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Photos: Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro offer Nobu Caesars Palace peek at NYC party

Nobu Caesars Palace Unveiling Party in NYC

Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Caesars Palace

Robert De Niro, chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Meir Teper, partners of Nobu Hospitality, attend the announcement of the Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace at Nobu in New York City on Sunday, June 10, 2012.

Updated Monday, June 11, 2012 | 8:38 a.m.

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Nobu Caesars Palace Unveiling Party in NYC

Straun McKenzie, Meir Teper, Gary Selesner, Robert De Niro, Trevor Horwell and David Rockwell attend the announcement of the Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace at Nobu in New York City on Sunday, June 10, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Nobu Matsuhisa at Caesars Palace

Nobu Matsuhisa at Caesars Palace on Friday, May 11, 2012. Launch slideshow »
Click to enlarge photo

A rendering of a room with a king-size bed in Nobu Hotel in Caesars Palace set to open in December 2012.

Restaurant partners actor Robert De Niro and chef Nobu Matsuhisa unveiled more plans for the culinary king’s first restaurant and hotel on the Strip at Caesars Palace on Sunday night in New York.

Caesars executives led by President Gary Selesner hosted a party at Nobu in Manhattan to provide a sneak preview of the hotel suites to VIPs, travel agents, convention bookers and media.

The party also celebrated the news that Nobu’s restaurant is on schedule to open in October, with the hotel in December in time for New Year’s. Bookings for both begin in October.

It will be Nobu’s largest of the 24 restaurants open around the world and debut in tandem with the first Nobu Hotel, a nongaming boutique tower in Caesars.

“This restaurant marks many first milestones,” Nobu told guests. “It is the first Nobu on the Strip. It’s the very first of my restaurants to offer an in-room dining menu and the first-ever Nobu to open alongside a Nobu Hotel.

“We pour our hearts into each new project and are passionate about crafting imaginative ideas with our guests in mind. We are thrilled to be revealing the new concepts and designs for Nobu Caesars Palace.”

It’s the third Caesars Palace restaurant for designer David Rockwell, who attended Sunday’s Big Apple celebrations. He says the ambiance will be as brilliant as the food in the 11,200-square-foot restaurant combining the East and West in a fun and often-whimsical setting.

Bowed columns of bamboo will line the exterior of the restaurant to resemble the structure of a traditional Japanese ikebana basket used in the art of flower arranging. Natural design elements of stone, wood and paper will create the dining scene.

The restaurant will feature colorful, patterned private dining pods, and leather upholstered screens will wrap the dining room. Oversized light fixtures inspired by Japanese tea whisks and vibrant kimonos will complement the atmosphere, with a 15-person bar the focal point of the lounge. An oversized bowl hand-carved from a giant wood block will highlight Nobu’s Japanese elegance.

The guest rooms will continue with a clean, natural look using wood, rice paper, grass cloth and stone tiles with artwork by Japanese artists selected by Nobu.

“All materials have been hand-crafted and curated to create a complete luxury experience. We are excited to continue telling the Nobu story through the design of the restaurant and its very first hotel,” said David, who has worked with Nobu the past 15 years.

Details of the restaurant and hotel also were unveiled by Nobu and Gary during Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit here last month. Nobu at the Hard Rock Hotel will continue to remain open.


Updated at 8:38 a.m.:

Nobu’s first hotel project, opening at Caesars Palace, will capture “Vegas bravado and Nobu style.” That was the word Sunday night in New York as designer David Rockwell unveiled hotel room renderings for the first time at a party at the celebrity chef’s original Manhattan restaurant.

The hotel opens in December, with bookings to start Oct. 1. In this morning’s official release about the first celebrity-chef branded hotel venture, David and his design team at The Rockwell Group said they have designed the space to convey an extension of the fun and energetic Nobu lifestyle.

“From the moment of entry into the hotel lobby, guests will sense the dramatic transformation from Caesars Palace to Nobu Hotel. Surfaces will be comprised of wood tiles extending through the elevator foyer and into the cabins -- a single gesture that defines the hotel space. Hallways will feature patterned carpets to reflect elements of cherry blossoms and Japanese Zen gardens, along with pleated wall coverings and custom fixtures inspired by origami.

Click to enlarge photo

Robert De Niro, Nobu Matsuhisa and Gary Selesner.

“We have created a distinctly Japanese experience in the heart of Las Vegas, but with a playful interpretation of Nobu’s style and the Vegas bravado,” David said. The 181 guest rooms, including 18 suites, will offer Strip or garden views.

Designs embrace simplicity with natural materials and textures counterbalanced with outsized elements to reveal a touch of Las Vegas flair. Neutral tones will set the room, while hints of purple and aqua are emitted from accent pieces, pillows and artwork.

Patterned beige-colored carpets feature a strong, unconventional graphic designed to invoke landforms, seascapes and active movements. Staying true to the Nobu aesthetic, the furniture will reflect the influence of designers whose forms come directly from nature.

“We are thrilled to be working with Caesars Entertainment as our strategic partner on the first Nobu Hotel. We are looking forward to expanding on this relationship further with additional international projects,” said Nobu Hospitality CEO Trevor Horwell. “We are eager to welcome our guests to experience our unique lifestyle hospitality.”

“The Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace experience is crafted with the Nobu guest in mind –-- we want to cater to their expectancies of quality and comfort while offering unique elements of surprise,” said Gigi Vega, Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace general manager. “We have strived to create an elevated experience that fully communicates the magnetic Nobu lifestyle with exclusive touches and opulent details to evoke excitement and form lasting memories.”

Arrival includes personalized service with in-room iPad registration and a traditional hot tea welcome amenity. Custom-made Simmons mattresses will be adorned with 100-percent Egyptian cotton Anichini percale linens and Down Dreams pillows. The turndown service will include his and hers yukata robes and slippers with Nobu Hotel scented sleep oils.

In addition to exclusive accommodations, Nobu Hotel guests also will have private access to the adjacent 11,200-square-foot restaurant and lounge with priority seating and 24-hour access to Nobu cuisine through the first-ever in-room dining menu. The menu will include popular Japanese items, along with Nobu’s signature twists on American classics.

A selection of bento boxes will offer a customary Japanese breakfast and the Las Vegas-themed High Roller, which features lobster wasabi, Wagyu steak, spicy garlic shrimp and nigiri and premium sushi rolls. Additional menu items include green tea waffles served with braised short rib, egg and aged maple; bagel and lox featuring salmon sashimi served on an “everything bagel” made of crispy rice; the RLT with rock shrimp, butter lettuce and Maui onion tomato salsa in a creamy spicy sauce; and the tomcats sandwich with panko pork and prune katsu sauce on shokupan bread.

“For Nobu Hotel’s in-room dining menu, I have crafted some of my signature selections paired with some new additions to cater to the Las Vegas market,” Nobu said. “My passion and creativity is communicated into every dish, and I look forward to further raising the bar with my newest restaurant and hotel venture.”

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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