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Caesars Palace

Caesars Palace is possibly one of the most famous resort/casinos in the world, let alone on the Vegas Strip. When people are putting together trips to Vegas, few trip plans ever exclude some kind of visit to Caesars Palace. Even if you can’t afford to stay in the hotel, everyone should take a moment to marvel at the architecture and design that was put into the casino portion. It was originally created to be the most luxurious location on that strip and some would contend that it still holds this distinction today. By the way, the place is called Caesars Palace, not Caesar’s Palace. This is because the original owner of Caesars, Jay Sarno decided that calling the place Caesar’s made people feel like guests at a hotel owned by Caesar. Taking out the apostrophe would allow everyone to feel like a king in their respective hotel rooms.

 

Unfortunately, Caesars has really changed since 1965, when it was first established. It’s definitely not as warm in reception as it once was. It’s a slightly more alienating atmosphere than it used to be, but this is what comes with popularity. At one point it was the type of place where you could easily become a regular if you wanted to go there enough, to the point where every dealer would be familiar with you and know your name. Once the place grew in popularity it expanded and once it got bigger it became less familiar. Of course this probably won’t detract too much from your experience there if you are planning on going today, but it is something that might upset some of the old die-hards and locals that were familiar with Caesars from the beginning. One good thing about the expansion was that the place became more luxurious for sure. And perhaps this sounds a little too critical. After all, Caesars currently still comes the closest of any place on the strip to really synthesizing that old Vegas feel along with the newer elements of luxury and hedonism that go along with the entire Vegas package in modern times. Caesars has definitely lost a lot of appeal for the older market and those familiar with it from before. But those of you that weren’t treated to Caesars in the 60’s through the 80’s probably won’t even notice.

 

Caesars used to be its own name, an independent business, but it has been bought and sold so many times over the years that now it is one of the most prominent casinos owned by Harrah’s Entertainment, having been purchased as early as 2008. Perhaps this is part of the reason contributing to the lack of intimacy. Anyway, the property of Caesars is huge and can be found near the Bellagio right next to the Mirage. It has nearly 4,000 rooms spaced out between six different towers. If this doesn’t sound like a lot of rooms, you’re right. There are resorts with many more rooms, but having this many rooms spread out over this many towers means that you get a lot more space per room which is sure to please guests.

 

True to its name, Caesars is a resort chain that prides itself in being able to emulate the ancient Roman style of architecture that was popular back when Caesar himself was in power. You’ll see plenty of beautiful columns and pillars holding up the entrance and incredibly ornate fountains spraying water into an endless pool. There are also various beautifully sculpted statues, the best that money can buy. And that’s just the entrance. On the inside you’ll see a lot more of the same complete with mosaics and all kinds of other amazing attractions. Much of the place looks like it came right out of a National Geographic magazine and the rest looks similar to that, but with classy modern touches to add to the feelings of comfort and luxury that they strive so hard to cultivate. There is also a ton of brass going along with the opulent white of the rest of the materials used to build the resort.

 

Caesars seems quite gaudy at times, often silly. But it’s also very unique, and this is what is most important to it, as this is a good source of branding. You may not know why you should come on down to the casino if you see a sweaty guy on TV showing you pictures of the inside of the casino, but you see a poker chip with an image of a Roman column on it and you immediately know what it’s referring to without any need for further explanation, and furthermore the solid reputation that the casino has built over time is enough to assist in advertising. So as kitschy as the appearance of the place might feel at times, this also prevents them from having to do stupid commercials and from having to do corny advertisements.

 

When you come to this casino, don’t expect to have the place to yourself. Having one of the strongest reputations of any property on the strip, it is sure to be packed. There’s no such thing as down time or out of season for Caesar’s. Though you might get a few discounts on rooms if you’re willing to come down to Vegas during the winter months, you will most certainly not find the casino halls empty in any form or fashion. Don’t be turned off by this though, as mingling with a crowd is part of what Vegas is all about. It doesn’t hurt that the people that usually spend their time staying here are of a higher class than normal, since it is a pretty ritzy joint after all.

 

Because it is so popular, you should be willing to contend with huge lines at the check in and huge lines just about everywhere else. I only mention the check in station because this is usually the most frustrating place to be held up since by the time you reach here you probably just got off a long flight or out of a hot car and can’t wait to just set your stuff down in a room and relax for a spell. If you have VIP status here or are willing to pay for it though then you don’t have to worry about anything though, as they have VIP check-in sections separate from the main one that are usually not so full and go much faster. It should be mentioned though that the spending really pile up here and it’s hard to have fun at Caesars when you have a lean bank roll, at least it’s hard to have prolonged fun.

 

Rooms

The rooms here are nice, but not overly nice. You can tell that at one point they were probably the best cleanest and nicest hotel rooms in the entirety of the strip. Unfortunately if you happen to be sent to a tower that has not been remodeled recently, the age of the rooms will be apparent. Make no mistake, they are luxury embodied, but not even luxury is immune to the vicissitudes of time. Still, despite this they do have modern conveniences like beautiful wide screen TV sets and there is even a Jacuzzi set up in the bathrooms of some of the rooms if you’re lucky enough to get stuck in one of them. If you don’t happen to be assigned to a room with a Jacuzzi (these rooms are only available in certain towers) then there are other amenities which will be afforded to you to make up for the missing Jacuzzi in other towers such as larger sofas, and a few extra chairs and desk which are great additions for those that are more practical and less interested in indulging their lavish side. Even the rooms that don’t have a great plethora of amazing ornate furniture items will still have a great view of the strip.

 

Every single room in Caesars has a safe which is a welcome transition from the standard that other resorts in Vegas seem to follow. The standard being they either have no safes, charge a fee to use them, or only have them in some of the rooms. One thing which is not so great is the room service though. The problem is that for one, it’s far too expensive, and for two, since everyone wants breakfast in bed you’re going to have to wait hours for your food to be delivered to you. The second problem can be prevented by simply ordering early, but the first problem is insurmountable unless you are staggeringly rich or really know how to win it big at the slots. Most normal people cannot afford to tack on an 80 dollar bill to their room every time they order a small meal for two.

 

Pool

Perhaps this section of the review could be more accurately titled “pools” since there are multiple pools all spaced out around the same area, and each one seems to be trying to reach out to a different demographic. I’ll explain what I mean by that here.

 

I’ll discuss the Temple Pool first since it is the one that is closest to the entrance. It is rife with unnecessary sculptures and structures such as fountains and statues all over the place. It is cut into the shape of a circle all around and is meant to inspire tranquility and peacefulness. Unfortunately one of the most recently built towers obscures the light of the sun from ever reaching the pool which is about 80% of the reason that you won’t find many people here anymore. Still, if you’ve had a hot sweaty day and want to cool down alone you really can’t beat this location, and it’s a bonus if you don’t like the sun or would prefer not to have it in your eyes when you swim. After talking to a resort official it turns out that this is the case for about 3 seasons out of four, but during the summer the sun reaches just the right point where the pool is in full view of it, so there you go, it’s the best of both worlds.

 

The Venus pool is definitely meant more to bring the party than to present pool-goers with an opportunity for a leisurely swim. This might have something to do with the fact that the same people that run PURE Nightclub (another Caesars property) are also in charge of this pool. This is the type of pool where you need to be given wristbands to get in, and where they will not allow you to bring other beverages, the ostensible reason for this being that they want you to be forced to order drinks from the many bars adjacent to the pool. Sometimes there is an admission fee and sometimes not, it all depends on a draw of the cards and what happens to be going on at the time.

 

The Venus pool is meant for guests over the age of 21 only, so being topless is allowed here. The atmosphere is a bit paradoxical however in that the audience is fairly more well-aged than your average party-going group, but yet they still pump the house music at unreasonably loud volumes like we’re all kids. I mean it’s still a fun place, still fun to swim in, just has an odd approach.

 

The Neptune pool is one more pool to choose from here. It is yet another pool obscured from the sun by a tower, but it does get light in the late afternoons just as the sun is peaking, which is a really cool effect if you happen to be there just as the sun is going down over one of the towers. This pool resides right next to the Fortuna pool, a relatively recent addition, and a small one at that. However the gimmick here is that you can play blackjack while swimming. It is very cool, and a lot more fun than you might imagine, especially since all the dealers for the games are beautiful young women, and there’s even a bar built into the pool where you can order drinks and watch sports games while swimming (though to be fair the water is still a little cold despite the heating to allow you to play for much too long).

 

There are many small satellite pools such as the Fortuna scattered throughout the massive property but a lot of them have odd hours like only being open on Saturdays or only being open 4 weeks during the summer. Can’t let you go without mentioning the Bacchus though. This pool was also built recently and it has Cabanas, as well as whirlpools and all manner of fancy extras a pool can have. Unfortunately it is only open to VIPs. However, there are some extras such as this that being willing to spend a little extra money at Caesars can get you. If you’re lucky enough though, you can potentially get a lot of comps during your stay here and use them to purchase cabana space or entry into the VIP pool area.

 

If you do want to spring for a cabana 9which costs $150 for a half day and double that for a full day), this rental space comes with an iPod dock, a refrigerator, a flat screen television set with DVD player, as well as extras like nice furniture and access to wireless internet. It even comes with a ceiling fan which can be used on extremely hot days. You may even order a masseuse to come out and administer different services such as a deep and comprehensive 50 minute massage for $160 per person and a ten minute long lotion application for $40. Of course waitresses and drink service come through the cabana as well so no need to worry about being ignored. The only disadvantage is that these services are also exorbitant and if you do that on top of ordering a cabana, you must be rich.

 

Spa/Exercise Room

The spa here is known as Qua baths and Spa and has a lot of services to choose from. It is a very upscale establishment and thus charges very high prices for all of the standard spa practices such as training in pain management, water therapy, and the standard massage. There are also more interesting choices like facial therapy and even hypnotherapy if the mood strikes you. The costs for these services will run you somewhere between $80 and $550 depending on what you choose. Also, if you’re a man who is a little more concerned with privacy but also wants to enjoy these features, there is a men’s only zone where you can do just that.

 

The Exercise room is built like a small gym and has at least one of even the most complicated machines you could imagine as well as the basic stuff. It costs $25 per day to make use of the equipment in here and it is fairly empty most of the time making it easy for you to come and go as you please without having to worry about waiting to use machines.

 

Dining

There are many restaurants here, each of them bringing something different to the table than the next. However, you can’t really expect to find a cheap option here if that’s what you’re looking for.

 

Bradley Oregon is a restaurant meant to appeal to every man’s inner carnivore. The burgers here are of extremely high quality meat and are grilled absolutely perfectly. They also serve fries that are fried impeccably, encapsulating a maximum of flavor and keeping a minimum of oil. It costs $25 for the cheapest plate, but hey, when you’re spending 500 a day to rent a cabana, how much is another 25 really?

 

The Palm is another ritzy joint which focuses on the steak and seafood market. It also seeks to maintain an old Vegas feel which is a lot classier than the newer bits of Vegas. If you can afford it, try some of their more expensive dishes. They’re well worth the money assuming they aren’t going to completely break your bank. There is also a food court of sorts (offering slightly better and more unique options than subway and McDonald’s) by the casino which offers several different options for eating.

 

The Café Lago is a nice little buffet and the breakfast is really the biggest treat. It has every single breakfast item imaginable and at a price of $18 per person which is relatively inexpensive for a high class Vegas restaurant. The dinner buffet has even more options of a higher quality but the cost is $27 which might be less manageable for some.

 

The Augustus Café is another option which is nice, but only really for small food items when you’re on the go, or when it’s really late and you’re trying to wash down your losses with a steak and eggs graveyard shift breakfast/ultra-late dinner sort of thing.

 

The Beijing Noodle Number 9 is quite the tongue-twister as far as the name is concerned but it is a nice restaurant. The food is naturally Asian style but it is slightly overpriced for the quality. Still, if you must absolutely have Asian food, you can’t get it better than here, at least not as far as the inside of Caesars is concerned.

 

Payard is another one of those places that is meant more to cater towards the person on the go, offering excellent takeout and snacks. There is also gelato available and other desserts that look just like the pictures that you see of desserts in magazines that are too good to be real. Only here they really are real. Whatever they say the cheesecake costs, it’s worth it.

 

Finally you also have the option of going for traditional Japanese cuisine at Hyakumi, as well as Americana at the Mesa Grill. Rao’s is a special treat too, and there are even a few more restaurants that are no doubt good, just not worthy of mentioning as particular highlights.

 

One last thing, though you can usually walk in anywhere without a reservation, this is not the truth at all for weekends, so remember to call in unless you plan at eating at a McDonalds located in another resort.

 

Club Scene

Like a few of the most financially endowed resorts, Caesars also operates its own club and it is called PURE nightclub. It is about 35,000 square feet which is larger than some of the smaller casinos on the main strip. This should help you get a good idea of just how large this place is. Even though this place is not always full to the brim with people going in and out, you can still expect to have a reasonably good time while you’re here.

 

Just for a brief description of the club, the inside of it is nothing but white and the lights cast a slightly purple shadow over everything else. Most of the people you’ll find here will be from out of town but there is a small but dedicated local attendance. You might also catch a celebrity now and then, usually a popular musician sort, but not so popular as to be unaffordable. If it looks like the club is a little too full and you’re not sure if you can get in, the best thing you could do would be to ante up and pay the $500 for a table and bring two other people along with you. If you don’t manage to reserve one beforehand you’ll end up having to wait at least an hour to get in. In addition there is a charge of $30 for men and $20 for women. You can start lining up at ten PM. If you happen to have a high level in a Harrah’s player’s club account you can also enter through a separate line and get in even earlier. You will also be carded no matter how old you look and you must be 21 or over to obtain entry.

 

There is a lounge within the club called the Pussycat Doll lounge and here you can view two shows per night starting at a quarter to 11 and a quarter to twelve respectively. You can only go in on Saturdays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays though as these are the only days it is open. There are two other bars here and another bar called Cleopatra’s which is located on a moving ship.

 

The resort truly is a testament to the heights that human hedonism can reach if money is no object. Aside from the ridiculous moving bar, there is also a replica of Michelangelo’s David statue which weighs only slightly less than 20,000 pounds and is taller than three basketball players standing on each other’s shoulders. In fact it is even taller than the original, and resembles it so closely that you’d honestly have to be an academic or art historian with access to carbon dating tools to tell the difference. It stands right in the middle of a shopping center of course.

 

Entertainment

Caesar’s has no shortage of entertainment, especially considering it is home to a famous light and water show featuring lasers and statues of old gods, and it happens once every hour on the hour and goes on for around 7 minutes. It’s hard to miss if you plan on spending more than a day in the city. If you’re a fan of fish they offer an aquarium that is about 2.5 times the size of a nice and deep home pool that comes with a light and water show of its own and it’s merely around the corner from the location of the aforementioned fountain. Bellagio is the one that has the most famous water show in Vegas, and though not technically related to Caesars, it might as well be since it’s so close.

 

Caesars often contracts Bette Midler and Cher to come out and put on performances which is another treat. However, these two do have lives of their own so naturally you might want to plan around them if seeing either of them is truly one of your main goals. Please don’t be put off by their age or their records either. Even if their music isn’t always your thing when you listen to their albums, their shows are phenomenal. If you’re on the edge about it, don’t be. The contracts for these artists are rapidly running out and they are starting to age so who knows how long they’ll be here. Caesars also contracts out a huge variety of stars on a one-off basis such as Celine Dion, Frank Sinatra, Mariah Carey, David Copperfield, etc. The list goes on forever. There’s likely to be someone fun appearing there when you’re there especially if you decide to attend during their most popular season.

 

If sports are more your thing you can actually see every once in a while a live boxing match which is held outdoors. This part doesn’t get a lot of coverage anymore, but if you do like to view matches on the television, then why not try looking at one outdoors? Even if they don’t get the most rave reviews or the strangest coverage, that should mean nothing to a true fan of the sport.

 

Shopping

There are 160 stores in Caesars. That is all you need to know. It is the size of a small mall and is another sign that the place is a testament to human obsession with excess and unnecessary overflow. This is definitely the embodiment of the “too much of a good thing” ethos. You can pretty much guess what kind of crap they sell here. Not worth your time unless you really need a snow globe or pink flamingo.

 

I should note that this is not even including the direct on-property businesses. There are too many shops clogging the hallways in between casino entrances and restaurant front doors. There is little point in entering any of them as all of them are astronomically overpriced. No doubt some of them offer quality products like the men’s formal wear stores and women’s dress shops as well as jewelry shops but for the most part you’ll only be paying ten times the amount of money something is worth for something you really don’t even need. And honestly, no matter how nice the suits are, do you really need to purchase them on your trip to Vegas, or can you wait a few days to buy them cheaper where you live.

 

One of the notable locations is a store entirely themed after Cher and Bette Midler, but while it may be fun looking inside just to see what kinds of stuff you might find, you’ll have to ask yourself whether any of it is really worth buying or not. There is even a selection of forum shops offering more of the conventional retail experience with shops you could find anywhere else. This is useful if there is something that you forgot back home that you really absolutely did need, but don’t want to travel outside of your vacation comfort zone to get.

 

Gambling

The very fact that this review has gone on so long without mentioning the gambling yet is a true testament to how massive this place really is. In any case, Caesars has a lot of different options for gambling, since half of it is supposed to be a casino after all. It has just about every game that you could imagine in a casino and a few that you couldn’t. There are multiple gaming pits specializing on different types of gaming and the slot and video poker selections are truly something to marvel at. In fact they have so many gaming pits that it costs them too much money to keep all of them staffed at all times. For this reason some of them only open up when there is enough demand for them. The house edge is a little higher in all of the games than you might be accustomed to but this is to be expected when you are betting as much money on each hand/game as you do at a place like this.

 

Craps

The craps games here have standard Vegas rules which you might find at any other high class resort on the main strip. Not much variation here, but a lot of different tables to choose from.

 

Main Pit

The main pit is hard to miss as it can be found right near the entrance. This is done purposely so as to impress first time visitors to the place due to the way the room is designed. It is quite the overwhelming experience walking in the first time.

 

There are multiple types of blackjack and multiple types of poker here too. The lowest minimums go here is usually around $25, though there are a few games in the back with better odds that will go as low as $10, never anything below that though. You can’t find a single deck blackjack game in the main pit but they can be found elsewhere in the myriad gaming areas found throughout this casino. Single deck blackjack is obviously not something that they want to dedicate a lot of their resources to, or anything that they’d like to encourage, as the payout rates are terrible and players are not allowed to double after a split.

 

There is also a special pit dedicated to the Pussycat Dolls blackjack, but the payout is atrocious by all accounts. The only thing that could possibly make this place worthwhile is that there are dancers on poles and gorgeous female dealers. But as long as you aren’t a complete Neanderthal you’ll find that this is not in anyone’s best interest and hopefully leave the place alone.

 

There is another pit known as the high roller pit which essentially has the same selection of games as the main pit but with fewer tables. All the games have about the same odds and rules; the only difference is the minimums range from $100 to $200. There are other rooms further back in this area which can be reserved for ultra high rollers to play their own games apart from the rest of the rich riff-raff.

 

Sportsbook

The sportsbook area here is great, with a lot of seating available. There are six enormous televisions to watch your sporting events, twelve smaller but still large televisions, and many dozens of small televisions for individuals to watch on their own.

 

There is a dedicated poker room of course, how could a place like Caesars not have one? There are always going to be open tables which is nice, but it does mean that the place is usually a little thinned out which might hamper the social aspect, and this can be a huge factor for people that are considering gambling here.

 

Players Club/Comps

Harrah’s properties including Caesars are all a part of the Total Rewards player’s card program. You will have all of your play rated no matter what it is that you are participating in. The good thing about this is that Harrah’s owns some of the best properties in Vegas and owns over 40 separate franchises meaning that you can use reward points gained at Caesars anywhere. Playing for a few hours can help you pay for a room for a night if you play well enough. Also, cashiers will get to you almost immediately and there is not much of a wait meaning that their cashiers are incredibly efficient, which is not usually the case at other casinos.

 

Final Thoughts

 Caesars does have its faults like any other business does. Many parts of it are far too expensive to justify the low quality; many other parts are totally worth it. Two of the pools are outside of the sunlight, but this also might be a good thing for some people and there are also plenty of other pools to make up for it. There are over 200 shops with nothing to buy in them, but some people really like cheesy things and for some visitors here money is no object so they hardly notice expenditures of up to 10,000 dollars by the time they leave. This is the norm for some and they can’t be discounted since this is a place that is meant essentially for the upscale only, or for those that have been saving up for ten or twenty years to afford the trip.

 

Basically the place has few downsides and you probably shouldn’t even consider it if you are of a lower income bracket, but as long as you have the cash to back yourself up, or as long as you can win a ton of games in the casino, then you’ll be good for your trip. It truly is one of the better properties on the strip, objectively speaking. If you aren’t into the lavish lifestyle then you wouldn’t be anywhere near Vegas, so if you’re even considering it then you will probably love Caesars. Don’t think twice about coming here if you know you can afford it. It’s really worth the stay.

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