Caesars Palace

The grandeur that was once Rome’s exists at Caesars Palace. Marble statues, Roman fountains, imported cypress trees and toga-clad cocktail waitresses help the megaresort realize its Roman-opulence theme. Outside the palatial entrance and to the right of the main fountain–the one Evel Knievel’s son vaulted with his motorcycle in 1989–is a Brahma Shrine, where visitors from the Far East actually worship and leave offerings of fruit and flowers. Nearby, the people-moving sidewalks carry you into but not out of the casino. As the walkway glides between Roman aqueducts, booming martial music heralds your arrival and a recorded voice assures you the slot machines are friendly.

The casino, one of Las Vegas’ most ornate, attracts more than 17 million visitors annually. It is accented by coffered ceilings and decorated with Olympian wall art, deep carpeting and Roman statuary. A graceful trellis crowns the table games, and the latest in slot and video machines await the adventurous.

Adjacent to the main casino, the Omnimax Theater is a gigantic dome designed to envelop movie audiences with sound and pictures. The futuristic theater features 98 speakers and several projection screens, even on the ceiling, creating an incredible movie experience. Other first-class entertainment options include the 1,000-seat Circus Maximus Showroom, home to such showbiz illuminaries as Johnny Mathis, Julio Iglesias, Celine Dion and David Copperfield; the new Caesars Magical Empire, a subterranean adventure that takes guests on a dazzling journey through the realms of magic and mystery while they feast on a four-course gourmet dinner; and the always-rockin’ Cleopatra’s Barge Nightclub.

Dining at Caesars is nothing short of, well, a Roman holiday. The Bacchanal features a six-course feast where “wine goddesses” pour vintage beverages from shoulder height and Middle Eastern dancers sway to modal melodies. The Palace Court restaurant serves haute cuisine in the atmosphere of a private, European courtyard, and the Empress Court has been named by USA Today as one of the country’s top Cantonese restaurants. Hyakumi Restaurant & Sushi Bar is a Japanese steakhouse with a waterfall, arched bridges and flowing streams, and the elegant Neros restaurant serves fresh seafood and prime, dry-aged beef steaks. Rounding out Caesars’ dining choices are Primavera Italian restaurant, a 24-hour coffee shop, an all-you-can-eat buffet and La Piazza Food Court for quick meals and late-night snacks.

The Forum Shops at Caesars is a shopping and dining Riviera wrapped in historical touches that make conspicuous consumption seem sacred. More than 100 stores and restaurants are housed in the 500,000-square-foot, marble and granite promenade, including Gucci’s, Versace, FAO Swartz, Fendi, Planet Hollywood, the Palm restaurant and Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois.

The 2,700 guest rooms and suites are among the finest in the city and are appointed with features such as armoires, marble European-style bathrooms, dressing rooms, velvet chaise lounges and platform beds. Suites feature circular beds, private dining rooms, wet bars, in-room saunas, steam rooms and elaborate audiovisual systems. Caesars also offers ultra-luxurious suites to its best customers (a.k.a., biggest gamblers) such as the Via Suites with their lush Italian garden atmosphere and the two-story Roman and Greek Fantasy Suites, which are like the one shared by Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman in the movie Rain Man. In 1998 Caesars completed a new 29-story tower adjacent to the Garden of the Gods pool area. The addition included 1,200 guest rooms, a 20,000-square-foot health spa and two floors of convention and meeting rooms.

The action continues outside with Caesars Sports & Entertainment Arena, which regularly features championship boxing and other sporting events. Also, the 4.5-acre Garden of the Gods pool area is the most extravagant in Las Vegas with fountains, landscaped courtyards, marble statues, manicured shrubbery, private cabanas, four large swimming pools and two whirlpool spas. Overall, Caesars Palace remains one of Las Vegas’ top architectural marvels as well as one of the city’s best destination resorts.