It appears the most dynamic property on the Strip at the moment is Caesars Palace. The resort is getting ready to open Old Homestead, the legendary New York steak palace, in a few days, and it opened a new tower, Octavius, last Friday evening. Octavius is the hotel’s sixth tower, and the cost, Mr. Bond, $860 mil. So much for the recession.
I was privileged to be among the first guests in the tower, one of the most luxuriously appointed hotels around, and to be given a preview of Old Homestead, as the staff was training with their service manuals.
There are innovations to burn in this 688-room tower, such as the capability to communicate directly with room service, housekeeping, concierge or front-of-the-house services, by means of a mobile device. Simply go to www.OctaviusApp.com to do so. And say goodbye to the tedious waiting time on a telephone line to enable your requests.
In addition, rooms are equipped with something called MediaHub, a multi-media device that enables guests to connect their devices to a 42-inch High Definition TV screen. Add to that posh appointments like marble floors, plush velvet sofas, king sized beds with pillow topped mattresses and luxurious Anichini linens, and it’s good to be King.
For those who have the juice-or the expense account, the hotel will open three luxury villas in the summer, which such features as wood and stone archways, a private terrace with fire pit seating, and steam mist showers. Well, we can dream.
While I was at the opening cocktail party, a member of the Caesars PR Team sneaked me into Old Homestead, the New York steakhouse that is replacing the longtime Caesars institution, Nero’s.
I haven’t eaten at the New York Old Homestead, but this build-out features a classy, clubby dining room, sleek, modern furniture, a big wine cellar and soft, seductive lighting.
Looking at the original menu, it’s clear that this food ain’t for sissies. I hear that that Bang Bang shrimp appetizer, tempura battered shrimp in a ginger chipotle ancho chili sauce, is wonderful, and a friend tells me ditto for their Chopped Salad.
A whopping 32-oz bone-in rib eye will get your attention, and so will a 20-oz. American Kobe burger with all the trimmings. Side dishes might be homemade Tater Tots with Kobe bacon, or asparagus Hollandaise. I plan to save room for their famous New York cheesecake as well.
The restaurant should be open by this coming Friday, Dec. 23rd. Call for times and reservations.
PS-If you plan to stay at Octavius Tower, Central, Michel Richard’s three-meal bistro, is offering a special deal on a special dessert. Any customer who orders his famous vacherin snowman, a meringue with lots of fruit and cream, can also get a complementary spiked egg nog by taking a photo of it and posting it on Twitter or Facebook.
It’s the 21st century at Caesars Palace, so why not drag yourself into it. I plan to.
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