In an in-depth interview with Gigi Vega, Vice President of Luxury Operations & General Manager of Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace, and James Frazey, General Manager of Nobu Restaurant at Caesars Palace, we discussed the origins of the first Nobu Hotel in the world, uniquely designed rooms and luxury suites, tips to truly experiencing the property and location, the dining experience at Nobu Restaurant, and much more.
RK: Take me back to the beginning. How did the idea of the first Nobu Hotel come about, and why Las Vegas?
GV: The idea to get into the hotelier industry was a collaboration between Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and partners, Nobu Hospitality shareholders Robert De Niro and Meir Teper. Collectively they had experienced many great hotels across several continents, taking away memories and ideas of what made each location so special. From their travel experiences, they felt that a Nobu-styled hotel, inspired by the Nobu philosophy of fun luxury, would not only be essential to the hotel industry but would be well-received by travelers around the world. They chose Las Vegas because it is a market unlike any other in the world. World-class dining and entertainment fuse together in this unique and exciting city. They felt Las Vegas was the ideal destination to make their mark in delivering a unique, experienced-based Nobu Hotel.
They decided to build the first Nobu Hotel inside Caesars Palace for many reasons. It was important for them to select a brand partner that shared in their philosophy of luxury hospitality. Caesars Palace was a perfect fit and shares in the value of striving to leave guests with lasting memories. They also felt that the cultures of both the Caesars Palace and Nobu brands are synonymous in striving for the highest guest satisfaction, providing unique experiences and a committing to deliver luxury at every guest experience. Lastly, Caesars Palace is at one of the best locations on the Las Vegas Strip, and what better setting for a Nobu Hotel than the epicenter of Las Vegas?
RK: For the most luxurious accommodations, how would you describe the design, comfort and amenities for guests interested in experiencing the top-tier suites and in particular, the Nobu Villa?
GV: The design of Nobu Hotel rooms and suites inside Caesars Palace convey an extension of the fun and energetic Nobu lifestyle. They are distinctly Japanese-inspired and offer stunning designs that embrace comfortable simplicity with natural materials and textures, which counter-balances the outsized elements to reveal a touch of Vegas flair. Complementing the design’s organic and Japanese elements, the furniture reflects the influence of George Nakashima and the natural forms.
Eighteen luxury suites range from one-bedroom, 1,000 square feet, to five-bedroom, 3,500 square feet configurations and are available for guests seeking premium accommodations or a stunning venue to host an unforgettable special event. The crown jewel of the property – the impressive 10,300 square foot Nobu Villa – lavish and offers an expansive 4,700 square-foot outdoor terrace overlooking the center of the Las Vegas Strip with sweeping views, ample area for indoor/outdoor entertaining and a Japanese-inspired onsen tub. Additional standout features include a signature omakase sushi bar, ultramodern media and game room, gym and massage room, private elevator and art gallery.
The Nobu Villa is the ultimate sky top villa – luxurious and sumptuous, yet relaxed and modern. It’s the ideal space to host a celebratory event. In fact it’s already a hotspot among celebrities as big name entertainers including P. Diddy, Drake, Calvin Harris and Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus have all hosted parties in the Nobu Villa.
RK: For first-time guests to Las Vegas, what would be your top 5 recommendations for how best to experience the city, and how might Nobu Hotel help in planning such an itinerary?
GV: Las Vegas is a city like no other. From big name shows and entertainers, to world class shopping to top notch dining and non-stop gaming action, there’s truly something for everyone. The 24-hour town is dynamic, but for a relaxing break, I’d recommend a soothing spa day. Of course, the famous Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars Palace has Nobu-specific treatments available that are the ultimate in relaxation.
Also, to get a different perspective on the city, the High Roller – the world’s tallest observation wheel at 550 feet is also a must. Nobu Hotel concierge can assist in all facets of your visit, from arranging to drive high-speed exotic cars, to visiting Hoover Dam or indoor skydiving, Nobu can help create your ultimate Vegas getaway.
RK: In addition to launching the first Nobu Hotel, the world’s largest Nobu Restaurant was also built on the main floor of the property. What makes this particular Nobu Restaurant unique given its location within Caesars Palace and Las Vegas more generally?
JF: Las Vegas is a unique city with such a diverse range of people from all over the world. You don’t find this diversity in any other city, which makes this property a great ground to try new things and test the waters a bit more than other locations. Currently Nobu Restaurant inside Caesars Palace is the only location in the United States that has the teppan tables. One of them offers private dining, which is great for private events or guests who want to avoid the crowd. The teppan table dining experience is one of the most popular at Caesars Palace. Guests love to watch their food being prepared right in front of them while enjoying the performances of the teppan chefs. We also have one of the largest Japanese whisky selections in the city and in the company. Our Japanese beer list has also grown, and there are some fantastic selections that go great with the food and ambiance.
From the many years spent in the restaurant, the Nobu team transmits their ability to bring Nobu-sans philosophies to the luxury of the hotel room, which truly embodies hospitality and the total experience. The Nobu Hotel inside Caesars Palace has wrapped the hotel beautifully around the food. Additionally, we are truly blessed with a passionate and loving family that cares about fulfilling Nobu’s wisdom- whom are dedicated to the excellence of delicious food and great service.
RK: For first-time guests to Las Vegas, what would be your top 5 recommendations for how best to experience the city, and how might Nobu Hotel & Nobu Restaurant help in planning such an itinerary?
JF: Because Las Vegas is a city of entertainment, there is so much to do, but you cannot go wrong with these recommendations:
- Guests can start their day with some Green Tea Waffles or a Breakfast Bento box from In-Room Dining at Nobu Hotel. Nobu Hotel’s in-room dining menu comes from Nobu restaurant, so the food will not disappoint.
- Get a reservation with Mavericks Helicopter Tours; Guests can take a helicopter and fly over the Hoover Dam, into the Grand Canyon, then stop inside for some bubbles and fruit, and finish off with a really memorable view of the Strip and Vegas.
- While in town, guests should definitely check out a show at the Colosseum located inside Caesars Palace, where iconic celebrities like Elton John and Celine Dion perform. Guests can also have some grown up laughs at Absinthe located at Caesars Palace. Caesars Entertainment has some fantastic headliners lined up throughout 2016.
- Nobu Restaurant is able to customize menus for guests. Guests can have a one-of-a-kind dining experience with delicious food and roll through some amazing libations.
- Enjoy the nightlife at Drais Nightclub located inside Cromwell or Omnia at Caesars Palace.