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7 Reasons Why I Love The Magic Castle Hotel

 7 Reasons Why I Love The Magic Castle Hotel

The World Famous Hollywood Magic Castle is a must-visit for a trip to Hollywood… if you can find a way to get in to this exclusive night spot. Fortunately, I found a way – The Magic Castle Hotel*!

And that’s just one of the reasons why this hotel was so great. But there are many others.

1. Entry into The Magic Castle

 7 Reasons Why I Love The Magic Castle Hotel

Clearly, the top reason why I love the Magic Castle Hotel is because you can gain entry into it’s namesake club. If you’re not a member, or know a member, there’s no other way to gain entry, period! You’ll still need to pay a cover and dine in the restaurant, but you’re in! You can learn more about The Magic Castle Club by reading about my prior visit.

Vibrant Colors at the Saguaro Palm Springs Hotel: A Photo Essay

 Vibrant Colors at the Saguaro Palm Springs Hotel: A Photo Essay

I’m not one to usually indulge in nice hotels, but on a trip to Palm Springs, it’s almost a necessary part of the experience. And I’m awfully glad to have discovered The Saguaro in Palm Springs*.

 Vibrant Colors at the Saguaro Palm Springs Hotel: A Photo Essay


The first thing you’ll notice when you step onto the property is the vibrant colors. From the lobby decor, balcony walls and interior rooms, a palette of bold hues infuses you with energy.

 Vibrant Colors at the Saguaro Palm Springs Hotel: A Photo Essay

Every corner you turn is another color from the rainbow.

 Vibrant Colors at the Saguaro Palm Springs Hotel: A Photo Essay

The hotel was formally a Holiday Inn, but you’d never know it. New carpeting, paint and furniture turn a usually drab room into a hip, crisp retreat.

Animals from the Mabula Private Game Lodge in South Africa

 Animals from the Mabula Private Game Lodge in South Africa

Today’s post includes photos from the Mabula Private Game Lodge. Just over 2 hours from Johannesburg, Mabula offers the convenience of a short drive from the city, but the immersion in an expansive animal reserve that includes the Big Five!

 Animals from the Mabula Private Game Lodge in South Africa

A lone giraffe at dusk. They are tall creatures for sure!

 Animals from the Mabula Private Game Lodge in South Africa

The thickness of the elephant’s skin helps protect it from the plentiful thorn bushes in the reserve.

 Animals from the Mabula Private Game Lodge in South Africa

Sure the big animals often get all the attention, but South Africa has some pretty awesome birds too – including this hornbill.

How 3 Weeks Sleeping in Hostels Changed My Opinion (For the Better)

 How 3 Weeks Sleeping in Hostels Changed My Opinion (For the Better)

I’ve had my fair share of luxury accommodations while traveling. There was the Palace of the Lost City (where I toured Oprah’s Suite), the Ivory Tree Game Lodge in South Africa, the Dusit D2 in Thailand and of course, the Fontainebleau in Miami where I pretended I was a rock star. And let me tell you, when you taste the golden egg, it’s tough to return back to the “real world”. But with Australia being so f@#%!n’ expensive, economy in accommodations was necessary for the 3-week trip I took. And that meant… hostels.

Guest Houses in South Africa; The Way to Stay

 Guest Houses in South Africa; The Way to Stay

If you only travel in the United States, chances are you stay at hotels. But if you’re traveling in South Africa (or anywhere for that matter), Guest Houses and Bed & Breakfasts are excellent alternatives. Here’s why:

Warm People

While traveling through South Africa, I stayed at many guesthouses. In Durban, it was the Burns Bed & Breakfast (shown above). I’ll never forget how welcoming Mike and Shelley Burns were during my stay. They greeted me on arrival, personally escorted me to my room and made me breakfast every morning.

Why Craigslist is a Great Resource to Find a Place to Stay When Traveling

 Why Craigslist is a Great Resource to Find a Place to Stay When Traveling

I’ve had my fair share of “interesting” hotel accommodations. There was the time baboons entered the room unexpectedly, when I pretended to be a rock star in Miami, what I did when I had a five-star lobby to myself and when I was the only person staying at the hotel.  And while hotels are easy to book, somewhat predictable and generally comfortable, renting an apartment is a worthwhile endeavor you seek out on your next adventure – where ever it may be. And for that, I use Craigslist.

Travel Tip: Check the Shower When You First Check-In

 Travel Tip: Check the Shower When You First Check In

Showers shouldn’t come with instructions. But in many of the hotels I’ve stayed in, I’ve had trouble figuring them out. Similarly, the worst feeling at a hotel (aside from being the only one there) is stepping into the shower in the morning and not having any hot water.

 Travel Tip: Check the Shower When You First Check In

But dear adventurers, there is a simple solution. When you first arrive in your hotel in the afternoon, check your shower. Turn it on, figure out the knobs, buttons and levers. Make sure the water runs hot and cold and it drains appropriately. Count your towels.

The Mac King Comedy Magic Show in Las Vegas; Why You Should See it Now

Hey Adventurers,

Here’s a fun adventureswithben fact… In a prior life, I was a magician. Throughout high school and college I performed magic tricks at birthday parties, city-wide festivals, restaurants and more. See the photo below of Magic Ben.

 The Mac King Comedy Magic Show in Las Vegas; Why You Should See it Now
Magic Ben Spring 2000

And while it’s been almost a decade since the last time I stepped onstage, I still love the art. Anytime I have a chance to catch a magic show, I’m there. And there’s no better place to catch a magic show than Las Vegas. David Copperfield, Penn & Teller and Criss Angel are the big headliners at night, but there’s another act you may not have heard of that you should definitely add to your show list – Mac King.