Deluxe King Nobu Hotel At Caesars Palace
It’s no secret here amongst Vegas regulars that Caesars Palace, once a bane amongst frequents, has been on something of an uptick. With the debut of the gorgeous and modern Octavius Tower, a new buffet, and the creation of the Laurel Collection, Sarno’s first masterpiece has proven that it can not just be another stale luxury player on the Strip.
Following successes, Caesars finally did something with what can be considered one of its oldest and most obsolete towers, the Forum. Combined with the Roman Tower (which fortunately had been updated) these rooms composed 50% of the reason why travelers considered Caesars to be the most overpriced and underwhelming resort on the Strip. The result? The Nobu Hotel, an experiment which builds on the Asian fusion cuisine successes of its namesake restaurant headed by Nobu Matsuhisha. Do the beds stack up to the haute sushi rolls served around the world? There was only one way to find out!
This wasn’t the first time I attempted Nobu. But soured by a host unwilling to move me to a cheaper room from Octavius, I had to try and try again. On the second attempt I managed to score a Nobu Deluxe King via Vegas.com for $149 a night. Of note, this was cheaper than Caesars quoted, and therefore falls under their Best Rate Guarantee program. As of now I’ve submitted the paperwork for the stay, and we’ll see if they honor the rate. (Surprise! They did not.)
Room booked I arrived via my favorite entrance, the Augustus Valet directly across from Via Nord (Bellagio’s North Valet) off Flamingo. After the usual fumbling luggage and tipping staff I was off to check in. But it should be noted, unlike any other Diamond check in, Nobu guests must navigate the casino to the Nobu lobby, a small space adjacent to Nobu itself and Cleopatra’s “Gossy Room” Barge. Once there, check in is quick and efficient, and I was informed that being Diamond I was bumped to a 2pm checkout. (Pay attention for later, there may be a quiz.) Gaining my RFID keys I was also taught about another quirk of Nobu.
Yep, these elevators think. Using Schindler’s latest technology, one waves their RFID room key under the elevator and presses their floor on an LCD panel, and are told where to wait. No more fumbling for the up button, no more waiting for a bloop and a light. Within seconds our lift, outfitted in beautiful wood block and eel skin, had arrived and we were off to the 80th floor.
Arriving in the lobby the first thing one noticed is quiet. The floor is devoid of Muzak or any noise. I’m very happy. Add a lovely orchid arrangement and appropriate art and lanterns hugging the ceiling and already you can tell that just the right amount of renovation has been done to make Nobu stand out amongst even the offerings of Augustus and Octavius. Just off the elevator and to the right we find our room, 8017. Rooms are staggered in pairs with diagonal entry, something that creates a nice space in the door and I find as a designer to be very underused in hotels. A quick wave of the fob and…
Simple, clean and nice. Already I’m relaxing, and the design is helping. Through the door is a short entry and mirror, and immediately adjacent is the door to the beautiful bathroom which we’ll get to in a moment. Slink down in a bit more and we’re in the room.
To the left along the wall facing the bed is the closet, done up with lovely dark wood doors against the creamy beige walls. Inside you’ll find all the ironing and laundry amenities, as well as robes and a top entry safe. Nice and typical.
Along the right wall moving into the room is the all in one unit the encompasses an inset large screen LCD TV, as well as storage and the mini-bar and other sundries. Like origami, this piece is full of little surprises waiting to be explored.
On top one finds the same lovely connector for iDevices that I mentioned in the Octavius tower review. Also for rent, iPads, but beware, they’re pricey. Skip them in my opinion.
On the left is a bamboo ice bucket, a nod to the Nobu basics, as well as short martini style glass wear. Just enough for simple in room entertaining.
In the middle is a copy of the room service menu, completely serviced and inspired by Nobu, as well as the usual miscellaneous magazine. I thumbed through and discovered that Nobu has its own app.
After some uploading, I had the app up and running. Aside from the usual useless information that’s bumped into your mind from the Hotel’s TV Channel, you can actually do stuff with the app. Did you know that Nobu has 8 different kinds of pillows at your disposal? Request it from the app! Forgot turndown? The app has your back. However I never got the app to work correctly and it was a bit of a loss for me. Hopefully in the interim they will inform guests at checkin of proper use. This could be a major game changer.
Moving back into the realm of non-virtual reality, further looking reveals the minibar. One side has the usual refrigerated goods, at the usual overpriced points. Your’e better off in the lobby store.
To the right in two drawers are the glassware, a tea set for welcome tea or in room service (another perk I never got) as well as selected Asian inspired goodies and snacks from Dean and Deluca. We tried the Smoked Almonds. And for $8.65 they were totally forgettable.
A nice touch in the drawer is hidden in this lovely box. Inside is an HDMI cable as well as a USB sync cable for the standard Micro-USB device charging gratis. Isn’t it time we get this in every room folks? Just saying. Rounding out the unit is a bunch of storage drawers perfect for those who are staying a bit of time and prefer to not live out of their suitcase.
At the end of the room is a sitting area perfect for relaxation or in room meals. A low couch and matching table are perfect to grab a read or snooze while waiting for the events to begin. Both are lovely and simplistic while comfortable, and go well with the wall prints and floor lamps adjacent. Also, all lamps in the room come on a dimmer, a nice touch if you like to set a mood aside from BRIGHT or DARK.
The table also has this nice little wood detail on the backside, as well as an asymmetrical base, thoughtful design elements that show that this is meant to be more than a run of the mill room, especially considering the entry level price point.
To the left is the bed and long bench that flow along the room to create the cohesive design from which the rest originates. To the left and right of the bed itself (and on the far side extending to the outer wall) is a reclaimed wood bench/nightstand combo which holds 3 lamps (one for the sitting area, one on each side of the bed). The furniture is beautiful and gives the room a feeling of being special and far from generic, something my guest and I found to be extremely warm. Accentuating the flow ideal of the space is a great wall appliqué that gives the faintest hint of a brush painting Japanese characters on the wall.
To the left is a Sharper Image iHome knockoff that again only works with iDevices. If you have a newer device, bring your adapters! Also there’s a nice dimmable lantern to keep your side of the bed just as light as you want.
To the right before the length of seat-able bench is the phone, another lamp like the left, and the phone. Also included is a notepad should you need to make notes while calling from the phone, along with a Nobu-purple pen. One thing to note is that all curtains in the room are manual, with the horizontal shade fixed in place, and the blackout drapes doing a great job considering the Southern view we had.
In the middle is the heart of the room, the bed. Nobu touts this as being covered with Filo Doro linens and coming with enhanced turndown service that includes bath and pillow menus and lavender oil for enhanced sleep. All I can tell you is its one of the most incredibly comfortable beds I’ve EVER laid on, including Wynn’s Dream Bed and Aria’s one of a kind creation. I did not want to get up. I struggled. It’s that good. Turndown included Asian-style slippers and the aforementioned Lavender oil in a spritz. A nice touch to say the least.
Rounding out the room is the bathroom, a space so interesting I left it for last. Beyond just putting in new fixtures and fittings, Caesars and Nobu have truly created a bit of a sanctuary and something different here, in my opinion to great result. Just inside against the hallway wall is a sit down vanity for preparing for the evening with just the right amount of light. Hanging for your convenience are two more robes (one black, one white) in case you should choose to lounge in their threads instead of your own.
Further along the wall is the WC, open but divided by a wood screen and accentuated by the usual shat phone and a magazine rack holding all the usual tourist rags. The throne is a performer, and I of course didn’t touch the phone. The magazines were handy for a read when business called.
To the right of the door is the main vanity, with a side lit mirror and gorgeous deep basin for cleaning up after a long night out. Along the side next to it are more glasses for use, as well as several bath products by Natura Bisse which were, as the room goes, lovely and relaxing in scent.
Beyond that is my favorite part of the room, the take on a rain shower that designers dreamed up during the renovation. Clad in dark tiles, there is a long walk in area without curtain, and two head, one up high off the wall to simulate a shower head, and another hand held wand almost as large. Pressure and temperature were ample, and cleanliness was spot on. Along with a ladder style towel rack at the end of the shower, the setup was perfect for getting ready and pampering yourself without the need for a large bath basin. Efficient and lovely.
And those two words would be what I would use most to describe what Nobu has to offer as an overall package. Efficient in design, and lovely in thought. A word of caution though. I did not leave my DND out, and the housekeeper decided that checkout for me was 11am. Result of a long night out was returning to my room to discover that some belongings, aside from safe contents, had been removed as well as the room stripped to mattress pad. After a few ignorance pleas by the management, they are finally working with me to get my stuff back. In the meantime, lesson learned.
But that said, Nobu is a hotel that deserves a chance. In the world of boutiques, it offers something different and unique, and that’s not a bad thing. If you like a Zen vibe in the desert, give Nobu a try. But remember to put out that sign.
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