Wayne and Judy Bayliff •
For a variety of reasons, there are a number of people who will never set foot on a cruise ship. However, many of those same individuals would love to experience the gratifications of cruising, i.e., exceptional dining, luxurious spas, and extraordinary service and entertainment. Take heart non-cruisers, we have found a great alternative right here on terra firma. Look toward Reno, Nevada, and the fabulous Atlantis Resort Casino and Spa.
The Atlantis has evolved from a quintessential hotel casino into a bona fide vacation destination. Once you arrive at the Atlantis, there is no need to leave the resort until you are ready to depart for home. Here’s why.
The ‘new’ Atlantis Hotel --
Recently completing a 100 million dollar renovation, the Atlantis re-engineered itself into a premier holiday destination for couples and families. Atlantis hotel rooms are rich with amenities such as fashionable furniture, plush pillow top mattresses, a multi-media launch pad connected to a 42" flat screen HDTV, high speed internet, and specialty body and bath products.
For a special treat, reserve one of the redesigned Concierge Tower Rooms. Concierge status afforded us a quick VIP check-in, an express key card access to the Concierge floors via the hotel’s glass elevators, and access to the private Concierge Lounge that served an excellent continental breakfast and afternoon tea and hors d’oeuvres.
Further, our spacious 22nd floor Concierge room had a wall of windows that provided a stunning panoramic view of the city below, which could be enjoyed from our in-room hot tub. Nice.
Dining at the Atlantis --
We had heard about a unique dining experience being offered by the Atlantis. It was a special dinner called the Spirited Dining Series. The idea of these events is to pair exceptional cuisine with equally remarkable fine wines and spirits.
The day we arrived at the Atlantis, they were featuring the Patrón Tequila Dinner, which consisted of four courses of inspirational food paired with an assortment of delightfully creative cocktails – all blended with varieties of Patrón Tequilas.
There was plenty of delicious food and cocktails, and we were finished off with an exquisite Dulce de Leche Bread Pudding with Chocolate, dark Cherries, Crème Anglaise, and Patrón XO Café Dark Cocoa. Oh boy.
Depending on when you read this article, you may have time to sign up for an equally interesting Spirited Dining experience of your own. Crown Royal will be featured in October and Rombauer in December. If they are sold-out of your preference, Chef de’Cuisine Clay Slieff told us that these dinners are too much fun not to continue, so check with the hotel for future dates and plans.
The Spa Atlantis --
In our travels, we sample a fair number of spas with impressive pedigrees. The Spa Atlantis provided one of our best experiences anywhere. The elegance of what you will find becomes immediately apparent when you see the luxurious indoor pool and waterfall at the entrance to the Spa. You will also know you made the right decision in visiting the spa when you are greeted by the friendly staff and excellent therapists.
We chose a couples massage to loosen the knots and kinks from our drive to the Atlantis. We started with a soothing mineral bath and proceeded to a side-by-side Swedish massage with ample kneading in all the right places.
After an 80-minute therapy, we retired to the lavish indoor soaking tub and the Brine Inhalation Therapy Lounge.
We finished off with a hot whirlpool and cold dip-pool followed by a waterfall shower. It was all quite decadent – and highly enjoyable. This spa is a destination in its own right.
We ended refreshed, invigorated, and ready for our busy day and upcoming lunch at the Atlantis deli.
The Manhattan Deli --
This is a deli to die for. Many a would-be deli claims the ‘genuine’ title, but few produce the extensive specialty menu for which true Manhattan delicatessens are famous. The Atlantis Manhattan Deli is the real McCoy when it comes to deli sandwiches, soups, and salads.
We started our serial lunch with scrumptious Latke (potato pancakes) – delicious with sour cream or ketchup. We followed that with a really good – and no doubt nutritious – chicken noodle soup.
Next it was a piled-high Italian salami sandwich on an east-coast style hoagie roll with deli-mustard, coleslaw, and a New York dill pickle for one of us, and a chicken in the pot with fresh veggies and noodles for the other.
Finally, we shared a New York Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce that could have come from the best Jewish bakery in the Big Apple.
The Bistro Napa --
We already described our fabulous Patrón dinner that took place in the Bistro Napa. Chef de’ Cuisine Clay Slieff referred to the Bistro Napa as the Atlantis’ outlet for a chef’s imaginative gastronomical creations.
Check out the photo of his famous dessert, the “Chocolate Burger with Fries.” It looks like a genuine hamburger, but is actually a delectable brownie on a donut bun, and garnished with fresh fruits. The “fries” are carved mango. Highly creative.
On another occasion, we were treated to cotton candy before leaving the dinner table. This is a place for the unexpected of casual fine dining with emphasis on California and Organic Cuisine. They can experiment on our palates anytime.
If the Bistro Napa is for food exploration, the Atlantis Steakhouse is for the enjoyment of classical steakhouse selections with interesting twists and fine wines.
The Steakhouse --
For our second night dinner, we decided to try the famous Atlantis Steakhouse. After reviewing the extensive menu, we opted for the evening special recommended by Room Chef, Dan Bauer.
The ‘special’ consisted of Alaskan baked Halibut and Dungeness Crab in Béarnaise Sauce with a petite Filet Mignon (from Allen Brothers of Chicago), in Veal Demi-glace, accompanied by fresh Asparagus and Yukon Gold Whipped Potatoes.
Dessert consisted of what has now become our favorite Cheese Cake, this time adorned with fresh berries. Yumm.
The elegant Atlantis Steakhouse is akin to the wonderful specialty restaurants found on many of today’s progressive cruise ships.
Be sure to ask cordial Maître D’, Ali Sar-Sangi for his recommendation of the best wine to enhance your meal. There are 325 ready wine selections in the Steakhouse, and over 4,000 bottles in the Atlantis cellar.
Toucan Charlie’s Buffet --
Our last meal at the Atlantis was the buffet at Toucan Charlie’s. Like a cruise ship, Toucan Charlie’s serves buffet style meals throughout the day. We enjoyed the lavish breakfast buffet, and locals told us that the lunch, dinner, and Sunday Champagne Brunch are all worth the price of admission.
We found the assortment of meats and entrees to be extensive and tasty, and the wide variety of fruit and produce choices to be fresh and delicious.
The Atlantis has eight restaurants in all. We plan to try all those we missed during our next visit.
With the advent of more states providing gaming opportunities closer to home, gaming has become a very competitive leisure time activity.
By well-deserved reputation, the Atlantis continues to remain in the forefront of innovative adult gaming and arcade entertainment. Judging by the size of the crowd in the 60,000 square foot casino, their efforts are being well rewarded.
There are ten bars and lounges for your socializing pleasure. There is also live nightly entertainment at the Cabaret Stage on the casino floor. The Atlantis frequently features headliners performing in concert in the Grand Ballroom. Check out the resorts website for upcoming engagements. http://www.atlantiscasino.com
Conventions and meetings --
The Atlantis boasts one of the best meeting and conference facilities in the world. State of the art technology reigns in every one of its many meeting rooms – which are all on one floor. There is 50,000 square feet of space including two expansive ballrooms and multiple breakout/meeting rooms available.
Most impressively, the Atlantis is connected to the 500,000 square foot Reno/Sparks Convention Center via an air-conditioned sky-bridge. This is an event planners dream.
Our recommendation --
We highly recommend the Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa in Reno. The staff is most gracious and accommodating, the food is wonderful, the spa magnificent, and the amenities and entertainment are all first class.
It is an outstanding destination resort for the entire family, and is well deserving of its AAA Four Diamond Rating.
To get more information about all that the Reno Atlantis has to offer check out their website here or at www.atlantiscasino.com
Shore excursions --
In a future article, we will stay with our cruise theme, and describe what there is to do if you decide to venture off the Atlantis property and into the greater Reno/Tahoe area – and there is plenty – so don’t miss it.
If you would like to see all our photos of the Atlantis Reno, cut and paste http://is.gd/FSzq6C
© Travels with Wayne and Judy Bayliff
Photos © Wayne and Judy Bayliff
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