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The Luxor Las Vegas – My favorite Hotel in Las Vegas (so far)

The Luxor Las Vegas – My favorite Hotel in Las Vegas (so far)

In March 2022 I traveled to Las Vegas to play at an Everybody Sings Project fundraiser with the Queen Tribute band Celebrating Queen. The band put me up in the Luxor Hotel and Casino and I was stunned. Remember, I had traveled from Waterford, Ireland where the tallest building was about 5 stories high and now I’m in a building with 30 floors and a location where the tallest building is 1,150ft and 112 stories high. I was blown away by Las Vegas and was for sure in some sort of culture shock.

Luxor Las Vegas Review

Background information on the Luxor Casino and Hotel

Luxor Las Vegas is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip and is operated and run by MGM Resorts. The Hotel is 20 stories high and is named after the Egyptian city of Luxor.

There is a wonderful video on YouTube of the Luxor being constructed and it shows the construction from the breaking ground on the resort which took place in March 1992 and then was opened to the public in October 1993 with a total cost of $380m. At one point this hotel was actually the tallest on the strip when it opened and even had a river ride called the Nile River Tour where guests could ride through the pyramid in a boat.

It is a lot less Egypt-styled these days than it was back when it opened but the huge black pyramid with its 42.3-billion-candela lumen beam of light that shoots into the night sky – the Luxor Sky Beam is visible from the airport as you land. The Luxor Sky Beam is actually the world’s strongest beam of light. As a result of this amazing beam of light, flying insects, bats, and even owls come to feed on whatever is attracted to the light. Some people even see the larger bats and birds and confuse them for UFOs. The light can also be used as a visual aid for approaching pilots landing at the nearby airport. (Code: LAS)..

Outside the Luxor Hotel and Casino Las Vegas

Luxor Hotel Rooms

I found the rooms to be very comfortable. I stayed here in March 2022 and also January 2023. In 2022 I stayed on the 12th floor and in January 2023 I stayed on the 5th floor. I have to say that the rooms on the 12th were a little nicer and in slightly better condition, so if I was coming back I would ask for the higher rooms.

The rooms are very quiet despite a bustling casino below you. As soon as you close that door you have quietness. I was also facing the airport and the view was nice too. I had excellent sleep here and this was a great advantage as I had some jetlag to get over.

The bathroom was spacious and very clean with excellent showers.

Inside the Luxor Hotel and Casino Las Vegas

Photo: View from outside my room on the 12th floor

The Food at the Luxor

The only place I ate at the Luxor was the Public House which is a sports bar theme restaurant and I had a Beyond Burger with fries and a drink which all came to under $30 which was good value for what I got. The food was piping hot, and delicious and the service was attentive and friendly.

There are few other options that I personally would want to try in the Luxor, I had to admit that in the mornings I used to walk over to New York, New York and there was an Italian bakery over there (I’m sure it was called La Cucina, La Forno or something like that), but they had the best cinnamon buns and coffee – all for under $10).

Service

It is a large hotel so you do feel that you are just one guest amongst thousands but the staff are friendly. Note, you will need to pay a service fee of around $35 (I think this is per night) but apparently, this is the norm for Vegas.

Las Vegas in General

I like las vegas but 3-4 days was enough for me. I did try the casino and I won about €250 in the Mandala Bay Casino, €148 on roulette, and the rest on the slots. It is very easy to lose money so have a budget in place when you are gaming in the casinos. I do occasionally play games online, I mainly use NetBet,  which is why I like games which have a spending cap or which remind you if you are spending a lot.

Conclusion

I am tempted to try other hotels in Las Vegas but I found the Luxor to be good value as my one-night stay in January was about $75. If I won the lottery, there is one suite in the MGM Grand which has a piano but it is about $1,500 per night.
I am hoping to go back to Las Vegas in the near future and next time I will do an updated review for the website at that time.

Travel Packing Checklist | What To Pack for Holiday & Vacation – Pack like a Pro

Travel Packing Checklist | What To Pack for Holiday & Vacation – Pack like a Pro

Packing for vacation? Getting ready to travel?  Take a look at this travel packing list so you pack the important items for your vacation or holiday. The holiday and vacation packing checklist is all you need, whether this is your first vacation or you’re a seasoned globetrotter. This is a helpful travel packing checklist that has been updated in the past few weeks.

Travel Packing Checklist – helps you pack the important items for your holiday

One of the most stressful things you have to do before you even get into the car to head to the airport is packing for your holiday or vacation. You might have booked a cheap family holiday but imagine if you had to then spend a lot of money on items which you forgot to bring!

This handy holiday packing checklist might help you before you actually start packing and it might help you ensure that you don’t leave home missing essential items to pack into your suitcase for your holiday. 

This list is not complete nor will it suit everyone or every type of holiday since a checklist for a city break will be different from a packing checklist for a 3-stop long haul trip. You can print this and simply cross out items you don’t need or online you can tick off the items from the list by your suitcase as you pack for your holiday. 

The travel packing checklist below does NOT include clothes as everyone is different. Hopefully, this travel and vacation packing checklist will help with the other items that you may wish to bring. If you spot any omissions please make a comment and we can add it to the list.

Packing Essentials

Passports
Drivers License
Airline Tickets
Visas if required by your destination
Wallet – Debit and Credit Cards
Cash / Travelers checks
Emergency phone numbers
Hotel, rental car, confirmation details
Copies of travel insurance contacts
Guidebooks & Maps
Contact numbers to report lost credit cards
Electric Plug adapter
Cell Phone adapter
iPod / iPhone Charger
Books and magazines
iPod Earphones 
PowerBar & charger

Personal Items / Toiletries

Travel alarm and batteries Glasses, sunglasses, and contacts Tampons Birth control Anti-bacterial hand gel or wipes Hand lotion Small first-aid kit Smart Watch charger Travel pillow Toothbrush Toothpaste Shampoo and conditioner Hair Brush Comb Cosmetics & Soap Razor and shaving cream Sunblock & After Sun Deodorant Insect Repellant Face Masks Hand Sanitizer

Extra Items

Locks for your Luggage (and keys!) Luggage name tags (include phone and email) Sewing kit Hiking Boots (make sure they are very clean prior to packing if traveling to Australia or New Zealand) Camera, Flash & Lenses Camera Mini-Tripod (for the photo enthusiast) Batteries Camera Battery Charger (e.g. Canon DSLR type) Extra film or memory card Memory Card Holders (to keep them safe) Journal and pen (if you like keeping notes on where you were) Sweets / candies for the Journey

I hope this holiday/vacation and travel packing checklist helps you on your vacation

Some Final Points for Packing for Your Holiday/Vacation

Remember to pack all liquids and gels into your checked luggage – all must be less than 100ml.

  • Don’t forget your facemasks and any COVID-related items, if required.
  • If you intend to hire a car you will need your driver’s license
  • Your passport will need to have 6 months left before expiry or you may not be able to travel.
  • Don’t forget to remove any sharp items or liquids over 100ml packed into your hand luggage.  
    Move these restricted items to your checked luggage.
  • If you need some quality sleepwear check out my friend’s website the Cotone Collection.
  • If you have a smart lighting system, program that so it turns your lights on and off in the evening for home security.
  • Before you leave your home, check that all windows have been shut and locked and any unused plugs have been plugged out.
  • As you lave your home, ensure you have your keys with you and then double check that your door is fully locked – nothing worse than getting to your destination with the nagging feeling that you forgot to lock up correctly. (it has happened to me)
  • Perhaps ask a neighbour to check in on your house when you are away.

Have a good time on your trip.

Enjoy Your Holiday!

 

Updated by Shane on March 2024

List of Things to Do in Lanzarote

List of Things to Do in Lanzarote

I have spent a bit of time in Lanzarote. It is a wonderful holiday location and Lanzarote has many great places to go and things to do. I thought it might be good for the health to get away. Lanzarote is definitely the best of all the Canary Islands, having been to Gran Canaria and Tenerife previously. If you are going I have listed a few recommendations for you.

Trips & Excursions in Lanzarote

Ignore your Travel Rep and go with Last Minute Travel. Last Minute Travel has offices all over Puerto del Carmen and we went on 2 trips with them, The Grand Island Tour (€40 to €50 ea) and Playa Blanca Markets (€7 to 10 ea). All of these trips and excursions were excellent and had very knowledgeable guides who spoke multiple languages.

You should certainly take some time to explore the Timanfaya National Park which is one of the key volcanic areas of the island; this is an ideal area for hiking. When you are in the Timanfaya National Park it is like a moonscape. There are many tours to Timanfaya National Park which can be organized from your hotel.

Another must-see is the Jameos del Agua. This is a volcanic cave system that has been commercialized and has been used in the past for shows and performances. There is a magical secret that will be demonstrated when you do the official tour of the caves. It’s a wow moment and a must-see.

You should also visit Los Ajaches which is a nature-centric area that is actually a protected area of the island, it is a perfect place to do some exploring.

My Top 10 Things to do in Lanzarote

In no particular order, my top things to do in Lanzarote are as follows;

  • Timanfaya National Park
  • Haría Village
  • César Manrique Foundation: Taro de Tahiche
  • Playa de Papagao
  • Jameos del Agua caves
  • Teguise
  • Arrieta
  • Jardín de Cactus
  • El Golfo
  • Museo Atlántico

Just a note that Teguise and Costa Teguise are 2 totally different places, Teguise is a beautiful village in the center of Lanzarote but Costa Teguise is a coastal area with a lot of hotels and apartments and not much to see at all. 

Where to Stay in Lanzarote

I would highly recommend Hotel Fariones located at Calle Roque del Este, 1, 35510 Lanzarote, Las Palmas. It is a 5-star hotel which provides excellent service and great food. A private area where you can relax and enjoy wonderful views and yet you are only minutes from everything. I have stayed here a few times so if you have questions please leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer as many as I can for you.

Food in Lanzarote

Lani’s has many restaurants in Puerto Del Carmen and other areas. Their restaurants are very well run and the food is great – not to be missed! Also, if you are near the Fariones Hotel, the New World Chinese Restaurant is amazing and again should be experienced, if only for the excellent Dim Sum selection. The variety of food styles on the island is vast, everything from Italian and Chinese to Thai, Sushi, and Indian food but there are also some great restaurants serving traditional food.

Electrical and Technology Items

You can be ripped off in some stores by people who will try to sell you non-branded goods or items that fail to work when you get home. I got excellent services from Monty in PhotoVision (Avda de las Playas, 14 local 1, 35510, Puerto del Carmen), one of the stores on the seafront. He has lots of Irish customers and even deals with a few FairCity celebrities (I was shown photos as proof and a huge customer book) – so I bought a few iPod things there and it only cost me €20 for the attachments I bought.

Harbour in the Old Town, Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote

 

Conclusion

The Island of Lanzarote is a wonderful Holiday Location and there is a lot to do. I would recommend doing all of your research before you go so that you can enjoy your time there rather than having to look up or research things while you are on holiday.

6 Ways Aspiring Artists Can Make Money on Their Music

6 Ways Aspiring Artists Can Make Money on Their Music

In an era where music transcends boundaries and cultures, aspiring artists have unprecedented opportunities to showcase their talent and earn a living from their craft. However, navigating the vast and complex music industry can be daunting for many. This guide outlines six practical ways through which musicians can monetize their music, from leveraging digital platforms to tapping into traditional revenue streams. Whether you’re a solo artist, part of a band, or a music producer, understanding these strategies can be a game-changer in your musical career.

    1. Digital Streaming Platforms

With the digital age in full swing, streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal have become the forefront of music consumption, offering artists a platform to reach millions of listeners worldwide. By distributing your music on these platforms, you can earn royalties each time someone streams your songs. It’s crucial for artists to understand the distribution process, which often involves partnering with a digital distribution service that places your music across various streaming outlets. This approach not only broadens your audience but also provides a steady stream of income, complemented by detailed analytics on listener demographics and behavior to help tailor your marketing strategies.

    2. Direct Sales of Music

In addition to streaming platforms, directly selling your music through websites and services offers an alternative revenue stream. This approach enables musicians to establish their own rates for albums, singles, and merchandise, potentially increasing earnings per sale compared to a music royalty payment for streaming. It also fosters a direct connection with your fanbase, providing an opportunity to offer exclusive content, early access to new tracks, or special bundles that can enhance fan engagement and loyalty. Leveraging these platforms effectively requires a blend of marketing savvy and consistent engagement with your audience, but it can significantly boost your income and establish a dedicated following. 

    3. Live Performances

Live performances continue to be a staple for musicians seeking to connect with fans and capitalize on their music’s popularity. Concerts, gigs, and tours offer artists an opportunity to showcase their talent while earning a significant portion of their income from ticket sales, merchandise, and sponsorships. In addition to traditional venues, artists can also explore alternative performance outlets, such as house concerts, street performances, and online streaming concerts. While live performances may require upfront investment in equipment and logistics, the potential for revenue growth is significant.

    4. Music Licensing

Music licensing involves granting permission to use your music for commercial purposes in films, TV shows, commercials, video games, or other media. This approach provides a steady stream of income to artists while also generating exposure for their work. It’s essential to register your music with a performance rights organization (PRO) like ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC, which collect royalties on behalf of musicians. Additionally, creating music specifically designed for licensing opportunities can be lucrative in the long run and allow artists to expand their reach globally.

    5. Collaborations and Features

Collaborating with other artists, whether in the same genre or different ones, can bring new creative insights and expand your audience. These collaborations can also result in additional revenue streams through features on other artist’s albums or songs. As an established artist, featuring on a rising star’s track provides exposure to newer audiences while earning you royalties from sales and streaming. Collaborating with well-known artists can also bring significant financial benefits, as they often have a more extensive fan base and established revenue streams.

    6. Patreon

Patreon is an online platform that allows creators to receive recurring payments from their subscribers or “patrons.” It’s an ideal way for musicians to earn consistent income while offering exclusive content, behind-the-scenes access, and personalized experiences for their patrons. This platform is especially useful for independent artists who may not have the backing of a record label but still want to earn a steady income from their music. Additionally, it provides artists with a direct connection to their most dedicated fans, fostering a sense of community and appreciation for their work.

Person playing Guitar - Image credit by StockSnap from Pixabay

Aspiring artists have more opportunities than ever to earn a living from their music, and the strategies outlined in this guide are just some of the many ways through which musicians can monetize their craft. With consistent effort, creativity, and determination, artists can navigate the music industry successfully and create sustainable income streams for themselves. Keep exploring new avenues and stay dedicated to your craft, and you’ll be on your way to achieving your goals as a musician.  So, keep creating and sharing your music with the world!  

Why are these platforms considered to be the best mobile casinos for Irish players?

Why are these platforms considered to be the best mobile casinos for Irish players?

There is no doubt that the online casino market around Ireland is booming right now, and this has seen many Irish players, including myself, try out classics like slots, blackjack, and roulette digitally. One of the most popular ways to do this is playing casino games via mobile. From the latest smartphones to the most stylish tablets, mobile iGaming around the country is huge.

This is easy to understand when you consider the convenience mobile gaming offers and the freedom it brings. Whether it is a work lunch break, the commute home by bus, or waiting for friends in a bar, being able to fill in time through mobile gaming is a real bonus. The amount of secure and reputable mobile casinos for Irish players is also a major reason why this way of playing games online has taken off.

What are the top-rated mobile casinos in Ireland to play at?

Not all mobile casinos are created equal and this has seen some sites become known as the best mobile casinos to register with.
These include;

  • Casumo
  • 888casino
  • 10bet Casino
  • LeoVegas
  • Novibet Casino

Although there are lots of casinos in Ireland that offer the chance to game via mobile, the five listed above are the best to try. But what makes them so awesome for people who like to play on the go?

Casumo

Just as Neko in Carlow has become known as a top place for Asian food in the town, Casumo has become known around Ireland as a top mobile casino. Licensed to operate by the Malta Gaming Authority, it offers a seamless, enjoyable mobile experience. It is also a platform that offers a vast choice of games to dive into and exciting live games to try on the move.

Casumo’s Welcome Bonus is another highlight and sees 50 bonus spins plus a 100% matched deposit promo (up to €300) available. This mobile casino also offers fast withdrawal times and an extensive FAQ section for the most common queries. If you need extra help, the customer support team here is easy to reach via channels such as live chat.

888casino

888casino is another top-rated mobile casino in Ireland¾and it’s easy to see why when you take a closer look. To begin with, there is a fantastic no-deposit bonus of 88 free spins for all new customers! After this, there is a 100% matched deposit promo (up to €140) or a Premium Welcome Package to grab.

As well as an enjoyable and smooth mobile gaming experience, 888casino also has a range of reliable banking options. These include PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, and ecoPayz. This site is also known for having exclusive games to try and exotic titles, such as keno. The VIP Club for loyal players is another highlight of this Irish mobile casino, as are the easy sign-up process and selection of live games. 

10bet Casino

10bet Casino is a major name within Irish iGaming and is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority. With an easy-to-navigate website and intuitive mobile interface, it is especially good for newbies to online casino play in the country. As with other mobile casinos on our list, 10bet stands out for its awesome welcome offer. This includes 50 free spins alongside a 100% matched deposit promo (up to €100).

With around 1700 titles to try out here, across categories such as live games, table games, and more, you will never get bored. If you ever fancy a change from casino games though, this platform has an extensive sports betting section to explore.

LeoVegas

LeoVegas has been a big name in casino gaming online since 2012, and is a brand that Irish players can rely on. It is also a top choice for mobile play and has an easy-to-use, dedicated casino app to download. Once you have opened the app, there are thousands of games to try (including table games, jackpot slots, and more) and even a sports betting section to discover.

Licenced by the Malta Gaming Authority, LeoVegas has won numerous industry awards for excellence and places a lot of emphasis on protecting players with the latest cybersecurity features. When you also consider a range of secure payment options and an offer for new players that brings 200 free spins on Book of Dead, you can see why this stands out as a top mobile gaming site in Ireland.

Novibet Casino

Regulated by the Revenue Commissioners in Ireland, this casino platform is safe to play at and known for treating customers well. This can be seen in the fast and helpful customer support available to assist with any queries. Novibet Casino is also one of the top Irish mobile gaming sites for its generous welcome offer (which combines 50 free spins with a matched deposit promo) and its range of ongoing promotions (from daily gifts to prize drops).

The varied selection of games at this casino is also a real hit and includes table games, bingo, game shows, and more. If you like more unusual games, like Aviator or Maverick, this is the mobile casino for you. The dedicated mobile app is a nice touch here and is available on Android and iOS devices.

The best mobile casinos in Ireland stand out for many reasons

As the above shows, the best casino platforms in Ireland for mobile gaming stand out for many important reasons. Although other online casinos in the country might also be good choices, the ones we have listed really are the cream of the crop.