Sleep at the chef's table in Sin City
Nobu Hotel, Las Vegas
Saturday 15 June 2013
The calm, stylish décor of the world's first Nobu Hotel is a haven of tranquillity within the frenetic neon of Caesar's Palace. Created by Japanese celebrity chef, Nobu Matsuhisa, and business partner Robert De Niro, this new venture is the first of a global chain of Nobu Hotels (next up Riyadh, London and Bahrain). It has the largest Nobu Restaurant to date and chef Nobu's signature dishes available for in-room dining 24 hours a day.
The Nobu Las Vegas occupies one tower of the vast Caesar's Palace casino resort. Entry is via the Caesar's grand "Roman" façade – with its Corinthian columns and toga-clad statues – and through the throbbing 24-hour casino to reach the small, chic, wood-lined lobby of Nobu Hotel. Unlike the Caesar's main reception, there are no queues here, just a couple of helpful staff and a sleek lift into the quiet of the hotel.
Nobu guests nonetheless have use of all the Caesar's Palace facilities, including the casino, 14 restaurants, seven bars, the Garden of the Gods deck with several pools (including one reserved for "European-style" nude bathing) and the supremely calming Qua Spa. The extensive menu of treatments includes a few new Nobu specials, including a Nagom I Ritual, which at $400 (£267) a go, could well cost more than your room.
Also within the building are the Forum Shops – a large mall of "classical" buildings and Roman-style fountains under a fake bluey sky continually lit as if it were dusk, where you can shop until midnight. Not tired yet? Then head for the Caesar's nightclubs. There's Pure – the latest in Vegas style with four clubs-within-a-club and stunning views of the Strip – or Cleopatra's Barge complete with water around it, right next door to Nobu Hotel. There are several all-night bars too or you can simply game the night away at the casino tables.
Breakfast can be taken in your room or, if you're really hungry after a long night, head for the Bacchanal Buffet ($35/£23) with its vast quantities of everything – more than 500 dishes from all-American to full Asian, via Italy and Mexico – and a mind-boggling array of desserts (yes, even at breakfast).
The Nobu and Caesar's Palace are right at the centre of the Strip, with almost everything reachable on foot via outdoor escalators and criss-crossing pedestrian bridges. There is also a bus stop just outside for the Deuce (double decker bus) that runs the length of the Strip and downtown to the lower-rise and edgier Fremont Street with its above-street zip-wire and recently-opened Mob Museum.
The sights of the Strip are the casino-resorts – all full of restaurants, all-night bars, shows and nightclubs as well as gaming tables and slot machines. Next door to Caesar's is Bellagio, its fountains dancing prettily to music played every 15 minutes before they rocket dramatically into the sky and almost top the height of the half-size Eiffel Tower in the Paris casino on the other side of the road.
The views from the top of the tower are a great way to get your bearings and the lift operator, Vearn, is a walking encyclopaedia of Las Vegas.
South of Caesar's, building work is under way on yet more bars and amusements, including the biggest observational wheel in the world.
Nobu Hotel's 181 rooms have been designed by David Rockwell, whose previous work includes all the Nobu restaurants, as well as LA's Kodak Theatre, Starwood's Aloft hotels and The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
The décor is light and natural, with traditional Japanese hitsuzendo caligraphy brushstrokes across one wall, modern and traditional Japanese prints hand-picked by chef Nobu, thick-pile carpets, lantern-style lamps and large television screens.
The bathrooms are elegant and functional, with teak fittings and black mosaic tiles. Even standard rooms have a walk-in multi-head shower complete with seat and a basin deep enough to bathe a child in.
The best feature, though, is undoubtedly the bed. It doesn't look special but the under-and-over Italian duck-down bedding is sink-into perfect for retreating to after a big night out in Sin City.
Nobu Hotel, Caesar's Palace, The Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada, US (001 800 727 4923; nobu caesarspalace.com)
Doubles start at $279 (£186), room only
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