Trump Taj Mahal Hotel & Casino Review
The Trump Taj Mahal remains one of Atlantic City’s most appealing casino resorts, in spite of being rescued from near doom recently. The casino market in the city has seen better times, and not long ago was the only gambling option in the country east of Las Vegas, and its close proximity to the huge population database of the U.S. Northeast made it a tempting and popular option indeed.
Editor’s Note: Trump Taj Mahal has permanently closed its doors. Read these news stories for more details:
Atlantic City itself has seen several booms and busts over the years, so this is nothing new, and even as far back as the city’s early days as a resort town in the 19th century, where many would visit by train. The coming of the automobile changed things, and later, the coming of air travel did the same, but they have always managed to adapt.
The new challenge is the fact that they don’t have a monopoly on casino gambling in this part of the country anymore, and now they have to get better to stay competitive and keep attracting enough people, and part of this was to get leaner, which saw several casinos here close down.
The Trump Taj Mahal was nearly one of them, until they were rescued by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who ended up buying the company and currently owns it. It is now operated under by Tropicana Entartainment, which Icahn owns as well, although they have kept the Trump name.
The Trump Taj Mahal was originally going to be called Resorts Taj Mahal, and during its construction, Donald Trump and Merv Griffin both sought to take over the Resorts International company. In the end, a bargain was struck, where Griffin got the company but Trump was given the Taj property, and it became renamed and completed.
The Taj Mahal became the highest grossing casino in Atlantic City, a title they held until the Borgata was built, which is the new champion. The Taj cost a billion dollars to build though and the debt that this created weighed heavily upon Trump Enterprises, which relied on junk bonds to finance it and went bankrupt several times over the years.
Trump, who at one time owned 3 casinos in the city, the maximum allowed, is now out of the Atlantic City casino business, having sold off Trump Marina and seeing Trump Plaza close. The Taj Mahal is the only remaining one open bearing his name, but he no longer has any connections to the business.
Their business struggles aside, this is certainly an impressive property, and if anything, they spent too much money building this place, building too impressive of a resort in other words, and although the Borgata also cost a billion to build, the Taj’s billion was in 1990 dollars, not 2003 ones.
The Amenities at the Trump Taj Mahal
The theme here is of course the Taj Mahal in India, and the entrance certainly is designed to make you feel as you are entering this wonder of the world. Like the builders of the original Taj, they did dream big with this one as well, and perhaps a little too big, but guests don’t complain.
There are over 2,000 rooms here now since the completion of the Chairman Tower in 2008. Depending on when you are booking, rates for their standard rooms range from $79 all the way up to over $300, with weekend bookings costing significantly more generally.
This is one of the things that this hotel has struggled with, as there are resorts in town which have been much less expensive to build that offer better room rates, but the quality of the rooms at the Taj Mahal make it well worth the extra money on a lot of nights anyway.
The rooms are luxuriously decorated and include such features as marble bathrooms, Simmons Health Smart beds, in room refrigerator, safe, iron and ironing board, hair dryers, state of the art televisions, and great views.
Those willing to spend more can book one of their impressive suites, right on up to the Alexander Suite, a 3,500 square foot palace away from home.
There are 19 dining options here, with a wide variety of both upscale and casual dining restaurants. The lineup is headlined by Il Mulino New York, the number one Italian restaurant in New York for over two decades. Robert’s Steakhouse is the only restaurant in Atlantic City to dry age their beef in house.
Sultan’s Feast, their popular buffet, is now back, and there’s also an Asian restaurant, a sushi bar, another Italian restaurant, a candy shop, a Panda Express, a sub shop, a noodle bar, a modern burger restaurant, an American style café, a sandwich shop, a Hard Rock Café, a cafeteria, a fast food Indian restaurant, a pizza shop, a pretzel shop, and a Starbucks.
There are three live entertainment venues, including an arena, a showroom, and a theater, which feature some of the best live entertainment you’ll find in Atlantic City. There is also several bars and nightclubs, including Scores, Atlantic City’s first strip club, Robert’s Rooftop bar and lounge, and the Eco Bar and Lounge.
The Taj Mahal also offers a health spa, a salon, a pool, and a fitness center, as well as shopping on site, to round things out.
The Casino at the Trump Taj Mahal
The casino here is of an impressive size, boasting 167,000 square feet of gaming space. Slot players will delight in their over 2,500 gaming machines, including a wide selection of both slots and video poker machines. There are over 250 new machines that have been added recently, and the management here work hard to ensure that they always have all the slots that players want and then some.
The table games area is also impressive, with 16 different ones to play, including Blackjack, 6 to 5 Blackjack, Double Attack Blackjack, Big 6 Wheel, Craps, Let It Ride, Four Card Poker, Mini Baccarat, Dragon Bonus Mini Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Pai Gow Tiles, Roulette, Spanish 21, Texas Holdem Bonus, Three Card Poker, and 6 Card Bonus Three Card Poker.
There’s also a high limit Gaming Salon which looks to offer well heeled players the finest in Monte Carlo style high end gaming experiences, which they feel is Atlantic City’s most sophisticated casino experience.
The Taj Poker Room used to be the second biggest poker room in the city until it closed down, but the good news is that it is back, offering both limit and no limit Holdem, as well as Omaha and Stud. There are 25 tables here so lots of action is to be found.
The Trump Taj Mahal was created to be Atlantic City’s finest casino, and although there have been some fine ones built since, it still remains a very attractive and impressive destination for casino gamblers planning on visiting Atlantic City.