When I walked into the newly expanded Caesars Atlantic City recently, it felt more like being in ancient Rome than on the Jersey shore. I found the design and decor of the new Temple Lobby riveting. The spectacular six-story atrium lobby looks like the Forum of ancient Rome, open and spacious with 27-foot columns and huge marble statues, including one 17-ton statue of Caesar. Nine-foot-tall variations of the Roman goddess of youth, Hebe, surround the top of the Colosseum area just under the blue twilight skyscape painted on the ceiling.

Meeting planners will love the Temple lobby's 15 check-in stations at reception, facilitating quick processing for groups. Just off to the side of the lobby is the new Temple Bar & Grille. The outside of the bar is designed in the likeness of a Roman temple with steps leading to an opulent bar and dining area with fresco niches on the walls and mosaics of Sienna. The tables on the palazzo outside the Temple Bar & Grille are a perfect place to relax. The hotel has 12 restaurants ranging from casual dining at the independently owned Planet Hollywood on the boardwalk at Caesars, to the new and beautiful Rotunda restaurant, to formal dining at the award-winning Bacchanal. Dine-arounds are easily arranged.

The $280 million expansion project includes the new Centurion Tower with 640 guest rooms, bringing the total number of guest rooms to 1,144. The luxurious rooms are decorated in warm Tuscan shades of gold, green, red, and cream.

The new Palladium Ballroom accommodates 2,000 people with a foyer for prefunction cocktails and events. Four new meeting rooms with separate entrances are designed as Italian villas.--Helena Miele