The very first Nobu Hotel—a 182-room tower within Caesars Palace Las Vegas—recently commemorated its fifth anniversary with a sushi, Champagne and caviar celebration on the private terrace of the 10,300-sq.-ft., $35,000-per-night Nobu Villa, the crown jewel of Caesars’ hotel-within-a-hotel.
While corporate executives, city dignitaries and VIP guests took in the bird’s-eye view of the glittering Strip, the Nobu’s three notable partners—innovative sushi chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, actor Robert De Niro and film producer Meir Teper—made it clear that they had their sights set on global expansion. The trio recently announced a 10-year contract with Caesars Entertainment and plans to quickly double their hotel portfolio throughout five continents in the next two years.
Instead of following hospitality trends, Nobu’s partners have cooked up just the right ingredients to reinvent the boutique hotel concept, even if much of it was a happy accident. Connect chatted with Nobu’s three partners to discover the secrets to their success.
Prior to Nobu, all three of you extensively traveled the world, picking up luxury hospitality lessons along the way. What hotels do you admire and enjoy most?
Nobuyuki Matsuhisa: I like The Peninsula and Four Seasons hotels. They are all very different. But my favorite is Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris, maybe because I also have a restaurant there.
Robert De Niro: I like classic hotels like Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d’Antibes, in the south of France. And I used to love The Savoy in London. In my earlier days, I’d go there all the time for the great, classic elegance of it. I liked the whole feeling of staying there, looking at the Thames.
Meir Teper: I have to also say Hotel Du Cap, and the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Melbourne, Australia, possibly the best hotel in the world. The Crowne has beautiful facilities, and service is excellent—like on luxury yachts, you never see when they make up your room. Timing is very important. And at Hotel Du Cap, the grounds are spectacular. You feel you are staying at Palace of Versailles.
Now that you’ve been in the hotel business for five years, what are the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
Teper: Surprisingly, there have not been many surprises because we gave a lot of thought to create something we believed for years that hotels should have. Great service is the most important thing we can provide.