By Ken Shane
Many of the big hotels in Atlantic City are called the “insert name here” Hotel and Casino. The problem is that most of them are all about that “C” word, and the hotel part of their name is an afterthought. The idea is that they don’t want you to spend time in your room. They want you on the casino floor for as long as possible. The proof of that is in how easy it is for even an occasional slot player to get a complimentary room. The money isn’t made on hotel rooms in Atlantic City (or Las Vegas for that matter) it’s made in the casino.
The Atlantic City Hilton is an exception. The rich heritage of the Hilton hotel chain has not been forgotten here. They do want you to know that there is a casino in the Hilton, something that seems to have escaped the attention of some visitors to Atlantic City, but I would like to talk about the fine hotel, because that is where the Hilton really shines.
It begins with the valet parking that greets you as you arrive at the Boston Avenue location. For one small fee you get a voucher that allows you to park at the Hilton, or any other hotel in the city, during your stay. The check-in line seems a bit daunting at first, but there are plenty of people behind the desks, and the process is expedited by a host who greets you as you reach the head of the line. The whole thing took about five minutes, and the best was yet to come.
The first thing that hits you is the view. Atlantic City offers you something that Las Vegas never can; the Atlantic Ocean in all of its glory. As soon as you insert your key card and open the door to your room, there it is, as big and endless as can be, with the ever beautiful Atlantic City beach as a prelude to the ocean’s symphony.
At this point you realize that it would be very hard to find fault, but if there is any fault to find, it’s my job to report it. There are things that matter in a hotel room besides the view. Cleanliness is most important, and there was certainly no problem in that area. Surfaces were clean and dust free. I even admit to checking behind and underneath some of the furniture. Attention had been paid. The bathrooms were immaculate as well, with a nice supply of products, such as shampoo, skin lotion and mouthwash.
The two room suite had television in each room, with a queen-sized bed in one room and a pull out couch in the other. There were two bathrooms. I like to consider myself fairly advanced technically, but I found operating the tv remote to be a little confusing at first. I finally got the hang of it though. To be honest, I was only there for one night, so I restricted my living to the bedroom suite. I found the bed to be extremely comfortable, and the view, have I mentioned the view?
Internet access is important to me, and although it’s not wireless, and it comes at a bit of a daily cost, the system works fine. Connecting to the hotel network was a simple matter of opening my browser, and I was able to receive and send e-mail with no problems.
There was one final test. I have this pet peeve about towels. I’ve stayed in some fine hotels only to have the experience tempered by bath towels that are too small, or too thin. So I approached the shower with some trepidation. There was no need to worry though. Just like every other detail, the Hilton was on top of the towel situation, providing nice big bath sheets that were more than adequate.
The next morning I hated to give up my view of the Atlantic, but I had a great night’s sleep, and every aspect of my stay had been comfortable and problem free. By that time I had figured out the mysteries of the remote control, and the express check out using the television was a snap.
If my stay had been longer, I surely would have taken advantage of the hotel’s pool and spa facilities, but there’s always next time.
The Atlantic City Hilton, which was by then known as the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, closed on January 13, 2014.