A bedroom rendering of the new Julius Tower at Caesars Palace Las Vegas // © 2016 Caesars Entertainment
Feature image (above): Bottles of bubbly surround Jeff Koons “Balloon Venus” sculpture in the new Mr Chow lobby. // © 2016 Caesars Entertainment
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Caesars Palace Las Vegas turns 50 this year, and the iconic Sin City resort and casino is celebrating in a big way.
A $75 million dollar renovation transformed the property’s original tower, formerly known as the Roman Tower, into the new Julius Tower, named for — you guessed it — Julius Caesar.
The redesigned 587-room tower debuted Jan. 1 and is a modern breath of fresh air for the Strip mainstay. Some suites are still under construction and are anticipated to open mid-February. Rooms are well-appointed with sleek luxury furnishings and clean lines. A neutral color scheme with gray, geometric-print carpeting; crisp, white linens; and upholstered headboards lined with bronze-framed mirror panels set the tone. Cheery accent pieces including a freesia-yellow leather ottoman, bright blue lamps, a funky leopard print throw and cheeky artwork featuring Roman statues add an element of playfulness.
In a hotel named after an Italian icon, marble tile is pretty much mandatory, and the Julius Tower bathrooms don’t disappoint. There’s a two-tone stone tile pattern, along with vanity mirrors shaped like Roman columns and a large stone shower equipped with a rain showerhead.
The modern design, ample charging stations for electronic devices and an affordable price point — room rates start at $149 — make the Julius Tower an especially attractive option for both millennials and business travelers.
Also new is Mr Chow, the seventh location of the fine-dining concept founded by chef and artist Michael Chow. Arguably the hottest restaurant in town at the moment, Mr Chow merges the classic Vegas tradition of dinner and a show into one memorable experience. Think a ridiculously upscale Rainforest Cafe meets an art gallery, serving champagne from a $140,000 Christofle trolley.
Guests journey up from the casino floor in a private elevator to the restaurant’s hostess desk, flanked by champagne bottles and Jeff Koons’ bubbly, hot pink Balloon Venus sculpture. Gleaming white walls and ambient lighting set the stage for an enormous, undulating fiberglass sculpture known as “The Moon” to descend periodically from the ceiling and open over diners’ heads throughout the course of the meal.
The menu is packed with creative, Beijing-inspired dishes that are worth the splurge. Selecting a semi prix fixe menu, starting at $62 per person and served family style, is an interactive way to sample multiple dishes. Standouts include the Crab Claw, sumptuous Green Water Dumplings, house specialty Beijing Duck and the Chow-lini cocktail with effervescent peach foam. There’s also a dramatic noodle show on the dining room floor conducted by chefs who pull and shape pliable dough into fresh noodles.
Service is polished, but surprisingly unpretentious, and celebrity sightings are not uncommon. (We spotted reality television star and burlesque performer Holly Madison supping with her 2-year-old daughter on a recent Saturday night.) The restaurant overlooks Caesars’ Garden of the Gods pool complex and seats 250, with four private rooms that can accommodate up to 50 people each.