Category Archives: Correspondent

By @ 06/06/19 in Barry Joy, Gay travel, Jasper, Travel

Top highlights of Jasper by Barry Joy for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineRead on for the top highlights of Jasper, Alberta, a little mountain town with a big heart, and even bigger adventures! Known as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world, Jasper celebrates being ‘proud and free’ all year round. The community and local businesses are always happy to welcome visitors with open arms. If you need even more reasons to visit Jasper, here are some top highlights of what Jasper has to offer:

Motorcycle Tour

This is a super unique adventure where you dress up in butch leather gear and experience the thrill of riding either in the back seat or sidecar to explore the great Canadian Rockies. Tours vary from one to three hour options, and your personal guide/driver will stop along the way so you can take the most amazing Instagram pictures.

Jasper Pride Festival

This annual Pride celebration is one not to be missed. Jasper really puts on a show for Pride with all the dance parties, ski events, and more. Local residents and businesses decorate stores and the town, and truly become part of the celebration. Every year is unique but some of the special events this year included the Fruit Loop Mountain Party – a dance party at the 4 Peaks Night Club where you were able to meet a lot of locals and out of town visitors. There was a Pride ski day where you were encouraged to bring your rainbow and ski down the hill with a giant pride flag. And to cap things off, the annual pride party is themed each year, and the whole town really rallies together to make the night really special. They have special guest performances that keep the party going into the night.

Athabasca Falls

This 75’ waterfall in Jasper National Park, just west of the Icefields Parkway, is stunning. You can walk/hike the interpretive trail along the Athabasca River, and learn about the river and the waterfall. During the winter, the falls freezes, leading to natural ice formations.

Jasper SkyTram

If you are looking for perfect views of Jasper, the surrounding mountains, glacially fed lakes, and rivers, the Jasper SkyTram is the solution. The 7 minute enclosed flight is the longest and highest guided aerial tramway in Canada. At an elevation of 7,472 feet, it provides the most stunning views.

Miette Hot Springs

The hot springs is the perfect way to relax after a long day of hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter! Miette Hot Springs’ water flows naturally from the mountain at 129 degrees. This is also a great destination for hiking and watching the wildlife. Did you know that each Rocky Mountain Hot Spring has its own unique blend of minerals and temperature and is great for your body and soul?

Maligne Lake Boat Tour

This tour takes you across the crystal waters of Maligne Lake, allowing visitors to discover the world-famous Spirit Island, which is only accessible by boat. To preserve the area, walking onto the island is not permitted, but the scenery and experience are worth the trip.

Maligne Canyon IceWalk Tour

This three and a half hour tour is one of the most popular Jasper adventures. Your guide will take you to the bottom of the deepest canyon in Jasper National Park, where you get to see stunning frozen waterfalls and ice caves.

Columbia Icefields and Glacier Skywalk

The largest ice field in the Rocky Mountains, the Columbia Icefield, is perfect for everyone who loves being outdoors. Visitors can enjoy the scenery and local wildlife. Available guided tours also include the Glacier Skywalk, which leads visitors to a glass-floor observation platform, which boosts incredible views of the mountains.

This article was written by Barry Joy (aka asianmapleleaf) – an ambassador of all things travel. Barry was born and raised in Toronto and currently lives in New York City. Follow his adventures on asianmapleleaf.com or on Instagram @asianmapleleaf.

 

 

 

 

 

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By @ 05/23/19 in Dennis Hensley, Gay travel, Travel
Gay game night with Dennis Hensley and on ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThe gay game

Try a gay game night next time you have a group getaway coming up–say P-Town, Palm Springs or Puerto Vallarta. Actually connect with your friends instead of just over-imbibing on everything and everyone being on their phones? Take along You Don’t Know My Life! a new party game co-created by ManABoutWorld contributor Dennis Hensley and game designer Jeb Havens.

Inspiration

The game was inspired by the offbeat questions Hensley developed over his years as a celebrity journalist for magazines like TV Guide, Out and The Advocate. A question is posed to the group, like “What kiss from your life felt like something out of a movie?” Everyone writes down a few sentences on a small sheet, the answers get mixed up and presented and then players take turns trying to guess who said what. Which one of your friends got a kiss on the cheek from an actual First Lady? Which got their tongue stuck in their prom date’s braces? Which kissed one of the Queer Eye guys in the back of an Uber? And once an answer is guessed, there’s always more to the story to gasp, drink and laugh over.

Gay game night with Dennis Hensley and on ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine“You spilled wine on Madonna!?”

So not only do you learn things about your longtime friends you never knew—“You spilled wine on Madonna? Really?”—but if you’re playing with people you’ve just met, you’ll feel like friends by the end. Travel-themed questions like: “When was a time you felt like you were in paradise?” “What’s something you’re really glad you have a photo of yourself in front of?” or “Vegas story. Go.” add to the good vacation vibes. And because the game box is about the size of a hardback novel, it packs easy, too. Learn more at www.youdontknowmylife.com

ManAboutWorld correspondent Dennis Hensley travels the world, gets into crazy situations and spills all in our blog. Check out a few of his other recent writings!

 

Gay game night with Dennis Hensley and on ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Here’s Dennis either doing yoga or praying you’ll buy his gay game! 🙂



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By @ 05/16/19 in Gay pride, Gay travel, James Careless, ManAboutWorld, Toronto, Travel

Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto for Pride and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThis gorgeous Gatsby-themed 1927 small four-story hotel is a glistening gem in downtown (Bay and Bloor streets) Toronto. Just minutes away from the city’s Gay Village (Church and Wellesley), the uber-elegant Windsor Arms is a five-star hotel of just 28 suites; many of them having multiple rooms. (I stayed in a multi-room 700 square foot Deluxe Suite, which was worthy of Jay Gatsby.) The insides and outsides have been lovingly rebuilt and revived by new owner George Friedmann. Past prominent guests include Barbra Streisand and Elizabeth Taylor; you never know who you might see today! (Susan Sarandon and Ben Stiller were spotted here at a recent event.)

Rates

Given the Windsor Arms’ coterie of elegant suites, many fine restaurants and pampering facilities, and prime location (it is just off Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto for Pride and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineBloor on the surprisingly quiet St. Thomas Street), prices here are not cheap. During this year’s Pride Toronto festival (it runs June 1 to July 1, 2019), nightly rates start at US$292 (excluding taxes and fees) and hit $1335 for the 1500 square foot Windsor King suite. But think about it: This suite comes with a king and a double sofa bed. Split between two couples, you and your friends could have a super-luxurious and exclusive stay for just $333.75 each. That’s a bargain price for a small historic hotel so charming and different, you will love it as much as Babs and Liz did. It is worth noting that the Windsor Arms does not nickel-and dime its guests. The Wi-Fi is free, the in-room Nespresso coffee is quality, and the towels/dressing robes full and fluffy. Meanwhile, the hotel has been serving afternoon tea without fail since it opened in 1927; offering with delectable sandwiches, scones and pasties – and more fine teas than you ever knew existed.

Location

Given that is close to fashionable Yorkville, still sinful Yonge Street, and Toronto’s Gay Village – plus steps from the city’s subway lines – the Windsor Arms hotel could not be better situated for gays of all flavours and levels of daring. Want access to Toronto’s very best, most exclusive shopping? It’s here. Want to visit the Gay Village and sample everything from its edgy restaurants and clubs to steamy bathhouses and other no-longer-forbidden fruits? It’s just a short walk away eastwards on Bloor to Church Street, and then south to Wellesley and beyond. Frankly, if you are of a mind to get naughty during Pride Toronto, the Windsor Arms is a logical base of operations; given that is close to everything that counts.

Room/Bathroom

As mentioned above, the Windsor Arms’ rooms are all individually and beautifully decorated/furnished. Many of the rooms come with their own musical instrument for guests to play, from pianos in the largest suites to guitars and Celtic harps in the smaller ones. The bathrooms are also well-appointed with high-quality fixtures. For instance, the entry level, 550 square foot Junior suite features cream-colored walls with wooden accents (http://www.windsorarmshotel.com/suites/junior_suite//), residence-quality furniture, deep soaker tub, separate standing shower, and an acoustic guitar (which is regularly tuned). Like the high-priced suites, it also comes with ‘Butler Service’. This is a separate, lockable compartment beside the front door when food, towels, and other amenities can be discreetly delivered to without you having to interact with staff. Very useful if you are in the midst of naked passion and champagne suddenly arrives!

Gay Factor

Okay, so we’re talking about a very small, exclusive hotel in the heart of Toronto close to the Gay Village, with top-end decor, furnishings, amenities, food, drinks, and high tea; plus an indoor pool with fireplace and two floors of spa facilities? Plus Babs and Liz stayed here, and their photos adorn the walls. I mean, if you don’t get the gay factor here, I can’t help you. This is a perfect place for any gay or other LGBT couple, in a hotel with a reputation for welcoming gay guests with open arms. In fact, the only complaint I could find from a gay couple was that it was difficult to leave the Windsor Arms, because it is such a wonderful place to stay. (Friedman told me of one guest who called before arrival to ask for a bathtub full of Jello. The Windsor Arms’ only question to this request was to ask the guest, “what flavour?”)

About the CheckOut

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here.

This post originally appeared in 2016 and has been updated today by the original author, James Careless, based on a recent visit.

 

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By @ 05/06/19 in CheckOut, Ed Salvato, Gay travel, Orlando, Travel

Four Seasons Orlando in ManAboutWorld gay travel magzineCheckOut: Four Seasons. Geared towards families with children, this Four Seasons is the best resort in the area for visitors who need an oasis to retreat to after a day at the theme parks. A contemporary, airy 443-unit hotel set amidst 26.5 lush acres, this Spanish Revival property offers gorgeous vistas, a beautiful running area, five pools (including an adult’s only one), an outdoor lakeside restaurant and incredible views from many rooms and from the rooftop bar/restaurant of the theme parks in the distance — especially appealing during the nightly fireworks displays

Location

Orlando has a good amount of airlift from many major hubs making it super easy to access all year round and incredibly tempting during the interminable, dark winters in the northern U.S. Orlando airport is easy to access from the hotel. Once in Orlando you realize that — like Los Angeles — according to locals, everything is 20 minutes away by car. That more or less proved true during our recent visit. The charming lakeside downtown area is a touch farther and some of the theme parks are a little closer; but count on 15 to 30 minutes to get to most places. You can easily take an Uber. For the Disney theme parks, the hotel offers frequent free shuttles. Considering the gorgeous nature surrounding the hotel, it is best to plan to stay mostly on property with forays to the nearby parks.

Room/Bathroom

Standard rooms and bathrooms are big, airy and light drenched. The closets are spacious, and you’ll find plenty of shelf space in the bathrooms. We scored a one-bedroom King suite (room 1506) which was also quite large and offered a pull-out sofa in the living room. We loved all the little touches like a Nespresso machine for coffee and a wine-by-the-glass machine in the living room. And we especially loved the balcony with full view of the parks’ nightly fireworks extravaganzas. On a minor note we appreciated the free shoe and computer screen wipes in the rooms.

Four Seasons Orlando in ManAboutWorld gay travel magzine

Amenities

The range of amenities should tempt anyone to visit for a quick weekend whether or not you have kids and whether or not you Four Seasons Orlando in ManAboutWorld gay travel magzinegive a rat’s tail about Mickey Mouse. Luxuriate in the spa whose services are topnotch and whose prices aren’t as sky high as in other resorts in major cities. (Ask for Les, a very strong massage therapist.) The gym is huge with floor-to-ceiling views of the verdant property and has everything you need for a great workout. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the running course that laps around the lush, green property. We took a tennis lesson with the pro. Or rather one of us, ahem, watched while our partner took a tennis lesson. Hey, someone had to hand out the lemonade after the lesson! The property is so big and spread out that you don’t even notice the presence of children. Still, the adults only infinity-edge pool allows guests without kids to enjoy some nice 18+-only time, refreshing beverages and lunch.

For park enthusiasts, you’ll find a Disney Planning Center on the Lobby Level just across from the front desk, facilitating guests’ plans to experience the Disney parks, from tickets to dining reservations and special character events. We arranged our DISNEY FASTPASS+ selections  here and that really seemed the way to go in the park, allowing us to pretty much waltz by long (and sometimes very long) lines. Definitely plan your FASTPASS+ selections, or even better, book a VIP Tour Guide.

Gay factor

Four Seasons Orlando in ManAboutWorld gay travel magzineIt’s a Four Seasons so you can expect the same excellent, professional,  gay-friendly service that you always find among the team members of this global brand. The two of us enjoyed a romantic dinner at the restaurant, and the staff made it special. We also encountered a lot of other LGBTQ guests, a number of whom were attending a wedding with two Instagram-famous men who got hitched right there on the expansive lawn in full view of oohing and ahhing guests enjoying brunch on the terrace. We snapped on our “travel” apps (Grindr and Scruff) and found a number of other guys on property as well as many gay men throughout the area — both locals and visitors. Note that if you invite someone over they’d have to contend with parking which isn’t cheap. Orlando is super popular with LGBTQ people especially during the annual One Magical Weekend celebration the first Saturday of June and Gay Days which is in August. Also, the hotel doesn’t advertise it, but they have supported the victims of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy with donations.  

Rates

The rates can be high of course especially in summer and during school vacations but we found lots of times with relatively affordable rates ($300-400 per night). January through mid-February rates are often more affordable as is the month of May which features fabulous weather — not too hot or humid. Also visit the hotel site for special offers https://www.fourseasons.com/orlando/offers including 20% off advanced purchases and a “fourth night free” program. The hotel also offers a new “Explore a New World” Disney Gift Card Package, https://www.fourseasons.com/orlando/offers/disney-gift-card-package/ offered for May-Sept, inspired by the Disney classic Aladdin.

Ready to go

Click/tap here for rates and reservations at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort.  

About the CheckOut

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please  let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here.

Photos by Ed Salvato

 

 

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By @ 05/06/19 in Cape Town, Correspondent, Gay travel, John Walker, South Africa, Travel

Top 5 south africa experiences in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThese are the top 5 Cape Town experiences from our Australia correspondents John Walker and Gavin Patterson who visited last year.

Table Mountain Cablecar 

Carried to the top of this spectacular mountain by a state of the art revolving cable car, this iconic vantage point allows visitors to drink in the unsurpassed vistas of Cape Town’s breathtaking coastline. Free guided tours present an informative overview of the fascinating flora and fauna. Weather permitting, you might choose an abseiling adventure or a hike for your return journey

Gold 

Offering a traditional theatre restaurant experience in the heart of the De Waterkant district, Gold is a memorable evening of melodic tribal voices, colourful costumes, striking masks, and rhythmic folk dance. A visit here includes a selection of African foods, interactive performances and face painting by the friendly and attentive staff, offering exceptional photo opportunities.

Bo Kaap Street Tour

The pastel, candy coloured houses are the main feature of this photogenic quarter of the city. Our local guide Shiralene revealed a personal history of the descendants of the Cape Malay, muslim slaves, who settled here after emancipation in the early 19th century. We were treated to a traditional dinner in a family home as part of our tour. A unique experience not to be missed.

District 6 Museum and Company Gardens

If the fascinating and sometimes sordid history of Cape Town is your interest, don’t miss the tour of District 6 Museum recounted by locals who grew up during the time when thousands of people from this area were forcibly relocated under apartheid laws. 1n 1994 this museum became a place for reflection and contemplation of discrimination and injustice.

Cape Town Gay Bars

There is something for all tastes in this vibrant gay scene. Your night will be off to a great start with a meal at the Manhattan Club or a burger at Beefcakes before a more serious selection from some of the cheekiest nightclubs on offer. Crew Bar provides a shot of shirtless staff fraternisation while Versatile Bar offers a semi-naked tryst with patrons stripping to their bare essentials.

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By @ 01/31/19 in CheckOut, Gay travel, James Careless, Quebec, Travel

CheckOut: Hotel Frotenac, Quebec in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThe word ‘chateau’ is French for ‘castle’ and the magnificent Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is truly that. First built in 1893 as a French chateau-inspired railway hotel, the regal Château Frontenac towers over the still-walled compound of old Quebec City, alongside the St. Lawrence River. The latest round of renovations have ensured that the Château Frontenac’s hundreds of elegantly-appointed rooms are all unique and memorable; a variety made possible by the hotel’s many turrets and towers.

Story by ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent, James Careless.
Rates

Thanks to its towers, various seamless additions, and history of playing host to royalty and heads of state, the Château Frontenac’s roster of rooms range from premium singles to full-sized multi-room suites.

The ‘basic’ Fairmont Room (akin to a basic Mercedes-Benz) starts at C$249/night. (In US dollars, this rate works out to 20-25% lower, depending on the Canada/US exchange rate). For more money you can get a Fairmont City View Room (C$289) or a Fairmont River View Room (C$309; my recommendation). If you can afford it, spending C$2500/night will get you a multi-room suite decorated to match the ambiance of past guests ranging from Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth to Celine Dion and Prime Ministers Trudeau (Pierre and Justin).

Location, Frontenac, Quebec

The Château Frontenac’s location is one of the best in all of Canada. Located above the St. Lawrence River on a steep cliff alongside the vast Dufferin Terrace, this hotel is surrounded by centuries-old historic buildings that will whisk you straight to Europe – because when this area was settled by the French, European design and architecture was their touchstone.

The hotel is located next to the Citadel fortress. Built by the French in 1673 to ward off the English, it is the oldest operating military installation in Canada.

The Château Frontenac’s own site was previously occupied by the Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux, where 400 year-old artifacts displayed in the hotel were found. Now covered by the Dufferin Terrace, the forts’ archaeological sites are open to visitors during warmer weather.

CheckOut: Hotel Frotenac, Quebec in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Room/Bathroom

The rooms within the Château Frontenac’s are tastefully decorated in a modern traditional style, with premium beds, furniture, and modern electronic amenities.

The end suite that we stayed in was a very large studio with river and city views, lots of light, and extra couches and chairs to stretch out on. The bathroom was modern with lots of white marble, glass, and chrome.

Amenities

The Château Frontenac has an impressive selection of restaurants, bars, and lounging areas. They include the Place Dufferin overlooking the river, which offers the best hotel breakfast buffet I have ever tasted (and I’ve had quite a few.) The elegant Champlain Restaurant offers the latest in distinctive Quebec cuisine under the leadership of Chef Stéphane Modat. The 1608 Wine & Cheese Bar has access to an impressive wine cellar — and cold room of top Quebec cheeses in Canada. Or you can grab a drink and quick bite at the Bistro Le Sam; again with a great view of the St. Lawrence.

As well, this hotel is home to the Club Frontenac health club (gym and indoor pool with view of Old Quebec); the Moment Spa Le Château Frontenac for massages, skin, and body treatments; and the Coiffure de Château par Angela Baughman hair salon.

Gay Factor

As North American cities go, Quebec City is pretty low-key when it comes to its gay factor. There are only a handful of ‘truly gay’ bars and health clubs; this ain’t San Francisco.

This said, the Saint-Jean neighbourhood close to the Old City is known for its many gay-friendly restaurants, bars, and clubs. Places to check out include Club ForHom (221 rue St-Jean) and the historic Fou-Bar (5252 rue St-Jean).

Consider a Side Trip to the Hôtel De Glace

Usually we stick to one hotel in The Checkout. But if you make it to Quebec City this winter, you should check to see if the amazing Hôtel De Glace north of the city is still in season.

This is an astounding multi-room palace of carved snow and ice with many themed rooms, bar, and even a chapel for weddings. Located at the Village Vacances Valcartier resort – itself a wonder of chic, stylish all-season resort living – the Hôtel De Glace lets you camp out in an ice palace overnight. And if you get too cold, the package comes with a room in the adjacent Valcartier hotel included.

 

About the Checkout

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here.

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By @ 10/04/18 in Billy Kolber, Boston, CheckOut, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Hotels, Travel

Boston’s seaport is the city’s hot new neighborhood, and YOTEL Boston is at the heart of it. Built on a platform of design and technology and inspired by first-class airline suites, Yotel delivers modern luxury in compact “cabins” whose ingenious use of space offers everything you need, at remarkably affordable prices. It’s a perfect match for the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship and artistic endeavor that characterize the neighborhood. This CheckOut was originally published in ManAboutWorld’s summer issue and republished here. 

Location

Located between the beautiful waterfront and the historic Fort Point District, the seaport integrates repurposed 100-year old warehouses with modern architecture to create a vibrant, exciting new neighborhood that is home to some of the city’s best dining, shopping and art. The hotel is built atop the Courthouse Station of the Silver Line  — a free 15-minute transit from Logan Airport. And many important locations are within walking distance: Boston’s South Station, serviced by Amtrak and Bolt Bus is a 10-minute walk. The Convention Center is about 12 minutes and the Institute of Contemporary Art is six minutes away, as is the Boston Harbor Ferry to Provincetown (The Bay State ferry is 15 minutes away). The gay bars of the South End are a best accessed by Lyft — a 10- to 15-minute ride depending on traffic.

Room/Bathroom

YOTEL’s cabins start at 154 sqft — about the size of a standard cruise cabin but filled with savvy design features that make it feel much more spacious and luxurious. At the heart of the room is the adjustable SmartBed – like a cross between a futon, a luxury mattress, and a lie-flat airline seat. It slides from a couch-like reclining position to a queen size bed with the touch of a button. Set it to the perfect angle for lounging, and lay it flat for sleeping. Like a yacht, space is maximized with built-in furniture and storage solutions. Plenty of room is left for the bathroom, including a rainfall shower that could easily fit two, and stocked with premium amenities. If you require more space, upgrade to a Premium Queen Plus at 201 square feet or a First King at 318 square feet. If you’re really feeling royal, there’s a VIP suite with 487 square feet of space and a stunning 180º view of the city and harbor.

Amenities

Technology is at the heart of everything YOTEL, and while the “Mission Control” staff is always available to help you, check-Boston Yotel in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinein/check-out is handled  primarily by App and Kiosk; and emergency supplies or extra towels are delivered by YO2D2, the house robot! A Club Lounge on the ground floor and Sky Lounge Rooftop and Terrace offer casual dining, drinks and comfortable indoor/outdoor places to relax or work. The gym is open 24/7, and features free weights and  cardio machines. A guided meditation is offered every Tuesday morning, and the wifi is free and fast.

Gay factor

We wouldn’t stereotype you by saying that the design, style and technology were clearly designed with gay travelers in mind, but YOTEL’s modern stance is perfectly suited for us, and we’re betting you too. It’s a bit farther than our old haunts from the (not-quite-so-gay-anymore) South End, but we’d rather be close to all the new excitement of the seaport, and we’re betting you would too.

Rates

Rates in Boston can be shockingly high when conventions roll into town, but figure a Queen Premium cabin is around $160 in the dead of winter, typically closer to $250-350, and as high as $550 (when a generic Hilton room might be $700). Save 10-15% and earn Flying Blue or Flying Club miles when you join Club@Yotel for free.

Ready to go

For rates and reservations at YOTEL Boston, visit the website.  

About the CheckOut

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please  let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure.

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By @ 09/19/18 in Canada, Gay travel, Nova Scotia, Tom Goss, Travel, Traveling Tom

 Join Tom (and his husband Mike) as they explore the Canadian wilderness in Nova Scotia. They find the best drives, hikes & viewpoints, a secluded monetary, a boatload of snow crabs and even a dancing moose!

Tom Goss is a ManAboutWorld global correspondent. He travels with his husband, Mike, all around the world and sends us these video updates. Click on his video and follow his KinosakeOnsen adventure. Follow Tom’s other video adventures here.

TOM’S ALSO A TALENTED PERFORMER

Tom is also a singer, songwriter, and filmmaker whose concerts and projects keep him constantly moving. When not traveling for work, Tom is usually traveling for fun. Check out his music at TomGossMusic.com and more Trav’lin Tom videos on YouTube.

Also connect with Tom on the following social media platforms:

Meet all of our Global Correspondents hereSubscribe to ManAboutWorld here and find insights from Tom, our global correspondents and the staff writers at the magazine Ed, Billy and Kenny.

Tom.Square.Bed

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By @ 09/12/18 in Dublin, Gay travel, Michael Siebert, Travel

Oscar Wilde's new hat is rainbow colored Oscar Wilde’s New Hat has a rainbow design. It’s by acclaimed hat maker Margaret O’Connor at the Fringe Festival according to ManAboutWorld global correspondent Michael Siebert. According to the website:

Dublin’s statues are getting a head-turning makeover. Acclaimed hat maker Margaret O’Connor is taking her haute couture creations to the streets as she designs bespoke hats for the heads of some of our city’s icons. Drawing inspiration from the lives of the statues’ subjects, O’Connor’s decadent and mischievous street art millinery will make you look twice at some familiar landmarks and help you discover new ones.

Sir John Gray Monument (O’Connell Street Lower, D1)
William Smith O’Brien (O’Connell Street Lower, D1)
Daniel O’Connell (O’Connell Monument, O’Connell Street Lower, D1)
Four Angels Fountain (College Green, D2)
Molly Malone (Suffolk St, D2)
Oscar Wilde Memorial Sculpture (Oscar Wilde and Constance Lloyd, Merrion Square, D2)
The Kiss (corner of Earlsfort Terrace and Hatch Street, D2)
Anna Livia (Wolfe Tone Quay, Arran Quay, D7)

Countess Markievicz’s hat has been removed from the statue to keep it safe. It is on display at the Dublin Fringe Festival Box Office (2 Curved Street, Temple Bar, D2) from 13 September.

About Michael Siebert

Born in, Topeka, Kansas of all places, Michael Joseph Siebert is a seasoned traveler thanks to life itself. Initially, Michael got “bit by the travel bug” as a clinical instructor at an optometry school in Utrecht, The Netherlands. A few years later, Michael lived in South America and volunteered  as an optometrist with OneSight.org, which took him all over the world for the past 10 years.

Currently, Michael is living and working in Australia, as an independent traveling optometrist throughout Australia and New Zealand, where all his passions, patient care, photography, philanthropy and travel are merged into one.

Connect with Michael on Instagram, at www.drmichaelsiebert.com or viaFacebook.

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By @ 07/27/18 in Gay travel, Japan, Tom Goss, Travel, Traveling Tom


Konnichiwa from Kyoto, Japan! For thousands of years, Kyoto was the cultural center and capital of Japan — and It shows. Kyoto boasts expansive temples and a deep sense of tradition. As Kyoto modernized, it never lost its sense of culture and history, making it a fascinating example of modern and ancient Japan living side by side.

Join Trav’lin Tom for a fun, fast-paced tour of temples, bamboo groves, food markets, and even Japanese karaoke.

Tom Goss is a ManAboutWorld global correspondent. He travels with his husband, Mike, all around the world and sends us these video updates. Click on his video and follow his KinosakeOnsen adventure. Follow Tom’s other video adventures here.

TOM’S ALSO A TALENTED PERFORMER

Tom is also a singer, songwriter, and filmmaker whose concerts and projects keep him constantly moving. When not traveling for work, Tom is usually traveling for fun. Check out his music at TomGossMusic.com and more Trav’lin Tom videos on YouTube.

Also connect with Tom on the following social media platforms:

Meet all of our Global Correspondents hereSubscribe to ManAboutWorld here and find insights from Tom, our global correspondents and the staff writers at the magazine Ed, Billy and Kenny.

Tom.Square.Bed

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By @ 07/17/18 in Barry Joy, Canada, Gay pride, Gay travel, Montreal, Party, Travel

Our correspondent, Barry Hoy, left (and his partner) in Montreal's Gay VillageWe all know Montreal has a reputation for being a place of acceptance and inclusion, especially in Montreal’s Gay Village, which is is just east of downtown around Beaudry Metro station, running along Saint Catherine Street. Montreal’s Gay Village is where most of this year’s Pride activities will happen. Whether you are visiting for the parties or shows, you still need to know the best spots to get yummy cocktails and, of course, where to fill up. We got your covered! Here are the village’s top bars and restaurants:

Top bars in Montreal's Gay VillageTop 5 bars in Montreal’s Gay Village

Sky Complex – This is the city’s most popular gay club/bar and it has several spaces, from a dance clue to a male strip bar, to a cabaret. The rooftop terrace is also amazing.

Bar Renard – This sexy cocktail bar and lounge has a great selection of spirits and happy hour.

Bar Aigle Noir – Traditionally, the Black Eagle bar for the leather enthusiast. The crowd is now getting more diverse serving up beer and drinks in a classic setup with guest DJs and a buzzy patio.

Stock Bar – One of the more popular male strip bars in Montreal where you can grab a drink and watch hot buff men dance around you!

Le Stud – Le Stud is more of a dive bar with cheap drinks and great happy hour.

Our correspondent, Barry Hoy in Montreal's Gay VillageTop 5 restaurants in Montreal’s Gay Village

O’ThymAsophisticated French bistro that uses seasonal ingredients and has a relaxed, yet cute ambiance. You can also BYOB!

Saloon – This campy restaurant has a great outdoor terrace so that you can people watch. They also serve amazing martinis!

Kitchenette – Located just outside the village, in case you want to escape for a more intimate dining experience. They offer a great 5 course tasting menu where you choose 2 starters, 2 main dishes, and a shared dessert!

Bato Thai – A casual BYOB setting with the best Thai food in the area. This is a great place for a quick bite if you want something yummy but not too formal.

Le Red Tiger – Le Red Tiger offers Vietnamese affordable street food that is both delicious and unique. Portions are small but shareable, so order at least a few items per person.

Add a few, or all, of these spots to your list and you are bound to have an amazing trip. For more things to do and places to visit in Montreal, stop by www.asianmapleleaf.com

 

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By @ 07/09/18 in Gay travel, Hotels, Ronnie D'Amico, San Francisco, Travel

Proper Hotel rooftop in San Francisco and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineSan Francisco has an overabundance of many things: boys in hoodies, cable cars, and public parks to sip rosé.  What the city hasn’t been home to is a sophisticated proper rooftop lounge with sweeping views incorporating fire pits, thoughtful cocktails and an attractive crowd that leaves its active wear at home. Story by Ronnie D’Amico. Photo by Proper Hotel.

Meet Charmaine’s: A proper rooftop bar and lounge 120 feet above the newly opened mid-Market Street Proper Hotel featuring all of the above. For a night out, arrive early before 7pm to avoid the line. Head on up through the McAllister Street entrance where you’ll meet a doorman who takes himself too seriously. Don’t let him deter you. Remember this is SF. Not LA. Once you get past him, you’ll be lead down a corridor to the elevator.

When the elevators empty you above, your senses will heighten with the rush of fresh air on your face, the sight of an energetic crowd of all demographics, gay and straight (who put an effort into their look), and the sound of moody French-pop playing over it all. You’ll feel a sign of relief that such a space exists in San Francisco.

Grab a seat at any of the seating areas with fire pits as soon as you see an open spot. The cocktail menu offers inventions from the city’s well-known bartenders Josh Harris and Morgan Schick (of Trick Dog and The Bon Vivants). The food menu offers classic comfort bites, but also healthy California options by James Beard Award–nominated chef Jason Franey (Monterey’s 1833 and Eleven Madison Park in New York). The décor is what you want: swanky, comfortable and sophisticated. A welcome addition to the city’s nightlife options.

  • Proper Hotel
  • 1100 Market Street,
  • San Francisco, CA 94102
  • (628) 895-2055



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By @ 07/09/18 in Ed Salvato, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, New York, Travel

Skintight at the Roundabout Theater with Idina Menzel in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineWe recently enjoyed seeing Idina Menzel, a gay fan favorite, perform a non-singing role in “Skintight,” which has her surrounded by a bevy of gay men who discuss youth, beauty and the nature of love. If you’re visiting New York through August 26, 2018, this is fun performance to see.

The performance space Roundabout reunites writer Joshua Harmon and director Daniel Aukin (the team behind Bad Jews and Admissions) for Skintight, a scorching examination of beauty, youth and sex. Reeling from her ex-husband’s engagement to a much younger woman, Jodi Isaac (Idina Menzel) turns to her famous fashion-designer dad for support. Instead, she finds him Our very own Ed Salvato and his partner at Skintight at the Roundabout Theater with Idina Menzel in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinewrapped up in his West Village townhouse with Trey. Who’s 20. And not necessarily gay. But probably an adult film star. At least, according to Jodi’s son. Who’s also 20. And definitely gay. Skintight assays the nature of love, the power of attraction, and the ways in which a superficial culture persists in n teaching its children that all that matters is what’s on the inside.

Note that Google Maps gives multiple locations for the Roundabout Theater. This performance is at 7:30pm at the Laura Pels Theatre, 111 W. 46th Street.

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By @ 06/22/18 in CheckOut, Dominican Republic, Gay travel, Hotels, Ivan Quintanilla, Travel

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThe Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado sits on its own island, accessible only by ferry, off the secluded Samana Peninsula in the Dominican Republic. This luxury all-inclusive resort is a good choice for couples seeking a romantic escape away from a gay party scene.

Location

Remoteness is part of the allure of the Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado. With no direct flights from the United States and about a 2½ hour drive from Santo Domingo, the Samana Peninsula has remained a hidden gem in the Dominican Republic. The destination is more popular with Canadians and Europeans, who enjoy direct flights into the region’s airport from Toronto, Montreal and Frankfurt. A fifteen-minute ferry ride from Samana Bay Marina, the resort is the sole occupant on the island of Cayo Levantado. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore the natural beauty of the Samana Peninsula, on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. The resort’s concierge can arrange any of the following excursions:

  • Los Haitises National Park: A half-day boat tour meanders through 618 square miles of lush islets home to rainforests, hiking trails and limestone caves.
  • Salto el Limon Waterfall: A 20-minute horseback ride through hilly terrain reveals a 130-foot waterfall from Sierra de Samana—a perfect photo backdrop, with its own natural dipping pool.
  • Humpback Whale Watching: These giant mammals are just like us and want to winter in the warm waters of the Caribbean. From January to March the Samana Bay boasts one of the largest concentrations of humpback whales in the Atlantic.
Room/Bathroom

The Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado has 268 rooms of ranging categories, including Superior with two full-sized beds, Suites with king-sized beds and Beach Villas with their own terrace and access to the private beach. All have romantic canopy beds, hydro-massage tubs and 24-hour all-inclusive room service and minibars.

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineAmenities

Though there’s much to explore in Samana, the Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado has you covered should you want to stay put on your own little Caribbean island. The all-inclusive resort offers 6 restaurants, with buffet and international a la carte options; and 4 bars, including a beach bar and a pool bar. Guests have full access to the resort’s relaxing private beach with kayaks and paddle boards available for use. There is also a public beach for day-trippers with lively beachside restaurants and bars. The resort even includes a scuba diving lesson in one of its 2 pools, should you want to prepare for deeper sea exploration. At night, you can hit the disco or enjoy nightly entertainment, ranging from acrobats to dance troupes. During our stay they even featured a synchronized swimming performance. Or you can wind down a romantic evening in your room with a specially prepared bath, from their butler services menu.

Gay Factor

At the resort, all guests are welcome and should not experience any issues, but this isn’t a gay party destination. Though homosexuality is legal in the Dominican Republic, gay travelers should still be cautious with public displays of affection. For non-gay-specific nightlife, the best option is the town of Las Terrenas, about a one-hour drive. This old fishing village is home to many French and German expats, making the town the most cosmopolitan of the province. At Las Terrenas, start your evening at the gay-owned Mi Corazon restaurant, serving international cuisine infused with local flavors.

Rates

All-inclusive rates start at $200 per person, per night, depending on the room selection and season.

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineABOUT THE CHECKOUT

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here.

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By @ 06/21/18 in Allister Chang, Gay travel, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Travel

Andaz Scottsdale in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineA uniquely Sonoran getaway with stunning views of Camelback Mountain, the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa is a good choice if you’re looking for blue skies, private relaxation, and Arizonan cowboys. A close collaboration with Cattle Track Arts & Preservation, a local artists’ commune, creates a special feeling that you’re joining a close-knit community when you check-in.

Location

Located on 23 -acres in exclusive Paradise Valley with amazing views of Camelback Mountain, this Andaz is located two miles north of Old Town Scottsdale for galleries, museums, art walks, restaurants, and the Fashion Square shopping center. Less than a mile from the Cattle Track Arts & Preservation compound, you can ask for a quick shuttle over in the resort’s Teslas to check out these local artists’ studios. Great mountain hiking, biking and running can also be found in The Valley of the Sun. Nearby, it’s a short trip to go kayaking in the Salt River with Arizona Outback Adventures or to take a private hot air balloon ride with Hot Air Expedition (an activity that’s extra popular here because it’s almost always sunny!).

Andaz Scottsdale in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Cattle Track Artist Mark McDowell

The resort has an artist-in-residence program that provides guests with opportunities to interact with local artists throughout their stay. These artists create all the artwork around the resort, from painting, pottery, to photography. Once you’ve entered this secluded Andaz bubble, it’s easy to forget that you’re only 20 minutes from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Rates

During Scottsdale peak season (winter), rooms start at $399 per night and suites start at $2,500. The (ANDAZ)RED Cabana + XL Pool View King Package starts at $629 per night, including a snack upon arrival, a signature (RED)-inspired breakfast and a special departure gift. At the Resort’s restaurant, Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen, local flavors like avocado toast with cress start at $14, and room service for fresh-creations like the AZ grass fed burger ($22) cost a delivery charge of $5. Bespoke poolside cocktails start at $10.

Room/Bathroom

Each of the 201 bungalow-style guestrooms and suites has a shower with double showerheads, with enough space to comfortably fit 8. You’ll feel serious FOMO every second you aren’t partying with college boys from ASU in this shower. Reserve a room with a private outdoor patio to keep the party going outside, with chaise lounges and high walls for additional privacy. Perfect to fill in between your tan lines. The guestroom interiors were conceived by EDG Interior Architecture + Design, with colorful nods to mid-century designers like Alexander Girard. Guestrooms and suites range from 350 to 1,800 square feet, with Spanish-style front terraces.

Andaz Scottsdale in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Amenities and services

The Palo Verde Spa & Apothecary is worth spending a full day (or ten) at. Champagne pre- and post- personalized treatments heighten your senses to take in the novel smells and textures of indigenous ingredients, like prickly pear treatment oils. The 12,000-square-foot spa includes four indoor and three outdoor treatment rooms, outdoor hydrotherapy pools, a nail and hair salon, eucalyptus steam rooms, outdoor relaxation lounges and an exclusive private pool for spa guests. Sunbathe, steam, swim, and repeat. Next to the spa is the Andaz’s gym, whose walls come down when weather permits (i.e. when it’s not too sunny and beautiful outside). Erg outdoors with a straight-shot view of Camelback Mountain.

For better people watching, take a dip in and lounge by Turquoise Pool, which has over 150 chaise lounges and day beds in addition to 13 private cabanas. Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen, the Resort’s restaurant and bar, features innovative use of plancha cooking techniques by Executive Chef Adam Sheff. Delicious fresh-cooked dishes featuring local ingredients are available to eat in or order in as room service from 6:30AM to 10:00PM. For a show, order the Mercury Mirage cocktail, smoked tea infused over proofed rye whisky with smoked chili bitters. Don’t forget to take advantage of the complimentary “adult treats” by the pool every day at 11:30AM.

Gay factor

Artsy and progressive, this Resort sees a diverse clientele, including many gay couples and families. Open Grindr and you’ll find a mix of ASU college students and pumped-up Arizonan daddies. In March this year, Andaz Scottsdale joined 4 other Andaz resorts to partner with (RED), the AIDS organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver. The (ANDAZ)RED Cabanas provide a portion of each booking to support (RED)’s fight to end AIDS.

Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa
ABOUT THE CHECKOUT

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here.

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By @ 06/18/18 in Dane Steele, David Perry, Gay pride, Gay travel, Manchester, Travel
Manchester in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

When it stops being a wig and starts being a triumph of architecture

It’s the gayest city in the United Kingdom, and it is not London. Gather round, dear readers, and find out how an itty-bitty backwater named Manchester became one of the outright gay capitals of Europe.

Gay Manchester: story and photos by travel writer David Perry.

Most histories will give the quick version of Manchester’s rise; that it was born out of the Industrial Revolution. Not true; the city traces its lineage back to the Romans, circa 79 AD, when it was known as Mancunium, a name that lives on in “Mancunian,” what people from Manchester call themselves. But it is also true that during Roman rule and for centuries after, it remained a pastoral, rather backwoodsy community living in the particularly long shadow of nearby Liverpool. Nevertheless, by 1520, Manchester earned a rep for its weavers, and that is key.

Manchester in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Manchester Town Hall welcomes the world

Because by 1600, Manchester’s looms were throwing sparks thanks to cotton from the New World. Canals were dug. Warehouses, mills, and factories thrown up. A commodities exchange established. By the Victorian Era, it was “Liverpool where?” But something else was happening, something that blue-blooded London or stodgy Oxford could not have predicted: Manchester, having been built by common men (nicknamed “worker bees,”) became an incandescent hotbed of common-men ideas. Abolitionism, free trade, Marxism, women’s rights, workers’ rights, immigration, child labor, republicanism, parliamentary reform, and yes, discussions on the inherent rights and liberties for “Urianians” and “homogenic love” — early terms for gay men and same-sex affection — found fertile soil, often for the first time, in Manchester’s unions and trade halls.

Manchester in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Nice cock in the Northern Quarter

Skip to 2018, and very gay Manchester still has a decidedly anti-snooty vibe, bees are the ubiquitous city emblem, and the gay life is off the charts. Manchester Pride (August 24 – 28) is one of the oldest of its kind in the UK, and one of the biggest events on the city’s calendar. This is the city that inspired “Queer as Folk,” after all. Mancunians particularly embrace the LGBTQ heritage; you may see a few rainbow flags flying year-round in the form of small mosaics in sidewalks and facades. These are stations along the famous Manchester LGBT Heritage Trail, a historic stroll through the seminal events and places that made gay rights a “thing.” Advertisers, from mega-companies like Thomas Cook Airlines to modest self-storage warehouses, fall over themselves getting a float in the Pride Parade. It’s all very chummy. And gives “God Save the Queen” a whole new dimension.

It is also homo-concentrate! (KEEP READING… 🙂



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By @ 06/18/18 in Gay travel, Giuseppe Giulio, Travel

Giuseppe Giulio's top 5 gay Italy hot spots in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine Beauty, the romantic town of Naples and the soaring height of Etna are just some of the treats in store for LGBT travelers making their way to this country — a gay-friendly jewel in the world. Here, we take a look at my 5 top Italy hot spots.

Sicily

One of the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily is an autonomous region of Italy Places that also includes several smaller isles. Home to every great Mediterranean civilization, Sicily is rich in art and history; from Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples to Palermo’s Baroque churches.

Lakes

The Romans were first to see the potential of the Italy lakes as a holiday destination. They built their sumptuous villas in some of the prime positions around Como and Garda, where the southern foothills of the Alps sweep down towards the Mediterranean and the fertile plains of northern Italy.

Giuseppe Giulio's top 5 gay Italy hot spots in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineVenice

Venice never loses its capacity to enchant in Italy. There’s a reason why it’s popular: the sheer loveliness of an exquisite city that seems miraculously built on water. It’s important to remember Venice’s churches and museums offer antique glories aplenty, but there is also a vibrant art scene, even away from the Art Biennale.

Tuscany

Italy’s most famous region, Tuscany conjures images of beautiful rolling hills, olive groves, vineyards and cypress trees. The many pleasures of Tuscany include tasting wine in Chianti, simply relaxing in hill towns such as San Gimignano or exploring Renaissance art in Florence.

Naples

Naples, Italy birthplace of pizza has drawn many hungry visitors, including those hungry for culture: its historic center is the largest in Europe, covering over 4,000 acres and 27 centuries. Piazza Bellini, by day a quiet square with cafes to relax from the hustle and bustle in the nearby Via dei Tribunali, at night a popular hangout of young Neapolitans.\

Giuseppe Giulio's top 5 gay Italy hot spots in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Story and photos by Giuseppe Giulio

Giuseppe Giulio, IGLTA member, is a Travel Design and Digital PR Specialist, who serves several tour operators, online magazines and startups reaching the LGBTA community using SEO, Web 2.0, Social Network marketing and Strategic Online Media Placement.

 

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By @ 06/11/18 in Barry Joy, Gay travel, Shanghai, Travel

Barry Hoy and his partner with Shanghai in the background in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineShanghai literally means the city by the sea, and it is the gateway to China. There are endless things to do and see, like shopping in high-end venues for designer items, or stroll through the backstreets for photo opportunities… or to hunt for interesting trinkets and traditional Chinese handicrafts.

Read Barry’s Journey to Asia, Part 1: Discover Hong Kong.

Read Barry’s Journey to Asia, Part 2: Kuala Lumpur here.

Where to Stay

Jing An Shangri-La – Located on the Puxi side of the Huangpu River in the Jing An Business District – one of Shanghai’s most prestigious and fashionable business and commercial districts. The hotel boosts spectacular 360-degree panoramic views of the city.

Peace Hotel – This has been a Shanghai landmark for over eight decades, enjoying a premier location on the Bund. The hotel faces the Pudong area over the Huangpu River, where you will find all the impressive high-rise buildings and towers.

Where to Eat

Here are a few suggestions: 

  • Yong Yi Ting at the Mandarin Oriental – A one Michelin star restaurant featuring Chef Tony Lu and his unique vision, combining the diverse gastronomic influences of Shanghai and its neighbouring provinces.
  • 1515 West at the Jing An Shangri-La – The 1515 West, Chophouse & Bar combines the aesthetics of an old Shanghai movie set with the décor of a classic American bar and grill.
  • Din Tai Fung – This is the chain of restaurants that made Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) famous, so it’s only logical that they serve some of the best in the world.
  • Yang’s Dumpling – With multiple locations throughout the city, they serve their famous pan-fried soup filled buns.
  • Shanghai Grandmother (by the Bund) – Shanghainese restaurant with many classic local dishes.
Adventures in Shanghai by Barry Hoy for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineGay Nightlife

There are not many gay bars in Shanghai, but here are a few top picks of places to go for a drink and to meet locals:

  • Lucca – One of Shanghai’s best-known gay bar and club in the French Concession area. It gets busy on weekends and attracts upscale local and international crowd.
  • Happiness 42 – Modern and chic, with a sexy red lighting throughout the bar. It’s a good place to start off the night.
  • Paw & Six – Located in the same building as Lucca on the sixth floor, this place attracts more of a bear crowd.
  • Snap! – Monthly party where people gather for a night of dressing up and dancing. Each party generally has a unique theme, and the location may change so you should check with a local or on WeChat (Chinese social app) for details.

Did you know that most visitors require a visa to enter China? Want more information about this and the Transit Visa Exemptions? Visit asianmapleaf.com to read more about our adventures in Shanghai. Also, stay tuned for more of our ultimate must-see travel stops around the Globe.

Read Barry’s Journey to Asia, Part 1: Discover Hong Kong.

Read Barry’s Journey to Asia, Part 2: Kuala Lumpur here.

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By @ 06/11/18 in Barry Joy, Gay travel, Kuala Lumpur, Travel

ManAboutWorld global corresondent Barry Hoy contemplating the city of Kuala Lumpur shirtless. Because.

Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia and a place where you will find a variety of cultures from the region, all living together in one city. There is Chinatown, Little India, Malay village and many more neighbourhoods. In this city, it is not uncommon to find a Muslim mosque, a Hindu shrine, a Christian church, and a Buddhist temple – all in the same area! Story and photos by ManAboutWorld correspondent Barry Joy.

Click here to read Barry’s Journey to Asia Part 1: Discover Hong Kong.

And here is Journey to Asia, Part 3: Adventures in Shanghai.

Where to Stay

Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur – Set in the heart of the city’s business and shopping district, and near major landmarks such as the Petronas Twin Towers and the Kuala Lumpur City Center. Despite it being right in the city centre, the hotel is still set amidst plenty of lush greenery, and has a good size outdoor pool and lounge area.

Where to Eat

There are a lot of food options to try in Kuala Lumpur. Here are a few to wet your appetite!

  • Nobu – Located on the 56th floor of the Menara Petronas, it boosts dramatic 360-degree views of the KL city skyline, including the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.
  • Jalan Alor – Famous street food in Kuala Lumpur and bustling nightlife.
  • Old China Kafe – Step back in time at this charming and authentic café in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown.
  • Fatty Crab (Fei Lo) – Best known for its seafood. Make sure you try the Sweet and Sour Chili Crab!
Some of the many delectable food items on offer in Kuala Lumpur via ManAboutWorld global correspondent Barry HowThings To Do
  • Petronas Twin Towers – The iconic Petronas Twin Towers are basically the symbol of Kuala Kumpur, and they dominate the skyline. Make sure you buy tickets in advance (especially for the bridge connecting the two towers). Visit com for tips to save some money and enjoy a cocktail at the same time.
  • Batu Caves – Deep inside a Limestone Mountain, just outside the city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, is the Batu caves. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India.
  • Chinatown – Wander down little laneways and into cute coffee houses and restaurants, or around the markets filled with fresh fish, fruits and vegetables, and out on to the lively main street of Chinatown.
  • Little India – colourful neighbourhoood with lots of restaurants where you can sample different types of fragrant curries or snacks.
  • Pavilion KL – This is a huge shopping centre where you can satisfy all your shopping needs.

Make sure you also visit the beaches and little towns outside of the city of Kuala Lumpur. The city itself offers some great food and sights, but it’s not a place where you would want to spend more than a weekend.

Important note about homosexuality:

Gay sex is still technically illegal in Malaysia and punishable under a colonial-era sodomy law. Foreigners are generally safe from this, but caution is still recommended.

Want more information? Visit asianmapleaf.com and read more about our adventures in Kuala Lumpur. Also, stay tuned for more of our ultimate must-see travel stops around the globe.

Click here to read Barry’s Journey to Asia Part 1: Discover Hong Kong.

And here is Journey to Asia, Part 3: Adventures in Shanghai.

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By @ 06/06/18 in CheckOut, Gay travel, James Careless, Toronto, Travel

Hotel X, Toronto in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThe brand-new, stylistically-striking Hotel X Toronto in Toronto, Canada is anything but yet another cookie-cutter urban luxury hotel crammed into a downtown lot. Hotel X Toronto is a very short taxi/Uber/Lyft ride from everything that Toronto has to offer; making it an ideal headquarters for enjoying Pride Toronto or any other event in Canada’s largest city. Story by ManAboutWorld correspondent, James Careless.

Amenities

Worth noting: The 404-room, 30-storey Hotel X Toronto is likely correct in claiming that it offers “a wealth of amenities unrivalled by any downtown hotel, including four indoor tennis courts, a full-service spa, two year-round heated swimming pools and TEN X TORONTO—a 90,000 square foot athletic centre with its own children’s area.” In addition to its restaurants (with options for vegetarian, gluten free, and vegan diets), Hotel X Toronto has an art gallery, beer garden, stadium-style movie theaters, event spaces, historical exhibits, and the three-storey rooftop SkyBar with – again – unparalleled views of downtown Toronto and the lake. The multi-story ‘living wall’ at the Front Desk – literally a vertical surface of plants rising high above one’s head – is impressive in its own right.

Rates

Hotel X Toronto is currently in what is known as a ‘soft opening’ until the end of July 2018, when it will officially open. This means that the hotel is still in the process of getting everything running – and giving guests price breaks as a result of it. (Note: Everything I experienced while there gave me the feeling that the hotel was fully operational.)

The good news: “During the soft opening period of Hotel X Toronto, you will find rates reduced as much as 30%,” said Celso Thompson, the hotel’s director of Sales and Marketing. “At any time, the hotel offers a prepaid, non-refundable option which clearly is the best deal if you are certain about your travel plans. Rates start at $350 for the entry level rooms.”

The bad news: You’ll have to go through Hotel X Toronto’s booking sites to get actual prices. Still, 30% is 30% off – and that is on top of the US dollar being worth about $1.20-$1.25 Canadian.

Hotel X, Toronto in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Location

Located at spacious Exhibition Place (home of the Canadian National Exhibition – CNE — every summer, and various Class A events and conventions year-round), Hotel X Toronto is right on the shore of Lake Ontario. It is far enough from the downtown core to have a clear, unobstructed view of the lake, the nearby Toronto Island with its parks and airport, and Toronto’s major buildings; plus the lakeshore’s Ontario Place and the 1840s-era stone Stanley Barracks at Fort York.

Having grown in Toronto and spent many summers at the CNE in all its gaudy midway glory, I could never have imagined a true luxury hotel being located on the fair grounds. But much has changed at Exhibition Place. New convention/display buildings have been added (like the Enercare Centre) and older spaces renovated, while the rundown Exhibition Place grandstand has been replaced by the modern BMO Field (home of the Toronto FC pro soccer team). The historic Stanley Barracks next door has been restored and softened with the addition of gardens.

Add the fact that Hotel X Toronto is right on Lake Ontario, yet so close to the downtown hub (transit is available, in addition to taxis and walking), and this hotel combines the best of open waterfront breeziness with downtown urban access. It is a welcome alternative to the very best downtown cor hotels that are crammed together, through no fault of their own. (Runners will particularly like the quick access to the lakeshore and its open spaces, rather than being confined to car-packed downtown sidewalks.)

Room/Bathroom

I was fortunate to stay in a corner suite, on the 18th floor of Hotel X Toronto. I walked into an entrance hallway that angled left to the spacious modern bathroom (including a glass-walled shower with space for more than one), then turned right into a truly roomy bedroom with floor-to-ceiling full glass windows on two side.

The view alone from this suite justifies the price of admission. It is one of the best that I have seen in Toronto’s many downtown hotels. But the quality of Hotel X Toronto’s modern furniture and appointments is also worth mentioning: The wood, metal, leather and fabric far are above the usual hotel fare. They and the room’s fabric walls make you feel like you are staying in someone’s elegantly-decorated high-end condo; rather than yet another unsuccessfully pretentious hotel.

I was also struck by the bathroom’s elegant fittings, and the little details that were tended to; such as having two bathrobes and slippers available rather than just one. The room service was also a treat: What a luxury to have smoked salmon Eggs Benedict delivered to one’s room for breakfast!

Hotel X, Toronto in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Gay Factor

If ‘Gay Factor’ translates into superb modern design with no false flash, elegance and quality in all things, and the sense that staying here somehow raises one’s game and sense of self, Hotel X Toronto has tremendous Gay Factor. That said, what I have just said applies to anyone, regardless of gender or orientation – as long as they have class, style, and a sense of how to comport themselves in public.

Meanwhile, Hotel X Toronto is a quick taxi/transit ride to everything in downtown Toronto; be it the city’s famous Gay Village, the Rogers Centre (home of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club), the Theatre District, the business core, shopping, or the Toronto Island (accessible by an underground tunnel at the nearby Island Airport, or a short ferry ride across the harbor; well worth it).

About the Checkout

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here.

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