Revel: The AtlanticCityTripping Review 2012

Test Driving The New Kid On The Boardwalk

Posted by Chuckmonster

Revel Atlantic City Hotel Review

From the day the idea was conceived until the day of its soft opening, Revel has thwarted naysayers, economic meltdowns, construction issues, ownership changes, a collapsing economy and the eternal battle with the cost of doing business in New Jersey to become a shining reality at the easternmost end of the Atlantic City boardwalk.

Comparisons to the newest kid on the block in Las Vegas, The Cosmopolitan are obvious. Not only do both resorts share narrative of their semi-disastrous gestations, but both have proved their mettle by swashbuckling through obstacles and opening against all odds, scoring huge points - real and karmic - for the myth and reality of the independent spirit. More concretely, both resorts share a similar footprint - rectangular, with limited strip/beach frontage - and were designed by the same architectural firm, Arquitectonica.

To say that these properties are similar is akin to saying that Donald Trump is a bozo - leaving vast swath of vacuum between the understatement and the truth. Cosmopolitan and Revel are sister resorts, almost identical in structural design, with Cosmopolitan functioning as the prototype to Revel's grander scheme and scale. They're both operating with no player database and are marketing towards demographics that don't gamble - clubbers and hipsters. The cherry on top? Cosmopolitan CEO John Unwin visited Revel weeks after it soft opened to check the place out.

While the big pictures are similar, the details at each Resort - interior design, decor, dining, amenities and service - are worlds apart.

We arrived at Revel after a red eye flight from Los Angeles and an enlightening drive from LaGuardia Airport to Atlantic City. The bad news: we spent about $28.00 in tolls to get from NYC to Revel, twice the ticket of a junket bus from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The good news: driving on the Garden State Parkway is like lazily speeding through a golf course, a far cry from the chaos laden freeways of my home state.

Finding the resort was a breeze due to ample signage on the ACE directing us towards Revel Beach. Due to Revel's semi-peculiar architectural plan (the bottom four levels span 14 actual floors, kinda like Cosmopolitan) self parking for casino level is on the 7th floor, with hotel on the 14th. We suggest other self-parkers heading towards the casino to use the top secret unused entrance and park as close to the beach as possible on the 7th floor. Parking fee is normally $5, but free this summer if you sign up for Revel's players club card.


Terrific. Review Mr. Monster! Looking forward to part two. I loved Cosmopolitan, but the more sterile, softer, 'museum' look of Revel is beautiful. The 'quilted' backsplash in the bathroom and the chess board against the artwork is really beautiful. I love little design details that are so imbedded the average person doesn't realize the effect it has on their psyche. (Was that too over the top?)
PS - I must have the artwork in the bathroom! And yes, I cannot believe I said that statement about hotel artwork.

My one concern or thought is that lobby - lounge area doesn't have a bar. Ie Vesper.

That's one of the best hotels I've ever seen. If that was in Vegas, with a few minor additions and changes, it would pose some serious competition to everyone.

I have questions.... but, I have the extra benefit of being able to ask you live and in person... So they'll keep until Thursday. Viva Vegas Gang.

Well, AC has been on my list for a while. Looks like it's a little closer now.

can't speak to the hotel, but i had a nice run at the blackjack table while waiting for my reservation at Amada on 7/3. the line to get a player's card was a mile long, so i got it at the table, which was nice.

also, Amada was, hands down, one of the best meals i've ever had in my life. the wife and i did the chef's tasting menu with wine paring, and $200 and nearly 3 hours later, i was in a well-fed drunken bliss.

Thanks Chuck, I have been very curious as to Revel's appointments.
As one who is not a Cosmo fan, while appreciating some of its design features, It appears that I would encounter more of the same at Revel. Specifically the lack of a casino centered resort. As a 60 (40 years of blackjack) player I am certainly not in their demo. I can only wonder how such cost / sq. ft will pencil out with gaming being what, at least on your initial lobby-room review, a secondary consideration. Perhaps your next review will enlighten me.
Very well done. As usual.

Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the casino. The smoke-free aspect alone has me thinking about making an AC trip.

Nice! Apart from the Vegas reviews.Great photography. It felt surreal like I was reviewing a luxury hotel in a dream.
That poached egg was real! Off to the kitchen. 3-4 shakes of pepper.

Looks great. Looks so good, in fact, that I priced it out for two midweek nights in Sept. that I've already reserved at Harrah's Resort. Sadly, the sticker shock brought me back to reality.

Nonetheless, I wish them well. Their work is cut out for them, but you would think that AC could support at least one ultra-lux resort.

BTW, is it REV-el or Re-VEL?

You will notice the lack of beer in the minibar, which was Chuck's planned last resort to grab a cold one that evening. Alas, he went to bed thirsty.

By the way, I believe it is 'Rev-el'.

I think you nailed it on the podcast. Lots of style, but no personality (yet)