Bally’s AC Review – Garden Tower
Posted by Marc on January 20, 2009
Note: This is from a trip in December.
My time away in Atlantic City was fantastic. In a way, it was better than some of my extended trips to Las Vegas. I usually take a four to five day trip in December for the holidays. While updating my trip on this blog (personal blog you won’t find) I wondered to myself if there is a need for a web community for Atlantic City hotels, gambling and eating. I’ll deal with that another time. (Note: The other time is now and this site).
I left early enough to miss the snow that hit the northeast. This was the reason I used a car service for the trip. It looked like I made the right choice as we hit the beginning of snow which turned into rain the further south I went. I ended up with a 4 seat mini limo. It was awesome. I would definitely do this again.
I haven’t stayed at Bally’s for the past year or so because of poor room selection and too much smoke. The smokey issue remains and kind of felt as if it was pushing me down every time I hit the casino floor. The room selection was different. When I got to Bally’s I went to VIP check in and asked for a Garden Tower room. I’ve been told no every other time I’ve asked for this. I guess my level has gone way up this year. Maybe being Diamond really does has it’s privileges.
When checking in I was warned that the only view was of a courtyard, but I don’t really ever look out the window so it wasn’t a bother. The rooms were similar to the Bourbon Tower at the Showboat, with one major exception – the bathroom. Both had red and tan finishes, nice mattresses and flat screen HDTV. The bathroom was bigger and better. There was a TV in the mirror(!), a walk in shower, separate water closet with frosted glass door and dual granite sinks. I never figured out how to work the TV because it was a shower only there was no need to sit and relax in the bathroom since there wasn’t a tub. Overall, this was the best room I’ve had when staying at Bally’s.
Full sized photo’s are here. They’re awesome.
Gambling & Food
After resetting in the room for a few minutes I hit the high limit room and played a couple of slots. I lost a little and moved on to get a bite. There was a long wait at 6ix, so I sat at the counter where there was no wait. This is something I did often. I’m not one for waiting. After a quick meal it was back down to the high limit room. I was up a lot when I decided to leave and went up to the Diamond Lounge to snack a little and have a couple of kettel and sodas. Sitting by the giant windows was nice an relaxing. After a little more time relaxing in the room I met up with some friends and headed to the Tropicana for a bite at PF Changs. I typically stay away from Chinese food when I gamble, but I kept it light and had no “issues.” It wasn’t too bad. We played some random nickle slots at the Tropicana after dinner. There weren’t many people gambling at Tropicana, but a lot of good looking girls. I left the Trop with a small, irrelevant, loss. We all headed back to Caesars. I was introduced to more nickle slots – Top Gun and Star Wars. I was also introduced to several Coors Light. It could have been the many beers, but I came to love the nickle slots. There were loud with fun bonus games and I’m easily excitable. I lost a little here as well, but since it was nickles it was a win in my book! The night ended with a a couple of hours of single deck blackjack. I rarely play single deck because of the poor (6/5) payout for blackjack, but we had the table to ourselves and all won. After many beers I ended up nicely for the session. All in, it was a good and profitable day.
After a short night of sleep interrupted with too many trips to the bathroom (too many beers) it was Saturday morning and it was back to 6ix for breakfast. I snuck in through the exit to avoid the lines. It was another nice meal. I met up wit the friends at Caesars and played a little Let it Ride. I hate Let It Ride. It was nothing more than a way to pass time and the results showed it. A loss.
We then headed back to the Bally’s Diamond Lounge for a snack and down to explore video slots. We didn’t find what we were looking for, but we did find my new favorite slot – Golden Monkey. It wasn’t profitable, but we had a lot of fun. I tried to nap before dinner but it didn’t happen so it was back to Caesars for dinner at Nero’s Grill. We had a great view as our table was overlooking the boardwalk. The meal exceeded everyone’s expectations. My steak was excellent and cooked perfectly. The sides and appetizers were to everyone’s liking. One of the highlights was the band playing songs of the 70’s and 80’s. They were not a good band, but were a lot of fun and perfect for the night. We headed back to Bally’s to play blackjack. The table was littered with people that would stay on 14-16. I can’t stand when people don’t play by the rules so we left. The night ended with one final session of Let it Ride. That will probably be the last time I play the game.
I actually slept in a little on Sunday and headed to 6ix yet again for breakfast. I bounced around Bally’s for a while playing low limits slots and video poker before going up to the Diamond Lounge for a snack, drink and football. Damn, it was a nice and relaxing day. I don’t have many of them. I’m usually a little too active while at a casino.
After the early football games I headed over to Caesars for blackjack. It’s pretty amazing how many people play the game and don’t know the actual rules to improve their odds. Basic strategy is pretty simple. Anyway, the 3 people at the table I knew all won. It was amazing and rarely happens. We had small, medium and large winners. I was the small winner, but happy. After the session we went back to Tropicana for dinner. BBQ was the choice this night. Having been to Corky’s before I was hesitant with the selection. The meal tasted OK, but I felt pretty bad after dinner. That was fine, but I’ll never return to Corky’s. Even though I didn’t feel perfect, I was still rocking when we went over to Borgata. After upgrading to their Black card, I went over to the penny slots to lose in Star Wars . I won it all right back on Wheel of Fortune. After I recouped the winnings I went over to play 3 card poker and destroyed the game while talking to the dealer about the Jets. After just a few hands I hit a straight flush! This is a 40-1 payout and was a huge victory for me. It’s why I gamble.
We watched the end of the Giants – Panthers game at the bar and ended up crashing right after the game.
After a great night of sleep I headed for an incredible relaxing day alone. I gambled a little here and there, but nothing of great consequence. It was really a day to relax. The only highlight was hitting another straight flush in 3 card poker. Unfortunately I was playing the table minimum at the time. I went to 6ix once more for a very mediocre meatloaf dinner. I spent the evening at the lobby bar playing video poker and drinking Corona’s for the entire Monday Night Football game. After the game I grabbed a late night snack and headed to the room. They day wasn’t action packed, but it was exactly what I wanted.
My last morning was spent playing $1 video poker for a few hours. I went over to Johnny Rockets to grab some lunch which came back to the room where I relaxed until my late check out. After I checked out I took one last trip to the high limit area. I was treated to a nice parting gift and left. This was a perfect way to end a great trip.
To recap, I had a great trip and left with my wallet in the positive. I think I’m done going to Showboat. The service and variety were very good at both Bally’s and Caesars. I’m going to try out Harrah’s next month (review here), but I think Bally’s and Caesars will be my new choices for Atlantic City gambling. With the rumors of Showboat being sold, I think this will be a smart pre-emptive move.