Reveling In a New Identity: Ocean Resort Casino Opens Its Doors

Hopes are high that the former Revel hotel has been dealt a winning hand this time.

Photo courtesy of Ocean Resort Casino

When the ambitious $2-billion-plus Revel hotel closed its doors in 2014, after only two years of operation, the future looked bleak for Atlantic City. That year saw five other hotel closings for the second most popular—and profitable—gambling mecca in the country behind Las Vegas.

After four years of tumult, the 60-story casino hotel reopened on June 28 under new ownership—and with a new name: Ocean Resort Casino. The same day, another new resort, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, opened in the former Trump Taj Mahal.

A recent visit to Ocean Resort saw long lines at check-in and bustling activity on the newly revamped hotel level—all decked out with undulating shapes and shades of blue. Surrounding the front desk are several spacious lounge areas where guests were relaxing, checking out the billiards table, enjoying cocktails and gathering around an oversized fish tank. Soaring two-story windows brighten the space amd provide a view of outdoor seating areas with fire pits at one end and spacious decks overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on the other.

There was also plenty of action on the 138,000-square-foot casino floor. Ocean Resort has upped the entertainment ante with new performance and retail venues. The dining roster’s 18 eateries are still ramping up. Among the newcomers already welcoming guests are Villain and Saint, a rock ‘n’ roll-themed spot, and the PitBoss Beer & BBQ, a casual spot with a view of slots and gaming tables. Still to come are Wahlburgers, a burger chain with celebrity cachet from Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, and Cereal Town, a sure-to-be fun breakfast/brunch outpost that will serve nostalgic and current cereal brands, among others.

On the recreational front, Ocean Resort boasts a Topgolf Swing Suite with 11 bays for practice or play, plus a bar and menu options. For nightlife, HQ2 is the reimagined version of Revel’s HQ with a line up of weekend DJs. By day, HQ2 becomes a Boardwalk-level beach club with cabana rentals and bottle service.

Part of Hyatt Hotels Unbound Collection, Ocean Resort has 1,399 rooms set on 20 acres anchoring the northernmost point of the Boardwalk. It has maintained Revel’s original footprint and much of the same aesthetic. Guests who visited Revel may experience a bit of déjà vu as many of the old property’s most-notable elements—like the glimmering, stories-high metal mobile aside the tall escalators; and restaurants, including the SkyCafe on the hotel level, chef Jose Garces’s tapas-style Amada and Marc Forgione’s American Cut steakhouse on the casino floor—are again in evidence.

Spa goers will be thrilled that the luxurious Exhale spa (newly acquired by Hyatt) has reopened in the new property. The 32,000-square-foot, co-ed space has 32 treatment rooms, heated mineral pools, a steam room and a slew of fitness and wellness offerings.

As well, the 2,600-plus-seat auditorium, Ovation Hall, has a star-filled lineup that includes comedy (Wanda Sykes and Wayne Brady) music and professional boxing events scheduled well into fall.

So far, Ocean Resort appears to be on track for a promising new season in the sun.

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