There’s a new player in Sin City. The world’s first Nobu Hotel opens today at Caesars Palace with its 181 sleek and sexy rooms and 327-seat restaurant (it’s Nobu’s Strip debut). Our team got a sneak peek of Vegas’ first celebrity-chef-branded hotel before guests arrived — read on for the lowdown on the rooms, the decadent room service bento boxes and more.
The hotel has been in the works since famed chef Nobu Matsuhisa, actor Robert De Niro and Hollywood producer Meir Teper teamed up with Caesars Palace to overhaul the outdated Centurion Tower. Well-known architect and designer David Rockwell spearheaded the hotel’s look, pulling inspiration from everything from origami to the energetic atmosphere of Nobu restaurants around the world (which he also helped design).
The hotel’s exclusivity is obvious as soon as you walk in the door. A personal concierge leads you from the 100-square-foot lobby to the “smart” elevator where you swipe your key card and choose your floor before stepping inside.
The chic Japanese-influenced rooms are spacious (the smallest space is 350 square feet) and sport the latest gadgets—like docking stations that allow you to stream videos to the 55-inch flat-screen TV. And when you return from a long night on the Strip, the cloud-like beds are particularly alluring—300-thread-count satin linen sheets and a pillow menu (with scented mist at turndown) ensure you’ll have a good night’s sleep.
Rockwell infuses the contemporary cream-and-brown space with Eastern elements ranging from calligraphy above the bed to the Japanese-influenced pillows in vibrant colors on the couch. The minimalist bathrooms also take note from Matsuhisa’s heritage; there’s white ceramic and traditional Japanese black tile as well as teak furniture. The teak shower stool is a standard feature in many Japanese households.
But Matsuhisa’s influences are everywhere, beginning with the customary welcome hot tea and rice cookie from the chef’s hometown of Saitama, Japan, down to the artwork he curated from up-and-coming Japanese artists hanging in each guest room.
When you check in to a hotel donning a world-class chef’s name, you expect the food to be spectacular—and it is. It’s the first time that Matsuhisa has created a 24-hour in-room dining menu or breakfast foods, and he nails them both. His take on the classic bagel and lox features crispy rice that’s coated with salt, garlic and other seasonings typical on an everything bagel and then finished off with salmon sashimi, onion, capers and ponzu. Our highlights of the in-room dining menu were the bento boxes, which include everything from Katsu with panko-fried chicken, beef or pork ($28) to the High Roller with lobster wasabi, Wagyu steak, spicy garlic shrimp, spinach dry miso with crab, and premium rolls and nigiri ($288). For more Japanese fare, raid the mini-bar, which is stocked with chocolate-dipped Pocky pretzels, Nobu’s chilled sake (exclusively offered at Nobu restaurants and now in the hotel), and genmai-cha (brown rice green tea).
The 327-seat restaurant Nobu—which joins Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Restaurant Guy Savoy and Central Michel Richard in Caesars Palace—served its first dinner on Friday. (Guests staying at Nobu Hotel snag priority reservations at the restaurant and VIP access to Pure Nightclub.) Nobu’s signature dishes, such as the yellow tail topped with a thinly sliced jalapeño and the black cod with butter lettuce—the course that made Matsuhisa famous—are a must at the swanky Japanese spot.
We were also blown away by the specialized Nobu spa treatments at Qua Baths & Spa; they were among the most luxurious on the spa menu. Our favorite was the 90-minute Nagomi Ritual, which begins with a traditional Japanese footbath, followed by a full-body massage that incorporates Thai, Balinese and shiatsu techniques, and finally finishes off with a revitalizing facial. If you stay at the hotel, you’ll get complimentary access to the 5,500-square-foot gym at the spa, which is located in the Augustus Tower.
Though Nobu Hotel is officially open, there are still a few finishing touches remaining. The 18 suites, which range from 900 to 1,800 square feet, are slated to debut in April.
Photos Courtesy of Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace Las Vegas