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The Good Life

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

| From Francis Ford Coppola, Sept/Oct 03

It's the largest hotel and one of the tallest buildings in New Jersey, but in this instance at least, it isn't size that matters, but how it's utilized. The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City's first new casino in 13 years, exudes luxury. From marble walkways and archways to crystal chandeliers and Tuscan architecture, the Borgata is warm and welcoming, but with the excitement and intrigue of a full-out casino-hotel.

The Borgata dares you to "ditch your inhibitions" and give "boredom the slip." If you have any problems with such provocations when you arrive, a starter course in the benefits of healthy hedonism may be necessary. The casino itself boasts 3,650 slot machines and 145 gaming tables, but whether you're an avid gambler or not, the real attractions lay off of the floor, namely the plethora of restaurants and bars, entertainment venues and retail shops.

The Borgata features 11 signature restaurants, with something for every taste. Along with several casual dining establishments, fine dining includes The Old Homestead (steak), Suilan (French-Chinese), and Ombra and Specchio, Italian restaurants with extensive wine lists overseen by renowned chef Luke Palladino.

For entertainment, hot spots include the Gypsy Bar, which features live music nightly and a vast array of Tequilas, and Mixx, a sexy restaurant and Latin dance club right for any hipster with moves. The larger venues, the 2,400-seat Event Center and the 1,000-seat Music Box, are scheduled to feature such performers as Paul Anka, Steely Dan and Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Aside from the entertainment, the major draw for the Borgata, which is located away from the Boardwalk at Renaissance Pointe, is the 50,000-square-foot international spa facility and garden pool complex. Included is a state-of-the-art fitness center and a full-service barber shop with all the amenities a gentleman needs during a break from the action.

Guest rooms and suites at the Borgata start at $179 and $275 a night, respectively, and are complete with all the comforts and furnishings necessary for luxurious living. Of course, cigars are permitted in nearly every area of the Borgata and can be purchased on the premises.

Call 866 MY BORGATA or visit www.theborgata.com for reservations and property information.

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