OVER the last half a century dozens of legendary hotels and casinos have come and gone in Sin City.
However, the iconic Caesars Palace, which first opened its doors 46 years ago, has thankfully not gone the way of the ancient Roman civilisation on which it is based, and is still as powerful as ever. This year has seen the unveiling of its new Octavius Tower – a 23-storey skyscraper – bringing the resort’s total inventory up to 3,960 rooms and suites. n
WINING AND DINING? Caesars’ restaurant roster is forever changing and improving. Central Michel Richard and Old Homestead Steakhouse have recently opened to acclaim and deserve a visit, while our own Gordon Ramsay is taking the plunge and dipping his toe into the pool of Vegas cuisine with a restaurant due to open here soon.
Breakfast in Vegas is always an event in itself. Those looking for a unique dining experience before noon should sample one of the eggs Benedict dishes at Payard, while the Hangover (based on the hit film) omelette is more than enough to satisfy the appetites of those night owls with a heavy head.
ROOM SERVICE? The rooms, designed by Michael Medeiros of KNA Design, offer modern, luxurious décor, marble floors, plush velvet sofas and chic stone tables. There are also framed 42-inch, flat panel, high-definition television screens, convenient multimedia hubs providing an in-room technology package, and bathrooms complete with glass shower, whirlpool tub and Gilchrist & Soames pampering amenities.
WORTH GETTING OUT OF BED FOR? Caesars Palace resort alone contains 25 diverse restaurants and cafes, while the acclaimed Forum shopping mall is home to over 180 boutiques and outlets. For sun or water worshippers, there is also the Garden of the Gods pool complex showcasing eight pools, two gardens, and for those wanting to splash out even more, a dozen or so private luxurious cabanas.
If you fancy visiting the award-winning Qua Baths and Spa, keep an eye out for VIPs – US presidents past and present have been known to wander down from their penthouse suites for a massage, facial or the spa’s signature Emperors’ Face and Body treatment.
The hotel’s legendary nightclub PURE continues to attract some of the world’s best DJs, and the hilarious Absinthe has regularly been named the city’s number one show.
LITTLE EXTRAS? Built with the intention of providing guests with a luxurious boutique hotel experience within a larger resort, Octavius features its own private valet entrance and separate hotel lobby.
BUDGET OR BOUTIQUE? This is no budget bunkhouse; this is where the rich and famous come to party. Caesars house is, in most people’s opinion, the best casino on the Strip, with fortunes constantly made and lost in the 129,000 square-foot gamblers’ paradise, including the exclusive Pussycat Dolls’ Party Pit.
GUESTBOOK COMMENTS? With all this entertainment, luxury and temptation, you may even feel like staying in the hotel for the majority of your holiday.
However, this is Las Vegas, and the hotels, casinos and attractions on the legendary Strip (recently and infamously visited by Prince Harry) are easily reachable on foot from Caesars.
The opening of Octavius is a major milestone in the ongoing renaissance of the Palace, which throughout 2012 will see Celine Dion, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Shania Twain performing at its Colosseum theatre.
Also on the Nevada horizon are Caesars’ plans to open the world’s first Nobu Hotel Restaurant and Lounge (co-owner Robert De Niro was recently in Sin City to rubber stamp this), and the ambitious new LINQ development on the other side of the Strip promises to change the Las Vegas skyline forever.
These, along with the gleaming Octavius tower, suggest this particular empire will be around for a long while yet.
Three nights in Las Vegas with Virgin Holidays, including flights from London or Manchester and accommodation on a room-only basis, starts at £845. Prices are per person based on two adults sharing a classic room. The Octavius Tower room is an additional £97 per person (0844 557 3859, www.virginholidays.co.uk).