Playing Hooky, Discovering Atlantis

How often have you attended a convention and only spent time in meetings, the elevator or your room?  You know the drill: opening reception, next day chock full of seminars, big lunch, cocktails followed by dinner, then start over the next morning.   Well, here’s an admission.  At a recent conference, I played hooky and made a discovery: Atlantis.   Not the mystical city of the Greeks, but the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada.


I had to plan my escape carefully. I started by wandering through the hotel for ideas.  Since poker is a passion, the card room was a logical stop.  Fortunately, there was a Hold ‘em tournament just beginning and a chair was open.  It was a $30 buy-in, there were nine tables and the participants were a mixture of hotel guests and regulars.  Free coffee, water and soft drinks were available for the players, as well as a platter of donuts.  The game began promptly and after a good start, including quad queens, by noon I was short-stacked.  I shoved all-in with an ace-jack suited, but lost when the hand didn’t pair up. I finished out of the money (missed the final table by one) but it was an excellent start to the day.




Poker Room

By that time, I was ravenous and headed to lunch. The Manhattan Deli & Restaurant took good care of my hunger.  It’s a traditional New York style deli with a huge menu and portions to match.  Their not-to-be missed signature dish is the “piled-high” pastrami sandwich.  It is served on thick-cut rye bread designed to better hold the giant stack of meat together. The classic New York cheesecake for dessert was sublime.  All bakery goods are made in-house.  Rightfully, the place has become a local favorite.


I decided that a visit to the spa would be the perfect way to end my adventure.  In 2010, the Spa at Atlantis was listed in the SpaFinders Reader’s Choice awards.  Upon entering, I was transported to a zone of tranquility.  I “took the waters” at the Aqua Lounge, then rested in the Laconium Relaxation area and finished with a superb hot-stone massage.  Now I understand why the Spa won its award.




Aqua Lounge

Reluctantly, I realized it was time to end my getaway and head back to the conference’s closing ceremony.  But I was content knowing that, in the course of my day playing hooky, I discovered Atlantis.

Safe travels and enjoy the journey…
Howard Hian
Travels with Hian

Additional Information – The Atlantis Casino Spa Resort’s remodel and expansion cost $100 million and it shows.  The casino offers classic table games, slots, Keno and a race/sports book.  The smoke-free poker room is comfortable, and the staff and dealers are helpful and friendly. Other amenities include entertainment venues, an arcade, conference space, salon, fitness center, wedding services and spacious guest rooms. There are 10 bars and lounges. The eight restaurants run the gamut from coffee and snacks to Reno’s “best buffet,” a steak house, sushi and oyster bars and gourmet dining.  For information, specials and packages, logon to or call 1-800-723-6500 for reservations. Sign up for Club Paradise discounts and promotions. To find out more about Reno and the Lake Tahoe area go to

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