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Revel - A Vegas Regular's First AC Visit

Last edit: A5RoadDogg on Monday, 23rd April 2012 7:12 am
Last response by NJchipper 21st June 7:40am

Wanted to put up some early thoughts on Revel, which I visited this weekend as my first AC visit.

For context, was in town for one day Saturday, spent most of my time playing at Revel, then wrapped up late at Borgata.

To me, Borgata was a poor man's Monte Carlo - while Revel belonged right next to Cosmo and Aria. Extremely spacious modern design, plenty of space on the casino floor to breathe. Good mix of Blackjack tables, including $15 3:2 6-deck S17 and $10 8-deck 3:2 H17.

First time I can ever recall having huge windows to the outside world - it was a bit strange, to be gambling with natural light, but in the end I loved it.

Dealers were nice, pit bosses were friendly (and even helped me with my rules comparison), and cocktail service was lightning fast (glasses twice the size I'm used to in Vegas...and they had both regular and sugar-free red bull...yes I know, I know...). Was truly first day for some people - our pit boss was literally introducing herself to our dealers. Had a great time gambling.

No idea yet on how the players card will be - they do not match status, something about "this is a resort card, not a casino card". They do the "total spend" thing.

Food - ate lunch at this weird taco-truck thingy (Distrito?), which was actually really tasty. Get the nachos. Dinner, ate at "Mussel Bar", which had great food and a great beer list. Gastro-pub concept applied extensively to mussels. Tasty. Both options were great.

Not everything is open yet. Central is not open, the main nightclub is not open.

Parking is $5. Parking tip: park on the 6th floor, by the west (inland) elevator - you will literally walk 100 yards and be in the middle of the casino floor. There were plenty of spaces when we were there.

No video poker bars - don't know if this is the norm in AC.

One other cool highlight - the casino floor is a donut, and apparently it's a concert venue in the middle. If you go up one flight in the center, there is a bar (not open yet) from which you can see right into the concert venue. Not sure if this will be open to the public when it opens, but it was when we were there.

Everybody had prepared me by telling me that AC isn't Vegas. Judging by Borgata, I get that - if Borgata was the standard bearer, then no, it's not Vegas. But's up there. I can't wait to go back.

Let me know if you have questions, I might be able to dig a few more memories out.

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 Chuckmonster responded on Monday, 23rd April 2012

Great report! Thanks for sharing the details. I know a bunch of other trippers have already walked Revel and would love to hear what their thoughts are.

It would make sense that Cosmopolitan and Revel are similar, they were designed by the same architectural firm - Arquitectonica.

 hail2skins responded on Monday, 23rd April 2012

I don't know if comparing the Borgata to the Monte Carlo is entirely fair. Given when the place opened (2003) and the main stakeholders in the property and some of the designs of the place, I think Borgata was influenced by Bellagio more than any other place. No, I'm not suggesting that Borgata approahces Bellagio at all in terms of grandeur....I'm just thinking more along the lines of the casino floor. IMO, the tables definitely dominate the floor there, like they do at Steve Wynn's 1998 masterpiece.

Revel.....not exactly sure what it reminds me of. There is a air hockey, foosball, and pool table set right off the lobby upstairs, which definitely evokes the Cosmo comparison. Also this area on the casino level where there is a great deal of an open corridor with seating in the center which changes themes every so often. On the casino floor the tables are kind of divided into mini-pits of around 12 tables a piece, with slots interspersed in between. I was there on a weekday and $5 tables dominated the place, including the pit A55Road Dogg was mentioning where you can see out into the ocean.....6 deck, dealer stood on all 17s to boot.

Also a high-limit ultralounge area is very cool....watched my buddy play $25 blackjack there for several hours. Area has its own bar and floor-to-ceiling windows where you can overlook the beach/ocean and also this VIP daylife area which was under construction. I'm not that crazy about the main pool selection at Revel, although it doesn't seem to be as much of a priority with the availability of the beach.

Would love to stay at the place sometime once the rates come down from the $250 on weekedays they were asking.....most certainly will drop once all 1800 rooms are open. Also, as A55 mentioned, casino is on 6th floor, and there is a set of long escalators (one up/one down) which takes you from the boardwalk entry to casino floor, and then another set of long escalators which goes from the casino level to the lobby level. What if one of the escalators breaks? There are some elevators as well, but could see this being a pain in the butt if that situation happened.

 mstokes responded on Monday, 23rd April 2012

I've been to Revel three times now and am really impressed with most parts of the place. I went on the first night it was open and it was pretty much a mess. Machines were randomly shutting down, drink service was slow, and a ticket machine took my winning ticket without giving out money. While these problems were frustrating, it was to be expected. But the good thing about these problems were that the Revel staff were quick to resolve the problem and apologize for the inconvenience. But after my second and third visits these problems are now gone.

I've eaten at Distrito Cantina and Lugo. Both were pretty good, but nothing mind blowing. I believe as of today all the restaurants are open. I really want to try out Village Whisky sometime soon. All dudes must go to Royal Jelly, it's pretty much a tamer strip club right on the casino floor but with blackjack and an overpriced bar.

This is definitely a place that is made for the daytime and the summer with all the windows and the outdoor rooftop patio. While they do have fireplaces outside to hangout by, it is still way to cold to be hanging outside.

I do have a Revel Card, but honestly have no idea how many points I have, or how many it takes to get a comp of any sort. Their website oddly doesn't mention the card one bit. So at this point it seems pointless.

The room rates as mentioned do need to come down significantly. $250 for a weekday in April is ridiculous while Borgata has newly renovated rooms for $89. I'm glad to see they got rid of that silly two night minimum they had when reservations first started though. But then again everything at this place seems expensive.

It's funny that everybody is saying it reminds them of the Cosmopolitan. That was my first reaction to this place. Especially how Cosmo is built on levels, kind of like how Revel is. They both have that same hipster we're different type of vibe to it. This place could be dropped right on the strip and be a competitor to Aria, Cosmo and such, it's that beautiful.

I can really see Revel killing off a couple of casinos in AC unfortunately. I don't see how the Atlantic Club or Resorts can compete with Borgata, Harrahs, Caesars, and Revel and possibly Golden Nugget.

While I think if you're a serious gambler, you probably won't want to play here until the Revel card situation gets explained a little better. What little gambling I do at Borgata, I get great comps. But if you're not a serious gambler then this is the spot you want to go to, it has everything you are looking for.

 Chuckmonster replied on Wednesday, 25th April 2012

great! thank you. keep em coming folks!

 StudiodeKadent responded on Tuesday, 24th April 2012

I've seen pics of the interior. It looks very much like a Cosmo/Aria hybrid, although closer to the Aria end of the spectrum IMO. Lots of clean lines (the casino color scheme is somewhat Cosmo-esque though, although reds are more prominent than pinks and purples).

 DoubleD responded on Tuesday, 24th April 2012

I stayed at Revel during its first week of operation, specifically on Thursday April 5, at a rate of $250.00 for one night. Frankly, had I not hit my first Royal Flush at Borgata two weeks prior, I would have cancelled my room as I thought that price point was way too high.

That said, my wife and I really enjoyed Revel's standard room, which, as previously mentioned, has ocean views from every room. The room is really well-designed, though there was nothing that blew me away. The one highlight I remember is that virtually everything in the room is controlled by a real tablet, not that Aria Control 4 stuff. This HP (I think) tablet effectively removes the need for those bulky hotel information binders commonly found in the room. From the HP tablet you can peruse the Spa menu and view the Room Service Menu - in fact, you can call from the Tablet to place your Room Service order. Which we did, and it was really good and quick.

The white-walled room, which was sparsely decorated, also featured a tiny closet with safe, flat screen TV, mini-bar and two swivel chairs located in front of the floor to ceiling windows.

The bathroom was very nice too - dual sinks, huge walk-in shower, plus a private toilet room. The soap/shampoo stuff were the same brand that MO Las Vegas uses, which my wife took home with her. My wife commented that the hair dryer was really nice (and hadn't been used), so there's that.

All said and done, Revel's room are among the best, if not the best, in AC right now. Compared to Las Vegas, I'd have to say they are upper-middle tier, consistent with Aria's.

As for the casino, I thought it was well designed with a rotund selection of slot machines. Table minimums were low - a $5 crap table. Video Poker was pretty lame, with JOB, at best of, 8/5 for $5 denominations, plus as previously stated, no casino bars with VP.

I did run into a problem on the casino floor: a slot machine malfunctioned, and it took me approximately 40-45 minutes to get paid. While that sort of hiccup is understandable for a new property, the slot floor manager's response was disappointing. While the slot attendant apologized numerous time, the floor manager, himself, literally yelled at one slot technician in front of me, and, at no point, did he apologize for the inconvenience. In fact, he simply motioned me with his finger to various places in the casino while I waited. I would like to think that if I was a floor manager in that situation, I would have acted differently. Fortunately, everyone else we came into contact to were great; it's just unfortunate that one individual can jeopardize your opinions about a property.

Check-out (and Check-in, for that matter) was a breeze. Scan your paper reservation in the kiosk, and you're set. Valet parking for me was free - just needed to show my Revel Card.

Let me know if you have any other questions...

 Chuckmonster replied on Tuesday, 24th April 2012

Great recap. Love it... thank you!

 Toro66 responded on Tuesday, 24th April 2012

I spent Friday evening there and gave it the same Vegas comparison - as mentioned, very Cosmo in feel and looks which is a great thing, with colors and woodwork similar to Aria.

The best feature to me is that the entire casino is smoke free (a first here). All the old properties around reek from the garage inward, but Revel stays nice. I think this will provide an excellent sanctuary for those seeking such but of course it will turn others off until the laws are changed to eliminate smoking everywhere here (which will happen someday).

I did not stay there, but I did explore it well and had dinner at Village Whiskey. Village Whiskey is not a new place, just new here - they've been in Philly for a few years. Awesome whiskey/scotch/bourbon selection for starters. I opted for the signature Whiskey Burger and it was among the best I've ever had. Made more of an impression on me than Mandalay Place's Burger Bar did. It rivals Holstein's in my mind in excellence, with a selection of shakes for desert. I can't recommend it highly enough if this kind of food and drink is your style - too bad its too early to rate it on TripAdvisor LOL. The waiter couldn't have been better and the manager walked around constantly checking everyone and making sure the patrons were enjoying themselves. I'll drive back to AC just to have a burger there!

 DrSteggy responded on Wednesday, 25th April 2012

Thanks for posting this--we're heading to AC for a weekend (Penn and Teller are in town) and are planning on actually staying instead of just coming home after the show. We love Vegas, but find AC a little lackluster.

FWIW, the ads for Revel that are airing here feel a lot like the "just the right amount of wrong" ads that Cosmo had when they opened. We probably won't stay there, but I look forward to a visit!

 Red2727 responded on Friday, 15th June 2012

Are the drinks for free in the revel casino?

 NJchipper responded on Thursday, 21st June 2012

The Revel is now matching cards. I showed a Harrah's diamond card and got a third-level Revel card and $50 free play. A free room offer followed in the mail. Will be staying there soon. Have heard that they pissed off some Borgata titanium (equal to Harrah's sevenstars) with low free play offers.

They also now are offering free parking to everyone with a revel card and some slot play drawings each day. Yes the place is gorgeous but has a lot of catching up to be in Borgata's status. Borgata treats all levels of players well, has plenty of decent free play,free stay promotions to keep them coming back. The $10 back card buffet price (revel has no buffet and limited non-premium dining choices) also is a winner. Borg also has a ton, by AC standards, of full-pay video poker and is constantly upgrading the slot machine offerings. Borg is almost finished upgrading the original hotel tower.
Revel also is not easy to access from the boardwalk, but i believe they wanted it that way. Access by car also can be tricky. Remember to use the parking pay station before you go back to your car. And if you are staying in the hotel park on the 11th level to gain better access to hotel lobby.
I really enjoy playing in the Revel and the way it is laid out. The resort dollars build up at a much greater rate than they do at Borgata or Harrah's properties. The non-smoking policy is heavenly too. There is some full-pay video poker at the dollar level if you know where to look. A very classy place.