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My stay at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas

My stay at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas

I have been to Las Vegas 3 times now since 2022 and the previous 2 times I stayed at The Luxor but this time, I decided upon the Excalibur as it was working out slightly cheaper for the dates I wanted.

About the Excalibur Hotel and Casino

Excalibur Hotel and Casino is a casino hotel on the Las Vegas Strip operated by MGM Resorts, the same company that owns The Luxor Hotel where I stayed previously. The resort features a medieval castle theme and is named after King Arthur’s mythical Excalibur sword. The Excalibur Property includes a casino, a 28-story hotel with 3,981 rooms, and various restaurants.

The $290 million property was originally developed by Circus Circus Enterprises and construction of the hotel and casino began in October 1988, with the Excalibur resort opening on June 19, 1990 – so I was staying almost exactly 34 years after it’s opening. It was the largest hotel in the world until the opening of the nearby MGM Grand in 1993.

My Stay and Review

I arrived at around 11 pm following a 10 pm landing at the nearby airport. My taxi ride only took about 10 minutes and proximity to the airport is one advantage to this hotel. 

The check-in was processed very fast and I was given a small upgrade to a 12th-floor tower room as I extended my stay on arrival. 

The room was very nice but quite a long way from the elevators. Now, I actually like being away from the elevators to avoid noise so my location in the hotel was ideal for me. The room may be considered a small bit dated in design however it was clean, comfortable, and welcoming. I did notice that along with the air conditioning, there were aromatherapy diffusers and also a dehumidifier ( I will come back to this later). The shower and bathroom are large and the shower has plenty of hot water and power. The bed was super comfy and I had a very enjoyable 11-hour sleep to recover from my jet lag; so the next day I was unaffected by my 24 hours of travel on the day before. It was just as well really as I was performing at 7 pm and had soundcheck at 3 pm… the quality of sleep allowed me to be perfectly energetic and awake.

So coming back to the dehumidifier in the room; normally my sinuses play up with all the air conditioning in the hotels and public areas, since in Ireland we don’t have this and it seems to really dry me out. However, with the dehumidifier in the room, I was unaffected and this is another reason why I will certainly consider returning to the Excalibur hotel. 

There is a very large casino area, and I did try a few thing like roulette and a few slots but I didn’t win much at all – unlike the $258 I won th last time I was in Las Vegas. Dining is available at multiple locations including a food court and also a very good Buffet which starts at around $31 per person for lunch.

Overall I really enjoyed my stay and I will certainly be back to either this great hotel.

If you have been to Vegas, what is your favourite hotel – leave a comment below and I might try your suggestion next !

This castle-themed resort and casino is located central on the Las Vegas Strip. It features 4 seasonal outdoor pools, 14 restaurants, 100,000-square-foot casino and live nightly entertainment are provided.

WiFi (included with the resort fee) is provided throughout rooms at Excalibur. Every room has a cable TV, a large bathroom with a hair dryer.

The Excalibur Hotel and Casino provides a tour desk. Guests can browse the numerous on-site shops.

There are 4 outdoor pools featuring a water slide, poolside cabanas, and an Adult Only Pool. A large gym with modern equipment is also available.

Interstate 15 is 1 mile from the resort offering easy access to area attractions Harry Reid International Airport is 2.8 miles away and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas is 2.5 miles from the hotel.

How to Have a Safe Online Casino Experience 

How to Have a Safe Online Casino Experience 

Calling all casino fans. Do you love the thrill of casino games, but are worried about the risks that come with playing in online casinos? Well then look no further, this article is going to guide you on how to have a safe casino experience and how to avoid these risks.

Choose a Good Quality and Secure Platform

Choosing the wrong platform can not only have a negative impact on your experience, but can also put you, your personal data and finances at risk. One of the first things you need to look at for is licensing and regulation. This is extremely important and is what ensures a platform is running legally has privacy policies in place to protect your personal information. It also means the platform is fair, not just in the outcome of games, but also when it comes to payments too.

You also need to find a platform that has additional security measures. Unfortunately having licence and being fully regulated isn’t enough. A platform needs to have security measures in place to protect itself from cyber threats. For example, encryption technology is a really effective measure as this technology stores your personal data as code. This makes it really hard for hackers to access and translate it.

It’s a good idea to check out online reviews before making a final decision. So take a look at online reviews on the platform as well as taking a look at other review websites and social media. Additionally, prioritizing safety ensures you can make an informed decision based on thorough research, including casino reviews from reputable sources and platforms like Irishluck which specialises and offers safe and secure online casinos. This way you can weigh up the different features, consider reviews and choose the best option.

Be Cautious With Your Personal Information

It’s not just up to a casino to protect you. It’s your responsibility too. You need to be cautious with your personal information otherwise you could be putting your details at risk. Only using secure platforms is a great step in the right direction, but it’s not enough. You need to know how to protect yourself and your data online. This means only sharing your personal information unless absolutely necessary and only with trusted sources. It also means whenever you’re setting up an online account, only using strong and unique passwords and setting up multi-factor authentication if you have the option to. You should always be using secure payment methods, but you may even want to consider using a method that uses anonymous transactions, meaning your personal information is never at any risk. Other methods like this include PayPal which uses your email address for transactions or cryptocurrency that uses your digital wallet address.

It’s important to develop some best practices that protect you online. In fact, this is essential for all online activity. This means being cautious with your information especially in online forums and social mediaand being aware of scams such as phishing attempts that try to gain access to your personal information. Scammers are now very good at pretending to be online casinos for example and attempt to gain access to your personal information through emails and text messages. The best way to tackle this is to always contact the casino directly if you’re ever unsure about one of their communications. Another best practice is to keep your software and devices up to date as this helps them to be fully equipped when it comes to protecting you from cyber threats. You should also be using anti-virus and internet security software for protection too.

Approach Gambling Responsibly

The risks that come with online gambling are more than just cyber threats. You should only ever consider gambling as a source of entertainment and never anything more. One of the more important ways to do this is to set a budget for your gambling activities. This can help you to stay in control of you gaming sessions and stop you from overspending. Especially as it can be easy to get caught up in the fun and lose track. Your budget can also help you to make smarter and more strategic decision when playing online.

Try not to make the mistake that many beginners do. This is wasting your gaming funds on not knowing how a game works. It’s also important to note that you might think you know how to play a game because you’ve played a version of it before. But a lot of casino games have different versions. Take online slots for example, these often come with different bonus features and mini games. Take the time to read the instructions and even try out demo levels. Otherwise you can end up wasting a big portion of your budget on making silly mistakes. This way you can get a grasp on how the game works, practice and even try out different strategies and see what works well before you even start playing.

Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa Hotel Review

Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa Hotel Review

I recently spent 2 days at Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa and I was so impressed with the hotel, it’s staff, the food, the accommodation and the spa that I just had to share my experience of this amazing Irish Hotel.

Their website states, “A warm welcome awaits you in one of Ireland’s most exclusive and tranquil retreats. A true destination for people who value time together.” and this statement could not be more true.

Check-In

The check-in for any hotel is usually the same across most hotels, however here on check-in, we had a very nice check-in followed by a complimentary welcome drink which was very much appreciated. We spent about 30 minutes relaxing in the reception area before heading to the room.

The Room

The Rooms are very luxurious with beautiful sea views out over the Atlantic coast. It is a setting far removed from what you expect for Ireland, more resembling the south of France. It feels like you are very far from home and is very relaxing. The room comes with robes, clippers, tea facilities, a Nespresso machine, and complimentary water, flat screen TV, and our room had a beautiful balcony area where we could chill in the warm April sun. The sleeps are very comfortable and the bathroom is large with everything you need including Elemis products.

Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa Room

The Food

There are 2 restaurants that we visited, these were nautically themed Dunes Pub & Bistro and our Fine Dining Gulfstream Restaurant. The Dunes Pub was where we enjoyed a fantastic prawn curry, which tasted fantastic and the portion size was just perfect. In the Gulfstream Restaurant, we had John Dory, again, sublime food with a stunning view out over the bay. The service at the restaurants is excellent and you are checked on to ensure all is good.
Breakfast is served in the Gulfstream Restaurant and you will be sure to have everything you want at breakfast.

The Spa

It was about 8 years since I had a spa treatment, so this was worth waiting for. I had the Sleep Tight treatment which included a foot treatment, back massage, and also a neck and shoulders/head massage.  It was very relaxing indeed and while enjoying the fruit in the relaxation room post-treatment, my fitness tracker showed my heart rate at 9 bpm lower than my normal average resting heart rate – so it really did relax me.

Before we went for the spa treatment we did enjoy the Seawater Therapy Pool and the sauna and steam room which was a great way to enjoy all the Spa had to offer.

The Location

Inchydoney is located about 10 minutes from Clonakilty in Co. Cork and has a beach only steps away from the hotel. From Waterford the journey took 2 hours 30 minutes which is not bad indeed, especially considering the rewards of relaxation which awaited us.

Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa - Views from nearby beach

Overall Review 10/10

Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa is set in a stunning location and has fantastic accommodation food and service. This hotel stay gave the most spectacular scenery, food, and relaxation with the best views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and is a very romantic and picturesque location on the Wild Atlantic Way. With Free Parking, Free Wifi, an indoor Saltwater pool, steam room, sauna, and fitness center, all of which you can enjoy for free during your stay – this has to be the Best Hotel I have visited in Ireland. I look forward to returning very soon.

Website: https://www.inchydoneyisland.com/

Three Hidden Gems That Sum Up Ireland By Irish Artists

Three Hidden Gems That Sum Up Ireland By Irish Artists

From pop to punk, Ireland has a rich musical heritage. Its folk music is some of the most recognisable in the world and goes hand in hand with its unique dance and arts culture. Thus, it makes sense that Irish artists would have a large diaspora spread the world over. Yet home is often what they sing about the most, and below we pick three hidden gems that sum up Ireland, written by Irish artists.

Galway Races – The Dubliners 

To say any of The Dubliner’s tracks are a hidden gem may be a stretch. One of the most beloved of Irish bands, all of their tracks are well known and ingrained in the culture of the Emerald Isle. Yet Galway Races is a standout track. On the surface, it seems like a typical folk song that would not be out of place in any expat Irish bar found around the world. Yet dig deeper and it is a fantastic character and social study of leisure pursuits before the digital age.

It delves deep into the attraction of not just the horse racing, but the events that took place on these days such as the spinning wheel. The country has long held gambling close to its heart and continues to do so today. The Irish Lottery is played across the world, and the company Lottoland sells lottery tickets in Ireland itself. Yet even though these games can be played indoors, it has simply enhanced the desire to go out and play these games in physical locations. Just like Ireland, everything has changed, yet in other ways, nothing has changed at all.

The Dubliner’s delivery also stands to reiterate this. A foot-stomping anthem with a powerful delivery, it layers its instrumental textures like the passengers slowly filling the races. Interspersed with syllabic chants, it is a perfect study of the country’s social history.

Thin Lizzy – Emerald 

 

Source: Unsplash

Thin Lizzy holds the crown for Ireland’s most loved heavy rock band. Yet their real success came from blending the sound with delicate songwriting, almost balladry, that often bordered on pop music. Dancing in the Moonlight is one perfect example of this.

Whisky in the Jar is one of their most famous tracks and was taken from a traditional Irish folk song. Yet Emerald is the track where frontman Phil Lynott appreciates the Irish blood in his veins the most. With charged lyrics and some hellish guitar call and response, it is the sound of Ireland in the seventies.

Bad – U2 

There are plenty of U2 tracks that could be chosen, often both celebratory and critical of Irish life, politics and culture in equal measures. While the other songs on the list address patriotism and pride, this track takes a slightly different look at the dark side of a recession-hit Dublin.

Oddly, the live track is much more loved than the recorded version. A sparse arrangement exists, punctuated by the overdubs of Brian Eno. Yet played live it is almost religious in its fervour, enhanced by the performance many people will remember from Live Aid. It may not be the nicest of subject matters, but it is one of the band’s most overlooked tracks in a cannon that keeps on producing hit after hit.

Many more tracks can sum up Ireland and artists willing to do so. From the Corrs to the Pogues, the country has a rich musical heritage. It only takes a little research and you can find your own favourites.

Three Hidden Gems That Sum Up Ireland By Irish Artists - Photo by Zachrie Friesen

Source: Unsplash

Thin Lizzy holds the crown for Ireland’s most loved heavy rock band. Yet their real success came from blending the sound with delicate songwriting, almost balladry, that often bordered on pop music. Dancing in the Moonlight is one perfect example of this.

Whisky in the Jar is one of their most famous tracks and was taken from a traditional Irish folk song. Yet Emerald is the track where frontman Phil Lynott appreciates the Irish blood in his veins the most. With charged lyrics and some hellish guitar call and response, it is the sound of Ireland in the seventies.

Bad – U2 

There are plenty of U2 tracks that could be chosen, often both celebratory and critical of Irish life, politics and culture in equal measures. While the other songs on the list address patriotism and pride, this track takes a slightly different look at the dark side of a recession-hit Dublin.

Oddly, the live track is much more loved than the recorded version. A sparse arrangement exists, punctuated by the overdubs of Brian Eno. Yet played live it is almost religious in its fervour, enhanced by the performance many people will remember from Live Aid. It may not be the nicest of subject matters, but it is one of the band’s most overlooked tracks in a cannon that keeps on producing hit after hit.

Many more tracks can sum up Ireland and artists willing to do so. From the Corrs to the Pogues, the country has a rich musical heritage. It only takes a little research and you can find your own favourites.

Discovering the Charms of Somerset: Things to do in Somerset

Discovering the Charms of Somerset: Things to do in Somerset

Somerset, a county nestled in the verdant landscapes of England’s Southwest, beckons travelers with its captivating blend of natural beauty, historic landmarks, and quintessential English charm. Whether you’re a history aficionado, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, Somerset promises a plethora of experiences to indulge in. I have holidayed in Somerset for many years now and I know it like the back of my hand. So, here’s a curated list of things to do in Somerset, some of my must-visit destinations and activities to make the most of your Somerset sojourn:

1. Glastonbury Tor and Abbey

Why Visit: Delve into centuries of myth and legend at Glastonbury Abbey, believed to be the burial site of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. When you are there you should purchase some of the delicious Mead which is made here.

What to Do: Climb the iconic Glastonbury Tor for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, steeped in mystical allure. The views are amazing and you can often see the Tor in footage of the Glastonbury Festival which is broadcast by the BBC each summer.

Where to Eat: Enjoy a delicious meal in the Hundred Monkeys or you can have something more substantial at the George & Pilgrims or the Crown Hotel

You should also venture into the new age shops which dot the town and enjoy perhaps some meditation at the Goddess Temple.

2. Cheddar Gorge

Why Visit: Explore one of Britain’s most stunning natural wonders, carved by ancient glacial meltwaters. If you only have time to do 3 of these things to do in Somerset then this has to be on your list.

What to Do: Take a guided tour of the Cheddar Gorge & Caves in Cheddar and also at Wookey Hole and sample world-famous Cheddar cheese at nearby creameries. Also, climb the famous Cheddar Gorge for great views of the surrounding areas. Avoid the charges by climbing from Lynch Lane (click here for a map of the starting point) – this brings you to the base of Jacobs Ladder and you can start the climb for free from here. You can see Glastonbury Tor from here and also on a clear day, you can even see Wales. Note that parking and traffic in Cheddar Gorge can be busy so getting to Cheddar early, plus downloading the Parking by Phone smartphone app is recommended.

Where to Eat: There is great food to be had, especially the soups, at the Lions Rock Tea Rooms.

3. Exmoor National Park

Why Visit: Immerse yourself in the untamed beauty of Exmoor’s moorlands, valleys, and coastline. There are some amazing places to visit, and if you are a fan of the Poirot show starring David Suchet, then you should visit Dunster town which starred in one of these episodes. Also, I totally recommend the West Somerset Steam Train which takes you on a great trip to Minehead. This steam train brings you back in time to the age of steam and is a great way to see the countryside. On the way, you will see pheasants, buzzards, and perhaps even a sparrow hawk; as well as the great scenery on the way.

What to Do: Hike scenic trails when you are on the moors, spot wildlife such as red deer and wild ponies, or embark on a stargazing adventure in this designated Dark Sky Reserve.

4. Wells Cathedral and City

Why Visit: Marvel at the stunning architecture of England’s smallest city and its magnificent cathedral, featuring intricate Gothic design. There is also a great farmers market here every Wednesday and Saturday – I recommend the cornbread and the cheeses available here.

What to Do: Explore the historic streets, visit the Wells & Mendip Museum, or attend a concert within the cathedral’s awe-inspiring walls. Wells is also the location for the filming of the movie, Hot Fuzz, so you may see some locations which are familiar – don’t forget to buy a Cornetto.

Where to Eat: The best place which I found in Wells for food is The City Arms in the heart of Wells. I have eaten here a few times and the food has always been 100% Wonderful.

5. Bath

Why Visit: Step back in time in this UNESCO World Heritage city renowned for its Roman baths and elegant Georgian architecture.

What to Do: Soak in the natural thermal waters at Thermae Bath Spa, wander through the Royal Crescent and Circus, or indulge in retail therapy at independent boutiques. The town has a number of small boutiques and great eateries. On a recent visit, it was obvious to see how much of an impact the closure of Debenhams has had on the central area. But there is a lot to see in this town – if you love architecture, this is a must-visit.

6. Somerset Levels and Moors

Why Visit: Discover the tranquil beauty of England’s largest wetland area, teeming with diverse flora and fauna.

What to Do: Take a boat trip along the scenic waterways, explore historic villages such as Glastonbury and Muchelney, or go birdwatching in RSPB nature reserves. I recommend the Hamm Bird Reserve because you can park here, walk the bird reserve and then walk on further all the way to Glastonbury – so a great day out and a good walk aos.

Other areas of Interest

If you find yourself around the area of Cross, near Axbridge, I totally recommend the White Hart Inn – check their facebook page for details of the food offerings and opening hours, plus music nights which often happen around the weekends.

From mystical landmarks to scenic countryside, Somerset invites visitors to embark on a journey of discovery, where every turn reveals a new facet of its timeless allure. So pack your bags, lace up your boots, and prepare to be enchanted by the treasures awaiting in this charming corner of England.

Map of Locations by Wanderlog

This map was made with Wanderlog, a travel planner on iOS and Android