Trip Review: Harrah's AC. The good, the bad and the ants

Discussion in 'Other Loyalty Programs' started by mikeef, Mar 25, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. mikeef
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    mikeef Silver Member

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    Note: I'm posting this in "Other Loyalty Programs" because it centers around Harrah's AC and TR. If the mods feel that this is the wrong forum, feel free to move, but please leave some linkage in this forum.

    After having been out of work for over a year (a subject for another thread), I finally landed a job that will begin on April 11. 2010 was a crappy year overall for the Mikeef household, so the wife and I left the kids with the nanny and went to AC for a few days of rest and relaxation. While that wouldn't be the first place one would think of for relaxation, it has an unbelievable pool where we could rent a cabana and do nothing for two days.

    Flew BOS-ACY on Spirit Monday afternoon. After all the things I had heard about Spirit, I was very nervous, but the flight was actually fine. $19 per ticket each way, and we shared one bag as a carry-on ($20). Total each way, including ridiculous gov't fees, about $50 per person. Pitch was tight (I was ready to share a cigarette with the guy in front of me by the end of the flight.) but everything else seemed fine.

    A $27 cab ride to Harrah's got us there about 3 pm where there was inexplicably a 20 minute wait. We finally got up to our room in the Waterfront Tower which was on par with some Westins I have stayed at. For $55 per night, it was a steal.

    First stop, the Total Rewards desk, where I asked about a TR that I had seen online. This is where it started to get ugly. I never expect good customer service in AC, but I don't expect nasty, especially at Harrah's, which is what I got. Asked about the 15,000 point redemption for two at a gourmet restaurant that was posted on their site and no one had a clue. And weren't nice about it. Claims included, "No idea, never seen it," "they never tell us anything," "we don't have access to the website" and, my personal favorite "Everything is messed up because of the Caesar's merger (which happened years ago)." Couldn't do enough to get rid of me. Later, I found out that these were simply options that you could use your points for, but it took an hour of calls to figure it out. Bottom line: Avoid the TR desk if you can.

    Dinner was at "Reflections," a coffee shop (casino definition) with a certain je ne sais quoi, which is French for "food that would make the airlines proud." A certain MPer (I love you man, even though I broke a few of your rules.) advised me to concentrate all my play on one day, so we called it a night.

    Day Two started at the cabanas. Absolutely incredible pool. Huge daybed, nice TV, lots of hot tubs and a waitress with lots of piercings. When we checked in, they told us that it was either $100 for the day or, if we ordered $100 worth of food, the cabana was free. Were they kidding? Granted, the menu was not particularly diverse (lunch foods, alcohol and pretty much nothing else), but even non-drinkers could get through $100 worth of food. Grabbed my book and lay down.

    After a trip to the hot tub, I crawled back onto the day bed. And that's when the itching started. I looked over and noticed a couple of ants on my elbow. No biggie. Then, I noticed the ant army on the corner of the daybed. They were like hydras: For every ant that I brushed away, two showed up. Soon, we were under siege. We surrendered. Grabbed the pool manager, borrowed the cortisone cream and moved to a new cabana, sans ants. As an apology, he waived the food minimum for us. We ended the day with a few drinks, made sure the waitress got grossed up and left at 4. I managed to get one of the three $.25 9/6 VP machines and played for about two hours. Gotta love the lack of volatility, as two hours of play only cost me $15.

    Day two started at the cabanas again. This time, they told us the food minimum was $150 and that the person the previous day had made a mistake. Given the unfortunate invasion the previous day, however, the manager brought the food minimum down to $100 for us. Nice! Read, relaxed and slept until about 5:30 in the afternoon and then went over to Borgata for dinner. Note: the concierge told us it was a 10-15 minute walk to Borgata. She was wrong by 25-35 minutes. If you choose to do so, exit by the pool, walk along the path by the water and circle allllll the way around the Borgata. Had some mediocre Pad Thai at a Borgata restaurant, didn't play at all and came back. Played for a few hours (sorry, Mike) and then went up to bed.

    Check-out was a breeze and I used points to pay for the bill. The valet was not a breeze. They have to call a cab for you and the wait can be 10 minutes or so. The valet who called our cab tried to give it to somebody else and we told him it was ours. He told us he didn't remember us, which was odd, since he ordered the cab and we had been standing there 10 minutes. No tip for him, so he made a sarcastic comment. I made a nasty comment back and we left with a lousy taste in our mouths (might have just been leftovers from Reflections).

    ACY is not exactly a major metropolitan airport. Bring your own food and be prepared for the TSA, who will make you take everything out of your pockets, including wallets. Odd.

    Overall, a nice trip, although marred by some poor customer service experiences. Would definitely head back, though, if I needed a few days of R&R.

    Mike
     
    viguera likes this.
  2. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Harrah's is horrible... they're better *now* if you can believe that, but compared to Borgata right nearby it's terrible. The only reason I know people go out there is the comps...

    And don't even get me started with the one in Vegas, that one is even worse, somehow.
     
  3. mikeef
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    mikeef Silver Member

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    I actually prefer the one in Vegas. But man, those slots are tight.

    Mike
     
  4. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    I haven't been to Borgata other than roam around the main floor. However, I do consider Harrah's as the best casino/hotel in AC compared to the other Harrah's properties and Trump Plaza.

    I'm surprised you got a room at the Waterfront Tower for $55... Do you have status? My family has a hard time getting Waterfront sometimes ESPECIALLY during the summer even though we have two Diamond-status members in the family. Surprised you didn't get something like Marina or Harbour Tower.

    If you ever plan on going back you should eat at the buffet, it is pretty darn good. Probably one of the better buffets in AC imho since I ate at Trumps, Sands(when it existed), Caesar's, Bally's and Showboat. If not, the Steakhouse is pretty darn good but quite expensive so it isn't a bad way of using COMP. The Pier has some pretty good restaurants too.
     
  5. mikeef
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    mikeef Silver Member

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    Thanks for the hints. We have no status and are not valuable players for them. We did, however, go mid-week.

    Not sure about the buffet. We're not big fans of the concept, although we would try an exceptional one.

    Mike
     

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