Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 | 9:15 a.m.
After months of rumors, all reported here at Vegas DeLuxe, it will be finally official this morning that the Strip’s newest luxury boutique hotel with only 188 rooms and suites will be known as The Cromwell. Caesars Entertainment executives will reveal details of the property today after floating various names for the boutique resort.
The Cromwell may well be the Strip’s smallest hotel, but it is located at one of its busiest intersections with more than 20 million passersby each year. Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon is now a faded memory as The Cromwell takes its place ready to open this spring.
It will feature a 40,000-square-foot casino, a hotel lobby bar, a lounge and two incredible attractions — a restaurant by television’s top-rated chef Giada De Laurentiis and dayclub/nightlife venues by party prince Victor Drai.
Caesars has spent $185 million in the renovation of Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall that it shuttered last Feb. 4. Prior to that, it was known as Barbary Coast. Las Vegas hotel gaming mogul Michael Gaughan built the property and opened it in March 1979, gambling $11.5 million on its construction.
He eventually folded it into his Coast Casino’s company and then sold it in July 2005 to the rival Boyd Gaming. It was named Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall in honor of company founder Bill Harrah when the ownership passed to Harrah’s Entertainment in a land-swap deal at the 24-acre Westward Ho that became the now-shuttered project Echelon Place.
It lasted for six years as Bill’s when the successor company to Harrah’s became Caesars Entertainment, and the Board of Directors decided to redevelop the center-Strip relic. The venture was to be known as The Gansevoort and managed by a New York hotel group, but because of gaming problems in New England, they were forced to quit the project. Caesars Entertainment will now manage it within the company.
Rooms will go on pre-sale at TheCromwell.com on Feb. 21, with the public sale starting Feb. 24. Execs said this morning that the venture will create nearly 2,000 jobs.
In their first official statement, execs said The Cromwell will blend vintage with modern, drawing inspiration from Coste Hotel in Paris with black Parisian-style awnings and gold fixtures adorning the windows. When guests enter from the main driveway, a boutique hotel experience that blends traditional elements with Parisian flare and whimsical, modern details will await.
The hotel lobby will remind visitors of a parlor from the past; accessories and bookshelves with leather-bound books adorn the walls. The 169 regular rooms are reminiscent of Parisian loft-style apartments with distressed hardwood flooring and vintage luggage motif furnishings. The lighting will recall French provincial styling. Black-and-white mosaic-tiled shower walls act as the canvas for captivating English-French phrases.
Giada De Laurentiis’ restaurant, Giada, will greet guests with a warm and welcoming atmosphere, al fresco dining and a beautiful exhibition kitchen showcasing fresh pastas being made daily by hand. There also will be a signature antipasto bar, a first for Italian eateries on the Strip.
Located on the second story of the boutique hotel, Giada will seat 260 guests and showcases automatic retractable windows boasting prime views of the Bellagio Fountains, Caesars Palace and the new Bally’s Grand Bazaar Shops coming this fall.
The Food Network firebrand chef says her restaurant will be open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a private dining room will be available for larger parties. The menu will embrace her Roman heritage, mirroring her passion for Italian cooking with vibrant Californian influences.
Giada promises only the freshest ingredients to create a new take on traditional Italian cuisine while staying true to classic favorites. Her signature dishes include lemon spaghetti, eggplant rollatini, marsala herb chicken meatballs and lemon ricotta cookies.
“I’m so excited not only to be opening my very first restaurant but also to be one of the first female chefs on the Strip,” she said. “My goal for this restaurant is to be able to share a part of my life, my culture and my family with every guest. I want each person to feel like they’re entering my home, receiving a big welcoming hug and enjoying a fantastic Italian meal.”
Nightlife innovator Victor Drai, who has been behind some of the most memorable Las Vegas nightlife experiences, returns to this premier Strip location with Drai’s After Hours. With the opening of The Cromwell, Victor also will introduce his dazzling rooftop pool, dayclub and nightlife venue, Drai’s Beach Club and Nightclub. He promises that its unique attractions ahead of every club in Las Vegas will elevate the Strip’s dayclub and nightlife scenes.
Karie Hall, who has been appointed The Cromwell’s general manager, said: “It will bring an exclusive experience to the Strip as a luxury-lifestyle boutique hotel focusing on hospitality, amenities and personalized service. Our partners Giada and Victor will inspire 360-degree daylife, nightlife and dining experiences that you won’t find anywhere else in Las Vegas.”
Be sure to check back to Vegas DeLuxe next week for an interview with Giada about her new restaurant.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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