[ON LOCATION] LYDIA GREGORY
Prevue recently had the opportunity to visit Las Vegas, settling into the swanky Nobu Hotel Las Vegas for a couple of nights. This, just when the city is kicking everything into high gear in preparation for not just one, but two premium events: the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix this November and, in 2024, the arrival of Super Bowl LVII at the new Allegiant Stadium.
With its own tower inside Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, Nobu could easily be described as an urban oasis within this vast complex. The entrance is quite discrete by Vegas standards—in fact, it’s basically just a very stylish elevator bank adjacent to Nobu Restaurant (it has a dedicated entrance), with a small concierge desk where I checked-in before being sent up in one of the private elevators to the 72nd floor and the private front desk and lounge.
I was early for check-in, so I left my luggage and took a look around the lobby level before settling down to work at a communal table with a cup of tea (the WiFi is lightning fast and free). The space is tranquil, modern and decidedly Zen, and includes a tiny but well outfitted gym (think Peloton bikes, one of which, by the way, can be delivered to the attendee’s room for a fee) and a small 8-person conference space available for a fee.
This property will appeal to the VIP event attendee who wants to have easy access to everything. The hotel has 182 rooms and suites, including the Nobu Penthouse, which has one king bedroom with option for four additional bedrooms and the 3-bedroom, 10,300-sf Nobu Villa on the rooftop—truly for C-suite attendees.
My Nobu Strip View Two Queens was a non-smoking room that continued the rich but minimalist theme of the lobby, with decor inspired by kintsugi (the Japanese art where broken pottery is repaired with gold dust and resin). The beds are plush and comfortable, with Filo D’Oro linens, and there is plenty of storage space plus a table with two comfortable chairs that doubled as a workstation. The dark-tiled bathroom had a separate vanity area and a large walk-in shower, which, coupled with the plush spa robes, is just what a tired attendee needs at the end of the day.
The hotel received a fairly recent refresh that was part of a bigger picture investment for Caesars Entertainment. “The company is leading the way with industry trends by not resting on its laurels,” says chief sales officer Mike Massari. “It’s our continual evolution and adaptability that is keeping us leading the industry. In Las Vegas in 2022, we opened several celebrity chef restaurants at the Paris property, redesigned the hotel lobby at Caesars Palace and redesigned the guest rooms at Nobu Hotel, taking into account current trends while incorporating sustainability and bleisure.”
Fine dining is a must for good business. The 24-hour Cafe Americano and its classic comfort food with a Latin twist is a must and welcomes groups of all sizes. Additionally, the renowned Nobu Restaurant, connected to the homonymous hotel, is the world’s largest and the only U.S. Nobu with teppan tables, a favorite of groups.
On this visit, however, we had the opportunity to experience a VERY VIP evening at Restaurant Guy Savoy, which easily qualifies as one of the best eateries in Las Vegas. The three-Michelin-starred restaurateur has emulated many of the dishes of his Paris restaurant, but, as general manager Alain Alpe explains, he certainly took the American palate into consideration by adding, among other touches, beef to the menu. Everything is imported from France, and the multi-course pairing dinner was nothing short of sublime, with exquisite service and attention to detail by Alpe
and his staff.
Among the other standouts in Caesars Entertainment’s Las Vegas lineup that we had a chance to visit was the luxuriously lush Vanderpump a Paris at the Paris Las Vegas, where we dined on a selection of small plates like tiny, perfect croquet monsieurs and Bourguignon pot pie, accompanied by fun signature cocktails including Le Marg and a Cafe et Beignet espresso martini. The main dining room can be reserved for small groups up to 150 seated or 200 standing.
Another celebrity hotspot, Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen, did not disappoint: The open kitchen concept is patterned after the red and blue teams of the TV shows, the wine and cocktail menu is extensive and the hyper-upscale menu includes a beef Wellington to die for and a delectable crispy-skin salmon dish. The entire restaurant can be bought out for dinner and cocktails, and they also have separate dining areas. Note: Another celebrity chef-inspired eatery, Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Sports Kitchen, will open this summer across the street at Horseshoe Las Vegas.
Outside the Caesars complex, we dined at another massive compound, Resorts World Las Vegas. Opening less than two years ago, it has over 3,500 guest rooms across three hotels (Hilton, Conrad and Crocksfords luxury brands), a 27,000-sf spa, a 5.5-acre pool complex, 40 F&B outlets, nightlife, retail, a 5,000-person theater, 250,000-sf of flexible meeting and banquet space and much more, not to mention it’s just across from the 1.4-million-sf Las Vegas Convention Center Expansion. Lunch at Wally’s Wine & Spirits, a combination restaurant, wine bar and gourmet market, was excellent, chosen from the extensive winter menu with plenty of truffle items including the delicious truffle pizza.
The news from Las Vegas is about as grandiose and eye-popping as you’d expect, and most if not all is apropos for you as a meeting planner.
To manage the already burgeoning event attendee numbers, the Vegas Loop at the Convention Center—an underground tunnel system powered by electric vehicles (currently Tesla is holding three to five passengers)—can whisk them from the new West Hall to the existing North, Central and South halls in about two minutes, versus a 25-minute walk. Twelve-passenger vehicles are in the works, as are stations beyond the Convention Center and Resorts World, where it currently runs.
Liberty Media, parent company of the Formula One Group, is currently constructing a 300,000-sf paddock on 39 acres in Downtown Las Vegas. Ostensibly for the Grand Prix race in November, it will be available year-round for exhibits, events and more starting in January of 2024.
Also under construction and expected to be completed by November is what could be the most show-stopping venue of all time: the MSG Sphere. Among other things, this revolutionary creation will be available for corporate events of exceptional proportions. When completed, this magnum opus venue will be the largest spherical structure in the world, with 20,000 seats, 23 VIP suites, a beyond cutting-edge sound system and 4D elements including wind and scent, the highest resolution LED wraparound screen inside and a 580,000-sf exterior LED display that will also be fully programmable.
Finally, not new, but undoubtedly not the usual venue for groups, AREA15, a 10-minute drive from the Strip, is a completely immersive experience that combines virtual and alternate realities, art, music, play, eating and dining in creatively unusual ways. Everything is possible, from full buyouts and 20,000-person events on the outdoor grounds to intimate receptions. For example, one space, The Portal, with capacity for 900 attendees for a cocktail or 220 banquet-style, offers 360-degree projection on all four walls, floor and ceiling included.
vegasmeansbusiness.com; caesars.com/meetings; area15.com/plan-event; msgsphere.com; rwlasvegas.com