We just spent two days at the beautiful Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City. My oldest son was out of school for the mid-winter break so we decided to take a short, wallet-friendly trip.
Casino resorts are good choices for getaways during popular travel weeks, like school breaks, for families. Because casino resorts are not marketed to families they do not raise prices during these times like many other resorts. They are also surprisingly very family-friendly. I promise you will not be the only one there with kids.
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We decided on the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City because we had a free room. Yes, you heard me right. I said free. Well, almost free. During our last trip, after just one day of playing slots, the Ocean Casino Resort began to send me offers for two free nights a week. I only spent $100 on the slot machines during that trip.
With our two free nights, the only costs for this trip were a $50 per day refundable fee for incidentals, a $26 daily resort fee plus a small tourism fee. Our total cost at check-in was $162, $100 of which was refundable at check out. So that’s a total of $62 for two nights!
Just like our first stay at the Ocean Casino Resort, check-in was a stressful process. During our first stay, we paid full price for our room. The hotel is advertised as a 5-star hotel but we were given a room that was way below the standard of a 5-star hotel (more on this below). We went down to the lobby and asked for a different room. After receiving our new room key, we went back upstairs to find that the maid had not finished cleaning it.
After lugging our bags and our two young kids back down to the lobby a third time, we decided it was time to speak to the manager. I must say, the manager was extremely professional and provided extraordinary customer service. She escorted us to our third room to make sure there were no issues and presented us with a $75 resort credit for our troubles.
Check-in this time was stressful because the online booking process was unclear and the employee checking us in was impatient and difficult. Here’s a few tips to help you avoid the same issues:
- At the time of booking, if the system gives you a final price and asks for your credit card information before you hit submit, this does not mean your credit card is being charged.
- Resort and tourism fees are charged at check-in. If you have free rooms, and those are your only fees, your card will NOT be charged at booking.
- Check to make sure you receive a confirmation after booking.
- Check your credit card statement after booking so you know exactly what, if anything, you paid for at the time of booking.
If you Google Ocean Casino Resort, you’ll see that Google describes it as a 5-star hotel; however, the rooms can sometimes resemble a 2-star hotel. During my first stay, the carpets were stained and the furniture damaged.
According to my research, some of the rooms have been updated. During this stay, I was pleased with the cleanliness of my room and we enjoyed our stay. The bathrooms are large and luxurious with a large, walk-in shower that can accommodate the entire family. There’s a bench in the shower, so if you don’t want to pay for the spa and sauna, you can sit in the shower and enjoy a spa-like experience.
My absolute favorite part of the Ocean Casino Resort’s rooms is the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. I’m a sucker for a good view and this is one thing that keeps me coming back.
Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville- Atlantic City
The theming inside Margaritaville was awesome. There were so many different seating areas- from your typical tables and booths to a huge booth that could fit about 15 people, and a booth themed as a boat. The food, including the kids’ meals, came in nice-size portions but the food itself was a bit disappointing. It wasn’t inedible but it was not worth the price. I ordered fish and chips, and my husband ordered the nachos. His nachos were extremely dry with all the chips sticking together, and my fish easily separated from the soggy coating. My recommendation: Take your money and eat elsewhere. You can check out some options HERE.
Eclipse Indoor/Outdoor Pool
After lunch, we took the scenic route back to the hotel via the beach. The kids collected seashells for a while and then it was back to the room to rest. When the kids got bored of watching us rest, it was off to the pool.
The Eclipse Indoor/Outdoor Pool at the Ocean Casino Resort is the highlight of the trip when bringing your kids during the offseason. The pool is seasonally heated and the indoor section has a rainfall function. There is a small jacuzzi outside and plenty of loungers surrounding the pool. The Grille has a small selection of food and snacks for sale, and a waitress sporadically walks around taking drink orders for the Eclipse Bar. In a corner, are a couple of pool tables. During summer, there are also cabanas and an outdoor bar.
We went to the food court located in The District section of the resort. While you won’t find any chain restaurants in this food court, you’ll find a variety of food options including salads, deli sandwiches, Asian cuisine, and burgers and fries. There’s even a taco food truck selling authentic Mexican food. We decided on salads for the adults and pizza at the nearby Rocco’s Italian Kitchen & Market for the kids. While the prices were pretty high for quick casual eating, the portion sizes made up for it. The salad took up the entirety of the large plate and the pizza slices were literally larger than my son’s head. And they were as delicious as they were large.
To end the night, the kids and I relaxed in the lobby while my husband hit the slots. After, we went upstairs to watch a movie and enjoy the view of the ocean at night before we fell into a much needed sleep.
Find out how we continued our adventure at the Ocean Casino Resort on Day 2…