Lying right in the heart of the fabulous Las Vegas Strip, Caesars Palace is one of the last OG casinos left standing. Even as other casinos from Vegas’ mob-riddled “golden age” have fallen to new developments, Caesars Palace has somehow managed to stay on top of the pack. How has Caesars managed to not only survive the last five-plus decades, but actually continue to offer A-List accommodations, dining, entertainment, shopping, and more?
We recently had a chance to tour Caesars Palace: We visited villas typically reserved for top VIP guests, tried out Caesars’ hottest new restaurant with prime Strip views, and took a dip in one of Caesars’ most exclusive reservation-only pools. Here’s everything you need to know about one of Vegas’ most iconic casino resorts.
The Lay of the Land
Situated right by the dead center of the Las Vegas Strip, it’s hard to think of a more convenient Strip-side location than Caesars Palace. It’s an easy walking distance from the nearby exciting attractions at Bellagio and Cosmopolitan to the south, as well as The Venetian and Palazzo to the north. Even better, Bellagio has a tram that provides a comfortable ride down to Aria, the Crystals mall, and Park MGM.
Caesars Palace is also located right by the I-15 Freeway, so that makes for easier drives or Uber/Lyft rides to Downtown Las Vegas, the Area 15 arts complex, and some of Southern Nevada’s best outdoor adventure spots, including Red Rock Canyon and Springs Preserve. But if you prefer staying at the center of the action, Caesars Palace most definitely has you covered.
Getting to and From Caesars
Though Caesars Palace is less than four miles from Harry Reid International Airport, don’t be surprised if you have to wait in your car for what feels like an unbearably long drive. Especially during peak travel seasons (think summer party season and the winter convention season), the roads along and around The Strip tend to be quite congested. If you happen to arrive during major daytime shift changes, you may also notice heavier traffic on the freeways as local workers try to rush to work. The same is true for almost any Friday afternoon, when a sea of California drive-in tourists flood into town via I-15 for weekend shenanigans.
If you’re planning a day to stay on The Strip, try walking to get some exercise and beat the car traffic: Clark County has multiple pedestrian sky bridges throughout Las Vegas Boulevard to make for easier and safer walks. If you have your own car and want to drive Downtown, try Sammy Davis Jr. Drive (which is accessible from the back side of Caesars) if you prefer a faster ride over vehicular sightseeing. If you’re heading west towards Summerlin and Red Rock, or east towards Lake Mead, Flamingo Road usually becomes less congested once you get far enough away from The Strip and I-15.
What to Do
Whatever you’re hoping to check off your “Vegas Trip Bucket List,” you can probably do it at Caesars. Casino gaming remains a top attraction at Caesars Palace and other Strip resorts — and yes, you will find a grand total of 1,324 slot machines, 185 table games (including blackjack, roulette, craps, and multiple types of poker), and 18 sportsbook TV screens on the casino floor.
If you’re looking to explore beyond the casino floor, all you have to do is walk around to find plenty more exciting activities. The Forum Shops mall is attached to the north end of the casino floor, and here you’ll find major designer labels ranging from Balenciaga to Burberry, plus you’ll find some enticing dining options — including the LA-based Water Grill and Sushi Roku.
If you’re more inclined to “raise your glasses high,” Caesars has reality TV star Lisa Vanderpump’s first bar outside Los Angeles, plus you’ll find the piping hot scene at Omnia nightclub and the ever-changing (virtual) views at Vista Lounge. For entertainment, there’s never a shortage of A-List performances: Chris Rock, Morrissey, and Sting are just a few of the stars who’ll be playing The Colosseum this summer.
But Wait, There’s More to Do at Caesars Palace: Let’s Hit the Pool(s)!
During our visit to Caesars, we tried out the Bacchus Pool, one of the reservation-only pools at the Garden of the Gods complex. It’s a smaller set of pools, yet it’s far less crowded, so it’s perfect for quiet swim time and intimate relaxation. Bacchus also features eight cabanas that are fully equipped with fridges, power outlets, and premium live TV, so this is also a great spot if you simply want to “Netflix and Chill” outside with friends while enjoying frosty cocktails and stunning Vegas Strip views.
If you want more action — and if you’re not inclined to seek out such a high-level VIP pool reservation — head downstairs for the iconic Temple Pool that’s adorned with “statues and fountains worthy of the gods,” as well as the Fortuna Pool where you can enjoy a few rounds of swim-up blackjack.
Where to Stay at Caesars Palace
Fortunately for travelers, Caesars Palace offers a vibrant variety of “hotels within the hotel.” Similar to how Resorts World and MGM’s Mandalay Bay have one large standard hotel and multiple higher-end boutique hotels on property, Caesars offers its own version of this setup with a grand total of 3,960 rooms and suites spread out across five towers.
- Nearest Airport: Las Vegas – Harry Reid International
- Time: 10-20 minutes by car
- Distance: four miles
The Julius, Forum, Augustus, and Octavius Towers
The Julius Tower is Caesars’ original: It was first opened in 1966. The Centurion Tower came next in 1970 (more on that below), followed by the Forum Tower in 1979. If you worry about being stuck in a dingy and outdated room here, fear not: Julius underwent a $1 billion large-scale renovation in 2016. Caesars puts a lot of effort these days into keeping its entire resort up to date in order to better compete against MGM’s resorts to the south, as well as Wynn-Encore and Resorts World to the north.
With the arrival of the Augustus Tower in 2005 and the Octavius Tower in 2012, Caesars voyaged deep into mega-resort territory. They also simultaneously managed to bring about a newer look that matches The Strip’s newer casino resorts while preserving Caesars’ distinct identity and character. Here, you’ll find 550+ square foot premium rooms with more contemporary design and easy access to the Garden of the Gods pool complex.
Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace (formerly known as the Centurion Tower)
When it first opened in 1970, the Centurion Tower was a glorious expansion of Caesars’ magnificent Las Vegas empire. In 2013 Caesars transformed Centurion into the world’s first-ever Nobu Hotel, and it now offers a very different yet very pleasant twist on imperial hospitality. In many ways, Nobu Hotel offers the best of both worlds for guests: a boutique hotel that feels more intimate and relaxing, yet a hotel that’s also smack dab in the middle of it all.
Nobu Hotel stands out from the rest of Caesars Palace with its traditional Japanese theme and highly attentive boutique hotel-style service. From the Filo d’Oro linens to the black Japanese tile bathrooms, and from Nobu restaurant room service (!!!!) to a Nobu-exclusive menu of spa services at Qua, you’ll be surprised by all the special perks that come with a stay at Nobu Hotel.
If you want the ultimate Vegas VIP experience, Caesars Palace offers 14 villas that are nothing short of drop-dead gorgeous. Last month, we had the very special opportunity to walk through two of these villas: the Chateau Villa, and the Constantine Villa. In addition to these villas, Caesars has several more specially themed villas available for the ultimate Vegas high-roller experience, including the Japanese-inspired Nobu Villa that can take your already ethereal Nobu Hotel stay to an even higher level.
Back to the villas we visited: Chateau has a classic French Country aesthetic, while Constantine is more of a tasteful hybrid of Greek classical, classic Americana, and global contemporary design. Both feature awesome views of the Garden of the Gods below, and both provide ample room to roam and do almost whatever you want to do.
Constantine includes a personal movie theater for special private screenings, along with a miniature library with a slimmed-down and postmodern take on the White House’s resolute desk for you to handle any nuclear footballs that might come your way. Meanwhile, Chateau has a marvelous parlor and a stately dining room that are perfect for entertaining the most discerning guests, and Chateau’s master bathroom — complete with a jacuzzi tub — that you’ll have to see to believe.
Where to Dine at Caesars Palace
Whatever you’re craving, you’ll most certainly find it at Caesars Palace. The resort now lives by the mantra of “gourmet all day,” so you’ll find great grub all day across the sprawling resort complex. Just keep in mind that this is the Vegas Strip, so don’t expect too many options for decent cheap eats in the area.
“$” = budget-friendly or cheap
Here is Caesars’ longtime culinary crown jewel. French superstar celebrity chef Guy Savoy hesitated to open a restaurant outside France at first, but Caesars convinced him to come to Vegas by promising to maintain his impeccably high standards here. Since 2004, they’ve done so quite beautifully: This was one of only ten Vegas restaurants to earn Michelin stars in 2009, and it still holds a top-notch Forbes 5-star rating as of 2022. If you want the full razzle-dazzle of the finest French cuisine, it’s hard to find a better restaurant to enjoy.
- Best for dinner
Here is one of Caesars’ newer culinary crown jewels, yet one that’s already taken Vegas’ foodie scene by storm. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is world-renowned for his own sky-high standards, and this Nobu outpost manages to fly even higher: It’s the only U.S. Nobu location with Teppan tables equipped for a one-of-a-kind Teppanyaki experience where diners can enjoy every course that’s cooked and prepared right in front of them.
- Best for dinner
Hell’s Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay
Yes, yes, we know: Vegas overflows in kitschy “celebrity chef restaurants” where famous names are essentially slapped onto any old diner with a cringe-worthy theme. This is not one of those “celebrity chef restaurants.” While you may find plenty of TVs playing Hell’s Kitchen episodes in the old Serendipity 3 space, you’ll more likely be wowed by the beautifully renovated space, and you’ll really lose your marbles over the heavenly cuisine served here. Come for the delectable lobster risotto, and stay for the “Chocolate Sin Cake” that’s hellaciously divine.
- Best for lunch and dinner
Pronto by Giada
Whether you’re up to a hearty breakfast, a fast snack with coffee, or an evening wine break, this spot near the convention center has you covered. While some may scoff over the heavy branding for celebrity chef Giada de Laurentiis, the food really is good (if quite pricey for a quick-serve spot). You can’t go wrong with the frittatas for breakfast, and the gelatos make for a pleasant dessert.
- Best for breakfast and lunch
How to Plan Like a Pro
Let’s make this very clear: Caesars Palace is smack dab in the middle of one of the United States’ top tourist destinations. Expect packed crowds and high prices throughout Las Vegas Boulevard from Russell Road to U.S. 95. If you plan to stay mostly on The Strip during your visit, budget yourself extra time to get around, and try as much as you can to fit in extra “cushion money” in your budget in case you feel the urge to grab a souvenir or order a foot-long cocktail. If you want to escape the crowds and the overpriced tourist traps, there’s plenty more to see and do off-Strip, but keep in mind that stuff tends to be much more spread out in the suburbs.
Heading back inside Caesars, it’s always a good idea to reserve in advance: for shows, restaurants, VIP pool dates, and nightclubs. Trust us: You don’t want to be that person who’s waiting in line for a ridiculously long time. And speaking of restaurants, Caesars Eats further helps you avoid pesky lines by allowing you to order online from nine restaurants for pickup or delivery.
Our Honest Assessment of Caesars Palace in 2022
Whether you prefer the glitz and glamour of Classic Vegas or the vibrant sophistication of Contemporary Vegas, Caesars Palace most likely has whatever you’re looking for. For a Strip casino that’s lasted over half a century, Caesars manages to come across as a real classic without feeling stale or anachronistic. It’s really the best of both worlds, and it’s an ideally situated launchpad for you to explore the larger world of the Las Vegas Strip.
If you want some more inspiration to help spice up your summer travel plans, check out the eight best neighborhoods to stay and explore in Barcelona, our cheat sheet on the world’s five happiest countries worth visiting, our Jackson Hole (Wyoming) travel guide, and our Oaxaca (Mexico) travel guide. Cheers to safe and happy travels!
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