1 It's the social heartbeat of a hip hotel. The fifth floor of The Chelsea Hotel has been one of the coolest places to party in Atlantic City for years, but it was recently redesigned to do what it does best even better. The rooftop pool and the indoor nightclub and lounge retain the same chic elements, but what was formerly Chelsea Prime is now a more casual, less-stuffy restaurant. The change lends the entire level a more consistent, high-energy vibe. "I find it more approachable, yet sophisticated," says Joe Bezzone, president and CEO of Bezzone Hospitality, which partnered with the boutique hotel for its reconceptualization.
2 It all starts during the day. The outdoor pool at The Chelsea is a must-see place to relax on a nice summer day, with DJs playing from the early afternoon into the evening and guests enjoying drinks at the bar or in private cabanas. Whether you're just looking to lounge or party all day long, it's a feel-good atmosphere. Bezzone says he found that scene to be unique in the city, and it informed the decision to make the rest of the fifth floor feel more laid back and beach-chic.
3 It heats up when the sun goes down. The nighttime side of the party turns inside to the club, which was formerly called C5, where talented turntablists and up-and-coming producers take the decks to really rev up the energy. There are parties Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, but Fridays may be the hottest night this summer with a number of higher profile DJs coming for its #MUSIQUE promotion. You can use that hashtag to follow the conversation and see who's playing in the future.
4Pre-game the gourmet way. The redesign of the former Chelsea Prime from a very formal, high-end steak joint to a more fun restaurant with entrees in the $20 range allows for more of the young crowd that typically parties at the nightclub to grab food and drinks, then walk right down the hallway to the dance floor. Chelsea Prime always had a reputation for good drinks, and that remains, so it would be an ideal place to get loose and start your evening. The restaurant is currently open Friday and Saturday nights from 5 to 10 p.m.
5 There are plenty of ways to treat yourself. There are more than 50 places to reserve a spot for VIP treatment and bottle service throughout the fifth floor, with indoor tables, poolside platforms and expansive cabanas. Check minimums begin at $275 and climb toward $2,000 depending on the size of your party, your drinks of choice, and exactly how special you want your day or night to be.
Where: The Chelsea, 111 S. Chelsea Ave., Atlantic City
When: 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Open noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 7 p.m. Sundays in the summer
How big: 5,000-square-foot interior, 1,500-square-foot rooftop, 640-person capacity
What to wear: Swimwear and casual clothes for day, upscale dress at night
What you'll hear: DJs playing the latest upbeat pop, hip-hop and house
Who's there: A young crowd, from 21 to late 30s
How much: Beers start at $6, mixed drinks and shots at $8; cover starts $10, usually more for men
How to get more info: TheChelsea-AC.com
Owner: Cape Resorts, Curtis Bashaw
Evolution: Hotel is a $112 million makeover and combination of former Holi-day Inn and Howard Johnson hotels, totally refurbished with retro-chic look.
Friday, July 12: Le Castle Vania, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Saturday, July 13: Pool party, noon to 6 p.m., nighttime dance party, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Sunday, July 14: Pool party, 1 to 7 p.m., nighttime dance party, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Friday, July 19: TJR, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Saturday, July 20: Pool party, noon to 6 p.m., nighttime dance party, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Sunday, July 21: Sunday pool party, 10 p.m., nighttime dance party, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.