Category Archives: Correspondent

By @ 01/17/18 in Allister Chang, Ed Salvato, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel, Travel Show

Meet ManAboutWorld at the Travel & Adventure Show, Washington, D.C. January 20-21, 2018Meet the ManAboutWorld team at  the Travel & Adventure Show, Washington, D.C. for travel inspiration and great trip-planning information this Saturday & Sunday, January 20-21 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato will moderate a fun, information-packed LGBT travel panel at the Show on Sunday, January 21 at 2:15pm in the Destination Theater. All welcome! whether you are LGBT or have family or friends in the community, you’ll find this information-packed seminar useful.

Meet ManAboutWorld at the Travel & Adventure Show, Washington, D.C. January 20-21, 2018

Free ticket

Register here for a free ticket (code: MANVIP18) but hurry we only have a limited supply.

All are welcome! Our booth provides information (and free guides) for all travelers (gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and our straight ally friends). The panel is designed for LGBT travelers as well as travel professionals interested in learning about trends, destinations, tours, cruises and events. All you need is an open mind and the passion to travel. Join this interactive and informative panel with leading experts in gay, lesbian and LGBT family travel.

Our moderator, ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato leads a very well-traveled group in a lively discussion touching on new cruises and tours, not-to-miss events and up-and-coming hot spots around the world. Come with your travel questions. This is a session you won’t want to miss!

We’ll be covering the world of LGBT travel, which is big! But among the many takeaways, here are three:

  • Destinations to put on your must-go list in 2018 and beyond
  • Events around the globe that are popular with LGBT travelers
  • Travel opportunities for gay families
  • Travel opportunities for trans travelers



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By @ 12/15/17 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Tom Goss, Travel, Traveling Tom

Traveling Tom visits Tokyo, a city steeped in ancient tradition and futuristic thinking. He takes us on a whirlwind tour of the city, from gay life in Shinjuku to geek life in Akihabara and the madness of the Shibuya Crossing, seemingly trying every vending machine along the way.

Tom (and his husband Mike) even go so far as dressing up as Luigi and Yoshi to brave real life Mario Kart! Tom Goss is a ManAboutWorld global correspondent and a talented singer. Click on his video and follow his Tokyo adventure. Follow Tom’s other video adventures here.

Meet Traveling Tom Visits Tokyo and a whole lot more. Check him out here

Tom Goss is a singer, songwriter and storyteller based in Los Angeles, CA. Tom has spent the last decade aggressively touring. performing over 1,000 shows in 100+ cities, traversing 40 states and 5 countries. An adventurer at heart, there are few places where Tom can’t find something to climb over or jump off of.

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 @ 11/29/17 in Gay travel, Jeff Guaracino, Travel

Gay Grand Grenada in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineTop Five Travel Tips

The busiest travel season of the year is upon us. Are you ready? In the rush of the season, don’t forget the basics of fabulous travel. Here are my top five travel tips to keep you happy and safe during your holiday travels.

  1. Double-check all of your confirmation and reservation numbers. From airlines and trains to hotels and car rentals, it is important to make sure everything is correct.
  1. Plan for Plan B. With weather delays, cancellations and other travel mishaps, consider planning an alternative route in advance so you know what your options are in case Plan A doesn’t work out.
  1. Always use the hotel safe. During your hotel stay, many people may have access to your room. Keep all your valuables locked up in the room’s safe.
  1. Tip. The holidays are expensive for everyone — especially those working in the hospitality industry. Don’t forget to tip your bellman, your maid, your taxi driver and those who are serving you. Good tipping is good holiday karma.
  1. Be kind. Don’t forget travel is supposed to be fun! You are going to be bumped. The last space in the overhead bin will be taken by some person with an oversized bag. Someone is going to have a hissy fit. Don’t be that person! Have fun, be kind!

Key West for the holidays

Despite Hurricane Irma, Key West is ready for you. Fantasy Fest 2017 went on as planned with an amazing 10 days of events. Despite thinner palm trees, roofs in the midst of repair and a noticeably smaller crowd for the Bud Light Fantasy Fest Parade, the island’s spirit is alive and well — albeit clearly weary and recovering.

The guesthouses and hotels fared well during the storm. Most of your favorites, from the Equator Resort to Alexander’s Guest House, are in topnotch condition. The Key West Airport has minor damage to the outdoor-smoking area. The storm may have changed regularly scheduled tours and activities. To help you plan your trip while you are in Key West, make a stop at the new Key West Business Guild’s LGBT Visitor Center at a larger location at 808 Duval St. The new location is within Key West’s “Pink Triangle,” which includes a cluster of LGBT bars, entertainment clubs and stores around the 700 and 800 blocks of the iconic Duval Street. Nightly entertainment is back and the Blue Q Adventures is taking us on sunset sails (check out the all-male sails too!).

Island House, the world’s best all-male, clothing-optional luxury resort is in perfect shape — sans one giant tree that is being replaced with bamboo. The staff at Island House lost 18 days of work during Hurricane Irma but they are back, bringing guests the same level of luxury and attention as before the hurricane. Island House was hopping during Fantasy Fest with two big parties and has become the epicenter of the island’s LGBT daytime and nighttime fun. With a free nightly happy hour with open bar, pool, free Internet, a gym, on-site massage and a 24-hour restaurant (plus, some late-night skinny dipping in the pool),Island House is still the island’s best gay value.

For the holidays, Island House will host some official events like “Bone Island: Bare It All” weekend, Nov. 30-Dec. 3. It’s an all-boys weekend with dance parties, naked pool parties, boat trips and more. Don’t pack much! Less is more, and that is good to avoid airline fees too!

The island is promising to recover, to rebuild and to stay “Keys Strong” in 2018. Sushi, the island’s iconic drag queen, will take her annual midnight high-heel drop (think a drag version of Times Square ball drop). At the stroke of midnight to the roars of the crowd gathered, Sushi is lowered in a red high heel to bring in New Year 2018. Bourbon Street Pub on Duval Street serves as headquarters. Insider’s tip: The $200 VIP balcony is definitely worth the view and the perks.

[Check out these two recent interviews by ManAboutWorld correspondent Dennis Hensley with Key West locals.]

Jeff Guaracino is the author of “The Handbook of LGBT Tourism and Hospitality: A Guide for Business Practice” (along with ManAboutWorld editor Ed Salvato) and “Gay and Lesbian Tourism: The Essential Guide for Marketing.”

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By @ 11/28/17 in Budapest, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Ronnie D'Amico, The CheckOut, Travel

Kapital Inn, Budapest, Hungary gay-owned B&B in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineCHECKOUT: Kapital Inn, Budapest: Top/bottom line

The Kapital Inn, Budapest, Hungary reigns as the #1 bed and breakfast on TripAdvisor for the past 10 consecutive years. That might be because it’s gay owned/operated by Albert, a local Hungarian and former 5-star hotel exec and Paul, a South African and former advertising exec. You’ll find the Kapital Inn on the penthouse floor of an elegant 19th century apartment building. They recently renovated the Inn blending the neo-renaissance architectural interiors with contemporary furniture, to create modern living spaces. This is the place to stay when you are in Budapest, and here’s why:

Location

Nestled in the 6th district of the Pest side (east of the Danube River), the Kapital Inn is set one block back from the city’s Andrássy Avenue, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Budapest’s answer to Paris’ Champs-Elysées. The Avenue is home to an abundance of upscale shops and restaurants and it’s side streets have just as much action. The Millennium rail line, the first subway line in continental Europe, is just steps away to access the entire city.

Here are just some of the top attractions within walking distance:

Hungarian State Opera House: Um. Madonna filmed the balcony scene from Evita here. If that’s not enough, there’s vocal and orchestra performances throughout the year.

  • The House of Terror Museum: The only of its kind dedicated to those victims of two terror regimes.
  • 360 Bar: An iconic Budapest rooftop terrace with 360° panorama views atop the tallest building on Andrássy Avenue. They recently installed six themed heated igloos with designer furniture to sip cocktails in during the winter months.
  • Széchenyi Thermal Bath: Budapest is known for their baths and this one is the largest medicinal bath in Europe. Tip: Dip in once the sun goes down to let the steam rise around you into the night sky.
  • Jewish District: Emerged as one of Budapest’s hippest neighborhoods, known for its quirky ”Ruin Bars”, cafes, art galleries and design shops.

Room/Bathroom

The Kapital Inn is a quintessential BnB boutique housing just seven rooms. Each is spacious, clean and smartly renovation and designed. The best I’ve seen in Europe. Even with an intimate feel, you won’t find yourself uncomfortably close to any other guests. And you’ll get a good night sleep; there’s a refined and calming stillness from being up in the penthouse that silences the bustle of Budapest below.

Kapital Inn, Budapest, Hungary gay-owned B&B in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

The rooms to book:

  • Deluxe King Room: This is the largest room and boasts a relaxing contemporary design, high ceilings, large French style windows and a comfy king-size bed. It has a big en-suite bathroom, his and his or hers and hers vanity, a walk-in shower and a two-person bathtub. The shower design is sexy, sleek and where you’ll want to spend your time.
  • Deluxe King Suite: For those traveling with family or more than one couple, this spacious 65sqm suite two bedroom has a living room and a large en-suite bathroom with walk-in shower. It is furnished with an eclectic mix of contemporary furniture and lighting, and features high ceilings, queen size beds and four large French style windows for a light and airy atmosphere.
  • Deluxe Double Rooms: Very spacious rooms, each with their own en-suite bathroom fitted with “RainDance” showerheads and walk-in showers large enough to fit two. They both feature contemporary design, which blends modern and vintage style furniture.

Amenities

Breakfast: Each morning head to the elegant kitchen for breakfast (8:00am and 10:30am) where you’ll sit at the huge island with other guests from around the world. There you’ll find Albert or Paul ready to take your order for eggs, bacon or one of their must have omelets (Albert is a Hungarian trained chef). A choice of coffee or tea is available, alongside apple and orange juice, traditional pastries, a selection of cereals, fresh fruit, yogurt, cream cheese and Hungarian salami. *Breakfast is included in the price of your room. They accommodate specific dietary requests too.

Kapital Inn, Budapest, Hungary gay-owned B&B in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineRoof Top Terrace: After checking in I was completely surprised to find a 600-sq. ft. private terrace with rooftop views. Weather permitting, this is where to sip a cocktail before heading to dinner or to relax after a day of sightseeing. There’s also a fully fitted guest kitchen area located next to the terrace.

Guest Office: A private guest office comes equipped with laptop and printer if you need to connect with the real world. There’s free Wi-Fi throughout the property and the office is packed with books, games, DVD’s and more.

Other room amenities include: All air-conditioned room, daily housekeeping, hairdryer, shower gels and soaps.

Kapital Inn, Budapest, Hungary gay-owned B&B in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Local Experience

From the moment you arrive, you feel the love.

Arrival Love: Albert or Paul will graciously welcome and sit down with you to chart out your Budapest experience. They’ll pull out a map, pen and begin marking up things to do that best fit your interests.

Local Love: Albert, a native Hungarian, knows the city, it’s people and politics. You can’t ignore the passion he holds for the city. Breakfast time is when you can learn the most from Albert and Paul about Budapest and make up of its culture. You may be a thousand miles from home, but you’ll never feel you’re that far away with the conversation and hospitality provided by Albert and Paul.

Gay Factor

  • LGBT owned and operated
  • Conveniently located near gay bars and clubs (ask Albert and Paul for recommendations)
  • Started out as a strictly gay BnB, but now open to all – but still caters to many gay guests.

Rates

Rooms start at €65 for Standard rooms start and slide up to €99 for the the Deluxe Suite.

Ready to go

For rates and reservations click or tap the website for Kapital Inn, Budapest.

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 @ 11/17/17 in Ed Salvato, Gay honeymoon, Gay rights, Gay travel, St. Lucia, Travel

Dominic Fedee, tourism minister for St. Lucia in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

The Honorable Dominic Fedee visited New York this month with his marketing and public relations team to launch a new campaign for St. Lucia and to assure Americans that this lush Caribbean nation was not affected by recent hurricanes. The small country depends on tourism, and he asserts that “The best way to help the Caribbean is to visit the Caribbean.”

In St. Lucia, as in a number of Caribbean countries, same-sex relations between men are illegal though there are no laws against lesbians. We caught up with Minister Fedee to ask him whether LGBTQ visitors are welcome in St. Lucia. The interview, below, is part of a series with senior tourism leaders about LGBTQ travelers, including our recent interview with Jamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, MP.

Interview with the Honorable Dominic Fedee, Saint Lucia’s Minister of Tourism, Information and Broadcasting by Ed Salvato

ManAboutWorld: Sometimes the LGBTQ media cites the Caribbean as an example of a region that is unfriendly or unwelcoming for gay travelers. Would you say LGBTQ traveler are welcome in St. Lucia?

Dominic Fedee: Well, everyone is welcome in St. Lucia. Absolutely. I can tell you there is a comprehensive constitutional review taking place in a number of Caribbean countries. Sometimes the books don’t reflect the pulse or where the population is and a lot of our law is based on old antiquated British law. For example, capital punishment is still in the books. You must remember that we are small jurisdictions. A lot of us only got independence in the ’60’s and ’70’s, and we don’t have the economic might to reform our legislation and make the changes necessary to move forward as fast as we would like.

But the question is, “As humans, how do we appreciate differences in one other? How do we respect each other and not allow those differences to divide us?” I think that is the key. I don’t think any of us will be extreme about any position. I think it is our responsibility to be patient and understanding with them and to keep giving them opportunities to understand us.

ManAboutWorld: Do you think that is a sentiment shared by yours fellow St. Lucians, especially in the hospitality industry, for customer-facing service workers? It feels like that may be the culture there.

Dominic Fedee: Well, I worked in the hospitality industry. I had 16 long years in the specific company and we welcomed many gay couples, and it is a practice.

ManAboutWorld: Is the government giving serious consideration to removing antiquated anti-sodomy laws? It sounds like the country doesn’t necessarily have the resources to move as quickly as it wants.

Dominic Fedee: Well, there’s a lot of discussion and debate. I mean I just got back and two weeks ago, the news was talking about whether marijuana should be legal — another subject that divides us. Also whether capital punishment should be legal. So it’s not just about same-sex marriage.

ManAboutWorld: A lot of countries and marketers are seeking gay travelers for the economic and social benefits that the group provides and the positive PR message it sends by welcoming them. Does St. Lucia actively seek to attract LGBTQ travelers?

Dominic Fedee: No, though everyone is welcome. I think of tourists are tourists. I don’t want to differentiate between Muslim and Black and White and Christian and fat or gay and straight. We welcome everybody.

ManAboutWorld: I interviewed a couple of hotel marketers in St. Lucia and one thing that came up a was that there seemed to be restrictions on marriage officiants blessing same-sex couples because they’re afraid that they could have their license revoked. Is that something that an officiant should be concerned about?

Dominic Fedee: Well, in the absence of a definitive policy, I can understand one would be cautious. I mean even in this interview — I can’t remember my cabinet ever sitting down together to talk about this specific problem. We have discussed the judicial system in general but we have not looked at whether we look specifically at gay marriages or marijuana. When do we make them legal? That discussion has taken place whether we disregard capital punishment. In some jurisdictions, that has been outlawed. It will take a lot of time for the Caribbean.

ManAboutWorld: Let me ask you this final question. Hospitality companies and brands are among the most progressive in the world, scoring high in the Human Right Campaign Corporate Equality Index which rates most large hotel companies 100% in terms of their support for their LGBTQ customers and employees. Is St. Lucia’s hospitality industry looking at LGBTQ issues in terms of any sort of sensitivity training or awareness as far as you know?

Dominic Fedee: We have a very active civil society group and we leave that — it is still a contentious issue even here in the United States. And so civil society drives that and I can’t remember government ever actively taking it on. I think the St. Lucian LGBTQ movement is very courageous. [editor’s note: Led by executive director, Kenita Placide of United & Strong (LGBTQI) St. Lucia.] I wish it all the best. It’s very welcoming and that’s why I love democracy where people can default on different things and people can still respect each other’s differences and people must not allow those differences to divide them. But the differences in us should inspire us and the differences in us should — we should all take away from the differences in us.

St. Lucia in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine



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By @ 11/16/17 in Dane Steele, David Alport, David Rubin, Gay honeymoon, Gay marriage, Gay travel, Hannes Pálsson, Jonas Rask, Paul Bachant, Travel, Zachary Moses

New Free Guide to Same-sex Weddings, Honeymoons and Celebration Travel by ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineOur new and expanded free Guide to Same-sex Honeymoons, Weddings and Celebration travel — our biggest issue ever! — is now available in the ManAboutWorld app, which you can download via the App Store or Google Play. The updated guide is our largest free guide yet covering a wide range of topic areas, featuring 11 of the world’s most romantic venues plus the expert advice of Intentional Travel expert David Alport; “Fascination Personality” expert Sally Hogshead; and legal expert Elizabeth Schwartz.

Advice to plan the best weddings, honeymoon or celebration travel

If you’re thinking romance or marriage or celebration: Download our free Guide to Weddings, Honeymoons and Celebration Travel. We included our own expert advice as well as that of a number of our Global Correspondents and other travel and wedding experts and advisors who specialize in LGBT group travel to help us sort through the process, and help you plan your own memories-of-a-lifetime trip.

New Free Guide to Same-sex Weddings, Honeymoons and Celebration Travel by ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineTopics

All you need is an iPhone, iPad or Android tablet to view it. Go to the App Store or Google Play to download the ManAboutWorld app. Here are some of the topics we covered:

  • Deciding on an experience/style
  • Timing your trip
  • Finding and working with an expert
  • Planning your budget
  • Choosing a destination
  • Managing a guest list
  • Communicating excitement
  • Social media strategies
  • Planning a ceremony
  • Keeping track of the little details
  • Packing for your trip
  • Preparing for your departure
  • Enjoying the moment
  • Managing group dynamics
  • Embracing the unexpected
  • Easing your return
  • Sharing your memories

Chill the Champagne

Whether it’s a honeymoon, wedding or other romantic or celebratory travel occasion, don’t even begin to start planning till you read this free guide to Weddings, Honeymoon and Celebration Travel! Besides romance, all you need is an iPhone, iPad or Android tablet to view it. Go to the App Store or Google Play to download the ManAboutWorld app. The guide is free. Champagne is on you!

New Free Guide to Same-sex Weddings, Honeymoons and Celebration Travel by ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

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By @ 11/07/17 in Australia, Gay cruise, Gay travel, John Walker, Sydney, Travel

ManAboutWorld correspondents John Walker and Gavin Patterson are constantly crisscrossing the globe to update our readers on gay-friendly travel opportunities all over the world … on land and on sea, including a recent experience crossing the equator. They recently sailed on the Radiance of the Seas. Here are a few of their highlights from their experience. You can read more of their adventures on their blog, GayMenOnHoliday.com.

Crossing the equator in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

King Neptune summons the crew who need to be punished when crossing the Equator.

Evening Sail Out, Sydney Harbour
There are few better sights in the world than an evening sail out from Sydney Harbour on a luxury cruise liner with the brilliantly lit sails of the Opera House as a cruise curtain raiser. The shimmering waters of the harbour reflected a million dazzling lights of Australia’s biggest city adding to the spectacle of this fairytale farewell.

Sydney Harbor in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Spectacular views of Sydney Opera House on sailout

Marlborough Wineries, New Zealand
Close to Picton, the Marlborough region is a rich, fertile landscape dotted with over 100 wineries producing premium Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay varietals. World famous Cloudy Bay is the best known winery but we enjoyed the clear, crisp selections from Spy Valley and a smoky, dry Riesling from Framingham Wines. Delicious!

Marlborough wine region in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

The crisp, classic tastes of the Marlborough wine region, New Zealand

A Mystery Dinner At Sea
During days at sea there’s sometimes a murder mystery to be solved at dinnertime. The scene is set with multiple villains, screaming slapstick and a gunshot. Guests piece together the clues while enjoying gourmet food and wine pairing. Of course it is the wife, but the whole experience is a tantalising specialty theatre restaurant on the high seas.

Radiance of the Seas performers in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Hilarious and delicious Mystery Dinner Theatre at sea

Tahiti
The jewel of all the destinations included stops in Papeete, Moorea and Bora Bora. We were greeted at every port with crystal, fluorescent waters, succulent seafood lunches, wide, beaming smiles and exotic, island culture with a French twist. This charming Polynesian cocktail is worth sipping slowly but unfortunately our ship had to sail.

Crossing The Equator
Crossing the Equator by ship means rituals are performed. King Neptune and his entourage held court on the pool deck pardoning lowly ship hands for dastardly deeds to ensure a safe passage into the northern hemisphere. Punishment was a spectacular shower of raw eggs, flour and spaghetti sauce followed by kissing the dead fish.

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By @ 11/07/17 in Dennis Hensley, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Key West, Travel

Dennis Hensley Key West update on a podcast and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineManAboutWorld correspondent Dennis Hensley was recently in Key West, Florida. He had planned to post a collection of short interviews he did with the people he met. Then Hurricane Irma happened. He did manage to organize two interviews: One with an openly gay man who ran a small tour company. And another with a woman who’s been tirelessly working to promote Key West for years. Here’s Dennis’ report.

Cody White, passionate Key West resident

One of the people I met and interviewed while I was there was Cody White who until recently ran a small tour company with his husband RyanListen to the podcast here. In the wake of Irma, the pair decided to focus on other endeavors … but I spoke to Cody before the storm over blizzards at a Dairy Queen not far from the gay resort I was staying at, The Equator. We talked about how he ended up in Key West, what it’s like to have an Airstream trailer, Key West’s passion for costume parties, how tourists react when they learn he’s gay and why Key West is the place for him. Listen to the podcast here.

Dennis Hensley Key West update on a podcast and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineCarol Shaughnessy, Newman Public Relations, Key West

Met lots of awesome people on my trip to Key West, FL in August for Man About World magazine. One of them was local writer and publicist Carol Shaughnessy. Listen to the podcast here. Over breakfast with our small group of journalists, she regaled the table with the story of Mel Fisher, the legendary treasure hunter who spent 16 years combing the waters around Key West for treasure from a Spanish ship that sank in the 1600s.

It was such an amazing tale–complete with a $450 million ending–I asked Carol to tell it again on the podcast. We also talked about the giant rainbow flag that went from the Atlantic ocean to the Gulf of Mexico down Key West’s main boulevard and the spirit of Key West and how the community supports people in their dreams, no matter how out there they may be. I’ve heard from Carol since Irma and she said that Key West’s motto of “One Human Family” if in full display as everyone works together to get back to normal. Listen to the podcast here.

More from Dennis Hensley on ManAboutWorld here.



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By @ 11/07/17 in Gay travel, Hotels, James Careless, The CheckOut, Toronto, Travel

One King West Hotel in Toronto and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineLocated at the southwest corner of King and Yonge Streets, One King West Hotel & Residence is an uber-cool, LGBTQ-friendly place to stay and eat. The hotel starts within the restored 100 year-plus former Dominion Bank headquarters’ 13-story building connecting to a super-thin (to fit within the available real estate) 51-story glass tower known as “The Sliver.” Elegantly modern suites are available in each, while the original banking hall is home to “Teller’s Bar & Lounge.” That’s right: Where one-half of today’s Toronto-Dominion Bank once drove debtors to drink, you can enjoy a chic cocktail.

Location

Frankly, you couldn’t get a better location for staying in downtown Toronto than One King West. Within walking distance:

  • Hockey Hall of Fame (Canada’s spiritual version of the Vatican, with equal if not more significance to Canadians);
  • CN Tower
  • Air Canada Centre for major league sports (the NBA’s Raptors/the NHL’s Maple Leafs) and popular music concerts
  • Rogers Centre for Blue Jays American League baseball, Roy Thomson Hall for classical music
  • Princess of Wales and Royal Alexandra Theatres for Broadway shows; the list goes on and on!

Add nightclubs, restaurants, shopping (including the Toronto Eaton Centre mega-mall), and much of what you want to see is close to One King West. And if it isn’t, then you can jump on the subway just outside the main door for other destinations.

Room/Bathroom

We love the 42nd floor one-bedroom suite/bathroom with floor-to-ceiling glass windows allowing views of the rest of the downtown area, the Toronto Islands, and Lake Ontario. Rooms are tastefully decorated in rich, low-key modern tones and hues. And since One King West’s suites are actually individually-owned condos that are rented and managed by the hotel, the room came with an efficiency kitchen.

The room itself had space for the elegant kitchen area, a sitting area in the sweeping curved windows of The Sliver’s skin, and a bed with high-quality linens. The bathroom comes with a glass-walled walk-in shower and long counter with sink.

One King West Hotel in Toronto and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Amenities

Amenities include a rooftop fitness center on top of the original banking tower, where you’ll find a selection of cardio machines, free weights, yoga mats and separate saunas for men and women. One King West also has full concierge services, a business center, valet and self-parking (the latter with three chargers for electric cars).

Gay Factor

Being that it is in the heart of all things cool in Toronto, One King West’s gay factor is undeniable. You can hop onto the TTC subway outside the main door and go four stops north to Wellesley station; putting you just steps west of the city’s Gay Village at Wellesley and Church Streets. But frankly, you’re in Canada, where gay marriage was embraced long before it was in the U.S.. So just Google “LGBTQ clubs Toronto” and you’ll find lots of action nearby, including Club 120  on 120 Church Street northeast of King.

Rates

The rates at One King West are not cheap. But they’re not too bad, either. At the economical end of the scale (by downtown Toronto terms) at C$189 plus 13% HST/night is a Historic Superior suite in the original 17-story tower, or a Tower Deluxe Suite in the 51-story Sliver. At the top end is the C$559+HST/night for The Pinnacle Suite: One King West’s only two-bedroom feature suite. It offers stunning balcony views, a spacious living room, sexy bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub, large-screen HDTV, and a kitchenette with fridge, microwave oven and dishwasher. You can fit four people in the Pinnacle, with comes with one king and one queen-sized bed.

One King West Hotel in Toronto and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

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 https://www.manaboutworld.com/?page_id=87 here.

Story by ManAboutWorld global correspondent James Careless.



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By @ 11/06/17 in Aaron Drake, Charleston (SC), Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, Gay travel magazine for iPad, ManAboutWorld

Middleton Place in Charleston, SC and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineWelcome to Charleston, South Carolina, y’all. Down South you’ll find an unexpectedly fun LGBT travel option, one where horse-drawn carriages wheel down cobblestoned streets lined by stately Antebellum mansions. This city has a storied past and a bright future, filled with thoughtful perspective of its deep history dating back to 1650 and a rich LGBT life. It boasts fine luxury accommodations, delicious Southern cuisine, lively nightlife and a wealth of activities that will give you the true Charleston experience. Here are our favorites from our visit to the heart of the Lowcountry.

Belmond Charleston Place

The Belmond Charleston Place located in Charleston’s downtown historic district combines top-of-the-Belmond Charleston Place Suite in Charleston, SC and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineline amenities with a decidedly Southern flare. Upon check in you will see the hotel lobby’s 17th-century Georgian open-arm staircase, 12-foot crystal chandelier and Italian marble throughout. Guests with a little extra budget should consider a room on the Club Level; here, along with a great city view from the hotel’s top two floors, you’ll get special perks like exclusive access to the lounge for complimentary continental breakfast, afternoon tea and an ideal spot for a nightcap. Visitors can look forward to the hotel’s full-service European-style spa and the hotel’s award-winning Charleston Grill. The knowledgeable staff will help you find your way around Charleston. You’re immersed in the city’s history as soon as you step outside the hotel’s doors.

Charleston Grill

Rated as the third best fine dining restaurant in the U.S. by TripAdvisor, Charleston Grill serves a menu of contemporary Southern and cosmopolitan cuisine created by Executive Chef Michelle Weaver, with seafood and local ingredients, paired with a list of more than 30 wines. Dishes such as the seared foie gras with blackberry preserves and signature crab cakes offer a unique take on traditional options. Dinner is accompanied by a live jazz band nightly. Oh, and don’t skip dessert—the Brown Butter Apple Cake alone is worth the trip South.

Bulldog LGBT History Tour

A new addition to the city’s offerings is a look at Charleston’s history from the LGBT perspective. The Bulldog LGBT private walking tour takes visitors on a walk through history—one that’s ripe with LGBTs who were instrumental in shaping the city, living and dead. You’ll hear stories from the scandalous account of Dawn Langley Simmons, a well-known transgender author who turned society on its head by transitioning and marrying an African American man, to the infamous backstory of a familiar name forever memorialized in the words of Edgar Allen Poe—the beautiful Annabel Lee.

Bulldogs Ghost Tour

Of course as one of the oldest cities in the country, you know there will be ghosts. The Bulldog Ghost Tour takes visitors into the city’s original jail. Going in at the dead of night—in pitch dark—is terrifying enough, but along with the guide’s true-to-life stories of the prisoners that found their way here (including common criminals and prisoners of war), you’ll learn all about executions that took place here and who is said to still be walking the halls.Belmond in Charleston, SC and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Dudley’s

At Dudley’s, the city’s sole queer hangout, expect a night packed with high-energy drag performances and a dance floor with a diverse crowd of the city’s inhabitants and international visitors alike moving en masse to a live DJ spinning pop favorites. Enjoy nightly drink specials and a changing calendar of weekly events. (We recommend getting there early as it fills up fast and there will likely be a line to get in.)

Middleton Place

At Middleton Place visitors can take a stroll through the nation’s oldest landscaped gardens, catching colorful azaleas and camellias in full bloom. But this National Historic Landmark also gives a peek into a four-generation span of American history. Once owned by one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Arthur Middleton, the property was formerly a working rice plantation. Though the plantation’s main buildings were set ablaze after the Civil War, visitors can still see the house museum where antique furniture, porcelain dishes and portraits from the family’s collection were saved and put on display, along with a dedicated museum to the African American slaves who worked there.

Lewis Barbecue

A visit to the South wouldn’t be complete without some authentic barbecue and all the fixins at Lewis Barbecue. John Lewis, former pit master at award-winning Texas BBQ joint La Barbecue, brings his custom smokers to prepare the perfect BBQ’d beef brisket, pork spareribs and beefribs.

Hominy Grill in Charleston, SC and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineHominy Grill 

James Beard Award-winning Chef Robert Stehling sets the scene of a scrumptious Southern meal with his take on classic Southern dishes like shrimp n’ grits, Charleston Nasty Biscuit and signature cocktails. The Hominy Grill is housed in a charming single family home that only makes diners feel even more like they’re enjoying a home-cooked meal.

Magnolia’s Uptown Down South

Also located downtown in Charleston’s historic district, Magnolia’s Uptown Down South‘s chef duo Kelly Franz and Don Drake created a delectable menu of true Lowcountry cuisine infused with contemporary elements and fresh ingredients. Try the Fried Green Tomatoes or boiled peanut hummus for starters.

Darling Oyster Bar

Take full advantage of Charleston’s close proximity to the Atlantic and enjoy fresh seafood—specifically Darling in Charleston, SC and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineoysters at Darling Oyster Bar. Executive Chef Jo DiMaio has it all covered for the picky eaters; you can order them fried, baked or raw. We highly recommend popping in for brunch and ordering The Captain. You may not even need to order oysters after that!

Aaron Drake, correspondent for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineStory by ManAboutWorld correspondent Aaron Drake.

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By @ 10/30/17 in Allister Chang, Gay family travel, Gay honeymoon, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Miami, The CheckOut

 

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineTHE RITZ-CARLTON KEY BISCAYNE: TOP/BOTTOM LINE

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is a luxurious escape that’s great for gay families, including those of us aiming to fulfill our guncle duties with a little extra help. Drop your kids off at Ritz Kids for a kickball game or an interactive marine biology lesson, and enjoy a cocktail by the adults-only pool. Or take your princ(ess) out for a mani-pedi, complete with complimentary shirley temples. Secluded on an exclusive barrier island, this Ritz-Carlton feels far removed from the other three Ritz-Carltons in Miami – it’s more private, peaceful, and family-focused. This is not your resort to have a crazy weekend to meet new guys. It’s a tropical getaway for you to share with your partner and family.

LOCATION

Convenient and private. The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is just 20-minutes from the Miami International Airport, yet feels secluded from the hustle and bustle of downtown Miami. Key Biscayne is an exclusive barrier island, and this Ritz-Carlton is the island’s only hotel. Guests have front door access to hiking and biking trails of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. It’s a 20-minute taxi or Lyft ride to the gay bars and clubs in South Beach.

RATES

Ocean view guest rooms start at $400. The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is not an all-inclusive resort. For breakfast, snacks, cocktails, a private concierge, and a private kids room, add club lounge access. Offerings of snacks at the club lounge during our stay included raw oysters and sushi. Club level rooms with ocean views start around $700. If you’re bringing kids, Ritz Kids offers full-day activities for kids from 9AM to 3PM for $120. ESPA menu items include “THE Mens Facial” at $160 for 50 minutes and a deep muscle massage at $175 for 50 minutes. Our favorite, the 110-minute Tequesta Ritual is priced at $330. Prices for rooms and spa treatments lower during low-season (July to September). The Ritz Carlton Key-Biscayne spa also participates in Miami Spa Month (usually July and August) and even extends these discounted offerings to October.

ROOM/BATHROOM

Just renovated this past year, each of the 490 guest rooms now offer a lighter, more casual and open aesthetic. The new color-schemes more closely reflect the hues of blues and greens of the beach-front tropical landscape. We appreciated the convenience of bedside outlets during our stay. We also appreciated the efficiency of the layout for the marble bathrooms, though we wished there had been more space to place our champagne during our bubble bath. Rooms with oceanfront views include balconies that look over the resort’s two pools. Open the windows at night to be lulled to sleep by the waves. For the ultimate family escape, book the new Ritz-Carlton Suite, which includes 2 bedrooms, a full kitchen, a dining room, and 2 balconies offering panoramic views of the ocean.

AMENITIES

Testament to the quality of the hotel’s restaurants and spa treatments, guests return year after year, as do the local elite. The Tequesta Ritual, our favorite of the spa’s 3 signature location-specific treatments, is a 110-minute detoxifying ritual. The algae wrap, sticky at first, warmly envelopes you and awakes your skin even as your thoughts drift away. The aromatherapy massage and scalp massage bring you back into your body. Request Adrian. After getting re-centered at the spa, take a private class at the resort’s tennis center, or take a jog down the white sand beach to Florida’s third oldest active lighthouse.The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Enjoy a beachside cocktail in the St. Tropez style cabanas at DUNE, and if you’re feeling extra hungry and carnivorous, try their giant bison burger with foie gras. Keep an eye out for Gino, DUNE’s bartender who has been at the resort since the beginning, and ask him to make you his famous 3-rum mojito. The resort’s newest restaurant, Lightkeepers, offers coastal-inspired dishes, including a Sunday brunch with caviar and a full-room dedicated to desserts. Cantina Beach, the resort’s second oceanfront restaurant, offers Mexican food, South Florida’s largest tequila collection, and their own in-house “guacamologist.” Rumbar, their Cuban lobby lounge, offers rums, cigars, and live music Thursday through Saturday. Wrap-up your tropical escape with a complimentary photo shoot with staff photographers.

GAY FACTOR

This resort may not look like a typical gay getaway. Key Biscayne was Richard Nixon’s favorite vacation destination, no gay weddings have yet been hosted at the resort. But look closer, and you see that the resort has been made with a gay touch. Take a complimentary workout class with Mauricio, or ask Omar at the spa front-desk for some green-tea scrub he stashes away for family. Timothy Williams, the Spa Director, who is currently leading a re-imagination of the resort’s shops, tells us that part of why he has enjoyed working here is that the “Ritz Carlton has always focused on equality.” Tim adds that as our community starts to think more about where we want to take our children, nieces, and nephews on vacation, “nothing else compares to this property… nowhere else in Miami has a kids program like here.”

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Ready to go

For rates and reservations check out the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne,  Miami’s 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 here. This hotel was reviewed by ManAboutWorld correspondent Allister Chang

 

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By @ 09/07/17 in Dining/food/wine, Gay travel, John Walker, Phuket, Thailand, Travel
Restaurant Royale Nam Tok in gay Phuket, Thailand and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineGay Phuket update: Restaurant Royale Nam Tok in Phuket, Thailand is a class act from start to finish. The sumptuous dining space, superb service by host Corry and the culinary distinction of Chef Marc are usually hallmarks of the finest European Michelin Star restaurants. Their exquisite home by day and restaurant by night, with only six tables, lavishly set with fine French napery, antique silver cutlery and elaborate glassware, could only be described as distinguished opulence.

On arrival we enjoyed the sultry sounds of famous French divas while sipping pre-dinner champagne cocktails in the tropical pool garden before being served an amuse bouche of mushroom cappuccino.

The menu varies throughout the year. An appetiser of large plump scallops fried in ginger and served in a rich pumpkin soup was delectable. The house speciality, Champignons á la Madeleine, features mushrooms stuffed with a secret recipe belonging to Marc’s aunt and they are seriously delicious.

Grandmother’s Pot-au-Feu (rabbit stew) in a white wine sauce with two mustards and tarragon was a wild French treat and the sauce was so good you could have bathed in it. Canadian Lobster and fried turbot filet in lobster bouillon sauce, with coconut milk from Marc’s own garden, was also sensational.

Restaurant Royale Nam Tok in gay Phuket, Thailand and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineSipping French Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley we studied the á la carte dessert menu. What a dilemma, everything sounded so enticing. Marc suggested the surprise dessert medley to share. How could we go wrong with a master chef in the kitchen? Luscious petit fours served on top of an ornate glass bowl containing Siamese Fighting Fish was a touch of finesse to complete a perfect dinner.

Story and photos by John Walker & Gavin Patterson, ManAboutWorld correspondents who blog here and on GayMenonHoliday.com. They visited this restaurant in Phuket and found it wonderful and quite unique. It is owned by two lovely Belgian men who packed up their European restaurant and transported it to their new home in Thailand.

More Thailand
For more gay Phuket and Thailand recommendations, download the free ManAboutWorld guide to Thailand available for iOS and Android devices.



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By @ 08/24/17 in Antigua, Gay travel, Jeffrey James Keyes, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Blue Waters Resort & Spa, Antigua in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThere’s a gorgeous gem of a resort tucked into the northwestern corner of Antigua, just where the Caribbean Sea seduces the shore. The elegant resort recently completed a major renovation and presents a refreshing mix of luxury and seclusion with 69 rooms & suites, 28 Cove Suites, and three unique villas. Prince Harry recently stayed at the idyllic tropical paradise sprawling across seventeen acres of perfectly manicured and blissful paradise.

Gay factor

It can be challenging to find a gay friendly vacation in the Caribbean but the Blue Waters Resort & Spa is safe and completely gay friendly boutique resort (and who doesn’t love a boutique resort?). The property is considered one of Antigua’s pioneers of hospitality and has a great deal of loyal British and European guests who are friendly and social. Rockstar General Manager Alistar Forrest remains committed to making all guests feel comfortable and rolls out the azure blue carpet for at Bartley’s Restaurant, across the lobby, and Pelican Bar and the hotel staff is personable, kind, and accommodating.

Rates

Blue Waters Resort & Spa offers competitive rates for such a luxurious property. Superior Hillside rooms range from $656 to $992 depending on the season. Deluxe Beachfront rooms are slightly higher, from $910 to $1146. If you wish to stay on an All Inclusive Basis the supplement is $173 per night. If you’re looking to stay in one of the Blue Waters decadent suites a basic Luxury Suite is from $1,644 to $2,174 seasonally, or their famed Turtle Cottage is between $2,146 to $2,989 depending on the season. The Penthouse (which can sleep 7 adults) runs from $2,922 to $4,500). All rates are based on two adults sharing on a Bed & Breakfast basis. The Bed and Breakfast rates include: Full English Breakfast, accommodation, extensive water-sports including: Hobie Cats, Sailboats, Windsurfing, Kayaks, Snorkeling Equipment, 3 main swimming pools and 4 additional pools for Cove Suites guests only, 4 bars, 3 restaurants (Bartleys Restaurant is adults only) , indoor/outdoor dining, tennis, sun loungers, umbrellas, tables at beach or pool, beach towels, live music as well as entertainment (nightly singers/musicians) and the fitness center.

Blue Waters Resort & Spa, Antigua in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Basics

There’s no wrong time to check out Blue Waters, though you can definitely have a bit more privacy if you shy away from big holidays. If sweeping ocean views and perfectly manicured tropical surroundings is your idea of a vacation look no further than this slice of Caribbean paradise.

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By @ 06/21/17 in Cincinnati, Gay travel, Miles Griffis, Travel

Cincinnati, OhioCincinnati, also known as “Queen City,” is the jewel of the midwest. In just over 10 years the area has flipped homeless parks and crumbling architecture into modish neighborhoods while simultaneously becoming one of the most inclusive cities in America with a score of 100 in the Human Rights Campaign municipal equality index.

The city has a peppy food, craft beer, and cocktail scene that compliments their vivid arts sphere which hosts three museums and over one hundred murals scattered amongst the historic brick buildings. Most surprising is the city’s role in the LGBTQ historical frontier with its controversial Mapplethorpe obscenity trial in 1990 that bushwhacked the way for Jim Obergefell, a local, to lead us to marriage equality in the landmark Supreme Court case in 2015. If you’re not impressed in your first hours in Cincinnati wait until you meet the locals, they’ll persuade you.

Where we stay

Look into two locations: Downtown and Over-the-Rhine. Both are close to major attractions and are lively, walking friendly neighborhoods.

Cincinnati’s most unique downtown hotel is the 21c Museum Hotel. The entire hotel is a provocative modern art gallery dedicated solely to works of the 21rst century. The lobby has lofted white walls with art displays of multiple mediums. Exhibits change every sixth months and have featured works by artists John Waters, Kara Walker, and Nick Brandt. The four-star hotel rooms contain quirky features like 3D shower tiles of body parts, purple telephones, and donkey graphic pillows.

Over-the-Rhine hosts a wide array of apartments and townhouses available on Airbnb. The transforming neighborhood looks like old Brooklyn complete with four to five story brick buildings with beautiful fire escapes which locals lounge on during warm mid-summer evenings while others amble to quality restaurants and bars below them. Airbnbs are a steal in the area and most have been freshly renovated in the past five years.

Where we eat

Serious gourmands should visit Cincinnati in May for the annual Tastes of Cincinnati festival that usually falls on Memorial Day weekend. But no matter when you visit, the city offers premium restaurants. Try a Cincinnati breakfast classic, goetta, sausage patties mixed with steel-cut oats.

Boca is considered the top-notch restaurant by locals and features a solid French and Italian menu as well as a full and separate vegetarian menu. Service is incredible and so is the tropical pavlova for dessert, with coconut tapioca, compressed pineapple, lychee cream, meringue, passionfruit-yuzu-coconut sorbet.

Cincinnati, Ohio in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineFor a date of classic Italian try Sotto where rapper Drake and tennis player Serena Williams are rumored to have canoodled in the space’s sexy and intimate atmosphere.

If you’re on the go, walk by Gomez Salsa, an actual hole in the wall and order ‘The Turtle,” a filling quesadilla-burrito combo with the ingredients of your choice. It’s better but as quick as any Chipotle.

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By @ 06/09/17 in Berlin, Correspondent, Dennis Hensley, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Bike tour in Berlin with Dennis Hensley for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineOne of my favorite ways to get to know a new city is to take a bike tour. You get a lay of the land, are able to cross off some major tourist attractions of your to-do list and are able to justify any and all tasty treats you eat before, during and after, because hey, you’ve been pedaling all day. On a gorgeous spring day in late March, I took the 3 and a half hour, 15-kilometer “Berlin’s Best Bike Tour,” one of several tours offered by the company Berlin on Bike. Annd I’m so glad I did. Story and photo by ManAboutWorld correspondent Dennis Hensley.

The bike tour set off from the Kulturbrauerei, a charming complex of red brick buildings that during the Industrial Era was home to a beer factory but now houses restaurants, beer gardens and theaters. The sites we saw and learned about on the tour included a preserved section of the Berlin Wall complete with watchtower, the Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island, the Spree River, Tiergarten Park, the Victory Column, the hauntingly powerful Holocaust Memorial and the oh-so posh Hotel Adlon where Michael Jackson dangled his baby Blanket out the window. Along the way, we took a rest stop at a currywurst stand where I sampled Berlin’s most popular street foods, the currywurst, and a bottle of Club Mate, a trendy cold tea-like drink that packs quite punch.

The facts our guide Sebastian Becker shared about the city were fascinating and surprising, like that Chancellor Angela Merkel just lives in a regular apartment with neighbors above and below her, not a fancy government building. But what really made the tour special were the personal stories he shared. When he was a child, Sebastian’s parents were taking the family into the GDR (communist East Germany) to visit relatives, which you were allowed to do on special occasions and they snuck in a Monopoly game as a gift. When they got to the checkpoint, the GDR guards searched their car and found the game. Not only was it confiscated, but Sebastian’s parents had to be interrogated and body searched for hours in a private office while the children waited outside. I guess when you consider how Monopoly is all about American-style capitalism, it’s so surprise the GDR authorities didn’t want their citizens exposed to it. But you can bet the enjoyed playing it themselves.

The tour I took costs 21 Euros, 17 with the tourism board’s Welcome Card, which I highly recommend as it allows you to take public transportation and has many discounts for museums and so forth.

After the tour, Sebastian agreed to let me interview him for my Dennis Anyone podcast over lunch at a nearby sidewalk café, Pane e Vino, where you can get a delicious pizza or pasta dish for under 4 Euros.

You can listen to the podcast here.

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By @ 04/18/17 in Gay travel, Louis Boshoff, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Gay Grand Grenada in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine
If you’re looking for a place out of the fray after having done big city Spain, the unexpected gentle jewel of Granada is an excellent option and has captivated many an adventurer with its history, proximity to the Mediterranean and its laid back attitude.

It’s definitely a destination for leisure, excitement and curiosity. The ancient city lies at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains and is the sacred heart of this warm and welcoming southern part of Spain, having been Roman, Moorish and Christian with a long history of independence, it is a tolerant melting pot of traditions, cultures and customs with warm, friendly and hot locals. Granted, the weather might play a mighty part in that, the lifestyle is ultra al fresco and suntanned; the same goes for the small delicious dishes called ‘tapas’, which is basically a selection of mediterranean starters for lack of a lengthier description; the best news however being that in Granada it is complimentary with your drink at most establishments, putting a whole new spin on pub-crawling; it’s more of a tasting adventure with bars throughout town taking great pride in their accompaniments. (Story by Louis Boshoff; photos by Dirk Wijs.)Gay Grand Grenada in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

A basic visit would be anything from 2 days minimum to a week, (ideal en-route from the Madrid Pride to the coast), centering around the major historical attractions and depending on how much time is available, a lot more. Typically one would be approaching from Seville, since it has a major airport which connects to some European and International destinations with affordable connecting flights to Granada’s Frederico García Lorca Airport; named after their famous gay-homeboy-poet. By car or train it’s about a 3 hours with olive groves dotting the scenery.Gay grand Grenada in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

The season for Granada is an exceptionally long one, with the best time to visit being of course during spring, when nature is at its greenest with good weather and the almond trees flourishing in the hillsides if the Alpujarras for example. From April till June temperatures are still moderate (compared to the blazing heat of July and August) and the sunsets are particularly impressive this time of the year. Summer is naturally the ‘time of the tourist’ in most of Andalusia and Granada is no exception. Temperatures may soar into the 30’s and 40’s whilst nearly everything shuts down from 3 pm until 6 pm to take shelter. Autumn temperatures remain around 25° C till the end of October with fewer tourists and shorter queues concluding the warmer parts of the year.Gay grand Grenada in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Still when winter comes it changes quite radically, one week can make the difference, but that is of course also of interest to those who like to ski. The Sierra Nevada Mountains is particularly famous for it having hosted the ’96 World Alpine Ski Championships, so between end November and the end of April it’s definitely possible to add skiing to your things to do list.

Click “Read more” to continue this article. 

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By @ 04/13/17 in Gay travel, Paul Bachant, Spain

Basque Country Foodie Road Trip by gay travel magazine ManAboutWorld's Paul BachantA Basque country foodie road trip is not the first think people think of when planning a trip to Spain. This autonomous region in the north of Spain contains a dramatic scenery of rugged coastlines, interior mountains and rolling vineyards, with strong culinary and cultural traditions existing alongside avant-garde art and architecture, all of which is well-worth a visit. 

But let’s get right to heart of the matter: the food. We’ve sampled tapas, or pintxos as they are called here, in many parts of Spain, but nothing compares to what you find in Basque Country. The attention to eating well is part of the culture, from the simplest of snack bars to the more formal restaurants. It is said that the revolution in Spanish cuisine witnessed over the past few decades originated here and then spread to the rest of the country and beyond.

So if you don’t like great food and wine, then the essence of Basque Country will escape you. If you doPaul Bachant, ManAboutWorld gay travel correspondent, then dive in with us! Story and photos by Paul Bachant.

Day 1 – Bilbao to Vitoria-Gasteiz

After landing in Bilbao, we immediately noticed that we were in what is called the “Green Belt” of Spain. As the car whisked us to Vitoria-Gasteiz, the regional capital just one hour away, we were welcomed by the lushness of the green, forested hills. And while the rest of Spain was baking, we enjoyed the mild temperatures and a refreshing breeze.

Our first lunch in Vitoria-Gasteiz was at the intimate Taberna Tximiso where we were treated to an exquisite assembly of pintxos, each one more toothsome than the last, washed down with a crisp, local white wine. The owner explained each one with passion and even treated us to an off-menu item. The bill? A mere 23 euros for two. The evening meal consisted of a sampling of the many pintxo bars lining the streets of the medieval quarter, where the strolling and chatting and eating and drinking crowds contributed to a festive atmosphere.Paul Bachant explored Basque Country for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazin

Day 2 – Vitoria-Gasteiz

We spent the second day casually exploring the medieval quarter alternatively known as the “Casco Viejo” or the “Almendra”, almond in Spanish and a reference to the shape of the streets that radiate from the center. The tour of the Santa Maria Cathedral is a must-do while here. The church has been under restoration for many years since nearly collapsing and the tour takes you on a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the work being done.

Dinner was at El Portalon: the food here is more traditional and relatively pricey, but the setting of this 15th century inn is mesmerizing and well worth a visit.

Paul Bachant explored Basque Country for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazin

Day 3 – Vitoria-Gasteiz To Rioja Alava

After a quick breakfast, we hopped into the car and hit the road to our next stop in the Rioja Alava wine region. As we climbed the mountain range that separates the region from the rest of Basque country the forest grew thicker and the clouds heavier. But just after going through the Herrera Pass things changed dramatically. The clouds and fog dispersed and before us was a landscape more typical of Spain: rolling hills the color of honey punctuated by green bursts of scrub trees. It took about an hour to arrive at our destination, the small village of Villabuena de Alava. There is not much to see or do here; the purpose of our visit was a stay at the Hotel Viura. The hotel is tucked into the hillside at the bottom of the village and is a strikingly modern juxtaposition to the surroundings. It is one of many examples in the area of contemporary architecture, most notably seen in the hotels and wineries, some designed by internationally renowned “starchitects” (more on that later).Paul Bachant explored Basque Country for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazin

For lunch, we headed to the mountain top village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra (a lengthy name in dramatic Spanish flair) just over the border in Rioja proper and only 10 minutes away. Casa Toni is on an unassuming street at the end of the village, not a place where you would expect to find some of the most inventive cooking of the region. Soon after ordering we were presented with an amuse bouche of goat cheese and truffle between thin pastry crust, accompanied by beet sorbet presented in a lipstick tube. Amusing and delicious. And delicious and original were the appetizer – sardines with mackerel roe, garlic ice cream and olive oil – and the main dish, shredded pigeon with mushrooms, thyme and hazelnut vinegar.

More Spain on ManAboutWorld

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By @ 04/05/17 in Gay travel, Jason Paul, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Palace of VersaillesThe Palace of Versailles is an hour away and yet very far from the streets of Paris. Once the massive gilded gates come into view it’s like Oh, that’s why there was a revolution. 

We walked and walked and walked. The “Palace” of Versailleis really several huge buildings and many gardens across many acres, so it just goes on and on. From one opulent room to another intricate hedge. But my favorite example of decadence and whimsy of the ridiculously rich was the Queen’s Hamlet.

Bored from all the other palaces and gardens she could go to, Marie-Antoinette decided she wanted something quainter, rustic even. So, like you do pre-revolution, she had a village built in Norman style around a big lake. Before there was Real Housewives to join or being able to buy an island, I guess you just built your own theme park.

And I loved it. There’s a windmill and farm and fields full of animals. It does give the sense of stumbling into a lovely village from far from all the grandeur. Which of course was completely manufactured for that effect. But if you make it to Versailles and want a break from all the gold and marble (and your feet haven’t fallen off yet), walk on over and try out the Hamlet. It is a lovely little getaway from the getaway.

Story and photo by ManAboutWorld correspondents Jason Paul.

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By @ 03/28/17 in Dallas, Gay cruise, Gay family travel, Gay honeymoon, Gay travel, Gay travel news, Gay-Friendly, Kenny Porpora, ManAboutWorld, Travel, Travel Show, Zachary Moses

Meet LGBT travel experts at the Dallas Travel & Adventure Show, April 1-2Meet the ManAboutWorld team at the Dallas Travel & Adventure Show April 1-2 at the Dallas Market Hall.

ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato will moderate a fun, information-packed LGBT travel panel at the Show on Sunday, April 2 11:45 AM-12:30 PM.

Register here for a free ticket but hurry we only have a limited supply.

All are welcome! Our booth provides information (and free guides) for all travelers (gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and our straight ally friends). The panel is designed for LGBT travelers as well as travel professionals interested in learning about trends, destinations, tours, cruises and events. All you need is an open mind and the passion to travel. Join this interactive and informative panel with leading experts in gay, lesbian and LGBT family travel.

Our moderator, ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato leads a very well-traveled group in a lively discussion touching on new cruises and tours, not-to-miss events and up-and-coming hot spots around the world. Come with your travel questions. This is a session you won’t want to miss!

We’ll be covering the world of LGBT travel, which is big! But among the many takeaways, here are three:

  • Destinations to put on your must-go list in 2017 and beyond
  • Events around the globe that are popular with LGBT travelers
  • Travel opportunities for LGBT families
  • Cruises, tours and how best to work with a travel agent or tour operator
THE LGBT TRAVEL DREAM TEAM AT THE DALLAS TRAVEL SHOW!

Travel experts include:

Meet ManAboutWorld's Ed Salvato at the Travel & Adventure Show in Dallas April 1-2

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By @ 03/20/17 in Athens, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Simon Vasiliadis, Travel
Athens, Greece in gay travel magazine ManAboutWorld

Acropolis Museum

ManAboutWorld correspondent Simon Vasiliadis tell us this is a great time to visit his hometown Athens, Greece. Here’s his report.

Here is my look at the self-styled Greek city of sex appeal and what you can expect from your time here. If you enjoy Prides, let Athens take you in for 2017. Held the second Saturday of June in Klafthmonos Square Athens Pride is just a couple of month away. It’s a fun time to see the more typically restrained and closeted Greeks flying their rainbow freak flags. (ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine offers information on Athens, Greece and numerous other destinations around the world.)

Don’t miss

The classics still stand tall in Athens, but there are modern touches that will make you see the city in a whole new light. There are two places in the city I enjoy the sunset most. The Acropolis site & Acropolis Museum, and the Galaxy Bar & Restaurant at the Hilton Athens.

The best way to see the Acropolis is in tandem with the stunning new Acropolis Museum. The museum is beautifully designed and curated. The footprint of the interior reproduction of the Parthenon mirrors the actual Parthenon which you can see through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls.

Having stood at the foot of this breath-taking wonder of the world it’s not difficult to see why one could never have enough selfies with the great cradle of Democracy in the background.

Alternatively, the sunset from Galaxy Bar & Restaurant is gobsmacking. You get a 180o degree view of the city skyline, including the Acropolis. This legendary bar lies on the iconic 13th floor of Hilton Athens and serves signature cocktails – Giannis’ favourite is the Galaxy Negroni.

Make it to one of the two for the sunset and you will fall so hard for Athens that I promise you won’t want to leave .

Where we hang out

Before you start pounding the streets of modern Athens, sample the city as it used to be. Stroll through Anafiotika toward Agia Eirini Square where you can enjoy your late-morning iced coffee. Rooster is a popular gay venue on the square with a groove there that you can’t get enough of. Sit out, sip a coffee, enjoy a cocktail, chat with friends, see, be seen and enjoy all of those handsome locals walking by.

Rooster

Lunch is never just another meal at Cookoovaya. Delicious food prepared with expertise, passion and experience will tease your senses. Cookoovaya doesn’t come with instructions: indulge any way you please from an extensive menu that even the fussiest eater or strictest gym bunny will find enjoyable.

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