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Forget what you think you know about Atlantic City. While it was struck by a wave of hotel and casino closures in recent years -- and the city is currently at risk of filing for bankruptcy -- now is actually a great time to visit the seaside destination. That’s thanks to a trove of offers from deluxe properties, and the addition of new spas and nightclubs. Here’s where and how you can save big in AC this spring.
From $54: Caesars Atlantic City Hotel and Casino
This Caesars outpost has a slew of big-name artists performing in the next few weeks -- The Whispers, Peter Cetera, and Smokey Robinson, to name a few. When you’re not rocking out, stop by the rooftop pool, the spa, or the Toga Bar; dine in one of the hotel's nine restaurants; or relax in one of its 1,158 guest rooms. For reservations made prior to July 19, Caesars is offering 30 percent off rates; if you stay before June 23, they’ll throw in a $20 food credit, too. We found the cheapest rates of $54 to $59 for a deluxe forum tower room with two double beds on the nights of May 9, 10, and 31, and June 1 and 2. Weekend rates get more expensive, from $179 to $479. In July and August, rates practically double to $104 and up.
From $89: The Chelsea
If you prefer to stay somewhere a bit more intimate, the 331-room Chelsea hotel is divided between The Annex (which has a retro motel vibe) and The Luxe (a 20-story tower). Here, you’ll find a restaurant inspired by a 1950s diner, a saltwater plunge pool, and a spa with a solarium. Through May, the hotel is offering the Hotter at the Shore promotion that includes $25 dining credit, 15 percent off spa treatments, and 1 p.m. check-out. Rates are from $89 at The Annex and $119 at The Luxe on the nights of May 5, 8, 11, and 12. In July and August -- without the extras – rooms start at $99 in The Annex and $149 in The Luxe.
From $109: Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa
This 2,802-room property recently underwent a $50 million renovation that includes a newly opened 18,000-square-foot nightclub. Later this year, the resort will debut Marketplace Eatery -- where guests can grab gourmet food to go -- plus a restaurant from chef Michael Symon. This summer, it will add a new outdoor pool with 400 chaise lounges, daybeds, cabanas, a bar, a performance stage, and lawn games. For weekday stays throughout May and June, classic rooms are from $109; weekend rates are from $279. Rates in July and August bump up to $159 and higher.
Atlantic City is 2.5 hours by car from New York City. Several companies offer bus transportation from the Big Apple to AC, including NJ Transit (from $42, round-trip) and Academy (from $38, round-trip). From Philadelphia, the drive is just an hour; otherwise, catch an Amtrak train from 30th Street station for $21.50 round-trip. Flying? Atlantic City International Airport services Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Myrtle Beach, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Fort Myers via Spirit. Round-trip tickets, for example, are from $80 for flights from Chicago during the first week of June.