Category Archives: Allister Chang

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

 

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 @ 03/04/15 in Allister Chang, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel
As seen in ManAboutWorld, the gay travel magazine

Boys rough-housing on the beach in San Juan

 

 

An update from our beloved correspondent, Harvard student and frequent traveler, Allister Chang:

From the team that perfected “guerilla” takeovers of straight clubs, comes gay spring break San Juan 2015! On March 25-29 The Welcoming Committee (TWC) will bring LGBTQs from eight different cities to Puerto Rico. Whether you go by yourself, with a partner, or a group of friends, you’ll meet dozens of new people, and — if my past experiences with TWC events have taught me anything — leave a trail of glitter across the entire island.



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By @ 02/18/14 in Allister Chang, Correspondent, Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, Gay travel magazine for iPad, ManAboutWorld, Travel

 

TWC take over of a casino bar probably created its hottest night ever

This is normally the boring bar in a mainstream casino.

By Boston-based Global Correspondent Allister Chang

Boston-based The Welcoming Committee is bringing an innovative spirit of lighthearted activism into the world of gay travel. The TWC’s recent “take overs” of ski resorts, casinos, and other destinations have brought together a range of gay Bostonians. “Soon we’ll take over Cancun for Spring Break,” says Ashley Lucas, a recent hire who spearheaded the “Flannel Takeover” movement (GQBs organized specifically for our lesbian sisters).

TWC has reshaped the landscape of gay nightlife in Boston with their monthly Guerilla Queer Bars (GQB). On the first Friday of each month, TWC “takes over one of the douchiest bars in Boston.”  What Daniel initially began as a joke with 20 friends expanded to over a thousand participants by the 5th event. 

TWC was named “best gay bar” by Boston Magazine in 2012.  “The funny thing about this award,” the founder of TWC Daniel Heller joked, “is that we aren’t a bar!”  



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