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Nobu Matsuhisa makes history with his hotel opening at Caesars Palace this weekend


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.

Nobu Hotel Preview

A view of a room at the new Nobu Hotel inside Caesars Palace, June 26, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Nobu Matsuhisa at Caesars Palace

Nobu Matsuhisa at Caesars Palace on Friday, May 11, 2012. Launch slideshow »


It’s history in the making this weekend when chef Nobu Matsuhisa and his restaurant partner award-winning actor Robert De Niro cut the red ribbon on their new venue at Caesars Palace.

First, it becomes the world’s first Nobu Hotel with guests checking in Monday. Second, with 327 seats in 12,775 square feet, it becomes the world’s largest Nobu restaurant.

Third, Nobu cuisine will be available through the first-ever in-room dining menu, and also for the first time, he will serve breakfast in bento boxes. Finally, Nobu will introduce the first three teppanyaki tables at any of his American restaurants, plus, a private dining party room for 25 guests with their own chef.

Nobu plans to include a few American classic dishes on his popular Japanese menu, but done his way. The bagel and lox comes with salmon sashimi atop crispy rice bread. Be sure to order the Las Vegas-themed High Roller featuring lobster wasabi, Wagyu steak, spicy garlic shrimp and an assortment of nigiri and premium sushi rolls.

Our story posted May 23 included the announcement of the Nobu Hotel, an interview with the celebrated chef and his amazing story of how his first restaurant was destroyed by fire and why he teamed up with Robert. Also check out the story June 11 with the room and restaurant renderings.

Robert and Nobu are flying in for the official opening ceremony Saturday, and we’ll get an advance look at one of the 18 super-suites in the 181-room hotel on Friday. Officials at Caesars haven’t revealed the cost of the amazing makeover to the former Centurion Tower, but I’m told that it was more than $200 million.

We posted photos Monday of the restaurant and elevator lobby with its in-room iPad registration. They feature bathrooms of rich teak fittings, stone tiles and modern fixtures. The beds come with Nobu-scented sleep oils. He selected the mini-bar contents, which include his signature chilled sake and brown rice green tea.

Room rates start at $249 on weekdays, while the five-bedroom suite is $4,000 a night. David Rockwell, who has worked with Nobu for more than 20 years, led the design and says he created an extension of the fun and energetic Nobu lifestyle. He incorporated Las Vegas flair into the simple natural materials and textures. His neutral tones are juxtaposed with hints of terracotta orange, purple and aqua and unexpected, bold, traditional and contemporary Japanese graphics.

British-born Thomas Buckley will be the executive chef. In the past 10 years, he has helped Nobu open many of his 22 restaurants around the world. The private company now has 3,500 employees.

Nobu himself has been jetting in every two weeks during the construction to ensure that everything is perfect. Since opening his New York City restaurant with Robert in 1994 from the original -- and still there -- West Hollywood outlet, Nobu has had 18 consecutive years of record-setting financial growth.

Today, he serves 3 million annual customers on five continents: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. His Nobu restaurant at the Hard Rock Hotel remains open. We’ll post stories and photos over the weekend of the opening parties at the new Strip hotel and 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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