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LAS VEGAS — A Japanese celebrity chef with restaurants in Beverly Hills, New York and London added “hotelier” to his résumé with the launch of the world’s first Nobu Hotel Restaurant and Lounge.

The opening Monday of the 181-room boutique hotel inside the Roman-themed Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip was three years in the making. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa launched the venture with longtime U.S. business partner Robert De Niro.

It’s the first venture into hotels for Nobu Hospitality, which operates Japanese restaurants in major cities around the world.

“It’s offering boutique services right in the middle of Caesars Palace, and that’s really unique,” General Manager Gigi Vega said, adding that the Nobu team has five more branded hotels in the works.

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Following a trend on the still construction-shy Strip, the new hotel is opening in an existing building: Caesars’ forty-year old Centurion Tower.

The hotel within a hotel aims to delight sophisticated foodies. It features minibar Pocky pretzels, a room service menu prepared by the famous chef, and the world’s largest Nobu Restaurant.

Concierge workers greet guests as they pull into the Caesars complex and escort them to their rooms for iPad check-in.

Housed within one of the Las Vegas’ most famous mega-resorts, the hotel bucks the maximalist style of the Strip and aims for what promotional materials describe as “comfortable simplicity.”

Guests stroll to their suites past Zen gardens, origami-inspired décor and artwork from up-and-coming Japanese artists. The rooms themselves feature teak fittings, black tiles and a newly-created scent the hotel is calling “rosemary and white tea.”

Weekend room rates start at $299.

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