Reno Luxury For Way Less Than You’d Think
I’m not sure what you think of when you think of hotels in Reno, but I think of noisy casinos, rowdy bars, and rooms that have probably seen better days. What I don’t think of—or, should I say, didn’t think of until I stayed at the newly renovated Atlantis Casino Resort & Spa recently—is sleek design, top-notch dining options, and a spa that rivals any I’ve ever been to in my life. And I’ve got a soft spot for spas.
Open since 1972, the Atlantis has recently undergone a stunning transformation that’s led to an impeccable new concierge floor featuring rooms that would make the W Hotel proud.
A new addition, the in-house Atlantis Steakhouse has been open just a few months and offers a surprisingly excellent value for money. The menu, hilariously, offers a choice of Oysters “Classic Rock” or Oysters “Progressive Rock,” the latter a slightly wackier take on a traditional dish, featuring Tasso ham and Mornay sauce. Needless to say, carnivores won’t be disappointed either (did the name give it away?)
Believe it or not, the Atlantis Steakhouse employs the area’s only certified mixologist in Northern Nevada, which probably explains the excellent menu of classic cocktails—all only $9 each, a steal for this San Francisco-dwelling barhopper (Hemingway Daquiri, anyone?) And if you’re looking for dessert with a side of drama, order the Bananas Foster, which are prepared tableside with much aplomb.
We were in Reno with the intent of making a day trip to Lake Tahoe, which turned out to be even easier than I’d imagined. The drive only takes about an hour, but if you’re wheels-free, the hotel actually offers a shuttle service seven days a week to several of the region’s ski areas, including Alpine Meadows, Northstar, and Melrose.
Probably the best thing about the Atlantis, though, is the incredibly tranquil spa, which opened earlier last year. One of the few places in the country to offer the unusual Bali Rasul Ceremony—you’re coated with mud before being seated in a steamy chamber, and showered with a tropical rainfall at the end—the whole place is seriously dreamy (and Reno locals can even get 15% off!)
My favorite part was the Brine Light Therapy Inhalation Lounge, where you recline on heated benches between treatments and gaze at a huge wall of brine that gradually changes from white (refreshing) to amber (calming) to blue (soothing) to green (peaceful) to red (motivating) and back to white again. Sounds a little hippy-dippy, but it was curiously therapeutic, and not like anything I’ve ever done before in my life.
If you’re spending a week in Tahoe this summer and flying into the Reno Airport, I’d highly recommend a night or two at the Atlantis for a little bit of luxurious living before you hit the great outdoors. As for me, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be back for another weekend getaway sometime soon—it’s only a three-hour drive from San Francisco.