Ever heard of the SLS hotel on the Las Vegas Strip? What about the Sahara? Turns out they are the same place. The now-SLS Hotel is thinking of changing its name back to the Sahara. The legendary hotel that hosted a NASCAR café, the Beatles, the Rat Pack and the Jerry Lewis Telethon.
Sahara is such an iconic name that the property owner immediately considered returning to it when he bought the property. The current owner Alex Meruelo bought the property from the Stockbridge Capital Group in 2018.
The Sahara featured a Moroccan style “onion-dome” that covered it’s porte-cochere. And was a favorite hangout of celebrity musicians Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.
The classic, 14-story Vegas hotel sits on the border between the city and the tourist corridor. It is one of the only classic strip hotels that survived demolition in favor of new resorts. The Sands, Stardust, Riviera, Landmark and Desert Inn were all demolished in such a fashion—but not the Sahara.
At one time the three-tower hotel was the tallest on the strip. The Sahara name was retired in 2011.
The return to the Sahara name is just part of a hefty $150 million renovation of the entire SLS complex and could take almost three years to complete.
For fans of one fast food restaurant chain’s so-called “forth meal”—their favorite fast food treat is going to become something much more temporarily this summer. Taco Bell is having a “pop-up” hotel this summer. But does that mean exactly?
For limited time in Palms Springs, California, The Bell (: A Taco Bell Hotel and Resort) will turn an already existing hotel into an entire hotel in a full experience for top fans of the food chain. The Bell will feature extra services. An on-site salon will offer The Bell themed nail art, braiding bar and fades.
This experience is slated to be one of a kind and unlike anything a fast food chain has attempted before.
There will be mountains of the classic Taco Bell items super fans already love—but the coup de gras will be new surprise food items that will be available on the hotel menu then gone forever.
After ten years stuck in Dubai the historic Queen Elizabeth 2 becomes a hotel. The QE2 is probably best known from when it set sail in 1969, a floating monument to Great Britain. Over its 40 years of traveling—with something like 1,400 voyages to its name—the ship saw the entire globe 25 times, played host to well over 2 million passengers. It sailed an incredible 6 million (nautical) miles.
10 years ago, the QE2 made port for the last time in Dubai, where recession-stalled plans to turn it into a floating hotel sunk. The city has spent $100 million trying to make the ship into a grand floating hotel. Finally, the dream is reality, the QE2 hotel will open with 224 rooms and suites. 13 restaurants (if you can believe it). Other amenities will include a movie theatre, bars and a museum of the ships history.
Forever docked at Mina Rashid, non-guest visitors will be welcome to dine at some of the restaurants and explore public parts of the ships, including the museum.
The QE2’s sister ship, the Queen Mary, is also a floating hotel and tourist attraction. It has been docked in Long Beach, California, since 1972.
Holly Johnson, writer for Travel Pulse, offers some tips for planning your family Spring Break vacation.
Johnson suggests considering multiple destinations. For the budget minded, consider staying some wear near the center point of your activities if staying directly at the destination will stretch your budget. Depending on travel dates, considering multiple destinations could make a big difference in cost.
Johnson notes that while it may seem impossible, try to craft a vacation the whole family will love. While many parents might view this as an act of futility, it is possible. Neutral trips that offer a lot of variation in actives might include beach trips, resorts and cruises.
In the same light, she notes it is important to let everyone’s voice be heard, even younger children. Let everyone pick at least one of the activities. This will add variety and keep the peace, while letting you all have lots of new experiences together.
Consider an all-inclusive option as they can save you a lot of money. Johnson writes, “All-inclusive resorts offer a good option for families since they include meals, drinks (and alcohol), and most entertainment options in your nightly rate. Cruises are a good option, too. They don’t always include alcohol, but they do include your cabin fare, food, and most entertainment options in your cruise fare. Some cruise lines, like MSC cruises, even let kids under 12 cruise for free.”
On planning Johnson has several thoughts. The stress of planning a trip piled on top of day-to-day concerns might encourage some to consider repeating familiar trips that seem “easy” or fit the budget—even when the trip was only “so-so”. Don’t make the mistake of re-planning a trip for these reasons. With all the online travel research tools and price-comparison tools you don’t need a travel agent to find great deals at new and interesting destinations.
As for shopping around Johnson writes, “No matter what you do, you should plan on checking at least 3-5 travel websites before you book any trip. Not only do prices vary on various travel sites, but you could earn special benefits, too. Websites like CheapCaribbean.com, Expedia.com, and Priceline.com are great for shopping Spring break packages that include both airfare and your hotel. You should always check with the vendor (airline or hotel) to see if you can get a better deal (or special perks like free breakfast) by booking directly.”
Johnson also suggests not forgetting about Air BNB or renting condos as sharing a single room with the whole family can be frustrating and subtract from your relaxation. These options can often be cheaper and offer options for eating some easier, less expensive meals at home. Why spend loads of money on a quick lunch when you can save and have a fantastic dinner?
Finally, Johnson warns of making the classic mistake of trying to pack in too many activities. Filling everyday with morning to night activities is bound to leave at least a few members of the family upset. For the daring, you might plan a “do-nothing” trip with no pre-planned activities.
The Victor crew always tries to find some interesting vacation activities and destinations. Here is one for you:
At Laucala Island resort in Fiji guests can now take personal submarine trips to view the local aquatic life.
Red Bull founder and CEO Dietrich Mateschitz now owner of the ultra exclusive, private resort at Laucala Island recently purchased a DeepFlight Super Falcon MarkII. These extravagant personal subs come with a 1.7 million dollar price tag and can dive as deep as 1,500 feet, though Laucala guests will only get to dive a maximum of about 60 feet. The unusual winged design of the craft allow it to “fly” underwater, almost like a sea creature.
The submarine was designed by Graham Hawkes, known for building extravagant personal submarines. One of Hawkes’ earlier designs appeared in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only.
For two grand an hour guests can enjoy the 360-degree viewing capability to enjoy all the underwater sights of the Laucala Island’s abundant coral reef environment. Pretty much the only drawback of dropping two grand on this one hour tour is guests don’t get to drive. But they will get see plenty of wildlife including scorpion fish, clown fish, turtles and leopard sharks.
Along with this super cool amenity the resort features 3,500 acres of exclusive, beautiful landscape including volcanic mountains, rain forest, beaches and mangroves. A one night stay at one of only 25 villas starts at 4,200 dollars a night.