Hotel Openings: First Look Inside Las Vegas’ Nobu Hotel

Sushi and celebrity lovers alike know Nobu as one of the country’s ritziest places to order your tuna and tempura. Now you can know it as a place to lay your head as well. Nobu Hospitality is opening their first hotel in Las Vegas, now taking reservations from October 1, 2012.

The first branded hotel venture by a celebrity chef, Nobu Hotel includes not only a top toque but a celebrity actor as well – Robert De Niro is also a partner in the hospitality group.
A Hotel Within A Hotel
Earlier this week in New York City, the group showed off the initial plans for their new hotel, which will be located inside Caesar’s Palace.
The hotel-within-a-hotel will offer a Japanese Zen feel, from the wooden tiles that extend from the elevator to the hallways to the sleek cherry blossom patterned carpet and custom light fixtures inspired by origami. Sleek touch-screen elevators will add a hint of the hotel’s cutting-edge technology and guide guests to the 181 hotel rooms and 18 suites with Strip or garden views.
“We have created a distinctly Japanese experience in the heart of Las Vegas with the first Nobu Hotel, but with a playful interpretation of Nobu’s style and the Vegas bravado,” said Rockwell, founder and CEO of Rockwell Group. “Using the grand canvas of a hotel, we were able to elaborate on the use of hand-crafted, curated materials that create a luxurious effect and provide a world-class Nobu experience.”
Inside the Guest Rooms
Guest rooms will be distinctly more Zen-like then most of their over-the-top counterparts and will feature neutral tones with hints of purple and aqua. Custom art by up-and-coming Japanese artists will feature a mix of traditional prints and expressionist designs, speaking to the link between traditional Japanese and modern art. The main focal point of the room will be the feature wall that displays a custom calligraphy, as seen in the photo above.
Bathrooms will feature rich teak fittings, stone tiles and traditional black Umi tiles. Walk-in showers will offer multiple showerheads and a teak bathing stool, a commodity seen in traditional Japanese bathhouses. Toto toilets and sinks that showcase custom freestanding concrete bowls set on wood plinth are designed to evoke a garden fountain. Luxurious bath amenities will include a selection of products by Natura Bissein, featuring a signature rosemary and white tea scent designed exclusively for Nobu Hotel.
A Zen-Like Experience
The arrival experience will include personalized service with in-room iPad registration and a traditional hot tea welcome amenity.

The unique turndown service will include his and hers yukata robes and slippers displayed bedside along with an exclusive Nobu Hotel blend of scented sleep oils. An upgraded minibar curated by Nobu will consist of unique selections including organic Wild Poppy blood orange chili juice crafted from orchards in California, chocolate-dipped Pocky pretzels, Japanese beer and an assortment of Dean & Deluca snack items. Nobu’s signature brands of chilled sake and Genmai-Cha brown rice green tea will also be available.
Nobu Hotel guests will also 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 Vegas-themed High Roller, which features lobster wasabi, Wagyu steak, spicy garlic shrimp and an assortment of nigiri and premium sushi rolls. Additional menu items will 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 tonkatsu sandwich with panko pork and prune katsu sauce on shokupan bread.
The hotel is now taking reservations for October 1 and beyond. We’ll keep you posted on an opening date! What do you think? Can’t wait to stay or would prefer just to dine and stay elsewhere?

Nobu to open hotel in Las Vegas

When it comes to sushi on this side of the Pacific, few American-based restaurants can compete with the likes of Nobu. Capitalizing on this celebritydom, chef Nobu Matsuhisa has recently announced plans to open up his first Nobu-branded boutique hotel in Vegas.

With 26 restaurants on five continents – three of which have been awarded highly-coveted Michelin stars – you’d think that Nobu and his partner Robert De Niro would be content to rest on their laurels. On the contrary, the Nobu Hospitality group is currently preparing to make an aggressive expansion into the boutique hotel market.

And what better place to inaugurate a new entertainment venture?

The answer is none other than Las Vegas, Nevada. According to a recent press release, the oldest tower at Caesar’s Palace is set to undergo a renovation by the same interior design team that brought you City Center.

The resulting transformation will thereafter be known as the Nobu Hotel Las Vegas.Although Nobu already operates a restaurant in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, to date there are no Japanese themed hotels on the Las Vegas strip. Now, I know exactly what you’re thinking. “But wait…haven’t you forgotten about the Imperial Palace?”

Trust me. There is nothing authentically Japanese about the Imperial Palace!

In stark contrast, the Nobu Hotel Las Vegas will emulate the minimalist interior of the restaurant chain while attracting a smart and savvy clientle. With only 180 rooms, it will also strive to offer the highly personalized service that characterizes the hospitality industry in Japan.

In their words:

“With a renowned location in Caesar’s Palace, the luxury Nobu Hotel Las Vegas will be a destination for style-makers and trendsetters, offering an immersive, fun and social experience. [Guests] will enjoy private check-in and the unique benefit of room service from Nobu’s acclaimed culinary team.”

One of the most unique aspects of the business deal is that the Nobu Hotel Las Vegas will be completely surrounded by Caesar’s Palace – not at all unlike how the Vatican City is completely surrounded by Rome.

For guests at the Nobu Hotel Las Vegas, this puts the casinos, shops and entertainment at Caesar’s within easy reach. For everyone else, this not only sets the bar for future boutique hotel ventures, but also signals that post-recession Vegas is still alive and well.

Haven’t yet experienced the gastronomic wonder that is Nobu? Stop by a branch near you, and sample the black cod with miso that first put this superstar restaurant on the culinary map.

** Caesar’s Palace image courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons Project. All other images are from Nobu: The Cookbook, and are reproduced here for the purpose of critical commentary. **

Save big at Atlantis resort

We’re still not all that far into spring … which means the stinging cold of winter isn’t yet a distant memory. If you need a brief break from the places you saw covered in snow not too long ago, check out the latest deal from the Atlantis, Paradise Island Resort. You can pick up a nightly rate of $399 until May 26, 2010, if you spend four nights there. After that, a $499 a night reservation is available until June 20, 2010.

The $650/night value includes plenty of extras, including two dolphin interactions at the resort’s 14-acre dolphin interaction and education center, a round of golf at the Ocean Club Golf Course and one-night access to Aura. Enjoy two signature margaritas at Bobby Flay‘s Mesa Grill and two sunset martinis at Jean Georges‘ Dune … and munch and sip on a sushi and sake mini-tasting for two at Nobu.

Yeah, there are worse ways to put the winter behind.

Tokyo restaurants tops in Michelin

Tokyo is the top dining city in the world, according to the latest Michelin Guide. With 11 restaurants at three stars, it’s pushed past Paris, the former top dog in the culinary world. Eight of the nine Tokyo restaurants with three starts retained their Michelin ratings year-over-year, and three were bumped up from two stars to three for 2010. Paris has only 10 three-star restaurants in the 2010 Michelin Guide, and New York only has four.

According to Oyvind Naesheim, Nobu Hong Kong’s executive chef, “Tokyo is an unbelievable city for food,” continuing, “The passion and perfection at some top Tokyo restaurants show us why this city is so outstanding in fine dining.”

Two thirds of the 197 Tokyo restaurants listed by Michelin focus on Japanese food, focusing on common styles includingfugu, soba, sukiyaki, tempura and sushi. Three of the 11 three-star spots went to French Restaurants.

In total, Tokyo has 261 stars, more than any other city in the 23 countries that Michelin covers. Look for the list of Tokyo three star restaurants after the jump.

  1. Esaki, Classic Japanese (new)
  2. Ishikawa, Classic Japanese
  3. Joel Robuchon, French
  4. Kanda, Japanese
  5. Koju, Japanese
  6. L’Osier, French
  7. Quintessence, French
  8. Sushi Mizutani, Sushi
  9. Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten, Sushi
  10. Sushi Saito, Sushi (new)
  11. Yukimura, Classic Japanese (new)