Los Angeles & Las Vegas

Until you walk down Hollywood Boulevard you don’t think that you are in Hollywood, then as soon as you hit Hollywood boulevard and walk down the “walk of Fame “where all the stars have there “name’s” in stars lining the street you know your in Hollywood.

When walking down Hollywood Boulevard you are greeted by all wonderful things I had my picture taken with Shreck, and Samuel L Jackson (or the Madame Tussauds wax works of them) then I had Yoda and Elvis Presley walk up to me in the street.

I stayed at the Renaissance Hollywood which is given a 4 star rating, from my room I could see the Hollywood sign! The rooms are both spacious and the beds very comfy the bathroom is of a good size and all rooms have 38 inch flat screen TV’s.

The hotel is also the host for the Academy Awards as the hotel connects to the Kodak Theatre where the awards take place and the winners walk from the back of the theatre through to the hotel where all the Interviews take place.

The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel is also a 4 Star hotel in my mind should be a 5 star it backs onto the Hollywood Hills, home to the rich and famous and you can request a hill view at no extra charge, also all soft drinks in the room and the WIFI are free, which is a great touch,

Universal Studios Hollywood

I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon at Universal, although there are only 4 rides there. Being Jurassic Park log flume, the Simpson’s rollercoaster simulator, the haunted house was great fun as you walk around the house and have people jumping out on you, and the Mummy Rollercoaster. There are lots of shows Terminator, Shreck and Waterworld an all out water show where if you sit near the front pre pare to get soaked! And finally the backlot tour where you are taken round the sets of some of the greatest films ever made, plus be prepared for some thrills along the way, my favourite part was King Kong, I wont give it away but it is a must do.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas surprised me on how safe it was to walk round at day or night, yes you get people trying to hand out flyers and the occasional begger but I found it to be one of the safest places I have ever been. The Las Vegas Strip is massive don’t try and walk it as it will take you most of the day, the airport is 5 mins from the strip so just jump in a cab from the airport, and if your staying at MGM Grand or the Tropicana you can walk from the airport.

If you are after a budget hotel then Circus Circus or the New York hotel’s would be fine for you, they are comfy and have massive casinos you could spend all day in the hotels and not see everything.

One hotel, The Luxor I would say at the moment is looking very dated but they are planning on refurbishing all the rooms in the near future!

If your after a bit better standard of hotel then you can’t go wrong with the Bellagio which holds the worlds largest Chocolate Fountain or Ceasars Palace, there is also Ballys, the Wynn ( although at the far side of the strip it is about a $20 cab ride from the airport ) I would also recommend Treasure Island, which holds 4 shows a night at the front of the hotel which is free to watch. The show is a battle between two pirate ships battling for the gold, if your there when the shows starts is well worth watching. While I was at Treasure Island I watched Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere. A must see if you get the chance.

I stayed in the Aria Hotel which has been classed as a 5 star hotel and the rooms and beds especially make it a 5 star hotel, but as it is a 5 star hotel drinks in the bar are expensive and the average cost of a beer is $6 plus tip, I found that if you played on the slot machines then the ladies would come round take your order and you just had to pay a tip for the privilege, making the cost of a beer $1 a much cheaper way, as long as you are winning on the slots! When you walk into your room at the Aria you are greeted with the curtains opening, the TV turning on and the lights switching on, you can then control everything through your remote control on your television, a great little touch.

It is true what they say that Vegas never sleeps, as what ever time you walk through your hotel there are always people in the casino!!

Los Angeles Las Vegas – Paul Lane November 2010