Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A luxury icon since 1966, the 2,419-Roman-themed Caesars Palace still rivals the big new hotels in its scale, style, and grandeur -- but its base-level rooms are a bit smaller and outdated.
Compared to the other thematic mega-hotels on the Las Vegas Strip like the Paris, Venetian, New York New York, and Treasure Island, the Roman Empire certainly has its own unique appeal -- classical architecture; imperial statues; a giant rotunda and marble (looking) columns that flank the pool.
Like the MGM Grand or the Venetian, the main design principle seems to be excess -- the largest poker room in Las Vegas; an enormous, 50,000-square-foot spa; a long labyrinth of a shopping mall; and three pools pieced together to form the "Garden of Gods Pool Oasis."
Built in 1966, Caesars Palace is one of the Strip's first giant hotel-casino stunners. It was packing its over-the-top-theme house with high-profile entertainers well before current Vegas visionary Steve Wynn took the mind-blowing-hotel concept to the next level with the Mirage in 1989 or the Bellagio in 1993 (and all the other glitzy behemoth hotels that followed) -- and still is, with Cher, Jerry Seinfeld, and Bette Midler performing dinner-shows at the Colosseum. (Also, notably, the 2009 comedy The Hangover was set largely inside Caesars Palace.) But the downside of the hotel's age is that its base-level (appropriately named) "Classic" rooms are smaller and far more basic than what you'd find in the newer, mid-tier-luxury properties like Mandalay Bay or the MGM Grand. Despite this, Caesar's Palace is still a Vegas innovative powerhouse and has recently announced that it will hand over one of its buildings to one of the world's most recognized Japanese restaurant's, Nobu. The worldwide chain will embark on its first foray into lodging in the existing Centurian Tower. Set to be called Nobu Hotel Las Vegas, the boutique hotel will house 16 suites and a penthouse with a ground floor 9,500-square-foot Nobu Restaurant and Lounge coming in April 2013.
Caesars Palace is in the middle of the densely packed three-and-a-half mile long stretch of hotel-casinos known as the Strip. The Bellagio (with its famous, street-facing fountain shows) is to the south, and the Mirage (connected to Caesars by a free tram) is to the north. The Flamingo and Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville restaurant are directly across the broad .
Most Las Vegas visitors want to explore all of the big properties along the Strip. Cabs are easy to find at virtually any time of day or night. A generally less expensive option is the Deuce, a double-decker bus that runs up and down the strip 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and costs $3 to ride. There's also a monorail system, which stops at MGM Grand, Bally's/Paris, Flamingo/ , Harrah's/Imperial Palace, the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Hilton, and the Sahara. A single-ride ticket is $5; a one-day pass is $13. If you're traveling along the Strip with at least one other person, a cab is often the least expensive option.
Virtually every hotel on the Las Vegas Strip is a 10- to 15-minute cab ride from McCarran International Airport; the ride typically costs about $15.
The quality of the room varies greatly between the hotel's five different towers: the Forum, the Roman, the Centurion, the Palace, the Augustus, and the Octavious (which opened in 2012). But unlike the rooms at the Venetian or Wynn, the base-level rooms at Caesars don't have a desk or a couch, and as for a sitting area, there are just two ordinary, Marriott-grade chairs by the window.
"Garden of Gods Pool Oasis!" is Caesars' own, highfalutin title for the trio of pools -- the , the , and the Venus -- which collectively span 4.5 acres, between Roman columns, elaborate marble and granite mosaics, and cabanas (available to rent, with a TV and refrigerator). To Caesars' credit, I felt the need to add the exclamation point. Pumped through fountains, water flows through the massive, circular Temple pool -- one of the biggest and most visually interesting pools in Vegas, rivaled only by a select few others, like the Bellagio, and the more boisterous pool scene at the Hard Rock. The Neptune pool, though still beautiful in its own right, serves as more of a lap pool -- a rare find in Vegas. Venus acts as the adults-only pool area. Though it's attached to some of the parties at the PURE nightclub, it's generally much more laid-back (less obnoxious) than some of the more notorious pool parties in Vegas, such as those at the Palms or Hard Rock.
As of 2010, Caesars Palace has added eight new pools and 44 cabanas to Garden of the Gods, which are spread out over three levels. Each pool is named for a god or goddess and has its own personality: one has a swim-up blackjack table, one has cabanas only for invited VIPs, and one features an 18-foot waterfall. The Venus Pool Club opened in 2012, and includes secluded, luxurious couches, cabanas, and food and drink options for an entrance fee that increases on weekends.
Caesar's closes all of its pools, except for Venus, during the off-season.
The massive, 50,000-square-foot Qua Baths & Spa includes 51 treatment rooms and 35 massage studios -- if it's not the best spa in Vegas (that might go to the Canyon Ranch spa at the Venetian), it's at least one of the biggest. Guests get access to the , , , chakra balancing crystal "body art" rooms, an herbal steam room, cedar sauna, and the expansive fitness center for a fee. The spa is split into male and female sections, and includes a barber shop for the lads and a salon for the ladies. Couples rooms are also available. Among the massage treatments offered, there's the signature "hourglass treatment" in which you get a combination of facials, hot stones, and aromatherapy.
All of the standard games, slots, and cards are available, as well as a 250-seat race and sports book. Aside from the giant TVs mounted on the wall of the race and sports book, each table is equipped with its own monitor. Caesars is also home to a large, 14,000-square-foot poker room -- one of Las Vegas' biggest. The casino isn't as fancy as the casino at the Bellagio or the Venetian, but it's on par with the casino at Mandalay Bay and much nicer than the casino at the Flamingo.
The pools are great and fine for a family, but otherwise the hotel doesn't offer much for children.
Caesars Palace is happy to host children -- the rooms are large, the pool is excellent (and mellow), and the concierge can arrange baby-sitting services (something the groomsmen in The Hangover probably should have considered before dragging the poor baby all over town) -- but it doesn't specifically target families. Unlike the other theme-centered hotels like Excalibur or the Venetian, there are no exciting, Roman-inspired performances for the kids. Though it's probably for the best that the hotel doesn't inspire young gladiator battles.
Cribs and rollaway beds both cost an additional fee. (Note that Caesars is one of the very few hotels that charges extra for a crib.)
Like most massive Las Vegas strip hotels, it's clear the staff works hard to keep the place clean, but with such a staggering amount of people staying at the hotel, it seems impossible to keep the place spotless.
Since 1966, the 2,419-room Caesars Palace has defined excess on the Strip -- a massive spa with Roman baths; elaborate and classical architecture around the pools; one of the biggest casinos in Vegas. But base-level "Classic Rooms" are smaller, more drab, and older than the Vegas norm. You can upgrade to a more recently renovated room, but check the Venetian's rates first.