Atlantic City is now Spa City, too. The Jersey city that inspired the game of Monopoly and whose city fathers built the seven-mile long wooden Boardwalk now boasts dozens top day to destination spas. And a new spa will open in July 2008.
Spas are a popular part of visiting Atlantic City, as much a part of Atlantic City, New Jersey, as the giant Mr. Peanuts statue, salt-water taffy and souvenir shops lining the walk from Rhode Island to Ohio. Relax, stroll the Boards or ride a wave on the long, sandy beach. Don’t forget the peanuts!
Since the 1800s, Atlantic City has been a vacation spot for city-dwellers from nearby New York City and Philadelphia, the nearest big cities. I lived Philadelphia while growing up (Temple University graduate) when my family’s favorite summer treats was driving to the Jersey shore was. Jumping the waves, surfing, making sand castles and sunbathing on the sandy beach entertained us all day. Naturally we’d finish with a stroll on the Boardwalk while eating ice cream.
The first boardwalk was built in 1870, along a part of the beach to help hotel owners keep sand out of their lobbies. Over the years, Atlantic City continued to build hotels with pools, restaurants and casinos. Recently, as spas became popular, savvy hotel owners built spas, too.
So now Atlantic City is a popular spa destinations, as day and resort destination and hotel spas compete with the ocean and casinos for attention from vacation goers.
One of my favorite hotel spas is in Harrah’s Atlantic City. During a three-day visit, I booked a a massage at Harrah’s Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa. I needed to rejuvenate after a busy morning playing the casino slot machines, dining in the humongous Italian buffet -- try the lasagna -- and shopping for sale water taffy for my friends.
The Red Door Spa at Harrah’s has 23 spacious treatment-rooms. The signature spa and salon services include skincare, massage, and a full range of body treatments. I enjoyed a Swedish massage and then a hydrating facial to add moisture to my sun-soaked skin . Make up, hair and beauty services are available, too. The Pool, sunlit and relaxing year-round, is covered by a two-story high glass dome with pool, hot tubs and a bar that also serves spa-style meals. Sipping on a cool drink, after a massage, is one of my favorite ways to take a time-out from the beach. (609) 441-5333. Www.harrahs.com.
Another topnotch spa is Spa Toccare at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. The luxurious 54,000 square foot Spa features a marble relaxation lobby with complimentary fruit juice and bottled water, complimentary robes and slippers. Treatments galore, from top-rated men’s treatments, couples specials and extensive menu of health and beauty services. The spa services, in 31 treatment rooms (including three couples rooms) include facials, body treatments, hydrotherapy services, massage specialties, Ayurveda therapies, a co-ed whirlpool with views of the ocean and bay plus a 75-foot indoor infinity edge lap pool. For an exotic choice, try the Volcanic Mud Wrap. www.theborgata.com.
The newest addition to the spa scene is The Sea Spa at The Chelsea, opening in July 2008. It plans ten treatment rooms, a sauna, two Jacuzzis, steam room, a heated year-round outdoor saltwater pool, and treatments from a Dead Sea sea salt exfoliate to pedi and mani stations, featuring a “Sea and Sand Pedi.” www.thechelsea-ac.com/sea_spa.php, 800-545-3030.
For more information on spas and Atlantic City, visit the Atlantic City website at www.atlanticcitynj.com.