Caesars Palace Las Vegas: A royal kingdom for golfers and gamblers

By Jason Scott Deegan, Senior Staff Writer

LAS VEGAS -- Even Julius Caesar -- at one time the most powerful man in the universe -- would be impressed.

Caesars Palace Las Vegas
Caesars Palace Las Vegas is one of the most recognizable casino-hotels on the strip.
Caesars Palace Las VegasCaesars Palace Las Vegas - front lobbyCaesars Palace - Qua Baths & Spa

Caesars Palace Las Vegas, comprised of more than 3,000 rooms and suites in five towers, is a marvel built for royalty at every turn.

The gambling space sprawls out into a massive 129,000-square-feet of action. The decorative gardens and pools serve up idyllic vibes in juxtaposition to all those flashing lights. The 26 restaurants conjure up some of the best eats in the world. The 4,300-seat Colosseum continues to bring in headliner musicians and comedians for shows.

And Caesars boasts two of the best escapes Las Vegas has to offer: the exclusive Cascata Golf Club in Boulder City, just 22 miles from the Strip, and the Qua Baths & Spa, right inside the hotel. Caesars Palace -- along with the other Caesar Entertainment properties, including Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Paris Las Vegas, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah's, Bally's Las Vegas, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Imperial Palace and Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon -- have banished hidden resort fees. That's more money for gaming or other pursuits of happiness.

Even if this economy, Caesars continues to expand. The 23-story Octavius Tower, the resort's sixth hotel tower, is set to open Jan. 2, 2012, offering 668 rooms including 62 suites and six luxury villas.

If I were an emperor, this would be how I roll.

Caesars Las Vegas: The golf

Caesars is one of the three Caesars Entertainment hotels with a golf concierge ready to set up tee times and transportation to Cascata or Rio Secco Golf Club, two great Rees Jones designs managed by the company.

Golfers arriving by limo, or even Ford Pinto, all get the same five-star treatment when they arrive at Cascata, checking in at the lavish 37,000-square-foot Tuscan clubhouse with a 417-foot waterfall flowing through it.

Cascata, which opened in 2000, cost $70 million to build, cutting through rock and desert some 3,200 feet above a desert valley. More than 800 feet of elevation change and the views of the River Mountain range tend to leave golfers breathless. The perplexing greens leave them speechless. Superior service and tour-caliber forecaddies provide that V.I.P. feel.

Rio Secco, a bit tougher than Cascata, houses the Butch Harmon School of Golf.

Don't forget the spa

Just a half-day lounging at the Qua Baths & Spa can make anybody feel immortal. Qua translates to "here" in Italian.

There are healing powers in those Roman baths inside the locker rooms. Ancient rituals call for three distinct mineral pools, each varying in temperature and size. The Tepidarium, filled with warm mineral-enriched waters, helps to restore natural elements of skin. The Caldarium features hot mineral-enriched waters to release tension and soothe muscles. The Frigidarium, filled with icy mineral waters, invigorates and detoxifies.

Start in the Tepidarium pool and then alternate between the Caldarium and the Frigidarium for maximum effect. Sauna, steam and the Arctic ice rooms relieve more aches and pains.

The spa treatments in the 51 treatment rooms range from massages and facials to hypnosis and wellness. Dr. Michael Smith, a retired clinical psychologist, performs "Hypnosis for Golfers" for those looking for more confidence and focus in their games. He can also try to talk guests into losing weight or to quit smoking.

Pack your appetite

My best meal on a recent five-day Las Vegas golf trip came at Mesa Grill, which opened in 2004 with a menu full of Southwestern-inspired cuisine.

I don't get caught up in the whole celebrity chef thing, but Bobby Flay had me at hello. My first bite of that coffee-rubbed filet had enough spice and juiciness to make my palette fly into somersaults.

The Las Vegas Palm Restaurant, located at the Forum Shops inside Caesars, has been cooking up mammoth cuts of steak just right since 1993. In celebration of the chain's 85th birthday, a new and improved menu has rolled out, but lobster, Italian dishes and those succulent steaks and filets remain the staples of the place. The original Palm was founded in 1926.

More entertainment

I like that guests can enjoy Caesars Palace without losing a single dollar in a slot machine or at a black jack table.

They can retreat to the eight pools, statues, fountains and inspired landscaping of the five-acre Garden of the Gods, designed by famed hospitality firm Allard & Conversano. Swim-up black jack and a poolside massage are just two of the ways to whittle away the time. The Forum Shops, featuring 150 specialty shops and 15 restaurants, has been expanded three times since debuting in 1992.

Performers at the Colosseum for 2012 will include Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Rod Stewart and Elton John. Absinthe -- the best-reviewed show to open in Las Vegas in years -- reopened at Caesars Palace in October, 2011. A surreal experience for adults, Absinthe features wild and outlandish acts in a theater-in-the-round presentation.

For partiers after dark, there are four distinct rooms with their own DJs at PURE nightclub. The world spins 24 hours a day in Sin City, and Caesars Palace is certainly ready to oblige.

Jason Scott DeeganJason Scott Deegan, Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

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