With a history as epic as the real Roman Empire, Caesars Palace rules over the center Strip with a wide range of rooms, The Colosseum and a mighty roster of restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
Vegas glitz with a Greco-Roman take, meandering layout, celebrity-driven offerings
Caesars Palace has been around since 1966 and we admire the hotel for its ability to change with the times. By constantly modernizing -- from adding new restaurants and the world's first-ever Nobu Hotel to bringing in star performers like Mariah Carey and shows like the circus-style burlesque "Absinthe" -- this empire shows no signs of decline.
The Bacchanal Buffet does for a Vegas buffet what The Forum Shops at Caesars did to shopping -- it elevates the experience (and we're grateful for that). With a mind-blowing array of 500 delectable dishes prepared by a team of chefs, you'll discover small plates with things like fried chicken and waffles, red velvet pancakes and mini Wagyu sliders. Don't worry...because you'll still find the traditional buffet staples (a slab of prime rib and mashed potatoes) too. And seafood lovers -- yeah, we see you with that plat piled a foot high with chilled king crab legs -- leave some for the rest of us.
With its columns and statuary, the Garden of the Gods is a heavenly pool area. We love that there are seven different pools, each with their own vibe. You've probably noticed the Temple Pool on all the postcards. It's the main pool...the place to see and be seen. You can play swim-up blackjack (luckily some things have survived from old Vegas) in the Fortuna Pool. Want an all-over tan? The adults-only Venus Pool Club allows topless sunbathing. And good luck getting into the Bacchus Pool. It's reserved for celebrities and VIPs.
Cleopatra's Barge has been a lively nightspot since it opened in 1970. What could be cooler than partying on this floating barge? When people get down on the dance floor it bobs around.
If your wallet only allows for a stay in the Roman Tower rooms, reset your expectations. These are the smallest and oldest rooms at the resort and the subject of many a scathing review. In other words, the Roman Tower is no palace -- and by that we mean the Palace Tower, which is our choice for where we'd stay if we were on a budget at Caesars Palace. In a pinch we'll settle for the Forum Tower rooms. Renovated in 2006, the Palace Tower rooms are bigger, come with spa tubs and are closer to the pool. The Forum Tower is closer to the Forum Shops and the Strip.
But to be honest, we'd prefer to be in the Augustus or Octavius towers, which opened in 2005 and 2012, respectively. Both offer the nicest rooms and amenities (unless you are springing for a suite). They also have better views (south-facing rooms look toward the Bellagio, its fountains and the south Strip while north-facing rooms overlook the pool if you're lucky and buildings if you're not). Oh, and if you really want a view of the Bellagio Fountains, you'll need a room high up on the south side of the Augustus Tower. It's the closest to the Strip.
Be aware that you won't be getting a fridge or coffee maker with any of the standard rooms at Caesars Palace. You'll have to pony up for the Augustus or Octavius towers to get a coffee maker, and with that comes other perks in terms of access and service.
Navigating the ground floor of Caesars Palace -- considering everything the resort has to offer and its winding layout -- is a challenge. Hopefully, you've been doing some endurance training...just kidding, but be prepared to walk a lot. And because this place is so big, expect waits during peak times for checking in or out as well as for staff to get to your room if you should need something cleaned or fixed.
Speaking of walking, make sure you valet park at the hotel's main entrance when you arrive to check-in because the distance from the parking garage to the registration desk feels like a hike to Rome.
Spend an afternoon at Qua Baths & Spa. Now there are too many treatments on the menu for us to suggest just one (you'll have choose for yourself), but what we love is that as part of your visit you'll have access to the idyllic Roman baths, a laconium room, a tea lounge with a tea sommelier (who knew that existed?) and an Arctic ice room where -- we kid you not -- it snows. (You'll thank us for sending you here during the 100-plus-degree summer months.)
For a unique drinking experience, unwind at the Seahorse Lounge, where you can check out an aquarium filled with actual sea horses. Or go to Fizz Las Vegas, which was created by Elton John's partner David Furnish, for a fancy champagne cocktail and posh eats like caviar and charcuterie plates.
Coffee drinkers, you'll be glad to hear a trio of Starbucks serve the Roman Empire. Look for them in the Forum Food Court, on the first floor beside the Laurel Collection check-in desk and in The Forum Shops at Caesars.