Look at this breathtaking drone movie about LA!
Filmed by Ian Wood
Calling the hotel concierge desk to politely ask for a toothbrush when you’ve forgotten to pack one is a regular occurrence. So is asking for extra pillows or clean towels, but what about when the demands from guests get really crazy? Some travellers have the most ludicrous desires you’ve ever heard. U.K. publication dailymail.co.uk and travel website travel+leisure.com both recently published some outrageous demands from guests. Here’s our list of 15 weird, wonderful and downright wacky requests that hotel staff around the world have tried their very best to meet without laughing out loud!
A team from the Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, Mexico spent hours transforming a section of beach at the oceanfront hotel into a private outdoor cinema so a wealthy family could watch a movie under the stars. But there was another big problem; the guests didn’t want sand in their toes! Metres of white carpet were laid so the guests could walk to their makeshift movie theatre without getting wet or dirty.
The head butler of London’s Savoy Hotel once ordered pints and pints of wild goat’s milk from Wales to fulfil the demands of one guest who wanted to take a bath in the white stuff. Buying the authentic milk cost around £50. No problem for butler Sean Davoren. But add on another £600 for the private taxi to transport the moo juice from Wales to London, plus 30 bottles of fresh Evian water to rinse it off afterwards.
When Dustin Wray was online booking the Woodlands Resort Houston, he wanted to have a laugh and see just how silly his requests could get. Tempted by the booking form’s special “request” section he couldn’t resist the temptation to get a little crazy and asked for three red M&Ms in the room. On top of this he wanted a portrait of bacon rashers, oddly enough. Not real bacon itself, but a picture. Weird. Hey presto, when the couple checked in, the peculiar demand had been met with best wishes from the staff.
The Four Seasons Hualalai resort on beautiful Hawaii had a shock when a guest wanted to be greeted by a colony of penguins to be waiting patiently in the room alongside actor Morgan Freeman who could just be there on-hand to narrate proceedings. This guest obviously like the sound of his voice and has a penchant for penguins.Sadly, the concierge had to let the client down gently and explain that the sun-kissed tropical island was a bit too far away from Antarctica for this peculiar wish to be met and I guess Morgan Freeman was busy!
Nicolas Cage obsessed hotel guest Sarah Kovacs Grywacz made a fun request to the Hotel Indigo, San Antonio, Texas, during business trip. She wanted to put the hotel’s offer of “assistance at any time” to test and requested a signed picture of her favourite actor when he starred in Con Air and several other of his movies. So be it. The staff left one for her on the bed upon arrival and several more throughout her stay.
The Grand Del Mar in San Diego, California, managed to get hold of a llama at short notice when a guest needed one to surprise a friend. The pair were staying in San Diego but going on somewhere else and the llama was a big clue to the mystery destination. Where were they off too? Peru of course. The friends made their way to Cusco but the llama wasn’t invited.
Enlisting the help of Jerome, a top-class concierge from Jeannest InterContinental, Los Angeles, an American fashion designer cried “help” even after he had left for the airport. Not content with the ordinary cuisine served on-board his flight, the guest enlisted the help of the hotel’s chef who arranged his own menu including smoked salmon pizza from Beverly Hills. The gastronomic delights, as well as expensive silverware to serve them, were delivered just in time for take-off.
Macao’s ancient Patuá, a Portuguese-based Creole language, is so rare that finding English translations is like finding a needle in a haystack. But that didn’t stop Four Seasons, Macao, concierge Tristan Huang from helping a guest who was fascinated with the vernacular and wanted to learn more about a famous local poet, José dos Santos Ferreira. Huang tracked down a language expert who spent six hours lost in translation and the lady was finally presented with the poet’s famous work lovingly transcribed into English. How do you say “impressive” in Patuá?
On the theme of weddings, Four Seasons Hotel, New York, concierge Jennifer Bennett once helped get a custom-made James Bond tuxedo to fulfil one groom’s dream. The secret agent suit had to be like 007’s tux which is made by Brioni of Rome and takes weeks to make. Brioni was closed for the summer. An impossible mission perhaps? A replica tuxedo was put together by a team of sewers outside Rome to make a portion of the garment each and expertly stitch it all together in a staggering 36 hours. It even came complete with secret pockets for Bond’s weapons and gadgets.
One Russian guest at the Four Seasons Resort in the Seychelles insisted a fish be removed from the ocean because it was getting in the way of his swimming. The venomous lionfish is usually admired by guests here because it’s so rare to see them. But not for this chap. Concierge Abdul Manaf ordered a team of snorkelers to take to the water took to seek out the unassuming sea creature. They made sure it was nowhere to be seen to satisfy this fishy request and get the guest back in the water.
A guest of the South Beach hotel in Miami was persuading his girlfriend to relocate to London when she agreed on the condition her cat could come along too. Except, her pet cat was a tiger. Concierge Maite Foriasky was left to deal with the details and brilliantly figured out how to transport the furry feline to the U.K. With the help of Miami Zoo and officials from Orlando airport she pulled it off and the big cat soon caught up with his owners at their new home.
Concierge of The Stafford, London, Frank Laino was tasked with setting up a private viewing of the infamous Vermeer masterpiece, The Music Lesson, housed in Queen Elizabeth’s residence Buckingham Palace. A Hawaiian guest wanted to see the exquisite artwork in all its glory so had to go through high-level background security checks to get through the royal gates. Good job Laino was so well connected and he pulled it off.
Travelodge hotels have dealt with many oddball requests over the years. These include permission to bring along a 6ft pet monitor lizard, a businessman requesting to rehearse his board presentation speech, in Mandarin, to the hotel staff and a plea from a guest to borrow the hotel manager’s suit for the morning because he had a job interview. Other peculiar questions include ‘Can you store my lobster in the freezer?’, and ‘Can you tell me how many stars are in the sky tonight?’
Staff at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Arizona, helped a guest track down an unusual souvenir. He wanted not one, but two camels. The concierge was new to the job and struggling to stifle her giggles set about helping the guest’s dromedary discovery. Turns out that after finding the camels, making a dealer a good offer, the guest pulled out of the exchange because he wanted a two-humped Bactrian breed and not a one-humped dromedary.
On the last day of his New Delhi vacation Micato Safaris suddenly decided he wanted to give his 12-year-old son an authentic rickshaw so enlisted tour guide Hem Singh for the Taj Mahal hotel. Picking out the perfect rickshaw he offered the driver $300 and the deal was done. But the vehicle had to be dismantled piece by piece, cleaned, packed and rushed to the airport before Safaris departed. I hope his son was grateful!
Funny right? These hilarious demands are humorous but must have been a real nightmare for hotel workers to pull off. If you’d like to steer clear of these kinds of crazy requests and the people who make them consider apartment rentals. There are loads of well-priced holiday accommodations in Los Angeles where you’re guaranteed great lodgings and not a crazy hotel request in sight!
Dubbed the ‘City of Angels’, Los Angeles is one of the most vibrant, exciting metropolitan places on the planet living up to its reputation as south California’s go-to destination.
As the United States second largest city after New York, L.A. is bustling with neighbourhoods, so choosing where to stay can cause a dilemma. Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular districts to give you an idea of what goes on where.
Whether you want to go celebrity spotting, take the kids to Disneyland, stroll in the Hollywood Hills or take in the sights of Venice Beach, L.A. is a must-see holiday hotspot on America’s west coast with plenty of hotels and luxury accommodation.
This high-class exclusive city is home to Rodeo Drive shopping district with some of the most expensive labels and luxury goods on the market so staying in this part of town comes with a designer price tag. With expense comes a distinctive location oozing luxury, fashion, glamour and this shines through in the plush hotels lining the streets alongside the likes of Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Cartier.
Beverly Hills is like a who’s who of the movie industry and is home to the four-acre estate formerly owned by Walt Disney. Jennifer Aniston and Bruce Willis also have properties there, and Taylor Swift recently invited fans to come over to her place to check out her new album.
Beverly Hills is all about affluence – that’s for sure.
Although there are a few budget options, most of the holiday accommodation in Beverly Hills is a little more premium priced but well worth it to stay in such a sophisticated area.
Often referred to as ‘tinsel town’, Hollywood is crammed with iconic images from the big screen and is buzzing with life, day and night. Definitely a place for those who love all things entertainment, especially the infamous Hollywood Walk of Fame with 15 blocks of sidewalk dedicated to stars past and present including fictional characters like Mickey Mouse, Kermit the Frog and Shrek.
The landmark Hollywood sign sits high in the hills and is a perfect vantage point for great panoramic views. Millions of holidaymakers come here for a must-have photograph of what is probably the most famous sign in the history of signs! It’s where struggling actress Peg Entwistle jumped off the letter ‘H’ to her death way back in 1932.
Staying in Hollywood guarantees close proximity to tonnes of restaurants, bars and entertainment venues guaranteed to keep holidaymakers buzzing. It’s probably not the best choice for peace and quiet but for party-people in search of glitz, it’s a must.
There are plenty of well-priced holiday accommodations available in the Hollywood area close to the excitement and buzz of one of most talked about neighbourhoods in the U.S. It’s a great choice for visitors to stay in the midst of all the action and to get around easily.
Sunset Strip goes through WeHo (as it’s known locally) and is loaded with typical American-style billboards advertising concerts from music legends, the latest movies and TV shows.
This neighbourhood is crammed with nightclubs and rock venues including The Viper Room, Troubadour and The Roxy where over the years the likes of Genesis, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Bob Marley have graced the stage.
There are quieter areas to stay away from the main strip but this place is pretty full-on with plenty to do and an all-American atmosphere to soak up.
Known for its liberal attitude, WeHo is a LGBT capital of L.A. and was the first area in southern California to relax cannabis laws and introduce medical marijuana use.
West Hollywood has a large selection of holiday accommodations to enhance your stay and give a taste of luxury living in a comfortable space within a vibrant neighbourhood.
In recent decades Downtown has gone through a renaissance period of development to become the business district of L.A. as well as a paradise for fashionistas, lovers of the theater, cinema and good quality restaurants and eateries.
It has a rundown ‘Skid Row’ area that holidaymakers may want to avoid as well as other more residential regions. However, with plenty of accommodations directly in Downtown this will not be a problem. So be advised to stay away from this area and instead choose from Downtown’s array of well-priced holiday rentals close to major attractions.
One of the major landmarks and architectural icons is the Walt Disney Concert Hall which has featured in several TV shows and movies and is where the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra is based.
Known for its fine-dining restaurants and high-end shopping of Montana Avenue and Third Street, Westside as a whole is an expensive and cultural region where you’ll find the $1.3 billion Getty Center with its collection of museums, gardens and cable car service taking visitors to the top of the hill offering stunning views over L.A.
This is a place for discerning travellers looking for unique boutiques, cool cafés and clothing stores. Westside is also where foodies will find The Original Farmers’ Market, considered one of L.A.’s oldest institutions, and packed with gastronomic delicacies and fresh organic produce.
Holiday accommodation in Westside is abundant with a range of chic and sophisticated places to choose from whether you’re on a budget or looking for high- end rentals.
Due to its location on the sunny west coast, L.A. enjoys a subtropical Mediterranean-style climate with warm days and balmy nights for much of the year – perfect for beach lovers.
Stroll along Venice Beach Boardwalk to take in the notorious ‘muscle beach’, street artists and bohemian atmosphere and head over to Santa Monica Pier for a ride on the ferris wheel.
The beaches are great for watersports, ideal to unwind, soak up the sunshine and offer a taste of typical Californian beach lifestyle – and it’s where much of TV classic Baywatch was filmed.
Close to the beaches you’ll find loads of holiday rentals offering the perfect place to explore the sunshine coast and be your ideal base for an exciting L.A. trip.
The Miracle Mile neighborhood was originally built as a car friendly shopping district with lots of shopping malls, restaurants and entertainment. The scenery had changed in the last two decades and the malls have been overtaken by museums. LACMA and the Peterson Automotive Museum is just to name a few. The one mile stretch of this affluent neighborhood on Wilshire Boulevard is called the Museum Row. Another attraction is the La Brea Tar Pits. This park is used to be home for dinosaurs and many other pre-historic creatures and is an active archeological site with new bones being excavated daily. A bit north of Wilshire on LaBrea one can find a number of elegant and chic restaurants and furniture shops. Some furniture shops are actually inside a restaurant. The Grove is probably the center of the Miracle Mile neighbourhood. This charming open air mall looks more like a picturesque Italian village than an American mall. It’s singing water fountain was designed by the same guys who brought you the fountain at the Bellagio in Vegas.
The Miracle Mile neighborhood is strategically positioned in the actual center of Los Angeles. It’s about the same distance from Downtown L.A., Santa Monica and Burbank. For a tourist this is probably the best location in Los Angeles to stay at and to explore the many many faces of Los Angeles.
Regardless of the neighbourhood you go for, staying in L.A.’s finest places offers many options depending on your needs and budget. With a range of cost-effective holiday accommodations in Los Angeles, visitors can choose from lower end rentals to higher priced luxurious lodgings as there is something for everyone.
“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” – Martha Graham
Martha Graham lived to be 96 and was known as “the Picasso of dance”, liberating the genre from traditional stereotypical moves and embracing new styles.
These days Los Angeles is THE place for Hip Hop but its roots can be traced back to the East coast of the USA. It developed as street dance from the fusion of several artistic forms in the New York of the 70’s and 80’s. Starting in South Bronx it then spread among mainly black Americans of Caribbean descent to other areas such as Harlem. Although almost always associated only with rap music it also encompasses other musical, physical and visual elements namely: DJing or turntablism, MCing, breakdancing and graffiti art.
Origin of the name. The name combines two African American slang words, “hip”, known to have been used since the late nineteenth century to mean “aware” or “in the know” and “hop” for dance. The term is credited to Keith “Cowboy” Wiggins, a member of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, who was teasing a friend who had joined the army by scat singing the words “hip/hop/hip/hop”, sounding like marching soldiers.
Rap & Dance. The history of rapping, an integral part of the Hip Hop tradition, is thought to go back centuries to west Africa where certain people called griots were verbal historians, storytellers, praise singers, poets and/or musicians.
Hip Hop moves are at the same time robotic, fluid, fast, athletic and inventive – best to take a look!
Musical roots. Hip Hop was the first type of music to be based on sampling, where a section of a recording is taken from different sources e.g. two vinyl turntables and combined with an audio mixer. This art of updating classic styles into a modern remix is called “flipping” and follows a progression of previous American music styles from blues, jazz, rock and roll. It has evolved to include electronic music, elements of salsa, soul, funk and continues to influence contemporary R&B and indie rock. Catch up on the latest news at www.hiphopdx.com.
Hip Hop in LA. During the 80’s Hip Hop spread to different regions of America and the West Coast developed its own style. Initially it was associated with a gang subculture and was known as Gangster Rap. The sometimes strong, aggressive language was controversial and for a while was banned on the radio but it gradually became more mainstream and accepted by a wider audience.
Brotherhood at the 2014 HHI World Finals (Adult Gold Medalist)
In the spotlight. One of the most influential people who have helped to popularise the Hip Hop dance scene is Tricia Miranda. From being a child star she went on to become a dance teacher at 17, developed her own hip hop class two years later and moved to LA in 2001. As a dancer and choreographer she worked with no lesser names than Beyonce, Britney Spears, JLo, Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, Destiny’s Child, JLo, Prince, Jay Z, Usher, and Jamie Foxx to name but a few.
Recently, one of her recent recordings of a dance class to Nicky Minaj´s song, Anaconda at Millenium Dance Complex, took off and became a viral success. Radio stations and online newspapers in LA began to share the clip and talk about the amazing dancers, who ´slay´ the choreography and apparently perform even better than Nicki Minaj herself. See why:
Nicki Minaj – Anaconda – Choreography by Tricia Miranda
Now if you’re in the mood to shake it off back home, WilldaBeast Adams, who worked for artists like Usher, The Black Eyed Peas and Jason Derulo, offers some pretty cool and easy to follow dance tutorials on Youtube. Check out the crazy choreography in the upper video and learn the moves from the tutorial! Here´s one of our favorites to Beyonce´s song Upgrade U:
Choreo Beyonce – Upgrade U | WilldaBeast Adams
Tutorial Beyonce – Upgrade U | WilldaBeast Adams
For more Hip Hop tutorials, dance workouts and tips check out Matt Steffanina and Dana Alexa on Dance Tutorials Live.
It´s your turn. When you come to LA you’ve got to give it a go! Here is a selection of the top 10 studios – of course there are many more around – as you can see Hip Hop is BIG in LA.
Phew! Need somewhere to rest up after all that exertion?
Check out OMG travel for a wide range of accommodation options in and around LA.
Blue skies, tall palm trees, cruising down Beverly Hills Avenue in your convertible; hair tousled, one hand on the wheel, elbow resting lazily, movie-style, on the door, your drop-dead-gorgeous co-star looks lovingly into your eyes and gives you a knee-trembling smile – have you been there? Me too, in my dreams.
Fuelled up by a big stack of pancakes head off downtown to Eagle Rock Boulevard N via the blockbuster store where Jim Carey gets a call. The movie follows his quest to become the “Yes Man”, or not, and get to grips with the concept of “Yes being the new No” – well, it is a comedy…
At your peril take some driving tips from Bob Hoskins and see the place where Roger Rabbit’s car chase ended on the Hyperion Avenue bridge over the Los Angeles River.
No surprise that films aren’t always what they seem – our next location is from Pearl Harbour and is supposed to be a New York station in 1941, but was a revamped version of L.A.’s Union Station on 800 N. Alameda Street. You can wander through the impressive art deco concourse and imagine ‘Rafe’ (Ben Affleck) getting the train to join the Eagle Squadron in England while ‘Evelyn’ (Kate Beckinsale) desperately searches for him – tantalisingly he sees her from the train as it pulls out of the station – wouldn’t happen now with mobile phones!
This next clip from the film is a chilling reminder of why the USA got drawn into world War II:
Going south you can stop off in the Grand Park and see the fountain from Pretty Woman – I defy you not to start humming the song – da da dada da da da da (sorry!)
Don’t you ever wonder why such a beautiful a woman was in that line of “work” anyway? Film is all about fantasy…
Now a quick hop to “New York” and Godzilla via the 1928 deco entrance and lobby of the Title Insurance Company Building in 433 South Spring Street, which also doubled as the TV station where Audrey worked for devious boss, Caiman. Incidentally it was also used as the deco lobby in Manhattan Hotel in Pearl Harbour – you can’t get away from that one here… Relive another moment on the steps of the “hospital” which is the eastern entrance to the Natural History Museum on Exposition Boulevard photo: wikipedia / David . Unfortunately Rafe’s romantic gesture backfires as he is whacked on his already bruised nose by a champagne cork.
If that’s all rather girly and romantic it’s time to get a bit more gritty and continue on to Wilmington to see the grim Victorian house in “Paper Street” where Brad Pitt and Ed Norton lived and trained the Fight Club members; it’s not far from Lou’s Tavern, at 240 N. Neptune Ave. (the southeast corner of Neptune Avenue & C Street). The tale of a disillusioned insomniac office worker and bare knuckle fighting is not everyone’s idea of entertainment so the film was not a huge box office success but later became a cult movie after the DVD release.
If you have got a strong stomach here is a fight scene – “In the end you’ll thank me”….
Time is getting on but one last location for today is from the 2010 science fiction heist film, Inception, where the van falls from the Commodore Schuyler F. Heim lift bridge. The plot is somewhat confusing and deals with the infiltration of the subconscious but this scene is pretty self explanatory.
On the way home to put your feet up in your real life comfy accommodation in Los Angeles you can take in the sunset from the Pacific Highway, but I hope you don’t run into this Fast and Furious lot – don’t try this at home!
Of course you can make your own favorite movie itinerary by clicking on the names on our map. Have a good day!
“That’s all folks!”
Overheard in the “Last Cheap Beer Bar” before Alicante airport
Well is it? got any scruples?
Darrell: Yer what?
Kev: Scruples mate? My wife says I ain’t got none.
Darrell: That like a ringpull with a screw?
Kev: Naw, she says it’s like when you nick stuff from the hotel and don’t give a monkeys.
Darrell: Ah, no worries mate, fair game init?
According to surveys more than 60% of us have been known to “liberate” certain items from hotels. Hands up who has a bathroom cupboard full of those irresistibly pocketable little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and the like. Trouble is, unless you are in a 7 star hotel, chances are it is pretty inexpensive stuff full of dubious chemicals that you wouldn’t normally touch with a barge pole – BUT – you never know it might come in handy and you can reuse those dear little bottles next time you have hand luggage only and need an army of small containers.
As they are meant for the customer it’s not really a crime to take toiletries or the odd biro or envelope with a logo, but other items? Hotel managers say that whatever isn’t cemented to the floor can walk out of the rooms: towels, bed linen, pillows, loo rolls, coathangers, pictures, dressing gowns, batteries, plugs, sockets etc. – yes, people go armed with screw drivers and spanners. I recently went to a refurbished rural B&B in France and the owners said that an expensive basin plug had gone walkabout the week before – there’s no way it could have been done without tools – a light fingered plumber on holiday perhaps?
Some people consider they are justified in stealing things – they feel they have earned a few freebies. Follow the story of Friends, Ross and Chandler, when their booking mix-up in a Vermont hotel causes them to “win back” some of the money they have spent. Ross is determined to “load up on the amenities…and make his money back in no time!”.
However, even Ross has some scruples “you have to find the line between stealing and taking what what the hotel owes you …The salt shaker is off limits but the salt…”
So, clearly there are some items that are fair game but others that are a no-no. Some hotels have resorted to electronically chipping some of their more expensive portable items so if that luxurious fluffy dressing gown is missing when you checkout you may well find it on your credit card bill the end of the month. Another way hotels try to get round the problem is to offer bespoke items for sale at the gift shop, but doesn’t that only heighten the pleasure of trying to get away with secreting a towel away in your luggage? Be careful though:
Enough said, pocket it at your peril!
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