ATLANTIC CITY — Revel has fashioned a $2.4 billion casino resort that appears every bit as striking on the inside as the glossy, cutting-edge architecture on the outside.
The beach-inspired gaming and entertainment wonderland combines luxurious surroundings with panoramic views of the ocean — like no other casino in the world, its designers said Tuesday while showing off the complex to the media.
“It’s first and foremost a resort, and a casino on top of that,” said Michael Prifti, a principal with Philadelphia-based BLT, one of Revel’s lead architectural firms. “The place is one big collection of ‘wows.’ It’s over the top.”
Gazing out over the ocean from a table in his gourmet restaurant, one of the celebrity chefs who will be part of Revel’s dining scene compared the gaming resort to the posh French Riviera.
“I’m from the French Riviera. This is my new French Riviera on the Jersey Shore,” said Alain Allegretti, who will operate a restaurant called Azure. “I’m bringing my roots from the French Riviera to the Jersey Shore and fitting my cuisine to the audience.”
In what architects said is a completely new approach to casino design, Revel embraces the beaches and ocean, giving customers views of the water not only from their hotel rooms, but also from the gaming floor and all other parts of the property. In the past, casinos would seal off the gaming floor to create a bunker-like atmosphere, not wanting the ocean to be a distraction from the gambling.
“There’s never a portion of the property where you fail to see the ocean,” Prifti said of Revel.
On the outside, Revel is wrapped in a shimmering glass facade that curves as though sculpted by waves. The centerpiece is a 47-story hotel tower that will contain nearly 1,900 rooms and soars 710 feet high, easily eclipsing anything else in Atlantic City’s skyline. The tower’s distinctive slanted roof is topped by a giant sphere that serves as an architectural focal point and will be part of the casino’s light show.
Prifti called Revel “unparalleled on the East Coast” and equal to or better than many of the glitzy Las Vegas Strip casinos. Customers will get their first glimpse when Revel opens its doors to the public at sunrise April 2.
Hotel rooms are decorated in contemporary furnishings that Revel spokeswoman Maureen Siman described as “very simple and subdued.” Hotel rates on opening night will start at $239 for a regular room and top out at $839 for a two-story loft suite featuring 2,000 square feet of space.
Guests will check in at a lobby that is perched on the building’s sixth level and includes sweeping views of the ocean, more than 100 feet above sea level. The lobby also has an “InOut Pool,” which begins indoors and meanders outside. Guests will also be able to relax at the O2, an area with six living rooms, bars, a pool bar and a bistro.
Revel’s main entrance off the Boardwalk is dominated by a soaring atrium decorated with glimmering gold artwork called “Arrivals.” Altogether, the artwork features 19,700 shiny circles suspended from steel cables. The circles reflect the sun to help bathe the entryway in natural light.
“It’s meant to be a very spectacular, theater-like space,” Valerie Pageau, an artistic and interior designer with the Montreal-based Sceno Plus, said of the entryway. “As soon as you get in, it’s warm and welcoming. Now you know you’re going to have fun.”
The atrium is equipped with colossal escalators that connect five levels of the building — valet parking, the Boardwalk entrance, the casino, the meeting rooms and the hotel lobby.
Prifti described each level as an inviting area that will reveal its own surprises as customers wander through Revel.
“Each day that you come back will be a different activity of your choosing,” he said.
Revel plans to entertain its guests by stocking the property with 14 restaurants, 55,000 square feet of retail space and 10 pools. A lineup of celebrity chefs will oversee the dining operations.
The casino floor, featuring splashes of red and gold in the color scheme, is accented by sculpture-like decorations hanging from the ceiling. Innovative lighting and sound systems will allow Revel to constantly change the vibe on the casino floor, depending on the time of day or night.
Overall, the casino floor will spread out over 130,000 square feet, with 2,400 slot machines and 160 table games. One floor higher, on the mezzanine level, is a well-appointed poker room featuring 37 tables.
Revel’s casino will also have an edgy feel created by a nightclub that blends old-fashioned burlesque with a rock ‘n’ roll beat. Ivan Kane’s Royal Jelly, as the burlesque club is known, will have windows overlooking the casino floor.
Revel also plans to turn up the naughtiness a bit with its “DigiPit,” a section of the casino floor that has catwalks overhead and stripper poles at each end to allow dancers to perform while gamblers play electronic gaming tables.
Those who prefer more sedate surroundings will find a collection of indoor and outdoor pools and private cabanas sprinkled throughout the property. A luxury spa will pamper customers with therapy rooms, zen lounges, a heated mineral pool, a communal bathhouse and a grotto that has Himalayan salt rock to treat respiratory ailments.
“We call this a shrine to well-being,” said Annbeth Eschbach, president and chief executive officer of Exhale, the spa operator.
In another tranquil setting, Revel has a two-acre rooftop garden decorated with flowers, plants, dune grass and full-size pine and cedar trees. Guests strolling through the garden, which is just off the hotel lobby, will be treated to ocean views.
“There isn’t another property in Atlantic City that has acres of landscaping on its roof,” Prifti said. “Even though you’re 114 feet above the ocean, you meld with it.”
Revel’s entertainment hub is the 5,050-seat Ovation Hall, billed as the first true concert arena at an Atlantic City casino. There is also a 700-seat theater for more intimate shows.
Revel’s debut April 2 is the start of an eight-week preview period culminating in a formal grand opening celebration over the Memorial Day weekend. Pop superstar Beyonce will be the headline performer for the holiday weekend’s gala opening.
Contact Donald Wittkowski: