Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace: A Dazzling Debut

The famed chef gets everything right with his exclusive new Las Vegas hotel By: Marty Wentzel
Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace guest room decor combines traditional and modern Japanese elements // (c) 2013 Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace
Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace guest room decor combines traditional and modern Japanese elements // (c) 2013 Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace

The Details

Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace

Rack rates: From $249 per night
Travel agent commission: 10 percent

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, as the saying goes. In the case of Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, they nailed it.

Open since Feb. 4, 2013, this noteworthy property is the first hotel project by famed chef Nobu Matsuhisa, and it boasts the largest Nobu Restaurant in the world. The one-of-a-kind oasis occupies Caesars Palace’s Centurion Tower, which underwent a multimillion dollar renovation to become the new high-end 181-room boutique hotel-within-a-hotel.

From the moment I walked into the lobby I could tell Nobu got it right. Turning my back on the razzle-dazzle of Caesars Palace’s public spaces, I walked through a doorway framed by glowing amber-colored panels leading to Nobu’s private, peaceful lobby, distinctive with its wood blocks of various sizes and shapes on the walls and ceiling. Instead of checking in at the front desk, a personal concierge showed me how to swipe my card key so the elevator could tell me my floor, and she joined me for the in-room iPad registration as I sipped green tea.

Even after my first impressions, I continued my love affair with this novel new accommodation. My room was spacious -- the smallest is still a generous 350 square feet -- with plenty of room to relax. I loved the Japanese flair of the bathroom, from the freestanding white bowl instead of a normal hotel sink, to the teak shower stool reminiscent of those found in Japanese bath houses.

An elegant black brushstroke across the beige wall defined my room decor, which blended traditional and modern Japanese elements and art prints personally selected by Matsuhisa. At the same time, the room featured trendy amenities like an iPad docking station and 55-inch flat screen television. The bed, which felt heaven-sent with its luxurious Italian linens, featured a turndown pillow menu complete with scented pillow mist.

Nobu thought everything through to a T, right down to his mini-bar with its sweet potato Pop Chips, Japanese beer and signature chilled sake. He made an equally strong statement with his first-ever in-room dining menu, which is available round-the-clock. While his room service breakfast offerings are innovative -- think green tea waffles -- my personal highlights were his lunch and dinner bento boxes served with miso soup, pickles and rice. Guests can keep it simple with a bento of grilled barbecued eel over rice or go for broke with a box of lobster wasabi, wagyu steak, spicy garlic shrimp, spinach dry miso with crab, premium rolls and nigiri.

While the in-room dining delighted me, my actual visit to Nobu Restaurant blew me away. With 327 seats within 12,775 square feet, it has enough room for three teppanyaki tables, two semi-private chef’s tables in individual pods, a sushi bar, private dining room, bar and lounge. Stone tiles, evocative colors, wood highlights and paper lanterns create a stylish setting for savoring the results of the chef’s genius. Nobu’s food is served to share, letting diners sample a variety of flavors like yellowtail sashimi with thin slices of jalapeno -- now I know why it’s called his signature dish -- and black cod with miso, a melt-in-your-mouth culinary masterpiece.

The good impressions just kept on coming during my visit to the hotel’s Qua Baths and Spa, now featuring specialized Nobu treatments like the Nagomi Ritual, a decadent combination of a foot bath, massage and facial. As an added perk, Nobu Hotel guests get free access to the spa’s 5,500-square-foot gym with a breathtaking line-up of workout equipment.

Here’s yet another selling point for Nobu hotel: it’s a smoke-free non-gaming environment, a rarity on the Strip.

Nobu Hotel provides a great new option for clients seeking exclusive, first-class Las Vegas accommodations and dining while having access to all of the city’s highlights. For anyone who falls into that category, this exciting addition to the Vegas inventory lives up to all the hype, and then some.

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