Atlantic City has long beckoned visitors with its sandy beaches, infamous boardwalk, saltwater taffy, and casinos. Its proximity to major East Coast cities, such as New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., doesn't hurt either. This popular resort town even served as inspiration for the board game Monopoly. Considered the gaming capital of the Northeast, it has recently undergone a transformation of sorts with an influx of new development designed to revitalize the city. Proving to be one of the town's biggest sensations is the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa, which opened in 2003. Capitalizing on its success, the owners recently opened The Water Club–A Signature Hotel by Borgata, the city's first boutique lifestyle hotel. "Within a few short months of opening Borgata, we realized the need to expand our product to accommodate the high demand and understood that there was an untapped niche in the market for a cosmopolitan hotel experience in Atlantic City," says Larry Mullin, president and COO for Borgata. "We are confident that not only will the addition of The Water Club firmly position Borgata for long-term success but it will also lead Atlantic City as it evolves into a true travel destination."
Located just steps away from its sister property, the 43-story Water Club has 800 guest rooms and suites and cost approximately $400 million to build. Not surprisingly, a two-story 36,000-square-foot spa located on the 32nd and 33rd floors attracts guests looking for a somewhat atypical Atlantic City experience. In the city's first major non-gaming hotel, Immersion Spa at The Water Club features floor-to-ceiling windows, 180-degree ocean views, a 25-yard infinity-edge lap pool, 16 treatment rooms (also referred to as Experience Rooms), and an 18,000-square-foot fitness center. The spa sets the stage for a truly memorable experience with treatments clocking in a full 30 minutes longer than many traditional services at other spas. According to spa director Brennan Evans, "With 16 experience rooms and 80-minute treatments, Immersion's internationally inspired menu appeals to the spa aficionado."
Differentiating itself from Borgata's 54,000-square-foot, 31-treatment room Spa Toccare, Immersion seeks to offer more of a destination spa experience. "Spa Toccare is about grooming and getting energized for an evening out at Borgata, while Immersion is a destination-type spa where guests can indulge in an all-day spa experience," says Evans. Unlike Spa Toccare, Immersion is available only to guests of The Water Club. This is on account of the fewer number of existing treatment rooms and the desire to offer a more intimate and exclusive experience. Guests of the hotel, however, are free to visit Spa Toccare for a change of pace.
With spa cuisine available from chef Geoffrey Zakarian, there's no need for spa-goers to venture far. Most opt to enjoy the healthy offerings poolside, between services. "We believe that most spa-goers are interested in an experience, not just a treatment," says Evans. "At Immersion, our treatment menu is designed with longer service experiences so that the customer truly has time to relax and achieve the benefits of his or her experience."
Clockwise from top: In addition to an outdoor pool (shown), The Water Club gives guests of the spa exclusive access to an infinity-edge pool and an oversized Jacuzzi (shown); the 43-story boutique hotel has 800 guest rooms; the Immersion Couple's Suite, featuring views of the city, is ideal for those wishing to spa together.
Because the spa caters to a spa-savvy crowd, it was important to offer a diverse menu that would appeal to their sophisticated tastes. "We wanted to create a menu that was globally inspired and also offered a modern, technological edge to it," says Evans. For example, spa-goers can choose from Ayurvedic treatments, such as the Bindi Body Rejuvenation ($220, 80 minutes) and the Vital Essence Ayurvedic Facial ($250, 80 minutes); body treatments from around the world, such as the Ancient Rituals of Marrakech ($180, 80 minutes) and Egyptian Milk & Honey Cocoon Float ($220, 80 minutes); or the state-of-the-art, technology-driven Ultimate Oxygenating Facial ($280, 80 minutes). One of the spa's most popular treatments is the Balinese Massage ($240, 80 minutes), which combines Chinese, European, and Hindu techniques. According to Evans, most spa-goers gravitate toward the spa's massage and body treatment offerings.
With 26 therapists and six estheticians on staff, the spa is able to accommodate approximately 50 to 75 clients each day. Most come from nearby urban areas. "With a third of the U.S. within a tank of gas from the hotel, the majority of our guests come from New York City, Philadelphia, and the D.C. area," says Evans. An express train from New York City slated to start running next year is expected to add to the city's appeal. With Atlantic City once again regaining its fame as a popular seaside retreat, Immersion Spa at The Water Club is poised to make any spa-goer's visit an experience worth repeating.