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Orbitz: Get a Room, already!

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Flamingo's GO Junior Suite: Possibly my favorite room in all of Vegas.

In Vegas it’s always hard to separate the hope and the hype. Here are links to my Orbitz Vegas blogs discussing many of the hotels I’ve stayed in on (and off) the Strip:  Top Ten Standard Stays … my favorite Hot Habitats and Sumptuous SuitesWhere The Celebs Stay… Top Ten Off-Strip Stays…surprising Family-friendly casino-resorts… The new Hard Rock Hotel towers … Concierge Level at the Palazzo… impressive Casino-Free Destination Resortsthe wonder-filled Wynn EncoreMonte Carlo Mk IIHow Flamingo Created The Coolest Rooms in Vegas… and a preview of the long awaited City Center!

A Music Lover’s Guide To Memphis

With a couple rare blues 78s discovery!

Celebrating the discovery of some rare blues 78s!

There’s something about the spirit of Memphis that supercedes its obvious Mississippi river town charms. Here’s a fun guide-yourself tour to Memphis, Tennessee I did for the Rhino Records website. And, for another perspective, an audio podcast interview I did there with dearly departed record producer and legendary session keyboard player Jim Dickinson.


Visiting Wayne’s Manor

WAYNE NEWTON-NOV-VEGWayne Newton, the one and only Mr. Las Vegas, just announced his return to a regular gig on the Strip, which reminded me of this feature I did visiting his illustrious home Casa De Shenandoah. I have seen many estates, but this was certainly one of the most reflective of its owner’s personality. Where else could you see a Rembrandt, a letter from Sinatra and Bill Harrah’s Rolls Royce? Great pics by Francis George as well…

Somerville Summit

0918090943aRed Carpet glamour may focus on “what are you wearing?” but let’s be frank: if you haven’t got it going on above the neck, what’s below won’t matter. So facial guru Kate Somerville made use of the Emmys moment to gather together a small dream team of aesthetic pros in her “White Room” medi-spa, reminding Hollywood that you can’t fake the fundamentals. Oh, and to gift-suite some nice products to celebs and their happy media tagalongs. Denise Richards, Sal Masekela, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), Rachel Harris (The Hangover) and Aaron Stanton (Mad Men) were among the celeb turn out yesterday, and Marla Sokoloff wandered in while I was there, just after todays press presentation with Kate, Bare Escentuals CEO Leslie Blodgett, and Alexandre Chouery, the official hairdresser for the royal Saudi family, and in his spare time, one of Frederic Fekkai’s Creative Directors (with the French accent to prove it). All three stressed the importance of customer care in all service elements and proven results for products as the keys to their success. In other words, even at luxury levels, it’s time to break away from b.s.

With Kate Somerville

With Kate Somerville

Goodies and gimmies included a KS Ageless Collection package (her Quench, Deep Tissue Repair, Total Vitamin and Line Release serums in a glam little sliver kit case)…some baobab and olive oil-based products from Fekkai’s new line…a bare escentuals BareMinerals sampler…Clarisonic’s new travel-sized skin care brush…GoSmile’s pocket-packable flavored tooth whitener vials…Ajne natural-based perfume…and one of Dayna Decker’s very fancy candles–sorry, “chandels” (I dropped a suggestion that they adapt their cool oil lamp for a channukah menorah).

I even got a (near-perfect) manicure from Yuka Nishizawa of Calgel, a South African company–apparently huge in Japan–that does long-lasting gel-based nail art. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take advantage of the Fashion Forms lingerie table (note to self: bring lingerie wearer along next time) or the Michael Greene pearls the size of gumballs (note to self: bring along filthy rich lingerie wearer next time) and my hands were too full to take a Sprinkles cupcake!(clearly I have my priorities upside down)

Also notable:

Fekkai just moved his salon out of Beverly Hills to the less showy, more boutiquey Melrose Place (near Somerville).

Somerville has a big book coming in March 2010, and hopefully before that, the long awaited debut of her take-home light therapy device…

UPDATE: Debra Messing, Lauren Conrad, Debi Mazar (Entourage, Dancing with the Stars), Lisa Rinna, Sally Pressman (Army Wives), Judy Greer (Love Happens), and Michaela Watkins (SNL) also showed up after me on Friday. Guess I shoulda loitered more… And then on Saturday, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Felicity Huffman, Bryan Batt, Paris Hilton, Kate Walsh, Jordana Brewster, Perrey Reeves, Olivia Wilde, and Rachel Boston came by for freebies. Paris apparently made lunch of it, when she found out M Cafe was catering…