Up until last week I’d never been to Atlantic City. In its heyday, AC was known as the Las Vegas of the East Coast — but that’s not so much the case anymore. After spending a lot of time in Las Vegas, I was warned to keep my expectations going into this trip low. I did, and because of that, I was pleasantly surprised by some aspects and was prepared for the more ratchet aspects of the trip.

Now that I’ve experienced it, I would say that AC is to LV as Pizza Hut is to your local quality pizza place. It’s obviously more dumpster, but sometimes you’re just in the mood for that. Overall, I can’t complain about a week that consisted mainly of poker, champagne and lots of disco fries.

Since the primary purpose of this trip was to play poker, my boyfriend and I decided that we definitely didn’t want to stay on the boardwalk, but rather on the Marina because of Borgata and Harrah’s poker rooms. We opted for Harrah’s since it was a fourth of the price of Borgata and still right next door. Before the trip we figured that we may as well save the money. We thought we’d spend most of our time at Borgata and just crash at Harrah’s. That turned out not to be the case, and we spent way more time at Harrah’s. Here’s why:

Price + Value 

As I stated before, Harrah’s was significantly cheaper per night than Borgata… and most places in AC, for that matter. Generally, when I’m on vacation I know I won’t be spending that much time in my actual room, so I’d much rather save on my accommodations and then spend more on my experiences (aka getting drunk by the pool and shopping).

Harrah’s was a perfect example of this. There’s nothing special about the standard rooms, but they’re a clean place to sleep in the location of the city we wanted for a great price. Even if those were the only good things, it would be perfect for what I want out of the place I’m staying.

Poker Room

The poker room at Harrah’s isn’t the biggest, but I’m guessing you’ve probably learned by now that bigger isn’t always better — unless we’re talking about coffee… or vodka. The floor managers and dealers were friendly and on top of their shit, and cocktail waitresses came around often.  The people who frequent the room are generally older players, including lots of couples who I happily bonded with because they told me I looked like their granddaughters. They’re mixed in with people on vacation who are there to have a good time. All in all, if you’re down to play some cards in a chill atmosphere and good people, Harrah’s is a great place.


Like most casinos, Harrah’s has tons of variety when it comes to food. I didn’t experience all of them, obvi, since I’m not a professional eater… yet. But Bill’s Bar & Burger, McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood and Steak, and The Waterfront Buffet were lit. For a more in-depth review on the different places I ate, you can check out my blog post. Two Words: Disco Fries.

Alcohol Accessibility

It may seem like a no-brainer that you can easily get alcohol in any casino, but bitch, Harrah’s steps it up a notch. Harrah’s is basically that friend who keeps screaming “LET’S DO SHOTS!”

Ok, maybe it’s not that crazy, but they make getting cheap alcohol easy, and that’s always appreciated in my book. The slot machines have a screen on them that allows you to order your specific drink and have it delivered to you without having to flag down a waitress. Way more easy, free alcohol = win.

Also, the whole Caesars network in AC has a promotion where you can buy a mason jar with a drink in it — either Malibu rum, Absolute vodka, Jim Beam whiskey or Sauza tequila — for $10. You keep the glass and get $6 refills at any Caesars casino in AC. The glass is huge and you get a substantial pour, so it’s a great deal.

Overall, the thing that impressed me most was the customer service from every person in the hotel and casino. The poker room staff and bartenders remembered my name (which might say more about my drinking and gambling habits than the service).

When there was an issue with our room registration, the hotel comped a $130 restaurant bill, and all of the wait staff and cocktail waitresses I encountered were so sweet. When I asked a security officer for directions, instead of just pointing me in the right direction he walked me over to where I needed to go.

While Harrah’s may not be the newest, or honestly the most attractive, they make up for that with the service.

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