Reno has undergone a serious transformation in recent years, most notably with the much-celebrated arrival of Tesla, ushering in 22,000 jobs and an estimated economic impact upwards of $100 billion over the next 20 years. We hopped aboard the inaugural JetBlue flight direct from JFK to Reno to see the emerging city for ourselves. While there, we had the chance to discover The Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. When it comes to the best in budget-friendly accomodations that don't compromise luxury, we think the property ranks high for it's proximity to the airport, newly renovated spa, and ample gaming floor. Here's our full report.What’s Hot: The action currently centers around the gaming floor, but all future bets are on the spa, where recent renovations deliver a completely immersive, holistic experience. Be sure to block out time before and after a treatment to indulge in the various relaxation features that are on hand, including a salt room and state-of-the-art shower where nozzles blast soothing streams of water from all angles. As for as treatments themselves go, we're partial to the 90-minute Arnica hot towel massage ($150) for an incredible sensation of cleansing heat.
Best Feature: Yes, we're coming back to the spa again -- that's how impressed we were by it. The Rasul Ceremonial Chamber in particular is a standout amenity. Used for custom bathing rituals that recreate ancient bathing traditions of royalty, it's decorated in rich hues of blue, complete with a ceiling of shining stars. Opt for the 50-minute Terra Sigillata Rasul Ceremony ($95), a treatment in which you’re covered in six healing muds as the chamber fills with steam, before concluding with a shower.
The Rooms: There are 824 rooms at the property, providing a level of comfort to match every budget. Each tout oversized windows that frame spectacular views of the city or mountains, and many have undergone extensive renovations in recent years. We suggest calling to request an updated room ahead of time, to further maximize your dollars.
The Food: With more than 10 onsite eateries that range from quick bites to haute cuisine, no one goes hungry at Atlantis. You'll find everything from delectable pastrami to roasted turkey sandwiches, but we think you'd be remiss to pass up the savory wonder that is the Manhattan Deli.
Who Will Love It: Couples looking for a weekend getaway will delight in the resort’s poolside lounging, while the more adventurous set will appreciate the hotel’s proximity to a host of adventurous activities that Reno (and nearby Tahoe) has to offer. Gamblers will revel in the card tables where a hand of blackjack can start as low as a $3 -- a far cry from the $10 minimum tables of Vegas.
Who Might Not: Reno has a distinctly different vibe from Las Vegas, focused on relaxation and enjoying the outdoors with a good dose of old-school gaming. Those expecting cutting-edge slots, endless buffets, and Cirque shows are better off staying in Sin City.
Nearby: Make sure to take some time to stroll through the emerging areas of Reno, where local hotspots like Hub Coffee Roasters and Reno Provisions have set an indie, organic vibe in the "biggest little city."
Rates & Packages: Room rates start as low as $60 per night. It's worth noting, too, that the hotel's room rate calendar is very handy in scoping out the lowest-priced nights of the year. If you're looking for a more inclusive experience, check out special offers that fold in spa treatments, golfing, and more.
Getting there: JetBlue’s new direct flight from Reno is by far the most direct way to fly from the Northeast, though Reno’s small-but-mighty airport welcomes direct flights daily from many major American hubs.