Female bonding is healthy both emotionally and physically, and a group of women away from their daily routine benefit immensely from each other’s company. This is why a Girlfriend Getaway is therapeutic, since it is a time to recuperate, rediscover, rejoice, reward, and reassure. While I will admit that the people you are with are the integral part of the trip, where you are and what you do can exponentially enhance your experience.
If you have never been to Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, it might not be your first choice as a destination for such an occasion…yet. There is a misconception that casino hotels are filled with bused in city dwellers running for the buffet and blue-haired ladies sitting at slot machines all day. Harrah’s in AC is a different animal, and has a lot to offer for a Girlfriend Getaway, including relaxation, being pampered, being entertained, and having a hands-on experience.
I recently spent quality time with some great women at Harrah’s. All of us are mothers who support our family, friends, and work associates, and we were able to support each other for a couple of days.
After check-in, I headed to my room in the Waterfront Tower, which opened in 2008. My room was contemporary in design, filled in earth-tone colors with splashes of crimson. I had a nice view of the bay and the causeway spanning across, and wonderful sunrises.
The room includes a small fridge, safe, desk, and flatscreen TV. The bathroom boasts a separate toilet, stone tiles and countertop, cosmetic mirror, hair dryer, and a large frameless glass door shower with shower seat. Even though this is a chain, the room has a bit of a boutique hotel feel. I heard some teens in the hall say the rooms are ballin’. So, thumbs up from two different generations.
Our first gathering was at the Viking Cooking School a couple of hours after check-in. We were offered an amazingly delicious cocktail that tasted like lemon meringue pie, and a lumpmeat crab dip with an assortment of crackers before we began cooking. We broke off into groups of four at three stations, and worked together as a team. This was a nice opportunity to have quieter conversations.
We used grill pans on top of gas burners to prepare our meal. The menu included crostini with an herbed goat cheese spread, sliced tomatoes, chopped Kalamata olives and basil; sliced zucchini topped with a ricotta-lemon zest spread and prosciutto di Parma(roulades); skewered bacon-wrapped shrimp, teriyaki-glazed chicken drumettes (pre-cooked, but we heated them on the grill), and grilled cream cheese pound cake drizzled with an addicting dark rum caramel sauce. After cooking, we all sat down to chat and to enjoy our creations accompanied by a glass of Pinot Noir or a white wine.
We were whisked off to The Pool After Dark. It’s the indoor pool that turns into a nightclub with guest and resident DJs and ambient lighting. We had killer views from our VIP seating in The Loft with bottle service where we people watched. That particular evening there was a performance by Mack Wilds, a.k.a. Tristan Wilds from The Wire and 90210. Much to our surprise, the venue was filled with college students that night, most likely for Wilds, so we were entertained by the guests as much as the music!
11:00 the next morning we had a reserved cabana at The Pool. This domed paradise is filled with palm trees and other vegetation, and served as refuge for the next five hours. We were provided with bottled water on ice, hummus with crudité and pita bread, a fruit platter, plus nachos with salsa, sour cream and guacamole. More food and beverages were ordered while we relaxed and shared stories, strategies, and sisterhood.
My girlfriends and I got a tour of two impressive suites. The tw0 bedroom Red Door Spa Suite (photos) has one bedroom with a king-sized bed and another with two double beds. The stone filled bathroom has a soaking tub, spa shower with multiple heads, and double vanity. There is a massage room with separate outside entrance for the therapist, sauna, small room with a exercise bike, dining room for six, and living room with two sofas. The Party Suite (photos) is similar to above without the second bedroom, massage room, sauna, and bike, but it does have a billiards table. One of these suites would be ideal for a Girlfriend Getaway!
Dinner was at Dos Cominos. Our table was by the window with a spectacular view of the bay. We ordered pitchers of margaritas to wash down the warm tortilla chips and salsas, plus three types of guacamole (traditional, mango-papaya-habanaro, and jumbo lump crab-chipolte) that was made table-side before our meals arrived. I ate the Salmon in Avocado Pipián (salmon over an avocado-pumpkin seed sauce, with corn and black bean pico de gallo, and oyster mushrooms). The mushrooms were a little bland, but everything else was flavorful.
After dinner, we headed to Eden Lounge for cocktails. The live band was phenomenal! They played current Top 40 hits, as well as those from other decades. People were dancing, and chatting, and yes, you could actually hear conversations. The singers ventured out into the crowd and sung to us and danced with us making the experience more interactive. This was a fabulous ending to an amazing getaway!
We checked out the following day with extraordinary memories etched in our brains, and ready to take on the world. Now that’s how we do AC!
Great additions to a Girlfriend Getaway within the resort would be spa treatments at Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, perusing retailers at the Waterfront Shops, working out at the Fitness Center, tickets to concerts and comedy shows, and hitting the tables at the Casino. FYI, there is a four-course Prix Fixe meal available at Luke Palladino, The Steakhouse, and Dos Caminos for only $39.
More options outside the resort require just a quick ride over to Caesars via Harrah’s bus service (or your own car) where you will find upscale retailers like Burberry, Gucci and Tiffany & Co. at The Pier Shops, and a couple of blocks away you’ll find outlet stores in Tanger Outlets, like Bath & Body Works, Coach, Kay Jewelers, Michael Kors and others, totally over 75 shops and restaurants.
Then there is the Boardwalk with shops, eateries, and the famous Steel Pier in warmer months to unleash your inner child. How’s that for an escape from reality with the girls? How would you do a Girlfriend Getaway in AC?