When I set out to go to this location, I was torn. In my mind, there were pluses for sure and some questions or potential negatives. I will explain those to you and why I was wrong about all of them in this blog post.
For me, the trip to Atlantic City is a quick one. A short drive and I can take a ferry part of the way or drive around. Whichever I am in more of a mood for at the time. The fastest route from my part of Virginia is to go up the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland, then take the ferry to Cape May. It is also the more scenic route. The toll is not bad, and so that is the path I chose.
Normally the trip would be less than 6hrs if I hit the ferry timing on the dot. I have family on the Eastern Shore, so I stopped for an early lunch on the way. That stop took some time, but it is almost at the midway mark for the short trip so it was a nice break.
If I was traveling, I might consider going this way as well. You could spend a day and night in Virginia Beach on the beach, then a day on the Eastern Shore, and move on to Atlantic City. Since you are booking with Tzort, you are saving enough to add those extra stops if you have the time away from work to make a week of it.
Video by Things ToDo
Day One Arrival at Wyndham Skyline Tower
For this one, you likely want to also take a virtual tour found here.
When arriving, you are struck by the scale and size of the resort and building. Wyndham Skyline Tower itself sits on the parking garage, so it is very large in both height and footprint. In a busy city like Atlantic city parking can be a pain, so having this set up is amazing.
Check-in is nice, fast, friendly, and professional. Personally, that is one thing I love about traveling with Tzort is the white glove treatment with check-ins. Not all resorts have concierge services and activities services. But they should because when you are checking in you can easily get the scoop on anything going on in town that you do not want to miss.
Here is a pro traveler trip. Let the concierge work for you. Put their local knowledge and professionalism to work to increase your guest experience. Tip them well and be a joy to deal with. They will like you and take great care of you.
I was fortunate enough to learn early in life the importance of tipping. I waited tables while in school and later bartender. I learned how taking care of good people will take care of you. Do not think of tipping as an expense or a cost of doing business. Think of it as an investment in your happiness. You make the people that work hard in hospitality happy they will work hard for you. Also, a little goes a long way. You just have to do it often and early in the conversation.
For example, instead of tipping the hotel maids on the final day, tip them daily and leave a short note. Even if you tip less, the daily thought will be appreciated. But always tip the concierge and your bar staff. Those are two people you never want to forget.
So even before I took my bags to my room, I had the scoop on what not to miss during my stay. I even scored tickets to a show on the strip. That was a great investment of time and a small tip.
Now when I did get to my room wow, it was nice. The kitchen cabinets were nicer than mine at home for example. My balcony looked over towards the Hardrock, and the ocean on the strip. So, you were far enough away from the strip for peace and quiet and close enough for the view.
That was one of the things I worried about with this location. Would I regret not being on the ocean, or right on the strip?
The answer on this trip was no. I found out in the two nights I stayed that I slept better, relaxed more, and enjoyed the trip better being just a few blocks away. It ended up being better. At least for me and Atlantic City, this is how I will be doing the trip going forward.
I had the deluxe suite 1 bedroom. Which had a full kitchen, a hot tub in the bedroom, or a jacuzzi tub. This room would have been amazing for a couple to spend some time together, focusing on each other and their relationship.
The views from the room were nice and I could see myself coming back to the room at night and spending some time on the balcony, and even in that hot tub. Sometimes you just have to treat yourself.
- Now that I had checked in, I wanted to tour the resort. I took a look around they had a great indoor pool. Then I checked out the theater, game room, and spa area outside on the deck, and I poked my head in to see the fitness center. These days that is about as much time as I spend in one. On this trip though, I knew I would get in some good walking on the boardwalk, and even on the strip. This meant I was not worried about hitting a treadmill or stair-stepper. But for those who have to exercise daily to feel good, they certainly had enough of the basics to get you going. I took a mental note that they had access-related equipment for both the pool and spa and I thought that was awesome. I see this more at resorts these days, and I think that it is a wonderful thing. People who face challenges need a break as well and allowing them tools for access is a perfect approach. I love to see that equipment available as I travel now. You never saw it when I was young.Here are some notes on the resort itself from the resort website. Wyndham Skyline Tower was built in 1982 and completely renovated in 2011
- Many eateries are within a quarter-mile; 13 casinos are within 5 miles; grocery is 10 miles
- During peak seasons there is high elevator traffic, which may cause some delays
- Luggage delivery service is available for a fee through Bags VIP.
- This is a non-smoking resort
- This resort requires a $150 security deposit upon check-in
- Due to restricted parking access, this resort requires valet parking and guarantees one space per occupied suite. Additional vehicles are accepted based on occupancy. Self-parking is not available at this resort.
There are even more notes available on the website. I captured the highlight I thought would be helpful above.
After the tour of the resort, I was more than ready for dinner.
I chose Chef Vola’s they had me at their marketing saying Old School Italian. That and their online reviews showed people loved this place. The food was spot on and the sauces they used for the dishes are great. I think now that the main feature of the best Italian restaurants with the quality of their sauce. Sure, you still have to cook things right, but if the sauce is great it will be a great meal. It is kind of like pie. The secret to the best pie is the pie crust. Fresh butter-made pie crust makes pies heavenly. Wonderful marinara makes Italian food great.
For those who want to open a restaurant, remember that. Build off of a central core item (s) execute flawlessly on that and build from there. Want to make the best Pizza start with the sauce, best past the sauce, and so on. This was that amazing quality sauce that pulls it all together with your favorite Italian foods. Perfect.
Now it was time to head back to my room and relax with my full stomach.
I stepped onto my private balcony and enjoyed the fresh air. I liked it so much that I grabbed a comforter and stayed out there in the chair with my feet up until I nodded off for a bit. It was nice.
Day Two at Wyndham Skyline Tower
I woke having taken myself to bed after a short nap on the balcony. Today I was going to hit the strip hard for some fun gambling and time on the boardwalk. It was Saturday, so I also had tickets to a show from my concierge connection. I was going to see JEFF DUNHAM who consistently makes me laugh, and it was a surprise to me that he was in town and that I could get tickets. Again, the concierge magic for that. That show was not starting until 9 PM, so I had some gambling fun, lunch, and dinner to enjoy beforehand.
With so many choices, it is hard to choose which Casino to start off with. Since I could see it calling my name from my balcony, I started the day off at the Hard Rock. Arriving at the Hard Rock (I walked over) the location is modern and nice. I looked on their website for this and found they have 2,200 slots, over 120 table games, and now a Sportsbook. I do not gamble much. The place I have gambled the most is on cruise ships. But I do like slots some, and blackjack.
Here is one secret on casino gambling. Always play the slot machines that are in high-traffic areas. Since the casinos were people feel the chance of the win is high, and they want things exciting. The payout percentage and strategically located machines are higher. It does not mean that the odds are turned completely in your favor. But it does mean the odds are better.
The first time I came to a casino with family one time on a day trip was after a niece turned 21. She had never been, and I wanted her to experience gambling but with a cautionary eye, and going in aware. I gave her $100 and told her to try the slots. I would play with $100 and in 30 minutes we would compare and see how we did.
I got lucky with my guesses for the active machines in high-traffic areas. Once I won a little, I left that machine and went to the next high-traffic machine. All in all, I changed machines 3 times. She was like a kid in a candy store and changed machines, trying at least 25 or more. When we came back together, I had $180, and she had lost all but $30 of her money in 30 minutes. I explained my method and my choices as best I could. Together we were up only $10. But I explained some people have figured out much more than my one little trick. Those people can make a very modest profit most of the time at a casino. But it is not very fun and hard work. But she at least got a look at how casinos work, and how fast you can lose money.
One neat thing to do at a casino when you are new is to take a free class. In that class they will teach you the game, and you will drink a free drink or two. Then you can try your luck at the game you just learned the basic rules for. If you are not a gambler, that is a neat thing to do.
On this trip, I stuck to the machines for about 5 hours. Then I wanted to try my hand at blackjack. For my time at the machines, I won a good deal of money on this trip. I started playing with $500 and was up $1,200 in 5 hours. If I wanted to right then, I could have stopped and my entire vacation would have been paid for. But I was not here to get rich quickly, I was having fun. So, I took my money and winnings to the table with me.
One alternative would have been to take my card and payslip to a window and cash out all or a portion of my winnings, then take the rest as chips to the table for blackjack. I just chose to go directly. I grabbed some chips with the card and with $1000 in chips started to play. I only played for about an hour because I was getting hungry. Next after cashing out, I was headed for the door and something to eat.
I stayed at Hard Rock thinking I would just eat at Hard Rocks’ branded restaurant. That was until I heard that they had an all you can eat buffet. Now if you have not been to a casino buffet before strap yourself in. These are over the top and a great value. Most casinos take a big loss on the buffet because they get people in the casinos. Both to stay in the hotels, but also to gamble. These things are crazy good. Check out the giant menu if you doubt me.
It is a ton of food for $30, especially when you are up on the tables and machines.
It was already early afternoon after killing it at the buffet for at least 1 hour. I could have eaten more if I did not plan on moving for a day. But I certainly enjoyed the meal and the break from the mental mindset of the gambler. I enjoy gambling, but to me, it feels like fun work. This means I dive in deep and do what I call hyper-focusing.
Back to the tables because my plan was to play until it was time for the show. If I started to lose, I would make myself leave and go to another casino to break my luck and try to find some more well-placed machines.
Well, this was the first time I had really gambled in like 8 years or so. Now what I mean by really gambled is that I started the day with $500. I know friends who that is nothing. It might be a hand they play with or less. But I am a cheap gambler. Again, my goal is not the money but the challenge of beating the house. The entire system is against you winning. That is the thrill for me and the fun. The money is fun. But when you write for a living and can work from anywhere, I already feel like I won the lotto, so all this is icing on the cake.
Well, by 7 PM I had taken a few bathroom breaks and was up a good bit at blackjack. I decided to leave the table and Hard Rock before the luck ran out. That is the hard thing to do at a casino (leave while you are ahead) but I wanted to see Bally’s they have not only their primary casino but also the wild west, which has great drink specials. Since I had enough food in me to handle a good bit of drinks, I headed that way.
I grabbed a few drinks and played a little video poker. I lost a few hundred dollars at that in about 1.5 hours and then chose to make my way to the show.
Jeff Dunham was as funny, if not funnier in person. What a talented guy. It was a great show and after leaving I headed back to the casino for another hour or so. They can suck you in, especially on a good day. Around about 1 AM I realized the time and called it a night and grabbed a quick cab back to the resort.
I woke on this my last day at the resort with a goal in mind. Get some breakfast, then spend some time in the pool or spa before hitting the casinos one more time.
I have not told you yet, but I was up about $3,200 at this point, not bad for starting off with $500. I was eager to go back and try to repeat my efforts and success.
Having done the Hard Rock and enjoyed it but I wanted to try another casino today. So, I headed to Caesars if you have not been it is very nice. At Caesars, I avoided the video poker machines, and the slots and went straight to the table games. I started my day with $2,000 today, leaving my winnings to pay for my vacation. If I did not go beyond my $2k, I would have traveled for free and had a good time too. This was my strategy.
Caesars seemed to push their benefits card more actively and better than Hard Rock or Bally’s. Maybe it was just because of who was working that day. Not sure, but they did a good job. I made sure to trade in my cashed-out cards from the other casinos for Caesar’s card. I figured that they were going to pull data from the card about my spending and cashouts if that can be done. Who knows they may share data voluntarily. I have no idea.
This is what they talk about on their website.
Present your valid premium card from participating casinos and we will upgrade you to a Diamond status Caesars Rewards card!
So I was like when in Rome, and I participated in the promotion. Atlantic City and Vegas these days are not what they once were with comps. But if you know what you are doing, you can get some luck and success with these systems to save money on your trip.
What the casinos are looking for on the cards in action. Movements of funds on and off of your card. The more money you move through the card, the more they believe you are gambling and thus losing on the casino floor. The more you spend, the more rewards you earn. Almost like a coupon exchange system, but at scale. Instead of saving box tops for a fundraiser, you are running money through your card and it is keeping track.
Full disclosure, I am not sure that this still works how I think it does. But what I think you can do is cash out your card every once in a while. Leaving just a little on the card to keep it active.
Like going to the money cage and getting some chips for table games. Playing for a bit, then going back to the cage to another teller and putting the money back on the card. In my case I started this process with $2k on the card, then $1800 back on the card, then after my next break $2200 back on the card, and so on. If I went to the bathroom, I cashed out and put it on the card. Lunch was the same thing, and my intentions were to do the same with dinner.
However, by dinner time these short-time investments had earned me enough points or credits on my card for a nice free dinner. Then I comped out my meal. Now again, I am no pro at this. I have friends who gamble more money than me and also work these processes to get comped much more. A few never pay for their casino hotel room and so forth. But I am happy enough to just save the money with Tzort and not worry about playing that larger game.
The dinner however was well worth that little cash-out and credit effort. My comped (free meal) was at Nero’s if you have not been, maybe you too should work the system and see if you can enjoy a free meal here. Wow, the location and food were great!
My comp included an 8OZ Filet as an option and I then paid more for a crab cake starter, and a shrimp cocktail. This was my version of a surf and turf. All three were very good and perfectly prepared. After dinner, it was time to hit the road so I could make it to the ferry before it stopped running and go across to the Eastern shore for the drive home. This time I would stop and stay the night with the family on the way back. Not that the trip was a long drive, just that it was a great opportunity to see them again and hand them out on Monday with my sister, her family, and my mother.
You do not have to have family on your trip you just need the Tzort connection to travel resort-style.
Oh hey if you are wondering I did OK at the casino, and I sure had fun.