By Corey Nelson
Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City, New Jersey
While gambling is the main attraction at any casino hotel, there are plenty of activities going on at the Tropicana to keep anyone happy, even if they don’t want to risk their money in the casino.
The hotel rooms are in four separate towers. The Havana Tower, right off The Quarter, is the newest and nicest, but come at a premium price unless you can sweet-talk or bribe the desk clerk into an upgrade. The West Tower, uniquely built on top of the parking garage, is also nice, but some people don’t like staying there because it’s a long walk from the action. Closer to the casino, the South Tower is somewhat nicer than the North Tower.
A standard room from the North tower at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City
The Quarter is the main attraction of the property. The two-level shopping and dining complex is designed to look like an evening in Havana – before the Communist revolution, of course. It’s fun to stroll along cobblestoned “streets” and browse boutiques filled with art deco for your home, beds and strollers for your pooch, high-end cosmetics, the latest technology to spy on someone else, and the latest threads for both men and women.
Don’t forget to enjoy one or more of the fine restaurants in The Quarter: Red Square, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Carmine’s, the Palm, or Cuba Libre. There are also a few casual eateries, or you can pick up a snack in the General Store. The Quarter is also home to two nightclubs, the Comedy Stop and Atlantic City’s only IMAX theater. In November 2011, management also introduced 10 slot machines to the Fiesta Plaza rotunda which serves as a main gathering area.
The Quarter Located in the Tropicana Resort
The gaming floor itself is average, with all the usual table games and plenty of slots. The newest slot machines tend to be on the Pacific Avenue side, near the entrance from The Quarter. There are a few full-pay video poker machines, but the Trop isn’t known as a haven for skilled players. Not all the action is on the main casino floor. You can also play in a small, and sometimes noisy, area on the ground floor near the Marketplace.
A view of the main casino at the Tropicana Resort in Atlantic City
The poker room is the Tropicana’s best gaming asset. It is among the nicest card rooms in town, and has a couple of tournaments every day with entry fee plus buy-in starting at $52. They currently have a promotion where any Hold’em or 7-Card Stud player who draws a royal flush gets a free room along with winning the pot.
If you can’t find a restaurant at the Tropicana to suit your taste buds, you’re a mighty picky eater. In addition to those found in The Quarter, the Marketplace on the ground level on the Boardwalk side has a Hooters and several other places to grab a quick bite. The main casino has a gourmet room, Il Verde for Italian which is quite good, and offers a three-course dinners for $35 on selected nights. If you’re into fine dining, you won’t want to pass on this deal. The Tropicana also has a buffet, plus a Seaside cafe shop for casual meals.
For extra savings on the buffet at the Tropicana, be sure to get the 2012 edition of the American Casino Guide which has a 2-for-1 buffet coupon. Visitors to the Trop could easily save more than $20 by using that coupon.
If you want to take a break from the gaming action, there are several lounges scattered around the casino floor. But if you want a place to relax in the evening, (except for Saturdays when it’s a high-roller lounge) you can always take the North Tower elevators to the 20th floor to visit the Top of the Trop. The room has large picture windows on three sides for views of the beach, bay and city. Small tables and cushioned chairs with muted tones are set up around the room, a delightful atmosphere to enjoy a glass of wine and a nibble of good food. Be sure to get there early if you want an ocean view. Those seats fill up fast.
If you get tired of gambling, it’s always a short walk to the beach
Guests who want to work off all the calories they ate and drank can find what they need on the sixth floor of the South Tower. The area is small by Atlantic City casino standards, but has a decent exercise room, an indoor pool and lockers with showers and steam rooms. All guests staying in a room can use the facility for a single $10 fee. The place can get hectic, even on weekdays, as parents bring their offspring to frolic in the pool. For a more relaxing spa experience, try bluemercury in The Quarter, where treatments start at about $100.
One more word of advice for visitors. The Tropicana has three separate parking garages, so make sure you know where you’ve parked to avoid spending a long time searching for your car when you’re ready to leave.
The Tropicana Casino & Resort is located on Brighton Ave and the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401. For more information call them toll-free at (800) 843-8767, or visit their web site at www.tropicana.net
Corey Nelson is an Atlantic City resident who likes to visit the casinos.