LAS VEGAS -- Around 500 celebrities and VIP guests gathered at Caesars Palace on Sunday to celebrate the grand opening of the David Rockwell-designed Nobu Hotel and Restaurant.
The chic hotel-in-hotel is the world’s first bearing the Nobu stamp. In attendance were investors Robert De Niro, chef Nobu Matsuhisa and film producer-turned-Nobu principal Meir Tepper, along with singer Taylor Hicks, Peepshow headliner Coco Austin, reality star Holly Madison, choreographer Robin Antin, illusionist David Blaine and media maven Randi Zuckerberg.
“We are so happy and excited to be here and open the hotel officially,” De Niro said. “This has been a dream of ours.”
The event kicked off with a traditional sake ceremony inside the restaurant where Caesars president Gary Selesner gave remarks and introduced Tepper, De Niro and Matsuhisa, who then grabbed wooden mallets and broke a sake cask — a christening of sorts — signifying the 26th Nobu opening.
"This is No. 26, and we do this sake ceremony every time, and all of our restaurants have been a success," Matsuhisa said. "Spend money. Come to us."
Behind the scenes, Blaine swallowed an entire fish tank as part of an illusion recorded for his forthcoming television special as the Nobu partners looked on. Afterward, a long purple carpet beckoned guests into the Garden of the Gods pool complex, where the party got into full swing. Those in attendance were greeted by roaming entertainers such as geishas on stilts, ribbon dancers and models outfitted in paper crane dresses by Las Vegas designer Jennifer Henry.
English songwriter Ed Sheeran took to the stage after a traditional Taiko drum ceremony and even tweeted his own star-struck anecdote along with a picture of De Niro. “No joke. I have a shelf of this guy's films,” he said.
Light bites and drinks from Nobu Restaurant and Lounge complemented the evening. The event was only one part of a total Nobu takeover. Hundreds of purple origami cranes adorned the casino and fountains throughout the weekend.
The 181-room hotel has been been in a soft-opening phase since February. On Sunday, 18 new suites were released into the room reservations pool. A customized room service menu is available to Nobu Hotel guests, fusing Eastern and Western cuisine and signature Nobu treatments using Natura Bisse products are available at Qua, the Caesars Palace spa.
Other Nobu hotels are in the works in London, Riyadh and Bahrain. Said Nobu Hospitality CEO Trevor Horwell, "From a future standpoint there will be many more openings. We have a pipeline."