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The Short Version: The Claridge hotel was built in 1930, and it has seen Atlantic City, New Jersey, develop a reputation as a fun-filled destination for travelers. Couples can enjoy oceanside views from the hotel’s top floor and celebrate relationship milestones at its romantic restaurant. The Claridge is located near the city’s famous Boardwalk and is just two blocs away from numerous outlet stores, and it offers three luxurious ballrooms for weddings and receptions. For its commitment to helping couples celebrate their relationships in Atlantic City, The Claridge earns our Editor’s Choice Award.
The Claridge is a 23-story hotel that looms high over Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was completed in 1930, during the Great Depression, and it was the first hotel to have running hot and cold, fresh and saltwater. At the time, saltwater was believed to have healing powers.
“It used to be called the Skyscraper by the Sea. If you play Monopoly, we are at Boardwalk and Park Place, the two most expensive properties in the game. Right on the middle of the Boardwalk,” said Jeff Marshall, Director of Sales and Marketing at The Claridge.
In the early years, the hotel counted world-famous celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe, Mickey Mantle, Frank Sinatra, and Princess Grace, among its guests.
In 1981, The Claridge was opened to gambling. Guests could gamble at the hotel until 2014 when it rebranded itself the same way the city did — as a destination for entertainment, shopping, and other activities — in addition to gambling.
Today, The Claridge is a standalone hotel that maintains its original art deco charm, including marble floors, gold accents, and photos from its early years on the walls.
However, couples who choose to celebrate relationship milestones at The Claridge won’t feel stuck in the past. Every stateroom has been updated to modern standards, and its rooftop bar boasts panoramic views of the ocean.
It also offers a variety of stunning venues — including three ballrooms — for weddings, receptions, and other celebrations.
Many East Coast couples travel to The Claridge for weekend getaways, while guests from around the country and the world also choose the hotel for its classic charm.
The Claridge rooms are memorable, and each is outfitted in gold, cream, and deep browns to help guests unwind. Smaller rooms include basic amenities, while suites are more luxurious.
For instance, the Boardwalk Empire suite is designed to look like a throwback to the Roaring 20s with its whirlpool for two. The Monaco Suite — named for frequent guest Princess Grace — is outfitted with marble and dark wood furniture.
When couples book a stay at the hotel, they can look forward to a range of recreational amenities, including a fitness center, an indoor pool, bicycles to rent, and an arcade and game room . They also have two unique dining options on the hotel’s property: the classic Twenties Italian Bistro and the modern VÜE rooftop bar.
The Twenties Italian Bistro is one of the oldest restaurants in Atlantic City, and it serves Italian comfort food and offers guests views of the ocean from the dining room.
The VÜE is the hotel’s newer restaurant and is located on its rooftop. The bar offers views of the skyline, the Atlantic Ocean, and the boardwalk.
“It’s open year-round, but in the spring, summer, and fall, we have outdoor dining overlooking everything. Great food, huge TVs. You can watch sports or take in the breathtaking views,” Jeff told us.
Many couples seeking the ultimate relationship celebration — their wedding — also choose The Claridge to exchange vows. The hotel has perfect venues to host both large and small ceremonies.
The Grand Ballroom is a popular choice for large wedding receptions with its ornate vintage details. Couples who prefer contemporary settings may opt for the Ocean View Room instead. The Art Gallery is often used for cocktail hour.
In addition to its spaces, The Claridge staff plans details for each wedding. Its packages are inspired by the hotel’s history and include The Speakeasy, The Boardwalk Empire Buffet, and The Great Gatsby.
The Great Gatsby wedding package, for instance, includes a five-hour open bar, a champagne toast with dessert, a one-night stay in a spacious bridal suite, and a bridal preparation suite, among many other amenities.
According to the hotel, “This sumptuous Atlantic City wedding celebration will create memories you’ll treasure forever. The five-hour cocktail reception and seated dinner offer a sense of luxury, romance, and glamour — setting the style for your future together.”
One couple described their wedding at The Claridge in an online testimonial:
“Our wedding took place in the Art Gallery, which provided an elegant backdrop for a small, intimate wedding. Playing the baby grand piano was a nice centerpiece. Leaving the reception upstairs to the bridal suite was convenient and luxurious. The strawberries, cheese and crackers and champagne were a nice added touch. They had great ideas and were open to mine. They make a great team!”
Couples who choose to celebrate relationship milestones at The Claridge have an array of options, including weekend packages or extended getaway specials.
Jeff recommends the Romance Package, which includes a one-night stay at the hotel in one of its deluxe suites, as well as champagne and cannolis delivered in-suite upon arrival. The next morning, the couple can enjoy breakfast delivered to a suite.
After that, they can check out some of the other highlights Atlantic City has to offer. The Claridge guests are close to in-hotel shopping options and nearby gambling.
“We connect with two casinos. You can take the elevator to the second floor without leaving the building or going outside,” said Jeff.
He also suggests couples check out the Atlantic City Comedy Club, a show in the hotel featuring local talent and well-known comedians (i.e. Andrew Dice Clay) on most weekend nights.
Many guests also check out the beach or the hotel pool at some point during their vacation.
“Most people stay for a long weekend or several days. There’s a lot to do, whether you like the beach or want to swim in our gorgeous indoor pool. When you can’t sit at the beach, we have a tremendous pool,” Jeff said.
Once guests celebrate their relationships at The Claridge, they often keep coming back.
“We have older clientele who have been coming here for years with their families, their children, and grandchildren,” Jeff told us.
That is what Jeff appreciates most about the hotel — it helps couples and families alike make lasting memories. Many guests can also enjoy the same hotel in the same style as their relatives did decades ago.
“The hotel is probably somewhere their parents and grandparents came to. It’s not your run-of-the-mill place. With the history of this hotel and its charm, we bring something different to the table,” said Jeff.