Universal City Travel Guide
Steven Tyler was a counselor at the 2009 Rock 'n' Roll Camp.
You can reenact School of Rock, but instead of ungrateful 10-year-olds rocking out, it's you, and instead of Jack Black playing teacher, you'll be trained by the likes of Sammy Hagar. Get ready to jam at Rock n Roll Fantasy Camp at the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City.
From May 10 to 15, you'll head to camp and learn from counselors like Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers/Chickenfoot, Duff McKagan of Velvet Revolver/Guns n Roses, and Phil Collen of Def Leppard. Camp will culminate in a live performance at the House of Blues.
If you're headed to Hollywood to spend the day (or two or three) at the Universal Studios Themepark, then your closet bet for lodgings is the Sheraton Universal Hotel. While the hotel looks more office tower than resort, the interiors have gotten a "Hollywood Regency" upgrade worth about $25 million.
To celebrate the new look, its 40th anniversary and any sort of celeb connection they can ("Jennifer Aniston once worked near here!"), the hotel is offering guests a Ruby Anniversary Package that includes an executive suite with a living area and a view of the Hollywood Hills, a six-course dinner for two with wine pairings in the re-launched Californias Restaurant and an in-room dessert of chocolate truffles accompanied by Dow Late Bottled Vintage ruby port. That's actually not so bad if you and your partner love Universal Studios as much as you love each other.
And the prices are do-able too at $349 a night. If you want to celebrate a special occasion, throw in some crystal ruby dangle earrings from Beverly Hills jeweler Geary's for a total cost of $844. Use code 40THANIV to book. Regular rooms start at around $139. There will also be a $16 self-parking fee.
We are suckers for a room with a killer view. We find that we are even more likely to forgive some minor hotel inconveniences if we can stare out the window at something pretty--yeah we are that shallow. Let's help out our fellow hotel mavens by uploading rooms with killer views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. We will feature our favorites in this space from time to time. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number of the hot view.
While some of us here at HC live in the LA area full-time and may be totally over sweeping views of the area, well -- some of us are East Coasters who get excited about these sorts of things.
This panoramic view of the LA area comes to us from the 20th floor of the Hilton Los Angeles, Universal City and it would knock (some of) us on our butts if this was the view from our guestroom.
Located at the main entrance to Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk, the hotel (which, admittedly, may be a touristy fanny-pack hotspot) has recently-renovated rooms and will offer up the standard, consistent Hilton amenities that will do just fine for all your LA sightseeing needs.
Also: fun fact! In November 2007, Michael Phelps kicked off the "Hilton Swim to Beijing Relay" here at this very hotel before gong onto five other cities. So if basking in glorious views are nothing special to you, then at least get in the pool and bask in glorious Michael Phelps-ness.
And maybe just ignore that ugly building on the left there.
[Photo: Nele en Jan]