Roving Report - LA Style meets Vegas
Our intrepid investigators are regularly out and about checking new destinations, re-visiting well-known ones and building up the knowledge and network needed to ensure every event is a success for our clients. It's a tough job – but someone's got to do it!
We'll be regularly updating our Roving Reports with the latest on destinations; all with a twist, whether new or eternal favourites. In this column, our travel expert, Mike, went to Las Vegas and Los Angeles as part of a fact-finding mission, hosted by Virgin Atlantic and SBE Entertainment Group.
Along with six other industry professionals, Mike was lucky enough to fly on the latest Virgin Dreamliner aircraft – the most efficient and sustainable aircraft you can fly long haul. Purely in the interests of good investigative journalism, Mike also forced himself to take a few sips of champagne at the in-flight bar ... sounds like a good way to travel.
The exciting city of L.A. was the first stop. In the words of Lonely Planet: "Ruggedly good looking, deeply creative, with a sunny disposition to boot ... if L.A. were on Tinder, the app would crash". And certainly Mike found it amazing and lively – definitely worth the flight time! Mike and his colleagues stayed at the glamorous Mondrian, West Hollywood – a boutique hotel perfect for small groups wanting a taste of the showbiz life. They took in the Sky Bar, highly recommended as the perfect place for meeting and networking.
For a "cultural", laid back and sophisticated date, you can do no better than Los Angeles. LA is to entertainment what Las Vegas is to gambling. It is the centre of the USA's film and television industry and close to its iconic "Hollywood" sign you can go behind-the-scenes (literally!) at the well-known studios: Paramount, Warner Brothers and Universal. Here, as the cameras roll, you can imagine life as a film star ... And to round off your star-studded visit, why not wander down Hollywood Boulevard admiring the Walk of Fame? Make sure you keep your eyes out for the passing celebrities – LA is full of them and if you don't have any luck on the streets, you can always try the nearby waxworks museum!
Next it was on to the real business of the trip. The small group of event organisers were off to Las Vegas to attend IMEX 2017 – a major travel industry event where DMCs (Destination Management Companies), Hotels and other suppliers exhibit their wares. Here you can really travel the world under one roof. As Mike points out, "the pace is fast – with 11 meetings scheduled per day, it's not for the faint-hearted, but definitely an excellent way to find out all the latest worldwide developments".
With all that running around, it was just as well that accommodation was provided at the sleek and seductive SLS Hotel & Casino, located right on the Strip. It offers an excellent base for exploring – or simply relaxing in the spa or one of the pools. Sadly for Mike, this trip was all about work and he must be one of the very few who didn't have time to try his hand at the tables!
Calling itself "The Entertainment Capital of the World", Las Vegas (or more humbly, "The Meadows", in Spanish) features high on the list of world's most visited sites. The infamous "Las Vegas Strip" stretches for 4.8 miles and is home to a plethora of hotels and casinos. Here you can make a date with destiny at the gambling tables, maybe hit the jackpot, experience a volcano at the Mirage, visit the pyramids and Ancient Egypt at the Luxor, ride on 1,000-foot roller coasters... Nothing is too much here – this brash city sets out to wow – and most certainly doesn't fail. For most people, it's love at first sight and you just won't be able to resist coming back!