Caesars Palace: The Complete Guide
Very little can happen at a Las Vegas opening these days that both guests and locals would consider mind-boggling. But consider Las Vegas in the 1960s. The earliest hotels in town were located Downtown, like the Golden Gate, El Cortez, and Golden Nugget. A few larger hotels dotted the Strip including the Flamingo, the Desert Inn, the Tropicana, and the Stardust. Drive-up motels still dotted the area and the Strip was still in its relative infancy. Then cabana motel owners Jay Sarno and Stanley Mallin had a grand vision in the early 1960s: Build a hotel that would make people feel like Roman emperors—with all the opulent Roman-style production values they could throw in for the then-astronomical sum of $10.6 million they’d borrowed from the Teamsters.
Imagine a $1 million party (the equivalent of over $8 million in today’s dollars) that included the largest order of Ukrainian caviar ever placed by a private organization, two tons of filet mignon, cocktail waitresses in Greco-Roman wigs greeting guests with, “Welcome to Caesars Palace, I am your slave,” and $42 million in advance bookings. The next year, Evel Knievel arrived to attempt a 140-foot motorcycle jump over the Caesars Palace fountains (and spent nearly a month in the hospital in a coma when the jump failed).
The original hotel opened as a 700-room, 14-story tower next to the Dunes Hotel and opposite Desert Inn (where Wynn and Encore Las Vegas now sit). Today, the hotel-casino and all its restaurants, dedicated shopping mall, pool complex, and six hotel towers span 85 acres and include nearly 4,000 rooms. There's also the massive Colosseum theater where Celine Dion performed 1,141 shows over the course of 16 years.
In 2021, the hotel is embarking on a complete rebuilding of its main entrance to create an extravagant new entry, redesigned gaming area with new gaming pits, and a new dome over a 15-foot-tall statue of Augustus Caesar (all of which is scheduled to be finished by New Year’s Eve, 2022). Caesars Palace, perhaps more than any other hotel on the Strip, is the complex where you could comfortably check-in and not leave during your entire stay. Here’s what to see and do.
There are many room categories among the six towers at Caesars Palace. You can go for a classic Caesars room that’s 475 square feet or opt for a premium room in Octavius and Augustus Towers. In fact, the rooms of the Augustus and Octavius towers form the Laurel Collection, with their own private valet entrance, registration, and staff. The hotel's spa is in Augustus Tower, as is Restaurant Guy Savoy. And the entire collection has its own special app through which guests can contact staff. These rooms are particularly convenient because they have their own entrance on Flamingo (perpendicular to the Strip). Consider asking for a room on the south side of Augustus; it has the best view of the Bellagio fountains across the street.
The 50,000 square foot Qua Baths & Spa is one of the most over-the-top, indulgent spas on the Las Vegas Strip. Reminiscent of Roman baths, there are rooms of various heats, a room for hydrotherapy, and even an “Arctic Ice Room,” in which you can push a button for a light snowfall.
For some poolside fun, head to the seven-pool, five-acre Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis. It gives all guests a nice mix of experiences to choose, from the family-friendly Jupiter Pool to the very chilled-out cabanas of Venus Pool, to the swim-up gaming fun of Fortuna and high-energy, Corinthian column-surrounded Neptune. Other highlights of the Caesars Palace complex include a salon by Michael Boychuck, five wedding chapels and gardens, and even two golf courses (off-site at Rio Secco and Cascata).
The Caesars Palace casino is spread among spaces on the ground floor with nearly 130,000 square feet of casino space. This includes its recently renovated race and sportsbook, whose 138-foot screen is one of the largest in Las Vegas—plus individual betting stations and mobile sports wagering. Its in-progress renovation will add even more gaming to a complex that includes baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette, and a spacious poker room with 16 tables and nonstop poker. Caesars’ Total Rewards membership allows players to earn credits and rewards at 14 different Caesars Entertainment Properties. It’s a tiered program that includes shopping, entertainment, and hotel benefits along with VIP exclusive offers.
Where To Eat & Drink
There’s virtually every kind of dining experience you can imagine in Caesars Palace. The 25,000-square-foot Bacchanal Buffet is the largest in the world, with 600 seats and hundreds of dishes. Think carving stations, Argentinian parillas, rolling carts serving wagyu hot dogs, an Asian section featuring everything from Chinese to Korean to Laotian and Filipino dishes, and a completely over-the-top dessert station.
Some of Caesars’ marquee names include Bobby Flay’s new Italian restaurant, Amalfi; the celeb-packed Vanderpump Cocktail Garden by Bravolebrity and restauranteur Lisa Vanderpump; and one of the largest-ever Nobu restaurants (on the ground floor of its own hotel, naturally). Mr. Chow andRestaurant Guy Savoy are other highlights as is the standalone Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen, which is a people-watching and multi-media spectacle.
Where To Go Out
You’ll definitely want to check Colosseum’s event calendar. The awe-inspiring, 4,300-seat theater has become an icon in its two decades of entertainment (and recently added a new VIP area, including banquettes for groups of up to 10, with bottle service). Celine Dion has decamped to Resorts World, but in her place you’ll find some of the Strip’s most anticipated new residents including Usher, Sting, Morrissey, and Keith Urban.
Caesars is packed with cocktail lounges for before and after your dinner and show. You’ll want to check out Vanderpump Garden for people-watching, Alto Bar (next to Omnia), Montecristo Cigar Bar, and Vista Cocktail Lounge. The new Stadia Bar is the perfect spot to watch a game.
If it’s the club you’re after, the 75,000-square-foot Omnia is one of the Strip’s largest. There are four distinct experiences within the domed four-story room surrounded by mezzanine-level private booths, which is modeled after a European opera house. A 22,000-pound chandelier pulses to the music over the dancefloor. Calvin Harris is the resident superstar DJ and lots of international DJ names you’d know play here, too. A 50-foot-long bar outside has one of the best views of the Strip.
Where To Shop
The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, with its faux painted skies and interior mini-monuments (look for its mini version of Trevi Fountain), has more than 160 boutiques and restaurants. It has all the ultra-high-end shopping you’d want, from Valentino, Gucci, Versace, and Louis Vuitton to places to take the kids when you want someplace a little more casual to dine—like the Cheesecake Factory. It’s also just good for a wander—and connects with the casino floor. The 50,000-gallon saltwater Atlantis aquarium in the Forum Shops is a fun, free attraction.
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