Caesars Palace – A Must-See, Even if You Don’t Stay There

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Caesars Palace—A Roman theme executed with astounding artistry and attention to detail

Fifty years old in 2016, Caesars Palace was the first of the themed hotels and casinos to fully realize its potential, and it is among the foremost at staying fresh through constant updating and remodeling. The perennial classic that reinvents itself, Caesars is a must-see, even if you don’t stay there.

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An exercise in whimsical fantasy and excess, Caesars’ Roman theme has been executed with astounding artistry and attention to detail. Everywhere you look, fine mosaics, handsome statuary, mythological references, and famous sculptures delight the eye and mind. Creating an atmosphere of informality in surroundings too pretentious to believe is hard to pull off, but that’s exactly what Caesars Palace has done.

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If Caesars was on a small scale, it would be exquisite kitsch, but it’s on a grand scale that takes you to another time, where the bustling commerce of ancient Rome lives again. Gambling at Caesars does feel a little like pitching horseshoes in the Supreme Court, but, incredibly, it works. The vaulted ceilings, classic statuary, and graceful arches easily accommodate the legions (pun intended) of slots, activity of the pits, shopping, dining, and lolling about in opulent pools surrounded by towering gardens.

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Caesars Palace provides three spacious and luxurious casinos, including a poker room with celebrity events, many excellent restaurants and cafes, beautiful landscaping, and top celebrity entertainment. For the guests who inhabit its 3,348 superb rooms, Caesars has all of the services and amenities of a world-class resort.

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The pool area is arguably the most stately in Las Vegas. Framed by hotel towers, the complex offers six different pools, all in the Roman motif, including the 10,000-square-foot pool of the Temple, which is capped by a rotunda and decorated with marble and mosaics. For lusty sinews, there’s the Neptune pool with 5,000 square feet for lap swimmers; and for European-style (aka topless) bathers, the Venus pool is neatly tucked away within an evergreen enclave. All pools have cabanas available for rent.

Some say the spa is Caesars’ best-kept secret. With the Roman penchant for water joys, it’s logical that Caesars would have a full line of luxurious treatments and settings for men and women. Situated on the second floor of the Augustus Tower, the spa has 51 therapy rooms; signature Roman baths with hot, cold, and tepid pools; and sculpted stone chaise longues submerged in heated pools and designed as pre-massage relaxers.

Caesars is on a roll with its nightlife scene, offering four hot nightspots. FIZZ is a lavish champagne lounge located between the Forum Shops and the Colosseum. Omnia features an ultralounge, main room with dance floor, and a rooftop garden. Cleopatra’s Barge, a decades-old dance club on a free-floating boat, continues to rock on. Nearby is the Seahorse Lounge, where you can watch the endangered species variety drift by in the aquarium.

Shopping at Caesars Palace

For the less nocturnal, there are two shopping venues. At the Appian Way (look for the David) you can purchase apparel, gifts, art, and jewelry, including Caesars logo items. The extensive Forum Shops is an entirely different kind of experience.

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The astonishing adjoining Forum Shops give Caesars Palace the distinction of offering one of the most unusual themed shopping complexes in the United States, with 130 merchants and 12 restaurants and specialty food shops.

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Ambling through its gently cobblestoned “streets,” replete with slightly sloping gutters, the sightseer and shopper alike can be delighted and charmed by full-scale fountains featuring Neptune and Bacchus and building facades topped by second-story “residences,” all set against the background of a sweeping Italian sky at sunset.

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At every turn, you find the perfect blend of old-world commerce and cutting-edge merchandise.

Dining at Caesars Palace

Dining at Caesars has been totally revamped with the addition of Rao’s, a clone of Frank Pelligrino’s fabled Italian eatery in New York; Beijing Noodle No. 9; Atlantic City legend Old Homestead Steakhouse; Mesa Grill; Nobu by chef Nobu Matsuhisa; and Payard Patisserie & Bistro. The star in the lineup is Restaurant Guy Savoy, overlooking the Roman Plaza. Headed by Parisian restaurateur Guy Savoy, recently named Chef of the Year in France, the restaurant offers one of the most singular dining experiences in town. For casual dining, there’s Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill; Bistro 24 by Michel Richard; Serendipity 3, another New York import specializing in burgers, hot dogs, stuffed sandwiches, and its signature frozen hot chocolate (don’t drink too many of these before bedtime); and Forum Food Court. There is something for everyone, including hearty Italian classics at Carmines.

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The Bacchanal Buffet features many made-to-order specialties and is located in a large, sun-drenched room overlooking the Garden of the Gods pool complex; it’s a welcome balm in counterpoint to the constant clamor of the gaming floor.

For detailed information on all Las Vegas hotels and casinos, check out The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas by Bob Sehlinger.

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