High Flying High Rollers

Flown away for a weekend at the Borgata Hotel, Casino, and Spa in Atlantic City

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In the sixties, the” jet set” were the people who had both the leisure time and wherewithal to jump on a jet plane and be whisked away to glamorous destinations. Since then, jet travel and relaxing destinations have become affordable – but at the cost of cramped tourist-class seats and cookie-cutter resorts. It’s a rare pleasure to have that feeling of specialness that was part of air travel — we found it as guests of Fly Borgata, who treated my wife and me as high rollers.

D328 Jet Cruise

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Aerial Shot, Borgata

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Borgata Redesigned Guestroom

Borgata Classic Redesigned Guestroom 2

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The Borgata Hotel, Casino, and Spa in Atlantic City has a special service for a limited number of guests. They charter a 30-passenger jet, a Dornier 328, outfitted in first class luxury with leather seats and attentive crew members, to fly weekend guests from an array of East Coast locations.
For Rhode Island, we fly out of Northstar Aviation. With free overnight parking across the street, Northstar welcomes their visitors with a comfortable first class lounge. No long lines, no x-ray machines, shoe removal, or TSA patdowns. In fact, I purposefully carried my ever-present Leatherman multitool with me, just to say that I did it.

The Dornier 328 sat right outside the door – we walked to it, climbed a few stairs, and we were inside, where every seat is a cushy, comfortable, leather-covered first class seat. No little prop plane, this is a decent sized, comfortable charter jet.

The flight took us out over Block Island before turning west, and in 45 minutes we arrived at the Atlantic City airport. We had checked one bag, which arrived in the usual airport carousel. Then outside all of the passengers were put on a comfortable bus. Another 20 minutes and we were in Atlantic City and unloading in front of the Borgata Hotel.

The Borgata’s 41-story gold glass hotel, with 2000 guest rooms and suites, was visible as soon as we approached Atlantic City. A second gold glass tower has the sister property, the Water Club, with 800 additional guest rooms and suites. Check-in was rapid, with the Fly Borgata guests being given VIP treatment with their own check-in desk.

Our room was on the 30th floor, looking toward the city through floor-to-ceiling windows. With crisp, modern décor, the room had all the comforts of a business-class hotel room. We were happy that the room also included a fridge, an extra comfort in keeping the weekend’s leftovers edible and our sodas cold.
The hotel sits well away from the famous Boardwalk, but for most visitors, whatever is outside the casino doors is of little interest. For most visitors, the 161,000 square foot casino is the primary attraction. It includes 182 gaming tables, 3150 slot machines, a 100-seat racebook, and over 80 tables in the poker room.

But the Borgata isn’t limited to gambling. They also have five destination restaurants, including Bobby Flay Steak, Old Homestead Steak House, Wolfgang Puck American Grille, Izakaya Modern Japanese Pub, and Fornelleto Cucina & Wine Bar.

We wallowed in excess at the Old Homestead Steak House, run by restaurateurs Greg and Marc Sherry, where the word beef should be spelled in all capital letters. It’s Borgata’s copy of the renowned Old Homestead in New York City, where they focus on the four main food groups – beef, beef, beef, and beef. My wife had the 18 ounce filet mignon. Yes, 18 ounces. And I enjoyed the Empire cut of Prime Rib on the bone.

There are eight casual dining restaurants.

  • The Metropolitan – contemporary and classic American foods
  • Borgata Buffet – a buffet of entrees, snacks, and desserts
  • Bread + Butter – sandwiches and gourmet beverages
  • Noodles Of The World (N.O.W.) — Japanese, Chinese, Korean cuisine
  • Borgata Baking Company – accessible sweets and eats
  • Long Bar – city bar-feel serving light bites and bar fare
  • 28 West Bar & Bites – Euro-inspired bar featuring specialty cocktails, craft beers, and delectable small bites
  • The Sunroom – sun-filled lobby/lounge at The Water Club offering delicious bites

We ate a snack at Bread + Butter, a nice casual place where diners go through a line to place an order, sit at formica tables for their meals, and are directed to leave the dishes on the table. They serve breakfast there, making an early day easier, if you need more than the coffee maker in the room.

There is also an even-more casual option – The Cafeteria – multi-concept quick service dining featuring Fatburger, Tony Luke’s cheese-steaks, Ben & Jerry’s, Panda Express, and so on.

Borgata’s 70,000 square feet of event space includes the 1,000-seat performance theater The Music Box and six signature Borgata Nightlife experiences:

  • MIXX – dance club with world-renowned DJs
  • mur.mur – intimate nightclub with signature bottle service and celebrity DJ’s
  • 28 West Bar & Bites – Euro-inspired cocktail and piano bar
  • Gypsy Bar – Borgata’s rock & roll and tequila bar featuring live music
  • B Bar – lounge centrally located on the casino floor
  • Long Bar – city bar atmosphere

Borgata has 17 retail stores, ranging from souvenirs, sundries, and gifts to shops like Hugo Boss, Vintage Wine Boutique, Antica Murrina, and Fixation Shoes & Accessories.
We didn’t the chance to explore the spas, but we did find time to walk along the 1.1 mile long bayside sculpture park. Every 50 yards or so on a relaxing walk, we enjoyed sculpture and after sculpture. It circles all the way to the bridge to Brigantine Island, where the waters of the bay flow into the Atlantic.

We also discovered the jitneys. Little busses running 24/7 that open up all of Atlantic City if you need a break from playing in the casino.

Our flight back was simple. Our bus waited outside until we were all loaded, from there to the airport to the plane, and back home to Northstar Aviation at TF Green Airport without a bit of stress and in perfect comfort.

Now the neat thing about the whole experience is that it’s open to anyone. Check out the Fly Borgata website for prices and packages, but you’ll find that being flown off to a weekend getaway and being treated like a high roller doesn’t require the finances of a high roller.

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Visit the Borgata online at www.theborgata.com and their Fly Borgata program at www.flyborgata.com
Northstar Aviation is online at www.northstarpvd.com
To learn more about the Atlantic City Waterfront Sculpture Park, visit www.artcnow.com/acwsw
And to check out the Jitneys before you hop on one, check out www.jitneyac.com

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