Every quality hotel hopes to earn AAA's coveted Four Diamond accolade. Now, two of Atlantic City's hotels have it.
Caesars Atlantic City and Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and its Water Club were recently informed they achieved one of the most respected designations in the global travel industry.
Basically, the Four Diamond mark means both Caesars and Borgata are at the top of the game when it comes to cleanliness, comfort, security, hospitality, service, facilities and amenities with an attention to detail.
How difficult is it to get? Even Caesars Las Vegas, considered one of the top hotels in Vegas, never earned the distinction. And it is the first AAA Four Diamond designation in the history of Atlantic City for a center Boardwalk casino resort, according to Caesars. In 2011, about 3.6 percent of the AAA-approved facilities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean received the rating.
"We are honored to receive the valued AAA Four Diamond Rating," says Don Marrandino, eastern division president for Caesars Entertainment, in a press release. "We are committed to providing excellent hospitality and a memorable accommodations experience that exceeds guest expectations. The Four Diamond Rating acknowledges the hard work and dedication of our staff."
"We are very pleased to be acknowledged by AAA," adds Joe Lupo, senior vide president of operations for Borgata. "We think we continue to provide a great product and services at Borgata and The Water Club. To be designated with such a prestigious award says a lot about our continued methods to provide a resort destination here in Atlantic City."
If the thought of spending your Thanksgiving in a hot kitchen cooking for a ton of family doesn't jive with you, there are plenty of options for eating out. Here are some ideas:
At the top of the list is Luke Palladino at Harrah's Resort. The acclaimed Italian chef is offering an awesome three-course meal for a bargain at $40. Start with a choice of roasted butternut squash soup with mascarpone and crumbled amaretti cookies or Insalata Autunno. The second course is served family style and includes roasted turkey, rustic sausage and fennel stuffing, roasted Brussels sprouts, potato puree, roasted honey-glazed root vegetables and housemade cranberry-balsamic-walnut sauce. Dessert includes pear crostata with amaretto gelato or pumpkin pie.
Red Square inside The Quarter at the Tropicana Casino and Resort is offering an equally enticing feast for even less money: $28. The three-course meal includes a choice of lobster bisque or Red Square house salad. Second course is roast turkey breast with gravy, whipped potatoes, cornbread spinach and sausage stuffing and vegetable medley. Finish with Strawberries Romanoff with choice of ice cream.
The Tropicana has other offerings, too. Fin's $35, three-course meal puts the seafood theme aside for the day … sort of. Roasted turkey with herb gravy is the main course with cornbread, chorizo and Cape May oyster stuffing, Jersey cranberry sauce, buttermilk mashed potatoes, blue crab and white cheddar macaroni and cheese and vegetables followed by pumpkin cheesecake.
The Fiesta Buffet at the Trop will be enhanced with turkey day faves at brunch ($20.95 for 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) or dinner ($26.95 for 4 to 8 p.m.).
The Palm in the Quarter is offering a $45 meal. First course is a choice of Caesar salad, jumbo shrimp cocktail, apple and arugula salad or roasted butternut squash soup. Second course features turkey or honey-baked ham, stuffing, fresh cranberry sauce and a choice of a side dish. Dessert includes choice of cheesecake, flourless chocolate cake or pumpkin pie. Children under 12 eat for $18.95.
Carmine's in The Quarter celebrates the holiday with traditional large platters that you can bring home. For $195, a family of six to eight can feast on an 18-pound turkey, giblet gravy, sausage and sage stuffing, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows, baby carrots, homemade cranberry sauce and choice of pumpkin, apple or pecan pie.
Caesars Atlantic City's Atlantic Grill's $49 Thanksgiving prix-fixe menu starts with choice of chopped salad, Caesars salad or butternut squash soup. An appetizer course includes a choice of Burratta Mozzerla, pan-roasted crab cake or tuna tartare. The main event, of course, features roasted turkey with cornbread stuffing, but diners can also choose from roasted Nova Scotia salmon with sweet parsnip and caramelized fennel, butternut squash risotto or braised short rib. Desserts include warm chocolate cake with bananas and coffee ice cream or pumpkin tart.
The Foundation Room inside the Showboat will open for Thanksgiving for its $45 meal. Start with roasted butternut squash bisque followed by a choice of turkey leg Osso Bucco, porcini and sage-laced glace and maple whipped white yams or the buttermilk poached turkey breast with toasted brioche and turkey sausage stuffing. Dessert is a butterscotch pumpkin cr�me caramel.
Mia tasting series
Mia, George Perrier's and Chris Scarduzio's restaurant inside Caesars Atlantic City, will offer a tasting of Pacific Northwest varietals noon to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26. Stop in as they uncork some great wines from Oregon and Washington state vineyards.
This is a little off the casino track, but stop by Chickie's and Pete's in Egg Harbor Township on Wednesday, Nov. 23, as "Operation Help" concludes its run to help the Atlantic City Rescue Mission and Food Bank of South Jersey.
The campaign, sponsored by WMGM-FM 103.7 and "The Morning Edge with JoJo & Scotty," asks for donations to be dropped off at the TV motor home, where the duo has been broadcasting live from since last week. Clothing, food, toys and cash are all accepted.
Food Network star Daisy Martinez stayed at The Chelsea last weekend after checking out Kathy Griffin at Borgata. She also dined at Teplitzky's for breakfast.
Chuck Mussachio didn't let him getting knocked out at Bally's Atlantic City Saturday night stop him from partying. The boxer was out late at The Chelsea's C5 for his afterparty with about 50 friends.
The new music video by the duo 2DFRNT that was filmed at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort is now available online and the band members enjoyed a premiere party last weekend at the Taj's Casbah nightclub. "Good Girl," a pop/hip-hop tune, is a party anthem produced by Fuego. It can be found on AOL and Yahoo Music. The video shows the duo going from the club to the casino looking for "Good Girls."
Also at the Taj, Tracy DiMarco of the Style Network's "Jerseylicious" celebrated her birthday at the Casbah.
Kanye West headed to Borgata after performing with Jay-Z at Boardwalk Hall. He was spotted at mur.mur with DJ Samantha Ronson. Meanwhile, Jay-Z went to his own digs at the 40-40 Club at The Walk.
And The Diving Horse welcomed Long Island Lolita, porn star, stripper and "Celebrity Rehab" patient Amy Fisher to the gentleman's club, where she performed two sets.
Two weeks ago, Borgata was the place to see the most celebrity chefs in one room that you will see in Atlantic City as the casino hosted Savor Borgata with Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, Michael Mina, Geoffrey Zakarian, Michael Schulson, Stephen Kalt, Tony Luke Jr., The Sherry brothers from Old Homestead, Marc Vetri, Claire Robinson and others.
Once you work off the calories from Thanksgiving, save them for Gallagher's inside Resorts Casino Hotel, which will hold a Cakebread wine dinner 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30. The $125 dinner - $150 at the door - includes assorted appetizers, lobster bisque, surf and turf, chocolate molten cake and an array of wines from Cakebread, one of the most acclaimed wines in the country. Call 609-340-6555.