‘It’s Just Magic’: Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace focuses on  guest experience

‘It’s Just Magic’: Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace focuses on guest experience

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

The Nobu brand is known primarily for its iconic seafood restaurants, but within the past 10 years it has brought its penchant for hospitality to hotels.

Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace, a boutique space within the Las Vegas resort, debuted in 1993. Last January, it unveiled 182 redesigned guest rooms and suites after a multimillion-dollar refresh. It boasts a residential feel with design inspiration from kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold epoxy.

We changed out our carpet, mattresses, sofas, coffee tables,” says Martha Morales, general manager, Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace.

We’ve had a lot of feedback from our guests in the Las Vegas market that they wanted a desk. So, we added a desk in the key rooms. In the rooms with the two queens, we added a nice wood table that would double as a desk and a dining area.”

Other highlights include a custom sofa in a dozen patch-worked upholsteries, from painterly style prints to muted textured graphics, a quartzite coffee table with a gold base and a cracked kintsugi effect, along with additional lighting.

The custom carpeting has eggplant hues, as well as abstract and painterly style florals, inspired by 19th century Japanese artist Tsubaki Chinzan, overlaid with gold kintsugi veining.

We’ve had a lot of great feedback,” she says. “It’s because (architecture and design firm) Rockwell Group had done a great job making it feel homey with all the designs.

We have this beautiful coffee table that looks like broken pottery and put together. Our sofa is comprised of different patterns put together. Even though we don’t have the elaborate pieces or decorative pieces around the room, the furniture is the artwork.”

Additionally, the redesigned guest corridors feature a custom carpet with rippling forms, suggesting a pond of koi fish that cluster at each guest room door, and patterns inspired by suminagashi — the art of Japanese paper marbling. The new inset lobby carpet depicts monumental slabs of marble and agate surrounded by gold veining, with pops of gray, rust and blue.

Longtime success

The first Nobu restaurant opened in September 1994 as a partnership between chef Nobu Matsuhisa, actor Robert De Niro, restaurateur Drew Nieporent and investor Meir Teper. Its signature dish is black cod with miso.

Three years later, London was the site of the first international Nobu restaurant. Now Nobu boasts about 50 restaurants.

The brand has since expanded to Nobu Hospitality, built on service, image and reputation.

Since the 2013 opening of Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace, the company has opened hotels in Manila, Miami Beach, Malibu, Shoreditch (London), Ibiza, Palo Alto, Marbella, Los Cabos, Barcelona, Warsaw, Chicago and Portman Square (London).

Nobu Hotels are in development for Marrakech, Riyadh, Toronto, São Paulo, Atlanta, Tel Aviv, Hamburg, New Orleans, Atlantic City and Thailand.

The brand became so popular that they started leasing and opening within hotels throughout the world,” she says.

They (restaurants) were so popular within hotels that they thought they would open their own hotel. That’s how the brand and hotel were born. We thought, ‘Let’s give guests what they want.’ They like the experience. It’s very minimalistic. We don’t use tablecloths. We’re about quality. Everything is high quality. Our team doesn’t even wear nametags. We are not the focus. Our guests are the focus.”

And guests have a wide-ranging experience at Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace. They’re not limited to Nobu’s offerings.

The reason why we have repeat guests is because they’re able to have that boutique experience, but once they come down to the casino, they’re in the iconic Caesars Palace,” Morales says. “They have everything they want while they’re here on vacation or business.”

The pairing of the two landmark brands has made the property a success.

You have two well-recognized, well-known brands, you marry them and, seriously, it’s just magic,” she says.

Our guests who come stay with us are Nobu lovers. They’ve been to many restaurants across the world. They come to experience the Nobu Hotel and the food. Nobu is very special, as you can go to any Nobu across the world and every Nobu is a different experience.”

The staple dishes are there — black cod with miso, squid pasta with light garlic sauce — but each location has special dishes utilizing local produce.

They are inspired by the food around the area,” she says. “Las Vegas is known for doing things bigger and celebrity branded. When guests come to Vegas, they not only get to eat and try out and see the different dishes that Nobu has, but they also get to be at Caesars, which is world renowned. That speaks volumes.” 

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