Category Archives: Gay Accomodations

Gay Travel Tips – HostelBookers’ Top Gay Hostels for 40 Years of Gay Pride

To mark 40 years of active gay culture, leading budget accommodation provider has compiled a list of top  gay hostels.

28 June 2009 will mark the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots – and, for many, the beginning of the gay pride movement.

Today, the celebration of gay culture has become a global event, with huge pride festivals taking place around the world in June, from Amsterdam to San Francisco.


  1. Gay Hostel Puerto del Sol, Madrid

    The top rated gay hostel on HostelBookers, Gay Hostel Puerto del Sol has an excellent central location in Madrid’s Puerto del Sol Square and offers free entry to some of the city’s most popular gay clubs. 

  1. El Misti Hostel Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

    In the heart of the action in Copacabana beach, this welcoming gay hostel in Rio de Janeiro attracts a cosmopolitan party crowd. 

  1. Gay Pizarro Hostal, Madrid

    Situated in Madrid’s famous Chueca district, Gay Pizarro Hostal offers great advice on the local entertainment and a clean, affordable place to sleep. 

  1. Elements Hostel, San Francisco

    Lying in the colourful Mission district of the notoriously liberal city, Elements Hostel is clean, modern and affordable. 

  1. London Hostel Gay House, London

    Opened in 1984, this gay hostel in London is a well-established and sociable base for gay travellers exploring the city. 

Whilst many hostels are gay-friendly, the number of hostels catering exclusively for gay and lesbian travellers is rising in the world’s top destinations, particularly in those cities which have a large gay community or annual pride festival.

Although hostels offer cheap accommodation, their main attraction is a sociable atmosphere and the opportunity to meet like-minded people – perfect for gay and lesbian travellers looking to make friends on the road.


About Great Hostels. Free Booking. No Worries. – launched in March 2004 – is a leading UK-based budget accommodation website.  It offers a range of budget accommodation including youth hostels, hotels, guesthouses and apartments in over 2,500 destinations worldwide.

In November 2008 also received the UK’s Best Youth Product award at the British Youth Travel Awards (BYTA) run by BETA (British Educational Travel Association).  The awards, are designed to provide a platform to celebrate and reward high achievers, gain recognition, and raise the profile of the work and individual successes of organisations engaged in youth, student and educational travel, to from and within the UK.’s properties are reviewed and rated by customers and it remains the only major company in its sector to offer its services with no booking fees. also provides a range of free travel guides, plus travel news and information on worldwide events.

New Gay Travel Guide


AXEL Gay Hotels – Now in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Berlin and Expanding!


Inaugurated on 1 July 2003, Axel Hotel Barcelona was the first hotel in the Axel Hotels chain and the first city designer hotel aimed at the gay community.  Axel Hotel Barcelona is a trend-setter and has become an international reference for gay accommodations.

From the outset, the team has paid attention to even the slightest detail; first of all, its location in theGayxample, heart of Barcelona’s gay scene, only 10 minutes from the fashion centres of the city, the district el Borne and the old city centre. Without forgetting its architecture and design: Axel Hotel Barcelona has been built in a renovated building of the late 19th century, maintaining its façade and spectacular tinted windows from the early days of modernism. Its interiors, fully refurbished, have been conceived to offer design and comfort in a warm atmosphere. Furniture from Vitra, Kartell and Swan, the Axel mosaic and photography light boxes of Emilio Lekuona configure the exclusive Axel universe.

Its 60+ rooms include 10 Premium rooms and the Axel Suite, each with its own character and exquisite design. All rooms are soundproof, air-conditioned, luminous and extremely comfortable: with a king size bed, plasma TV with Internet, Wi-Fi connection for laptops and room service. Also features restaurant, bar, gym, saunas, pool.

And most important, the Axel team, carefully selected to offer personalized, genuine and professional service catering to all our guests requirements and anticipating their needs.


For all of the above reasons, Axel Hotel Barcelona has been chosen the “best gay hotel in the world” by the readers of prestigious travel magazine The Out Traveler (USA). Through the annual survey Reader’s Choice Awards, hundreds of readers voted for the Axel Hotel Barcelona to put it in the ranking’s top position.

Marketed as the first five-star gay hotel in Latin America (but also “heterofriendly”), the second AxelHotel Buenos Aires confirmed what many gay travelers already knew: the Argentine capital is becoming South America’s next party capital. Situated in the bohemian-chic neighborhood of San Telmo.

In San Telmo, you can let yourself go and be captivated by the Axel Hotel Buenos Aires – a cosmopolitan and enticing space that stimulates the senses. With tango in the air, design and comfort, Axel Hotel Buenos Aires seduces everyone with its play of lights and transparency, the sound of water, the Axel mosaic and furniture by Charles & Ray Eames, Mies van der Rohe and Eileen Gray.

48 designer rooms with captivating details. All guestrooms are air-conditioned, cosy and extremely comfortable, conceived and equipped for maximum enjoyment: king size bed, plasma TV, iPod On Stage speakers, Wi-Fi connection, hydro-massage bath or shower in a glass prism, safe and room service.

The hotel also offers a restaurant, cocktail bar, chillout zone, spa with a spectacular swimming pool on the top floor with a translucent floor visible from the main area of the hotel, a 5 floor atrium in the lobby, jacuzzi and sauna, a garden with an outdoor swimming pool and solarium, an outdoor bar & bistro, meeting room and Wi-Fi connection throughout the hotel.

The Buenos Aires property is situated in one of the oldest districts in Buenos Aires. The cradle of tango, San Telmo has a concentration of antiques businesses, bars and restaurants in its renovated 19th century buildings. A few blocks away are the Avenida 9 de Julio and the Casa Rosada, and every weekend the antique market fills the picturesque Plaza Dorrego with movement, people and colour.

Axel Hotel Buenos Aires was recommended by The New York Times “as one of the 53 places to go in 2008”.

Axel Hotel Berlin is the third  and newest hotel in the chain. Opened last month, after a year and a half in construction, the new hotel relies on an investment of 13 million euros.

The Berlin hotel is situated at 13-15 Lietzenburger Street, in the neighbourhood of Schöneberg, heart of the city’s gay scene. Bars, restaurants, bookshops, discos, cinemas, and clothes shops with style and glamour make up an extensive hedonistic universe steeped in history. In the twenties Schöneberg was already the epicentre of the Berlin movement, becoming the inspiration for the mythical Cabaret. Axel Hotel Berlin is just one block from the mythical KaDeWe department stores and very close to Ku’damm, the famous shopping avenue which houses the main international fashion brands.


The new hotel has 86 designer guest rooms, equipped to provide guests with maximum comfort. According to Íñigo Hernández Tofé, Spanish architect, collaborator of Axel Hotels and creator of the architectural project of Axel Hotel Berlin, “the hotel plays with the colours black and gold representing simplicity and elegance. A distinctive touch is added by the transparencies of colour, inspired by the Axel Mosaic along with the optical effects which reflect the façade in various areas within the hotel”.


The building consists of 6 floors and a roof terrace. The restaurant with its terrace, the cocktail bar and the open air lounge-bar are its most representative spaces. Moreover, the hotel has a spa with an open air Jacuzzi with spectacular views over the city, sauna, Turkish bath, gym, relaxation area and massage cubicles; and business centers, comfortable and cosy reading areas with PC access and free high speed internet connection.

The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA)  are holding their International Conference in Toronto in a couple weeks.  At the event,  Juan P. Juliá, president of Axel Hotels , will be honored for  outstanding professional accomplishments.

“These awards recognize our friends and colleagues in the travel industry who are not only setting the bar, but making the world more accessible and enjoyable for gay and lesbian travelers in the process,” IGLTA Executive Director John Tanzella said.

Named the International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s “Businessman of the Year” in 2008, Juliá will receive IGLTA’s Chairman’s Award, which recognizes individuals who blaze new and inspiring paths in their work to promote inclusiveness within the tourism industry. Known as the world’s first gay hotel chain, Juliá’s Axel Hotels has been recognized for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and focus on diversity by such leading publications as Out Traveler and The New York Times.

“Juan Juliá has made a significant commitment to developing quality accommodations that serve and appeal to the gay and lesbian community,” IGLTA Board Chairman Bryan Herb said. “ Axel Hotels are absolutely in line with where I see the gay travel industry heading. The properties have a gay sensibility with amenities and features that are important to gay and lesbian travelers, yet they are focused on being, as they say, ‘hetero-friendly.’ There’s a great vibe about it because these are places where gay and lesbian people can simply be themselves.”

According to Juliá, IGLTA’s recognition of his company and its unique culture could not have come at a better time. “2009 has been the year we opened our third hotel, and the start of a new stage in the group to export the Axel concept to the major cities of the five continents,” Juliá said. “This award is a great boost to keep forging ahead in this very special project.”


The New Gay Travel Guide and Best Gay Cities


Western History and Hollywood Glam Meet in Gay Tucson at Hacienda del Sol


How could you not love 350 days
          of sunshine every year?!

TUCSON is the second largest city in Arizona with  a growing metropolis of 1 million that keeps getting better and better. The city’s geography is a postcard image of cactus forests, rolling hills and awe-inspiring mountains.

Tucson is known as a laid back, casual place that is very gay friendly. While there are plenty of lively and trendy places to go, people tend to come here for a relaxing and grounding experience. 

Colorful history and culture abound! Native American, Spanish Colonial, Mexican and pioneer influences are found in architecture, cuisine, festivals and attractions.

1n 1929, Hacienda del Sol  was little known by the Tucson community. It was at first a private residence, that then became a girls’ college prep school – attended by members of Pillsbury, Vanderbilt, Maxwell, Westinghouse and Campbell families.

In the late 1940’s, the property became a guest ranch – and they quickly attracted the big names of Hollywood, who were looking to get away from it all.  Clark Gable, John Wayne,  Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn were among some of the famous guests who stayed here.

Situated on 34 stunning acres, Hacienda del Sol has gorgeous gardens and grounds, historic buildings, hiking on the property, horseback riding on site, pool, hot tub, spa services, and a selection 30 unique rooms – no two are alike! And all of them feature custom built furniture and original artwork.

OUTDOOR is a keyword here. People are drawn by the spectacular beauty of the Sonoran Desert, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, jeep tours and hot air ballooning. Designer golf courses, and world-class birding are options to experience the beauty of Arizona.


Besides the outdoors though, there is an eclectic mix of shopping and renowned attractions. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (part zoo and part botanical gardens), Old Tucson Studios (Old West theme park), Pima Air and Space Museum, and Kartchner Caverns  – a stunning “live” limestone cave discovered in the 1970’s. 

The Lost Barrio is a restored warehouse district filled with importers of really interesting furniture, architectural elements and cool home accessories from around the world. Costume designers from Los Angeles frequent the Fourth Avenue funky shopping district near University of Arizona, known for high-quality vintage clothes.

Of course, all of the big name retailers can be found at the upscale La Encantada along with trendy restaurants. Dining options from family-run cantinas that have been in business for half a century (El Charro downtown) to innovative and award-winning restaurants and chefs.

THE GRILL at the Hacienda del Sol was opened  about 12 years ago and has been recognized as one of the finest restaurants in all of Arizona. No detail was spared in design, and it was built around the original dining room and kitchen.

The creative menus include fresh items right from the Hacienda gardens. The restaurant has been featured in  national magazines and won awards such as “Best of” Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator. It also been named  Best Grill, Best Special Occasion Place, Most Romantic Dining, Best Sunday Brunch! – And if you are a wine connoisseur, The Grill has one of the most extensive wine lists in the country!

Hacienda del Sol offers an authentic hospitality to GLBT guests that is so refreshing! And they are perfect hosts, with activities and amenities to keep you as busy – or as relaxed! – as you wish.

Voted  one of the best Romantic Inns

Voted one of the best Inns in the US

Zagat has awarded them “Excellence in every category!”

Lush landscapes, crystal-clear water and breathtaking mountain peaks. From small communities to one of the fastest growing cities in North America, Arizona offers travelers amazing sights, adventure, and you will find many open arms and hearts to the GLBT community.


Book a stay at Hacienda del Sol by APRIL 1st – for anytime in 2009 – and choose a free bottle of wine from Hacienda’s Excellent 50 under $50 wine list.  PLUS, enjoy early check in and late check out.

Enter code “progay” when you book online at Hacienda
or when you call 1-800-728-6514  mantion   “hacienda welcome”.