its 20th anniversary, that was the place we wanted to experience.


This luxury resort – which, when it opened in 2003, was the city’s first new casino in 13 years – recently completed a $55 million redesign and rebrand of the former Water Club (now renamed the MGM Tower). With more than 700 guestrooms and suites having undergone remodeling (there are 2,000 rooms and suites in total at the Borgata), we were thrilled to be booked in the MGM Tower, and more than pleased with our spacious queen suite, which offered a sweeping view of Atlantic City’s back bay.


Known for its elegant accommodations, top-notch entertainment, and diverse culinary offerings, it was a quick climb to the top when the Borgata opened – and a well-deserved title it still holds: #1. Bottom line, the Borgata has it all: beautiful guest rooms, a spacious casino, an excellent concert venue, an elegant spa and more dining options than we could keep up with.



Here are some highlights of our recent visit– and some ideas if you go:


Enjoy the Casino: With its 161,000-square-foot casino floor, 4,100 slot machines and 200 table games, there’s something for everyone – and you never know if you’ll be a winner. The casino sits in the center of the action at this resort; you can walk around its perimeter to find many excellent eateries and shops. BetMGM Sportsbook & Bar is a great place to enjoy a quick meal and drink, while enjoying sports betting.

Angelina’s is one of the Borgata’s many stand-out gourmet restaurants. Here is the traditional lasagna. Photo by Nicole Pensiero (CNBNews)

Food, Glorious Food: Meals proved to be a consistent high point of our visit. From the massive and expansive Borgata Buffet – where you can enjoy everything from traditional brunch delicacies (including an omelet bar) to various ethnic specialties – to poolside lunch service, the variety of food options seemed endless. We had some terrific meals, including appetizers at the beautiful Japanese restaurant, Izakaya, which takes its name from the traditional casual pubs of Japan. (Try the Mahi taco and the Pork Gyoza). We also savored a luscious dinner at B-Prime Steakhouse, one of two steakhouses at the Borgata. B-Prime offered what I would have to say was the best filet mignon I can recall enjoying. On our final evening, we savored an authentic Italian meal at Angeline by Michael Symon—where we opted for two very traditional dishes: spaghetti & meatballs, and lasagna. (The panna cotta for dessert was superb). On our last morning, we enjoyed a relaxing breakfast in the lovely Sunroom, which had the feel of a tropical garden, complete with cascading water (and a great view of the Borgata’s indoor pool). There are also many places to enjoy a quick meal or snack, such as the Borgata Baking Company, Bread & Butter (open 24 hours), and Asian noodle bar, Noodles of the World.


The 2,000-plus-seat Events Center is a great place to see a show. Photo by Nicole Pensiero (CNBNews)


Catch a Show: The Borgata’s 2,400-seat Event Center is a great place to see a concert. It’s spacious and has great acoustics. We enjoyed an evening listening to two bands that were exceptionally popular around the time the Borgata opened: Dashboard Confessional and headliner Counting Crows, whose lead singer, Adam Duritz, no longer sports dreadlocks, but still has an incredible voice. Other entertainment venues at the Borgata include the intimate 900-seat Music Box Theater and the Premier Nightclub.

The Spa Toccare at the Borgata is an experience in elegance and pampering. Photo courtesy Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. (CNBNews)

 Pamper Yourself: The Borgata’s Spa Toccare offers relaxing treatments for men and women alike. After briefly relaxing in the spa lounge – where there’s an array of teas to try – we each went off for our individual treatments: a signature massage for me and a facial for my friend. We both were very pleased with our treatments and followed them up with a dip in the spa’s spacious Jacuzzi. There’s also a beauty salon at the Borgata, as well as a barbershop.

Borgata Pool pensiero
The former Water Club logo was being replaced by the MGM logo on its tower during our summer 2023 visit. Photo by Nicole Pensiero. (CNBNews)

Soak up the Sun: We enjoyed several hours lounging at the Borgata’s outdoor pool. There are sunbeds and cabanas for rent and the service for food and drinks is top-notch. It was a completely different experience from hanging out on the beach, but we loved it.


All in all, we had a great time at the Borgata; there was no shortage of things to do, see (and eat!) and we found it both relaxing and exhilarating. We hope to return soon and “Do AC” right yet again!


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Nicole Pensiero is a South Jersey-based freelance writer and a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA).