Category Archives: Gay Hotels

Marriott #LoveTravels Campaign

 

LoveTravels-family-marriott hotels gay

Marriott International Celebrates Inclusion with Powerful LGBT Portraits by Noted Photographer Braden Summers

 Marriott International today launches #LoveTravels, a multicultural campaign that conveys the company’s commitment to make everyone feel comfortable being who they are, LGBT  and  GAY, everywhere they travel. To bring #LoveTravels to life, Marriott has partnered with photographer Braden Summers to share exclusive and powerful images celebrating inclusion as part of its new Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) social media and marketing campaign. Summers’ unique ability to capture warmth and emotion perfectly communicates the company’s welcoming approach to hospitality.

Gay travel Guide to Havana Cuba

gay cuba havana

A new revolution has quietly been  brewing in Havana, Cuba which could make it the next great gay travel destination.

The gay scene in Havana is beginning to sizzle after years of repression. Raul Castro’s daughter, Mariela, has even participated in a gay rights march and Brokeback Mountain has been seen on government television.

While gay life is still largely underground, one of the most amazing scenes occurs every night in Havana starting at about 11:00 pm where La Rampa Street and the Malecon, an ocean front walk, intersect. On weekends you’ll see hundreds of guys strolling, chatting, and playing guitars all night until the sun rises. Talk to the right people and you’ll get an invitation to one of the private home parties that pop up in different locations throughout the week.

Travel blogger, Ryan C Haynes, offers his advice on staying safe and having fun in the Cuban capital’s gay scene….

There are certainly areas in the Vedado area (the downtown and a vibrant neighborhood in the city of Havana, Cuba)  where you will find a thriving gay community. Calle 23 is the centre of gay life, near the Cine Yara (cinema). This street is frequented by gay people night and day – but don’t expect it to be anything like major cosmopolitan cities.

The one gay venue on this street is more like a canteen than a party establishment, though get talking to one of the locals and they will invite you to the official gay party that evening. If you want to join in the official parties you need to put faith and trust in the local Cubans who will order a taxi and take you to the chosen event. However be aware that you will most likely be expected to pay the taxi fair, entrance fee and possibly a drink for the guideRead More  Here.

havana-cuba gay LGBT

HAVANA  CUBA – Before the Communist revolution, Havana was one of the vacation hot-spots of the Caribbean, and since Cuba reopened to tourism in the 1990s, it has become a popular destination once again.

The capital of Cuba, Havana is the largest city in the Caribbean, and one of the most culturally rich urban centres in the world. The city’s appreciation of its glorious colonial past is on display at a dizzying array of castles, cathedrals, mansions and museums. The historic neighborhood of Vieja Habana (Old Havana) is a fascinating UNESCO World Heritage site, with over 900 landmarks, including the Presidential Palace and Cathedral Square.

Plaza Vieja of Havana cuba

 

IN the Plaza Vieja of Havana, is a quaint independent gay friendly apartment for rent! Bohemia Boutique Apartment.

It has been listed by the Guardian as one of the top 10 places to stay in Havana.  The apartment is fully furbished, plenty of light and very well ventilated.

1 living room with kitchenette, 2 balconies (facing the Patio of the Palace), 1 spacious bedroom with air conditioning, 1 bathroom.
Daily rent 80 CUC (66 EUR or 80 USD)   SEE MORE   HERE

PLUS  the owners have just opened CAFE BOHEMIA  in the same building.

gay-apartments-vacation-havana-cuba

On the renovated and luminous Plaza Vieja in Old Havana, Café Bohemia was recently opened in loving memory of Cuban journalist Ricardo Sáenz, member of the prestigious group that founded Prensa Latina, and which included Jorge Ricardo Massetti, Gabriel García Márquez and other icons of journalism in Latin America.

gay-cafe-bohemia-cuba-havana

Thanks to its location in the cool inner courtyard of the colonial building, Café Bohemia is perfect for taking a break from long walks and seeking shelter from the stifling Cuban heat as you explore the Havana’s Historical Center.

Entering the cool inner courtyard where Café Bohemia has set up shop you feel your temperature gauge go down a few notches. More than an escape hatch from Cuba’s sometime stifling heat this is meant to have a Bohemian vibe. A meeting place for Cuban musicians, singer-songwriters, authors and journalists, despite its touristy locale.  READ MORE.

Best Hotels in Chicago Boystown Area

best hotels boystown chicago

Summer is just around the corner! (I think!)  and  summer in Chicago is amazing!

You have got IML and the GRABBY  AWARDS  in May over Memorial Day weekend

PRIDEFEST  will happen   June  22nd  &  23rd, 2014

Pride Day   is  June 29th, 2014

North Halsted Market Days will be August 9th and 10th, 2014

OUT IN THE PARK at Six Flags  will be  September 13th, 2014

SO BOOK YOUR ROOM NOW stay right in Boystown!

Majestic_Sunroom_King_Suite

 BroughtonHotels recently completed renovations on  three historic Chicago boutique hotels, The Majestic Hotel (528 West Brompton), The Willows Hotel (555 West Surf), and City Suites Chicago (933 West Belmont). All have undergone stunning top-to-bottom transformations.

Originally built in the 1920s in Chicago’s Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods, each property features a renewed grandeur that includes sophisticated new guestroom and lobby furnishings, enhanced lighting, window treatments, linens, carpeting and beautiful custom artwork throughout. iHome docks are now in all guestrooms, and fiber optic internet has been installed in every hotel. California-based design firm AF Canta created the concept for the renovation.

“We are thrilled to introduce a stunning renovation that retains the charm that travelers have embraced at broughtonHotels. We look forward to welcoming guests to ‘live like a local’ and experience a stay in the unique neighborhood settings offered at these three special Chicago properties,” says CEO Larry Broughton.

Willows_Double Queen

The 52-room Majestic Hotel offers the refined tranquility of an old-world English country estate in the midst of the bustling East Lakeview neighborhood. Tucked amidst brownstones in a quiet upscale residential area one block from Lake Michigan, The Majestic Hotel is walking distance to Wrigley Field, minutes from downtown and steps from the eclectic attractions on Broadway, Halsted and Clark Streets. The elegant, re-designed lobby features sparkling Art Deco crystal chandeliers, comfortable furnishings, a wall-length vintage photograph of Wrigley Field on stretched canvas, and an expansive fireplace. The hotel’s guestrooms and suites now feature a color scheme with soothing neutral tones, luxurious new linens and window coverings, soft velvet throws, with plush new carpeting and tasteful wooden furniture. A renovated meetings and event space that can accommodate up to 25 guests provides the perfect setting for showers, parties and small business meetings.

The 55-room Willows Hotel, a storied landmark building that was a regular haunt of Al Capone, is a regal Parisian-inspired gem in the Lincoln Park area. Steps from the shops and restaurants on Clark and Diversey, and only two blocks from Lake Michigan, the Willows Hotel offers an enchanting retreat surrounded by stately Victorian greystone buildings. The highlight of the redesigned lobby is an exquisite fireplace, surrounded by communal gathering tables, rustic French country light fixtures and marble flooring. The redecorated guestrooms and suites include new furniture, carpeting, bed linens, and walls painted in a calming gray hue. The classic décor provides guests with a refined setting for business and leisure travel in one of Chicago’s most desirable neighborhoods.

Willows_Lobby

The 45-room City Suites Chicago is an oasis of comfortable yet refined charm on Belmont Avenue near the nightlife, theaters and restaurants in the Boystown and Wrigleyville areas of Lakeview. The serene lobby is highlighted by neutral décor, a corridor lined with natural wood beams, an expansive fireplace and striking black and white photography. The tastefully redecorated guestrooms and suites offer the ambiance of a hip Chicago apartment and feature chic mid-Century modern touches with stunning light fixtures, black and white linens, new furniture and carpeting. City Suites Chicago is a two-minute walk to the Brown, Purple and Red Lines at the Belmont CTA stop, allowing guests convenient access to all of the attractions in Chicago.

 Book now and get the exclusive BGC 20% off rate!

Majestic Hotel

City Suites Hotel

Willows Hotel –

 

About The Majestic Hotel, The Willows and City Suites Chicago

Located in Chicago’s vibrant Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods, The Majestic Hotel (528 West Brompton), The Willows Hotel (555 West Surf), and City Suites Chicago (933 W Belmont) offer guests luxurious comfort, timeless elegance and classic sophistication with first-class personalized service and amenities. Each broughtonHOTELS Chicago property offers a complimentary continental breakfast, 24-hour tea and coffee from local roaster Uncommon Ground, afternoon cookies, free wireless internet access, iHome docks in all guestrooms, luxury robes, and complimentary access to nearby upscale fitness centers.

 

About broughtonHotels
Newport Beach, California-based broughtonHOTELS was founded in January 2001 by Larry Broughton. With nearly twenty hotel properties located throughout California and the Chicago area, and an eye on national expansion, the broughtonHOTELS team specializes in creating boutique hotel experiences with a distinctive point-of-view; putting the guest experience first by developing a warm, inviting atmosphere with service being paramount, and appropriate, for each property. Their portfolio of hotel properties continues to grow with an emphasis on the human component of the hospitality industry and not just the atmosphere and accoutrements of each hotel. To learn more about broughtonHOTELS visit 
www.broughtonHOTELS.com.

Bargain Travel in May to Puerto Vallarta

puerto-vallarta-hotels-gay

Sick of winter? I am!

there is still time to get away!  And did you know?  Prices drop in Puerto Vallarta April 22 – May 31st!  $76-$96   at  hotel Mercurio.  And really discounted June 1 – October 31st!  Just  $65-$82.

 

Hotel Mercurio is  Puerto Vallarta’s highest rated Gay Hotel, based on guest reviews (TripAdvisor.com and www.pinkchoice.com ). Known for outstanding and friendly service; exceptional value; gourmet breakfasts; and unbeatable location in the heart of the Gay neighborhood (Zona Romantica). One and a half blocks from the beach, and just a 5-minute walk to the Gay Beach.

Hotel Mercurio. The ambiance of a Bed & Breakfast, and friendly Mexican service that rivals much more expensive accommodations. Clean & comfortable rooms. Safe and secure. Gay owned, Gay staffed, for Gay & Lesbian guests. Hetero-friendly, too. There is no discrimination at Hotel Mercurio.

Hotel Mercurio. 28 rooms include refrigerators, cable television, air conditioning and ceiling fans, in-room safes, and top quality bedding and linens. Free wireless Internet and office center. Free Beach/Pool towel service. Free international calls. Laundry service available. Knowledgeable concierge. No other hotel in Vallarta offers so much for the price.

Hotel Mercurio

Thanksgiving in Puerto Vallarta


It was Latin Fever…then Vallarta  Fever….now it’s 

THE PVR 2013 Music + Culture Festival!
 It’s still an amazing weekend!  Bigger and better than ever!
 Lots of parties and events and great people watching!


OFFICIAL LINE-UP


November 27th to December 1st 2013

Wednesday, Nov 27 SUNSET KICK-OFF @ Blue Chairs Rooftop 6pm-10pm

Wednesday, Nov 27 HOLA P.V. @ Paco’s Ranch 10pm-6am

Thursday, Nov 28 THANKSGIVING BASH! @ Enter Nightclub with DJ Hector Fonseca 10pm-6am

Friday, Nov 29 RIPTIDE @ Almar Beach Resort with DJ Manny Lehman 9pm-3am

Friday, Nov 29 AFTER-GLO @ Enter Nightclub with DJ Kidd Madonny décor by 3DX 3am-late (afterhours)*

Saturday, Nov 30 SQUIRT PARTY @ Blue Chairs Rooftop with DJ Kidd Madonny 4pm-9pm

Saturday, Nov 30 THE LEGENDARY WHITE PARTY @ OSCAR’s with DJ Isaac Escalante 10pm-3am

Saturday, Nov 30 WHITE-AFTER @ Enter nightclub 3am-late (afterhours)*

Sunday, Dec 1 ADIOS PVR! Party @ CC Slaughters 10pm-5am

* afterhours events are not included in the weekend pass

To purchase PVR 2013 tickets and weekend passes visit www.viptkts.com/pvr-2013 or for more information visit www.willgorges.com. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pvrfestival



This posting sponsored by:  Hotel Mercurio!

“Our management and staff are working hard to make HOTEL MERCURIO
the best vacation value in Puerto Vallarta. This means offering
excellent accommodations services, and “extra” perks to help make your
vacation unforgettable, all at an unbeatable price.

So we work with
local Puerto Vallarta businesses that we think will be of interest to
our guests: restaurants, bars, clubs, shops, etc… to put together
special hotel packages that are more than just your basic hotel stay.”


Gay Travel News: AXEL Closes their Buenos Aires Hotel

 Axel Hotels announces that Axel Hotel Buenos Aires won’t be part of  their portfolio any longer from  October 1st on.

It’s been 6 years plenty of good experiences, adventures and anecdotes
that we will never forget, and we want to thank all of you. This
decision represents a growth opportunity for Axel, as it will help to carry out the expansion plan in short term. Axel Hotel Buenos Aires has meant a very important step for the LGBT community in South America, especially in Argentina

Currently, we have consolidated all together the LGBT segment in the
country, but there’s still a long way to go. We are happy to welcome you
at any of our Axel Hotels in Barcelona, Berlin and
Gran Canaria. 
We also hope to give you
soon good news about new destinations.”

For those who don’t want to miss the opportunity to visit Buenos Aires, from tomorrow, you can book and enjoy the same facilities through www.behotel.com.ar

Palm Springs Leather Pride November 7-11, 2013


Leather Pride will once again be held the
2nd weekend
in November following the Greater
Palm Springs Pride Festival
so that
guests who
wish to may bookend their vacation to
Palm Springs and enjoy BOTH 
celebrations. 

Gay Pride in Maui Hawaii

Why Should You Use a Travel Agent?

 When the internet exploded, many travelers went out on their own, searching, looking for deals and bargains, booking things themselves – I never understood that. Why would I want to spend HOURS doing all the work – when a travel professional probably knows most of the answers!

  They know what deals are happening – they know how you can save money –  there  are over 100  REASONS to use a travel agent –

here are just a few…..

 Convenient One-Stop Shopping
Travel agents can
handle every aspect of your trip from airline tickets to lodging,
ground transportation, activities, tours and more.

 Consumer Advocate
If you should have a problem during your trip, travel agents can act on your behalf to see that proper restitution’s are made.

Expert Guidance
Travel
agents are experts in helping travelers get where they need to go and
in helping to create possibilities most people never would have dreamed
were possible.

 Save Time
Avoid the headaches and let the travel agents call around and do all the time consuming work of planning a complex itinerary. 

 Choice
Travel
agents offer you an array of options and price quotes from a variety of
travel suppliers, giving you the upper hand when making your final
travel decisions. 

Less Stress
Planning a trip
can be stressful. There are so many options and details to worry about.
Travel agents do the work, resulting in less stress for you. 

 Updated Information
Travel
agents are constantly communicating with the travel community, thus
giving you the most up to date info on airlines, hotels, car rental
agencies, travel visas, and other travel services to consider as you
plan your trip. 

Customer Service
Travel
agents offer that “personal touch” to your travel planning experience-
Offering help and advice that a website cannot provide.

 Travel Expertise
Many travel agents are
considered experts in the area you are traveling to and have probably
already been to your chosen destination.

 Best Value for Your Money Spent
Travel
agents can help you to make your dollars go farther while you are
away.  They have access to finding all sorts of deals ranging from
flights to hotels to dinner recommendations. 

 
 Location, Location, Location!!!!
Travel
Specialists can help you to find a place to stay pretty much anywhere
you desire.  If it’s a hotel with a view of the ocean in Hawaii or a
jungle hut in the Nilgiri foothills, a travel agent can help you make it
happen. 

 Knowledge of All the Ins and Outs
Travel specialists can help bring you up to speed on the local laws and regulations of wherever your travels take you. 

 Avoid International Flight Confusion
Travel specialists can help organize those confusing international flights that internet search engines don’t cover.

  Personalized Trips
A travel agent can prepare you a personalized trip based on where you want to go and what you want to do.  

 Where to Go to Avoid Kids
Want
to go somewhere without children running all over the place? A travel
agent can help you to find excellent retreats that are open to adults
only. 

Local Traditions 
Travel
specialists can update you on all local traditions and customs of
places you are visiting, so you make a good impression. For example, in
Japan many people expect their visitors to take their shoes off before
entering their homes. 

 Complicated Itineraries Made Simple
Travel
experts can take care of all the details for those complicated around
the world itineraries and all the extra headaches that go with them,
such as hotel and transportation along the way. 


 Special Deals Worked Out in Advance – Travel
agents may have a relationship with certain tour operators and could be
able to get you a special price that might not otherwise be available. 

 Difference in Days to Save Money
Instead
of playing around with dates on the internet for hours, your travel
agent can advise you on any changes to your travel dates that might save
you hundreds of dollars.

 Staying In-the-Know of Daily Promotions
Travel agents get emails and faxes of daily money saving promotions. 


 They Are Considered Travel Experts and Specialists – Wouldn’t you rather have a travel expert plan your trip rather than a pre-programmed website? 

 It just Makes Sense to Use a Travel Agent. 
 They’re Out There… Use Them
Why do the work if someone else like a travel specialist can.  

 Travel Agents Must Be Doing Something Right.  They Sure Have a lot of Business 

Travel
agents still sell 51 percent of all airline tickets, 87 percent of all
cruises, 81 percent of all tours and packages, 45 percent of all car
rentals and about 47 percent of all hotels. 

 It Makes Traveling Easy
Once you find a good travel agent, your dream vacation is just a phone call away. 

We highly recommend Dave at Donovan Travel!


Donovan Travel
Let Dave help YOU with YOUR next Trip!
1-800-942-1280     E-MAIL THEM



Gay Travel News – Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, and Mexico City CONTINUE TO BE SAFE

 As of this past month, our government here in the US  is still saying, there is no recommendation against travel to Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta, and also Mexico City. THEY ARE SAFE!!! 

 So many people are concerned about travel to Mexico – there is a long document online which details the areas to stay away from, but our favorites Guadalajara,  Puerto Vallarta, and also Mexico City  CONTINUE TO BE SAFE places to visit!!
Sponsored by   HOTEL  MERCURIO  Puerto Vallarta
 

Chicago Boystown Hotels – Boutique Flair and Classic Charm

3 hidden gems in the heart of Boystown, in Chicago!

The Majestic, The Willows, City Suites. Walking distance to the whole gay business district and a short distance to the gay beach, Osterman Hollywood Beach!

Immerse yourself in the eclectic energy of Boystown Chicago. Steps from all three locations – 
the Boystown area is the United States’ first officially recognized gay
village and a cultural center of our nation’s LGBT community. From
boutique shopping to unstoppable after-hours entertainment, Boystown
should definitely be at the top of your ‘Where to go in Chicago’ travel
plans.

Gay and Lesbian visitors will enjoy the trend-setting dining,
tantalizing spas, boutique shopping and bustling nightlife hotspots that
continue to re-invent the neighborhood.

Book now for your fun stay in Chicago!

The Majestic, The Willows, City Suites.   Mention  code  BGC!

Whale Watching in Maui Hawaii

WHALE OF A SEASON!

 

It
doesn’t take much for most people to recognize that Hawai’i is a special
place. But did you know that Hawai’i is home to what is believed to be
the largest seasonal population of humpback whales anywhere in the
world?  

 

Each
winter, from November to May, visitors, residents, and ocean users in
Hawai’i share the ocean with thousands of humpbacks that migrate
thousands of miles from their northern feeding grounds to the warm,
shallow waters of the Hawaiian Islands where they mate, calve, and nurse
their young. For this reason the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale
National Marine Sanctuary (sanctuary) was designated to protect humpback
whales and their habitat in Hawai’i.

 

The
population of humpback whales (central North Pacific stock) that uses
Hawai’i’s waters as their principle wintering ground likely lies between
10,000 and 15,000 animals, although not all of these animals are in
Hawai’i at the same time during the season. The lower number represents a
population estimate determined by a comprehensive research effort done
between 2004 and 2006. The upper number represents a conservative
approximation of growth based on annual rate of increase determined in
2006 and observation of other population indicators indicating that the
population is likely still increasing.

 

During
whale season it is commonplace to see humpback whales resting near shore
as well as performing acrobatic displays that can be seen from miles
away. On one recent peak season day, researchers observed twenty
different mother calf pairs just in Maalaea Bay (the Maui Sunseeker is
located on the coast of this Bay).  

 

There is
no doubt that Hawai’i offers some of the most unique whale watching in
the world and that has led whale watching to become very popular among
both visitors and residents alike. There is nothing like experiencing
the breaches and tail slapping of humpback whales whether from boat or
shore, and, although populations seem to still be increasing the whales
still need our help! They are threatened by injuries caused by
collisions with vessels and by entanglement in fishing gear and marine
debris. 

This season, four whales have been
reported and confirmed entangled and at least ten whales were confirmed
to have been involved in a collision with some type of vessel.  

 

On
Monday, March 11, 2013, the sanctuary led a response effort to free an
entangled male humpback whale and the animal was successfully
disentangled in waters surrounding Maui. The entanglement involved
several wraps of small gauge line around the animal’s tail, which was
already cutting into the animal, making the entanglement life
threatening. In total, over 200 feet of line, and 2 buoys were recovered
from the entangled animal that swam off quickly once cut free. After
some investigation the animal appears to have been entangled in local
fishing gear.  

 

The
objective of the rescue program is not just to free animals but to also
gain information to reduce the future threat of entanglement.  

 

You can
help support this work and other work of the sanctuary by donating to
the Hawai’i National Marine Sanctuary Foundation or by supporting the
National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s Kohola Campaign.

 

 http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/

http://hawaiinmsf.org

 http://www.nmsfocean.org

  

Enjoy the whales and help protect them for future generations!

 

Christine Brammer, Communications Coordinator

 

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

The
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary was designated
by Congress in 1992 to ensure the protection of humpback whales and
their habitat in Hawai’i.  

 

The
sanctuary is managed jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) and the State of Hawaii’s Department of Land and
Natural Resources. The sanctuary focuses their management efforts focus
on education, outreach, research, and resource protection.

 

Visit us in person at:

Humpback Whale Sanctuary 

Kihei, HI 96753

1.800.831.4888

   

SPONSORED   BY   :  MAUI  SUNSEEKER  LGBT RESORT

At the Maui Sunseeker we’ve taken every opportunity to make our studios,
rooms and suites especially inviting and comfortable. Our private
lanais with either garden or ocean views welcome you with true Hawaiian
spirit.  

MAUI  SUNSEEKER.

What is Gay Travel?

What is GAY TRAVEL?  What is a  GAY  HOTEL?  
I attended a meeting last week in Chicago, where the OUT NYC  gay resort hotel presented to community, a proposal to open their 2nd  gay property, right in the heart of Chicago’s gay Boystown. 
I was SHOCKED by all the gay people, who said, “why do we need a gay hotel?  We talk about acceptance and equality, then turn around and want our own hotel.”

I stayed at the AXEL in Barcelona 5 years ago – and thought WHAT A GREAT CONCEPT!
There have been gay resorts forever in Key West, Palm Springs and Provincetown. Now to have a whole gay hotel in major cities, I think, is an excellent idea.  
Maybe it’s a age thing. I’m 50. I grew up in a small town in Michigan. As soon as I was 19, I headed for the big city in search of other gay people. The  Castro in San Francisco, WeHo  in  Los Angeles, Boystown in Chicago, all become thriving LGBT communities.  
While it is true, gay people have spread out into the masses now,  we are not now, nor will we ever be 100%  accepted by EVERYONE. 
A writer recently explained how he finds comfort in the gay community, even though he has many straight friends, “Boystown is my go-to, my very own Cheers, but on a larger scale. I’m
certainly not alone, but as the weather starts to warm and the bar scene
beckons ever more urgently, I keep asking myself: Is this really a good
use of my time in Chicago, a progressive city with so much to do? Do I
need to bust out of Boystown for a change? I’m not so sure.


LGBT people understand what I’m talking about. Boystown is a gay
refuge, rainbow pillars and all. It’s become the place that we, as a
community, have built for ourselves over the years at times when most of
society told us we had no place. And in regards to going out, it’s a
community where many gay folks feel the most safe when tossing back a
few beers.


Sure, society has come a long way in terms of LGBT rights, but things
aren’t really that perfect yet. We, as LGBT people, still have a lot of
things to worry about when thinking of going out for a night on the
town.”

(Please read his full article).

I have many straight friends – but I frequent gay bars more than straight bars. And when I go on vacation, I seek out the gay community in whatever city, what country I am in. It’s HOME. It’s MY  PEOPLE. You  know you are among similar people with similar stories. 
I  LOVE my straight friends – but I do not want to take a straight cruise. While it is true, more and more cities and hotels are now “gay-friendly”, rolling out the pink carpet for our dollars, for me given the choice, I try to support my community 100% whenever I can. 
Thoughts?

THE OUT…Best Gay Hotels in the World

THE OUT NYC is New York City’s first ‘straight-friendly’ urban resort
complex, serving as a travel and entertainment destination for visitors
and locals alike.Since it has opened, ,they are busy ALL THE TIME and get RAVE reviews from guests.
THE OUT NYC’s features include a boutique hotel with 105 modern guest
rooms, 3 outdoor courtyards, The Spa at the OUT NYC, a glass-covered
atrium, jacuzzis, steam room, sauna, 24-hour fitness center, XL
Nightclub, KTCHN Restaurant, and conference facilities available for
special events and catering.
They consistently get
rated 4 and 5 stars by travelers. Excellent, Top Notch, Faultless,
Flawless, Fantastic, Gorgeous….these are just some of the words,
guests have used, to describe THE OUT NYC!
Parkview
Developers, a well known development company in New York are now
looking to expand their luxury brand to Chicago, Washington DC, and
possibly Milan. Making  THE OUT, the best gay hotels in the WORLD!
The Chicago property will be
located between Sidetrack and Mini Bar. And build up into the air,
several floors. 112 rooms of luxury on Halsted!
THE OUT CHICAGO is coming in 2015. Strategically positioned in between
SIDETRACK & Minibar and across the street from Roscoe’s (the 3 top
grossing gay bars in Chicago); this is in the epicenter of Chicago’s
‘gayborhood’ appropriately called “Boystown”. This 4 star Urban Resort
complex will include..
….

– ±112 boutique hotel rooms (including Shared Luxury Accommodations & Extended Stay Suites)
– 1500SF full service Spa, Gym & Wellness Center – “The Spa @ THE OUT”
– 2500SF of Conference/Meeting/Event Space
– 3000SF Fully Enclosed Glass Atrium Courtyard – 1500 SF Enclosed
Rooftop Bar & Lounge with spectacular views of downtown Chicago 
– “KTCHN Art” Restaurant (consultation and possible partnership with Celebrity Chef Art Smith)
– 2000 SF “XL Minibar” with Dance/Cabaret Space (acquisition and
partnership and/or management contract is currently in negotiations with
Minibar)
– Marketing Partnership with Sidetrack Bar and access to their 15,000 sf bar complex from the THE OUT CHICAGO Lobby. 
– BOUTIQUE lobby shop.

About us…..

http://theoutnyc.com/media-gallery/

FODORS TOP 100:  Our “Straight-friendly” Urban Resort (THE OUT NYC)
surrounding our XL Nightclub was named one of this year’s top 100 hotels
in the world by Fodors featured in the “Trendsetter” category and
featured on CNN.com and we are #3 on TripAdvisor (of 156 Specialty
Hotels in NYC).

THEOUTNYC.com (4 star resort + & $99 Euro style luxury hostel pods)

Xlnightclub.com (#1 night club in NYC)

Xlcabaret.com (major performance acts)

KTCHNnyc.com (Zagat favorite new restaurant)

Theoutnycspa.com (full service Spa&/gym)

KTCHN: Zagat –
Thttp://blog.zagat.com/2012/06/best-thing-we-ate-last-night-red.html
 
NY Times Article – “To be a Hotel and Gay in NYu” http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/travel/seven-gay-hotels$-in-new-york.htm

TIME Magazine Article – “I Had a Gay Old Time” http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2113812,00.html

It could mean big things for Lake View and Boystown. A study of the community
has long identified it seriously lacks hotels, a part of the reason why
the Ricketts Family now plan to open one near Wrigley Field.

Officials with Ald. Tom Tunney’s office say a hotel in Boystown, however, might be just what the community needs.

“I actually followed up and saw the product, and it’s great,” said
Chief of Staff Bennett Lawson. 

Is It Really Safe to Travel to Puerto Vallarta?

Is it safe to travel to

Puerto Vallarta?

In a word, the answer is BIG yes! It is safe to travel to Puerto
Vallarta.

PV is part of the very diverse and large Mexican state of
Jalisco. Some sensational news outlets have incorrectly reported that the US State
Department is warning against all travel to Jalisco. NOT TRUE.

The US Department of State   said for  Puerto Vallarta –  There is no recommendation
against travel to Guadalajara and Puerto
Vallarta.
  There is also no recommendation against travel on principal
highways in
Jalisco between Guadalajara including the
portions that cross in to the southern portions of the state of Nayarit.

Also – Mexico City (also known as the Federal District): No advisory is in effect.

Puerto Vallarta’s Tourism Board has commissioned a study from the security consulting firm Thomas Dale and Associates (TDA).
The firm found that “the number of negative events involving foreigners
or non‐foreigners is fractional compared to the large ex‐pat resident
population and the millions of visitors that come to vacation each year
in Puerto Vallarta.”

you can read more at Visit Puerto Vallarta.

Unless you were under a rock the last few years, you could not help but hear how
dangerous  parts of  Mexico has become, and yes, it’s true drug wars have
escalated violence in parts of Mexico. “Collateral damage” the news calls it – which really means  that innocent people
have been robbed, hurt or killed. 

THIS IS NOT HAPPENING IN PUERTO VALLARTA!!

When I went to Vallarta last Spring, a friend told me , “OH MY GOD, I won’t go there any more because of all the kidnapping and robberies!” – I called some friends in PV and they assured me it was NOT happening there. And that is mostly all happening near the border. 

   

So I went for a week. And everything was fine. Just as it always
was.  I walked the streets Vallarta  alone day or night. I never felt
uncomfortable or scared. 
I’ve been living here for 11 years. And have had ZERO problems
or run-ins with bad guys or police (well, there was that ticket for
using my cellphone while driving…), ” says Paul who owns Hotel Mercurio

“Many cities in the US have much more security problems than PV…or many other Mexican cities, for that matter.

             

Puerto Vallarta is the most visited gay destination in Mexico.

It has always been a safe place to live and visit and continues to be!

Gay Travel and Places to Stay in Berlin

Gay travelers to Berlin can now check out the Pink Pillow stamp of approval for hotels and places to stay. 

Berlin has launched the world’s first  (?) ever LGBT hotel network. Pink Pillow Berlin Collection by visitBerlin. – I am not sure why they call this worlds first?  It sounds like Tag Approved and similar programs. 

The pink pillow Berlin Collection brings together hotels that believe with all their heart that all guests should be welcomed exactly as they are.

All participating hotels recommend themselves to gay and lesbian guests. They emphasize a professional and relaxed service.

THE OUT NYC is Expanding to More Cities

 THE OUT NYC is New York’s first straight-friendly urban resort (NOT a
hotel) located in the epicenter of gay life – Hell’s Kitchen, steps from
Times Square and Chelsea.  Live your own unforgettable experience with
the best of lodging, dining, nightlife and design all in one place – THE
OUT NYC.

Complete with 5000 square foot spa, and a Sun Deck to get your tan
on or watch an amazing sunset. Along one side is a glass reflecting pool
with a water room enclosed by cascading curtains of rain.

The
Secret Garden is tucked inside serene plantings of black bamboo. It’s a
quiet place to bring your laptop and a snack. Work or read at our long
sturdy tables. It’s also the right place to bring your yoga mat for
quiet meditation.

The Great Lawn @ THE OUT offers everything you need to enjoy the
great outdoors. The grass is green. The beanbag chairs are soft. There’s
enough green space on the Great Lawn for outdoor games or events. With a
hilled stage at the north end, it’s the perfect place for a wedding
ceremony, cocktail party or press junket. And whatever the occasion,
Ktchn can be there to cater your every culinary need.

THE OUT NYC concept has been so successful, developers are now
seeking to expand to other cities – and are looking at locations possibly 
in  Washington DC and  Chicago. One source told us The OUT is even looking at Milan, the fashion capital of the world,  by year end!  
  Stay tuned! We’ll have
more details soon!

THE OUT NYC, Urban Resort.
Stay. Play. Eat. Chill. Revive.
510 West 42nd Street, New York City, NY 10036 

Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort Featured in Travel Channel’s HOTEL IMPOSSIBLE

Second season of ‘Hotel Impossible’ features a Maui, Hawaii resort that caters to the LGBT clientele.

 Hotel fixer Anthony Melchiorri, star of Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible,” comes to the rescue of the Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort. The episode featuring the transformation of the resort, its first resort property in the beautiful state of Hawaii, premieres on December 17 at 10:00 p.m. ETPT on Travel Channel. 
 An adults-only property, the Maui Sunseeker welcomes all, but caters to the LGBT clientele. With such a narrow client focus, Melchiorri works with Chuck Spence, Owner of the Maui Sunseeker, on the marketing strategy and allocation of resources to improve the property. 
The hotel presented a unique problem as it receives rave reviews from its clientele but struggles with its occupancy and related cash flow, hence the marketing strategy focus. Designer Blanche Garcia joins Melchiorri to upgrade the rooftop deck.
“It was eye opening for all involved in this show” laughs Spence, “for us from a business perspective and for the cast when they discovered the clothing optional hot tub”.  
Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort is located right on the sunny shore in Kihei on the island of Maui, the boutique resort currently has 26 well-appointed guest rooms and suites. Chuck Spence has owned the resort since 2008. Michael Waddell is the General Manager and featured in the above mentioned episode of Hotel Impossible.

Gay Travel to Maui: The Gay Side of the Valley Isle

Paradise is a strong word.

 But  ask anyone who has been to Maui, Haawii and they say it 
is truly a paradise in every way.

For the gay/lesbian couple seeking a romantic haven, the island of Maui is waiting to welcome you with bright rainbow leis.

From snorkeling to whale watching and lounging and relaxing on a remote gay beach, Maui is paradise found.

With a population of less than 150,000 people, the gay scene is much smaller on Maui than in Oahu but there’s a small, tight knit LGBT community and a lot of great activities geared toward the gay tourist. The gay population  is mainly concentrated
around the Kihei area in South Maui, but gay people live all over the
island.

Whether you want to surf, canoe or kayak, opportunities abound on gay Maui for the outdoor enthusiast.  (which I am not!  However, Maui was the perfect place for me, to unplug, and RELAX!). There are several companies that offer visitors outdoor equipment and training.

 If you’re looking for something lower impact, Maui is the leading whale-watching center in the Hawaiian Islands. Head to the beach and try to spy a Humpback, dolphin or sea turtle. Stick around and be sure to catch one of the most amazing sunsets you’ll ever experience. No Ka Oi Adventures offers nature-based excursions organized for LGBT  travelers. The operator specializes in nature-based excursions and offers the queer traveler small group tours featuring off-the-beaten-path destinations on the island.

The first step in planning your memorable jaunt to the Valley Isle is finding the right accommodations. Luckily there are several gay and lesbian owned or friendly hotels and resorts on the island. Some of these properties, like the Maui Sunseeker, offer LGBT specific packages and host commitment ceremonies. In 2012, Hawaii became the seventh US state to legalize civil unions. What better place to be married and have your honeymoon at the same time?!


Industry insiders have said they expect that the law legalizing civil
unions, which took effect Jan. 1, 2012,  will lead to a boost in tourism among
same-sex visitors. Hotel executives said they’re actively reaching out
to the gay and lesbian community with promotions and packages aimed at
couples who are eager to make their commitment official.

The amazing coastline is one of the main reasons to visit Maui and Little Beach is the most popular gay beach on the island. You’ll find this nude beach in Makena State Park, South of Wailea at the end of Wailea Alanui Road.  It’s a little tricky.  You’ll have to walk past the Big Beach and over the lava-flow trail to get there. It’s a great place to meet and greet the local gay set and gay tourists from all over the world.

After a day of fun in the sun, you’ll want to experience the local gay nightlife. Don’t expect to a wide variety of dance clubs and other gay venues like you’d find in Honolulu, but you’ll definitely have a great time.

One of the most popular bars for gays and lesbians on the island is Ambrosia. Named by Maui Time Weekly as best bar (two years in a row), Ambrosia offers daily entertainment and eclectic décor. If you want to try some exotic local drinks, you’ll fall in love with Ambrosia. Their wide varieties of specialty martinis are extremely popular and are the perfect way to cap off an adventure-packed day. There are also great drink specials and a happy hour every night from 6pm to 9pm.

Betty’s Beach Café is also a great place to eat, drink and be Mary! Their Sunday brunch is out of this world, featuring amazing omelets, egg scrambles and signature cocktails. No trip to this tropical venue would be complete without trying one of their “Betty” drinks. From the Bettie Paige (red wine, peach schnapps and pineapple) to the Betty Rubble (a Blue-beri Hawaiian), there’s truly a vice for everyone. Happy hour is always a blast at Betty’s. Every afternoon from 2pm to 5pm enjoy $3 Mai Tais and $4 Longboard Kona Beers. Stay or come back later in the evening for Betty’s evening happy hour, from 9pm to 11pm every day.

October is a great time for gay travelers to experience Maui. Maui Pride is October 5-7, 2012 and it’s always a celebration to remember. The festivities begin that Friday with an Aloha Reception at the Maui Sunseeker. This mixer is a great opportunity to get to know the local queer community and hobnob. But space fills up fast! Book as early as you can.

The main event will be held at the Maui Tropical Plantation on Saturday, October 6. Entrance is free and there will be a wide variety of vendors and activities. That morning the Pride committee will also be sponsoring drag races and other fabulous events. Saturday night, return to the venue to hula your ass off! DJs will be spinning and live performances (including the local Deborah Vial Band) are scheduled to entertain the masses. The final day of the Pride festivities kicks off at Stella Blues for breakfast (8am to 10am). Cap off the final day with a snorkel tour or hidden waterfall hike.

Before you leave Maui, during Pride or any other time of the year, you MUST take a helicopter ride overlooking the island. Air Maui and other operators offer flights for tourists and it’s only about a 45-minute flight. The sea cliffs are breathtaking! The waterfalls, awe-inspiring.

When the luau is over and you’re depressed that you have to leave the dream vacation of a lifetime, take solace, when you say “aloha” it means goodbye and hello. The friendly islanders will be there to welcome you back with sweet, sun-kissed smiles!


 Guest Author Jon Fairbanks – Gay Travel Team Member

For more information about Maui or other LGBT destinations please visit www.gaytravel.com

 Photo credit Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson 

Maui Hawaii Celebrate Gay Marriage this Week

Paradise is a strong word, and I don’t use it lightly. But Maui, Hawaii
is truly a paradise in every way.

It has glorious warm weather all
year, with just enough of a breeze from the trade winds to keep you
feeling refreshed. The tropical greenery and colourful flowers are
spectacular, and there’s nothing better than the relaxing sound of the
surf crashing on the beach as you drift off to sleep every night.
Wouldn’t you want to get married in Paradise?!

A gay Oklahoma City couple is happy to be on Maui and among the
first couples to be joined in a civil union after a state law allowing
such unions went into effect last  Sunday.

“We are proud to be part of
it,” said 40-year-old Rich Tucker, a mortgage company owner, shortly
before his Monday sunset ceremony with partner 37-year-old David Dobson,
a Realtor.

“We wanted to have the ceremony somewhere tropical. It’s awesome to have accepting people that accept everyone. No one
is segregated,” Tucker said about Hawaii and the civil unions law.

Dobson added: “In Oklahoma, it’s still very much the Bible Belt.”

Industry insiders have said they expect that the law legalizing civil unions, which took effect Jan. 1, will lead to a boost in tourism among same-sex visitors. Hotel executives said they’re actively reaching out to the gay and lesbian community with promotions and packages aimed at couples who are eager to make their commitment official.

“We’ve had 10 ceremonies booked so far,” said Chuck Spence, owner of the Maui Sunseeker LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered) Resort in Kihei. “Already we’ve also seen an immediate boost in bookings, and not just because of civil unions, but because the law also opens up the perception by the gay and lesbian community that Hawaii is truly a welcoming state. We are aloha.”

Hawaii’s hard-fought civil unions law was bitterly opposed by conservative and Christian groups, who said the measure posed a threat to heterosexual marriage and traditional families.

Deacon Walter Yoshimitzu of the Honolulu Roman Catholic Diocese said marriage should be only between a man and a woman.

“Even with civil unions, we believe it is same-sex marriage by another name,” he said.

State Sen. Roz Baker, who represents West and South Maui and was a supporter of the civil unions bill, said she hoped the law would attract couples to Hawaii.

“Let’s face it, too, nowhere is the weather nicer, or are there as many beautiful places to visit year round, than in Hawaii,” she said, adding that “the wedding business has always been good to Maui.” Year round the weather is gorgeous!

But she and West Maui Rep. Angus McKelvey noted that the new civil unions license will be recognized only in Hawaii, so they anticipated it to attract a wave but not a tsunami of same-sex visitors.

“It’s not going to be a billion-dollar law,” McKelvey said.

More significant than its ability to attract visitors, he said, the law was important for gays and lesbians living in Hawaii, because it would give them the same rights as heterosexual couples.

“We still have a long way to go,” said spokesman Don Bentz for Equality Hawaii of Honolulu, a gay rights advocacy group. “If a couple, let’s say, comes from Florida (which doesn’t have gay marriage or civil unions), they have rights here but lose them after the plane ride.”

Frank  and Kevin, who own a wedding service on Maui, have been performing ceremonies for heterosexual and gay couples, recognized or not, for many years. They’ve said they expect their numbers to go from nearly 40 ceremonies a year to more than 100.

Maui SunSeeker  is  going to provide group room discounts and gifts like champagne. Rich and David were the first guests to tie the knot!

He noted that they’re bringing friends – as others certainly will – and that the tourists will spend money at other Maui businesses.

“In regard to tourism, absolutely this will have a great impact. No question,” said Spence, whose hotel currently has 25 rooms and now plans to add more.

Applications and information about civil unions are available online at  hawaii.gov/health.