Take the 10 freeway south to the 15 east and 4 and 1/2 hours later you will enter the city of Sin.
First tip, leave early and pee before hand.
Brits in LA had originally planned to go Vegas to celebrate Guy Fawkes night (a British tradition to commemorate and remember the attempted blowing up of the houses of parliaments in the 1500's - It usually consists of a bunch of guys standing around a huge fire with a burning effigy of 'Guy Fawkes' The guy (pardon the pun) who was the traitor, was caught and burned at the stake. We celebrate by eating Jacket potatoes, mushy peas, drink beer and let off copious amounts of fireworks. Unfortunately two days before the trip the festivities were canceled, due to lack of fireworks permit. (God darn you America!)
The Queen Vic pub had arranged for us to have discounted rooms at the Riviera Hotel on the strip and still honored them so we all went anyways.
Checking into the hotel is now like entering an airport, self service kiosks greet you, who was it who said that in the 21st century machines will replace people? Perhaps if Obama replaced machines with people there would be more jobs in this country - Just a thought! It's actually quite difficult to navigate through a Vegas hotel, with their glaring lights on the slot machines, the 60 year old waitress' wearing a mini skirts - The phrase "Nice legs, shame about the boat race" came to mind. The cigarette stench and sticky carpets from the years of spilled margaritas. You get the picture! The five of us chose our rooms in the same tower, but we were all on different floors - "Idiot kiosk" I shouted at it, but I got no response. Oh well no reasoning with a machine.
Upon entering my room I was shocked to discover my bed complete with a stained duvet cover, it appeared to be lubricant stains - (Don't ask me how I know what that looks like) How disgusting! I immediately picked up a machine called the telephone, and had housekeeping change the whole of my bed instantly including mattress protector. Later I visited my friend's room in the San Mareno tower. Thank god I was in the non-smoking tower, when I looked in my friends it was worse than a motel 6. Not updated since the 1960's - Now for the pool - Do Prisons have pools? if so I'm sure they are modeled on the one at Riviera Hotel.
Now listen not all was bad in the hotel There is a diamond in the rough, The Queen Victoria pub, a traditional British themed pub (see pics) A patio (odd) section out front, in the back a long bar with a great selection of beers (mine's a fosters) Heinz Tomato ketchup and malted vinegar on the many tables. A stage for bands to play, a jukebox on the wall full of English tunes, Iconic British photos adorn the walls and a lighted mural of the London Bridge and Westminster on the back wall, in the back room dart boards and pool tables. a great taste of home in LV. Nick and Mark, two British lads run this establishments which has only been open for 4 months. Best of luck to them.
First night we decided to have dinner at Dos Caminos inside 'The Palazzo Hotel' Amazing decor, upscale Mexican Cuisine, Service could have been a tad friendlier, but the food was delicious and well worth it. After dinner it was time to hit the tables - *Hint - on the weekends, no cheap tables here - The minimum on black jack was $20 and $15 on Roulette - I lost $100 on roulette in the matter of minutes. Urgh! we decided to go to "O'sheas" on the strip - as I knew they had cheap tables - $5 kept me in the game for a fare bit, friendly dealers too, that helped me win - about $80
After cashing out about an hour later we took a limo - only $35 between 7 of us - to a club called 'secret' Great music with both female and male pole dancing - we got bottle service for $250 plus an extra bottle. This part is a bit of a scam as, they charge you tax on both bottles and gratuity on both too. - $250 ended up being more like $340.
We then went back to our Grottel (Grotto Hotel) and decided to gamble some more. Black Jack this time -I did really well again making another couple of hundred dollars - But oh my the dealer was a miserable old bugger - I guess I would be too, if I had to deal at 6 in the morning to a bunch of drunks. But least he got me off his table and cash in the pocket.
So no sleep for me, I went to meet some of the gang for breakfast sans sunglasses in doors - it's the Vegas way baby - I looked like one of those obnoxious douche heads from the Jersey Shore - We all set off for the pool at the Palazzo . Our friend Herb hooked us up with pool passes. The pools and spa services at a lot of these fancier hotels are private you need a pass. Wow the pool here is spectacular - 3 different sized pools with cabanas and lounge chairs - This place is amazing. It's a must for Vegas. After the sun went down we walked back to our hotel, and I desperately needed a nap. Set the alarm that failed to go off so completely missed dinner with the gang at 'Spago' - They all said it was magnificent.
Next on our agenda was to see Matt Goss, you may remember him as the lead singer of the 90's Teen sensation 'Bros.' He's performing in The Cleopatra at the 'Ceasar's Palace' The Pussycat dolls. First thing you notice is how pure his voice on a cover of Stevie Wonder's 'Superstitious' Full of passion and soul. then the stage presence and the up close and personal interaction with the audience. Over an hour long and 13 songs, we were thoroughly entertained. The only thing that was a little disappointing is that he didn't sing one bros song, we were secretly hoping for Cat among the pigeons. Every Brit visiting Vegas should definitely see this show. For ticket information click here: After the show it was time to dance some more so off we went the Palms Hotel - Owned by the Maloof brothers - This is a great party hotel with one of the best nightclubs in the world "Rain" we got to see two of the best DJ's around, Zen Freeman and the spinning-meister himself, the legend Mr. Paul Oakenfold - Rain had the most amazing dancers I've ever seen anywhere - fire eaters, contortionists, trapeze acts, it was truly something to see. OK so it was now 4 in the morning and only surviving on a few hours of sleep it was time to hit the hay. But, not before playing another few rounds of black jack again - I won another $200 dollars so all in all I left Vegas a winner. And perhaps i shouldn't have written this bog, after all what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?...