The Trend Report: The Rebirth?

Courtesy The Chelsea

You must remember this? Well, forget it! The place everyone called A.C.? Which might as well, let’s be honest, have stood for Awfully Classless. The stereotypical visitor was a pensioner who caught the free shuttle bus from his local OTB and spent 12 hours in front of the slots with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth before heading back into town. Today, however, A.C. has become something Approaching Chic. In June the Borgata (the high-end property that pioneered the reinvention of the city) opened its 800-room nongaming Water Club tower ($240–$540; 800-800-8817; thewaterclubhotel.com), with a 36,000-square-foot spa and menus by Geoffrey Zakarian. Then, in August, the Howard Johnson and Holiday Inn became The Chelsea ($230–$450; 800-548-3030; thechelsea-ac.com), the first entirely casino-free hotel to arrive on the boardwalk since the sixties. It sports its own spa and restaurants by Stephen Starr and nightlife from the guys behind Page Six mainstay Beatrice Inn.