Category Archives: United States

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 @ 09/27/18 in Gay travel, New York, Travel

Ed Salvato and boyfriend at Mean Girls on BroadwayIf you’re in New York, try to catch Mean Girls on Broadway. What a fun show with a lot of gay subtext and a gay character who is terrific. Remember “On Wednesday we wear pink.” Also remember that October 3 is Mean Girls Day. What, you ask? Recall “On October 3 he asked me what day it was.” Check out all the businesses in NYC celebrating the day.

We got to see it on Wednesday. You don’t see it in the photo but we were both wearing pink:) The audience seemed to include mostly gay men and high school and college age young women. And women their moms’ age.

Expect a story that reflects the movie but includes an amazing original score and a lead narrator character, Damian Hubbard, who’s gay and steals whatever scene he’s in.

Mean Girls is a musical with music by Jeff Richmond, lyrics by Nell Benjamin, a book by Tina Fey, based on the 2004 film of the same name written by Fey, which, in turn, was inspired by the book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman.

The musical premiered at the National TheatreWashington, D.C., in October 2017 and opened on Broadway in April 2018 at the August Wilson Theatre.

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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 @ 06/21/18 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 @ 05/29/18 in Asbury Park, Gay travel, NJ, Travel

Asbury Park, NJ in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineAlthough New Jersey towns such as Point Pleasant and Wildwood are well-known for their summertime beaches and boardwalks, Asbury Park is a shore town that has appeal all year round. Not only does it offer unique restaurants, trendy events, and a lively nightlife, but the LGBTQ community’s involvement in bringing business back to the town has made it a welcoming environment for all. Story by Christi Peace.

Typical Summer Day in Asbury Park

Obviously, Asbury Park’s clean and relatively inexpensive beach is one of the places to visit during the summer. But whenever you get tired of the surf and sand, you can always stroll along the mile-long boardwalk to do some shopping and sample the beach-side cuisine. From Korean fusion tacos and Cuban tostones to crepes and seafood, the small stretch of boardwalk has a variety of foods for beach-goers to try.

If you’d like to cool off from the summer heat and don’t mind walking a few blocks away from the beach, head to Cookman Creamery for an assortment of both regular and (surprisingly creamy) dairy-free ice cream. There are some seats outside the parlor next to an unorthodox garden that is open to the public, filled with old items that were repurposed in an artistic manner. The little garden is a reminder that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

Throughout the summer, small festivals and pop-ups also tend to take place on the weekends in spots like Kennedy Park, Bradley Park and Convention Hall. While some are centered around a theme (such as vegan food) others simply offer the chance to purchase original, handcrafted wares from vendors.

And if you happen to be around on the first weekend of June, don’t forget to attend the Pride Parade that Asbury Park has hosted for over 25 years. In addition to the parade of local LGBTQ groups, the event features musicians, food vendors, informational booths, LGBTQ-themed merchandise and more. It’s a celebratory and inclusive event for you and your partner to attend.

Asbury Park, NJ in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Off-Season Activities

Just because the beach is no longer an attraction when the summer ends, doesn’t mean this shore town goes dormant. Asbury Park’s real appeal comes from the popular businesses that reside along Cookman Ave. and Lake Ave. where there’s an array of restaurants, bars and quirky spots to fill your time.

If you’re into mysticism, you may get a kick out of Paranormal Books & Curiosities – a small book shop that exclusively sells supernatural-themed publications and other items. They even hold occasional paranormal events, such as a Krampus Festival in December which celebrates the nightmarish, inverted version of Santa Claus. Or if you’re feeling more inclined to watch a movie than read a book, The ShowRoom is a small theater that screens indie films for movie buffs to enjoy. Animal lovers can even visit Catsbury Park, the recently opened and aptly named cat cafe where patrons sip their drinks while awaiting their turn to enter an adjacent room filled with furry felines.

There are quite a few unique spots to enjoy local food as well. One such place is The Speakeatery, a sandwich shop with a 1920’s theme. Not only is the name itself a play on the old speakeasies of the Prohibition Era, but each specialty sandwich is named after famous figures, terms and events of the roaring 20’s. Some of their delectable options include ‘The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre,’ which is loaded with every single deli meat they offer, and the vegetarian ‘Dizzy Dame’ sandwich. It may take a while to get seating, so you can always place an order and visit the nearby Rock & Roll-themed bakery, Confections of a Rockstar, while you wait.

Nightlife in Asbury Park

There are plenty of bars for adults to visit during their stay in Asbury Park. The popular Johnny Mac House of Spirits is known for its energetic atmosphere, eclectic décor and free mini pizzas that come with each drink purchase. Meanwhile, Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten has a more rustic, spacious interior where you can sit with your friends at a communal table while drinking craft beers.

If you’re in a dancing mood, head over to Paradise. This popular gay nightclub is located on the ground floor of the Empress Hotel. You and your partner can dance alongside other LGBTQ clubbers, grab a drink, sit and relax poolside, or participate in events such as drag shows and karaoke night.

Music-lovers should definitely consider visiting the Stone Pony while they’re in Asbury Park to see who is playing at this acclaimed venue. Artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi performed here when they were just starting off, so you never know what next big hit you may get the chance to see on this small stage. Make sure to get your tickets in advance!

Where to Stay

You could always check Airbnb to see if any locals are opening their doors to visitors. In a town where quite a few beach houses proudly fly the rainbow flag, it shouldn’t be too hard to find LGBTQ-friendly hosts (if you book far enough in advance). If you’d prefer the more traditional route, the Asbury Hotel offers highly-rated lodgings. Guests have their pick of several types of rooms, from a ‘standard queen’ to a ‘park suite’ with ample space and a deluxe king bed. Hotel features include a pool, rooftop bars, and interior lounge/food areas with book-lined walls, board games, coffee, open mic nights and more.

Tips

While visiting this small yet lively LGBTQ haven, you’ll generally want to stick to the two aforementioned streets and the beach region, since those are the safer areas geared towards tourists. Unlike some NJ beach towns, there is quite a bit of parking all along the beach, but you’ll most likely have to pay at a nearby meter. If you or your partner are driving in the evening, make sure to drive carefully so as not to risk being pulled over for suspected drunk driving. And keep in mind that Asbury Park has plenty of other unique, fun, and even historical places/events to offer – so look into all your options before booking your trip!

 

 

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By @ 05/14/18 in Gay travel, Patrick T Cooper, Pittsburgh, Travel

Pittsburgh in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinePittsburgh is oozing with food, style, steel, sophistication and tons of technology. Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh make this community a haven for research and development. Additionally, technology firms are sprouting up daily. There is an ingrained, humbled, and rhythmic work ethic that vibrates throughout the city.

The Steel City gritty spirit is bridging the gap of past with present day. Did you know that Pittsburgh has more bridges than any other city in the world? Now you do. There are 446 bridges in Pittsburgh to be exact. Oh and as you prepare to experience this amazing destination we hope you are welcomed into the elite club of Uber’s driverless car experiment. Yes, that is correct an Uber without a driver. On fire, is an understatement.

This American gem is bustling with culture, food and tons of activity. Here is glimpse of our “Bite Out of the Burgh.” Story by ManAboutWorld global correspondent Patrick T Cooper and photos by Terry A Sprunger.

EAT

Pittsburgh’s food scene is growing astronomically and is an incubator for several rising stars in the culinary world. Feel your tummy in The Strip District you will not be disappointed. You can eat yourself into a coma but make 2 stops Enrico Biscotti Company and Smallman Galley

Enrico Biscotti Company: Hopefully you will get a chance to meet the incredible personality of Chef Roy Godin when you stop at Enrico Biscotti Company. The food is divine but it’s all in the personality that makes this dining experience unique and evergreen.

Tyler Benson, Pittsburgh in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Tyler Benson at Smallman Galley

Smallman Galley: Tyler Benson is one half of the brilliant team behind the Smallman Galley. The galley serves as an incubator and an accelerator of young talent and artisans in food. Inspired by global travels your taste buds will be forever grateful as you indulge in innovative food and beverage concepts.

STYLE

Andy Warhol Museum: Who doesn’t know the name Andy Warhol? However, did you know that Andy was a native of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Spend the day in this beautiful presentation of Warhol’s oeuvre and become inspired to live larger than life.

Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

SOPHISTICATION

The Duquesne Incline: Thanks to engineer Samuel Diescher and The Society for the Preservation of the Duquesne Heights Incline you can experience a moment in history. Preserving a piece of history… there is a level of sophistication in this. Climbing the steep incline offers a moment of reflection and gratitude for people that dare to dream. Upon arrival at the top of the incline prepare to go into selfie overload and to capture amazing landscape photography of Pittsburgh.

Do yourself a favor and adventure in person to see Pittsburgh’s STYLNOLOGY.

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By @ 04/16/18 in Art, Gay travel, New York, Paris, Travel

PIaf! The Show in New York City and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThe French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York’s leading French cultural center, partnered with Gil Marsalla and Directo Productions to present the international musical hit PIAF! THE SHOW from Wednesday through Saturday, April 18–21 at 7:30pm at FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, between Madison & Park. And we were invited to experience it.

Piaf! The Show in New York and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineInspired by the Oscar-winning movie La Vie en Rose, PIAF! THE SHOW is a musical celebration of the life and music of the legendary French chanteuse who was also a beloved icon of the gay community, particularly that of France. Conceived and directed by the Nice-based Gil Marsalla, this special concert stars Anne Carrere, a young French performer hailed as “Edith Piaf’s legitimate musical heiress.”

In two 45-minute acts, the show will narrate the rags-to-riches story of the Parisian singer’s career through her unforgettable songs, complemented by a visual tapestry of previously unreleased photographs and images of famous locations of the Edith Piaf era. PIAF! THE SHOW premiered in 2015 as a tribute to “The sparrow of Montmartre” on the centennial of her birthday. With over half a million tickets sold in more than 30 countries and rave reviews worldwide, this is a rare chance to see the show in the New York! (Photo by Alain Biguet.)

 

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By @ 04/04/18 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.

UPDATED April 4, 2018

Key West podcast update by Dennis Hensley for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineDennis updated his post with this very cool new podcast featuring short interviews with some of the folks he met in Key West. Give a listen here.

 

 

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 @ 03/21/18 in Gay travel, Jeff Guaracino, New York, Travel
Affordable New York City by Jeff Guaracino in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineAffordable New York City

Something unexpected has happened I rediscovered affordable New York City. An affordable, overnight trip to New York City to see a gay show on Broadway has always seemed elusive. The city that never sleeps has a reputation for sky-high hotel rates. It’s been tough to find both a chic hotel at a great price and an LGBT-themed show.

What’s going on and how can you plan your own trip? Here are a few of my tips from an expert traveler.

Check out and into the Hyatt House Hotel

My new best-value-for-the-dollar hotel is the brand-new Hyatt House New York Chelsea at 6th Avenue and 28th Street in Chelsea. Hyatt’s loyalty program and 100-percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index is a win-win for LGBT travelers. The rooms at Hyatt House will remind you of a New York apartment. The hotel is in walking distance of Penn Station (saving a cab fare) and close to the Chelsea gay bars, including Boxers and the Eagle.

Your stay comes with free hot breakfast. The only thing that beats the location is the price. Twice this winter, I’ve stayed overnight for about $225, with modern rooms with enough space for two people and stunning views of the New York skyline. The one-bedroom suite is luxurious and will sell for around $400-$500 in April, but prices vary depending on the season and day of the week. My go-to hotel booking site is www.trivago.com if you want to shop around.

Gay Broadway returns

Gay Broadway is making a comeback. To appeal to the masses and drive attendance, Broadway relies on Disney-produced shows (“Frozen” just opened and joins perennials “The Lion King” and “Aladdin”) and revivals like “Hello Dolly!” and “Chicago.” And Broadway is featuring the return of “Angels in America,” starring Nathan Lane and Andrew Garfield, which tells the compelling story of the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Another revival hitting the stage is “The Boys in the Band,” the first show credited with bringing gay lives on stage. Finally, Harvey Fierstein’s “Torch Song” will return as well.

Perhaps even more exciting than these important Broadway revivals is the Off-Broadway new hit play called “Afterglow” at the Loft at the Davenport Theater. (Note: the theater is really in the Broadway district.) Written and directed by S. Asher Gelman in his debut play, “Afterglow” tells the story of a gay couple, their open relationship and what happens when they invite a new man into their lives just as they are expecting the birth of their first child. “Afterglow” is a modern story of gay marriage, open relationships, parenting, sex and love. The 90-minute, no-intermission drama is compelling, with exceptional acting by Joe Chisholm, Brandon Haagenson and David Merten.

If you’re comparing prices to Broadway shows, “Afterglow” is affordable. Last Saturday night, the ticket price was $79.50 (plus an absurdly high Telecharge fee on top of that, so if you can pick up the tickets at the box office, you will save a few bucks).

If you are looking to add more Broadway to your NYC trip, a not gay but hilarious and relatively affordable option is a ticket to “The Play That Goes Wrong.” I found two-for-one tickets during Broadway Week in late January.

Getting to New York from Philadelphia is easy. There are many affordable options. I’ve scored great deals on Amtrak booking trips during their special-fare sales with one-way fares as low as $51, but during peak travel times, expect to pay a little more.


Philadephia-based 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 @ 02/14/18 in Billy Kolber, Ed Salvato, Gay travel, Kenny Porpora, LA/West Hollywood, Travel, Travel Show

ManAboutWorld at the LGBTQ Travel Pavilion at the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure ShowMingle with LGBTQ travel businesses at the first-ever LGBTQ Travel Pavilion at the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show February 24-25. Get FREE tickets here. You’ll meet the ManAboutWorld team (pictured above) along with the following awesome businesses all of which offer tours, cruises, experiences or insurance catering to LGBTQ travelers and their family and friends.

  • Detours Travel: Award winning 8- to 15-day experiences through Greece, Peru, Thailand, Costa Rica, Spain, South Africa, Croatia and more.
  • Atlantis Events: The world’s largest producer of gay and lesbian cruises and resort vacations, hosting over 25,000 guests from around the world on unique experiences.
  • AIG Travel: Whether you’re planning a two-day getaway, a cruise, an adventure vacation, or a month-long international holiday, Travel Guard is designed to fit every traveler and budget.
  • Depart SmartDepart Smart is on a mission to make travel awesome in life-saving ways with online tools and safety certification.
LGBTQ Travel Pavilion at the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show

All are welcome at the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show  first-ever LGBTQ travel pavilion! Learn about hot destinations and events as well as tours, cruises and experiences right here in the U.S .and to the farthest corners of all seven continents and on the high seas — for gay, lesbian, transgender and queer travelers and their straight friends and family. All brought to you by ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

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

Ask questions. Gather information. Book travel.

Whether you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you are welcome here. Find travel information tailored for you and those you love.

Facebook Live Saturday, February 24 at 2 P.M. PST/5 P.M. EST

If you can’t join us at the LGBTQ Travel Pavilion at the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show tune into our Facebook Live Q&A Sunday, Saturday, February 24 at 2 P.M. PST/5 P.M Meet the travel experts at the booth and ask your travel questions!

Follow the Rainbow

Find us under the rainbow in booth number 250.

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By @ 02/07/18 in Boston, Ed Salvato, Film festival, Gay cruise, Gay family travel, Gay honeymoon, Gay pride, Gay ski, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Travel, Travel Show

Meet Ed Salvato at the Boston Globe Travel Show Sat Feb 10Meet ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato at the Boston Globe Travel Show, Saturday 1:30pm at his presentation entitled LGBTQ Travel: Hot Destinations, Cool Events & Unforgettable Experiences. Get a FREE ticket to the show here. The travel show takes place at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.

ManAboutWorld’s chief content officer, Ed Salvato, the world’s leading LGBTQ travel expert, will highlight new cruises and tours, not-to-miss events and up-and-coming hot spots around the world. Ed has visited six continents and over 75 countries as an out gay traveler. He’s also written for all the leading LGBTQ travel publications and is the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs’ LGBTQ travel expert, so bring your travel questions!

Meet Ed Salvato at the Boston Globe Travel Show Sat Feb 10

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By @ 01/23/18 in Billy Kolber, Ed Salvato, Gay cruise, Gay family travel, Gay honeymoon, Gay pride, Gay tours, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Kenny Porpora, ManAboutWorld, New York, Travel, Travel Show

ManAboutWorld at the LGBTQ Travel Pavilion at the New York Times Travel ShowMingle with 10 LGBTQ and LGBTQ-friendly travel businesses at the LGBTQ Travel Pavilion at the New York Times Travel Show this weekend, January 25-26. Get FREE tickets here with code LGBTQ. You’ll meet the ManAboutWorld team (pictured above) along with the following awesome businesses all of which offer tours, cruises and experiences tailored by and for LGBTQ travelers.

LGBTQ Travel Pavilion

All are welcome at The New York Times Travel Show first-ever LGBTQ travel pavilion! Learn about hot destinations and events as well as tours, cruises and experiences the world over — from right here in New York City to the farthest corners of all seven continents and on the high seas — for gay, lesbian, transgender and queer travelers and their straight friends and family. At the LGBTQ travel pavilion, proudly organized by Ed Salvato, editor in chief of gay travel magazine ManAboutWorld, you’ll meet a wide range of L.G.B.T.Q. travel experts, including:

Ask questions. Gather information. Book travel.

Whether you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you are welcome here. Find travel information tailored for you and those you love.

Meet LGBTQ Travel Expert Ed Salvato 1P.M EST on Saturday
  • Topic: “L.G.B.T.Q. Travel: Tours, Cruises, Events and Destinations for 2018”
  • Saturday, January 27, 2018 from 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM
  • Location: Booth #933
  • Meet the Experts complete schedule
Facebook Live Sunday, January 28 at 1 P.M. EST

If you can’t join us at the LGBTQ Travel Pavilion tune into our Facebook Live Q&A Sunday, January 28 at 1 P.M. EST. Meet the travel experts at the booth and ask your travel questions!

Follow the Rainbow

Find us under the rainbow in booth numbers 120, 122, 124 and 126.

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By @ 01/16/18 in Gay travel, New York, Travel

The Pierre NYC in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineA quintessential and classically elegant “old New York” property, the Pierre invited us for Afternoon Tea. Tea in New York is nowhere near as popular or prevalent as it is in London or even Hong Kong. Still, it can be a fun, tasty and comforting ritual. It can also be enjoyed in “adult” version with the opportunity for bubbles or even cocktails or wine to accompany the traditional small bites and tea.

Without naming names, most NYC luxe hotel tea experiences we’ve tried have been less than inspirational. Traditional afternoon tea service at Two E (the name comes from the address 2 East 61st Street) at the Pierre is a definite exception. This relaxed and cozy afternoon tea boasts fresh scones and petit fours served alongside house-made jam, clotted cream and finger sandwiches — all baked by an in-house pastry team.

Of course you can also order from a list of teas, coffees and rosé or regular Taittinger Champagne or most other beverages from the full bar. The food was delicious and the server really knew his teas. During our visit a live musician began tinkling the keys at 6:30 P.M. with jazz and other favorites. He also takes requests.

Other noteworthy information about the Pierre:
  • If you’re visiting from out of town you may wish to take advantage of the Pierre’s Third Night Complimentary offer: purchase a two-night stay, stay a third night for free.
  • During Broadway Week (now through February 4), guests who present their theater tickets will receive a complimentary show-themed cocktail in Two E inspired by their “Broadway At The Pierre” featured musicals: WICKED and Kinky Boots, which are both very queer, not to mention very inspiring shows.
  • A toast (or a cupcake) to these shows and Broadway Week!
  • On Wednesday January 24th, the hotel is teaming up with award-winning Broadway Sings For Pride creative director Neal Bennington for a special evening with some of Broadway’s brightest stars. Info: https://www.thepierreny.com/

Executive Pastry Chef Michael Mignano's sweet celebration of the show, Beware The Black Widow: sinful dark chocolate cupcake, a bleeding strawberry ice cream heart, pink sparkle Chantilly, chocolate ganache

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By @ 12/28/17 in Boston, Gay travel, Hotels, Marriott, Philadelphia, Travel, Washington
This year, our northeast corridor tour from DC to Boston landed us in three of the best convention Marriott Hotels

Marriott Hotels in Washington DC, Boston + Philadelphia

Now that Marriott International encompasses 30 brands, many travelers are realizing for the first time that Marriott Hotels are no longer the big beige box next to the convention center. Indeed, some of the most exciting innovation in hospitality was already coming from Marriott before the Starwood merger. Moxy and Edition are as hip as hotels get – even the newest generation Courtyard properties are nothing like your old Regional Sales Manager’s Courtyard (check out Abu Dhabi or Tokyo Station).

And then there are still the big beige boxes next to the convention center. Sometimes they’re unavoidable. When we’re working or presenting at a conference, convenience is the greatest luxury, and that often lands us at a convention hotel. This year, our northeast corridor tour from DC to Boston landed us in three of those. Guess what? They’re not so beige anymore.

Marriott Marquis Washington DC

This year, our northeast corridor tour from DC to Boston landed us in three of the best convention Marriott HotelsNot just next to the convention center, this Marriott is actually connected to it via an underground passageway – super convenient when you’re dragging your display to the convention floor. But the moment you enter the lobby, it’s clear this is a modern, cool space. There’s a lively energy about the place with its soaring atrium and sculpture. The rooms are spacious, bright and contemporary in natural colors, and the fitness center is large and well-equipped. Best of all, the M Club Lounge is open 24/7, with free access for Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum members. Most Marriott lounges close on the weekends; but this one stays open, with breakfast every morning, and a candy bar during the day, where you can fill little Chinese takeout containers with snacks to keep you going.

Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown

This year, our northeast corridor tour from DC to Boston landed us in three of the best convention Marriott HotelsAlthough Courtyard has roots in suburban, office park locations, this was the first urban Courtyard, housed in an historic building just three blocks from the convention center (and the Reading Terminal Market). The ground floor is landmark protected, but head up to your room and a design surprise awaits. Decked out in masculine colors (dark blue, dark grey), and filled with design flourishes typical of a boutique hotel, the rooms are comfortable and whimsical — a modern interpretation of Colonial elegance. Combined with excellent service and an ideal downtown location, it’s a great choice even without the convention center proximity.

Boston Marriott Copley Place

This year, our northeast corridor tour from DC to Boston landed us in three of the best convention Marriott HotelsCopley Place isn’t the convention center, but it is the heart of Boston, and this hotel is a behemoth in the center of it all, with 1,097 rooms and 47 suites. Remember that classic Marriott décor from the 90’s? Stepping into our room at the Marriott Copley Place brought it back in all its glory. On closer inspection, it’s been updated, with some mid-century modern touches, and… it looks brand new – the hotel is impeccably maintained. Even more gratifying, you’ll find some really smart innovation under that harvest gold veneer. Smart elevators request your floor number before you get in, maximizing transit speed for everyone. Our stay here was our first encounter with Marriott’s “Fresh Bites” room service menu. Gone are the fancy roll-in tray and exorbitant service charges. Fresh, local and packaged to go, Fresh Bites are priced more like the corner deli, and delivered to your room for $5, or picked up at the bar for free. Finally, in-room dining that’s affordable for travelers without expense accounts. And after indulging in a lobster roll, there’s a big indoor pool, jacuzzi and large fitness center to work it off.

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By @ 11/08/17 in Gay travel, Portland, Travel

Portland, Oregon in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineHere a few Portland, Oregon insider tips from a reader. We occasionally hear from our readers about their favorite spots in our favorite gay-friendly cities. This was submitted by loyal, long-time subscriber Deborah Wakefield.

If you’re heading to Portland and staying downtown, here are some nearby recommendations. On the MAX light rail system, you can ride over to the Lan Su Chinese Garden (the blue, red and yellow lines all stop at the Old Town Chinatown stop, which is the one you want to use for the garden). The garden is one block west (away from the river) of the MAX light rail station. The garden is beautiful and there is a nice tea house on-site that I recommend.

Powell’s City of Books is about a 10-12 minute walk from Pioneer Courthouse Square, which is is the center of downtown. If you love bookstores, I would definitely check this one out—it’s the world’s largest. It’s open until 11 p.m. every night, so you could go after dinner even. If you’re interested in rare books, take a peek into the Rare Book Room (it closes at 7 p.m.). I recommend using the entrance to the store that is located at the corner of Couch Street (pronounced “Kooch,” if you want to talk like a local) and N.W. 11th Avenue. There, you’ll see the Pillar of Books sculpture that includes the ashes of one very loyal Powell’s customer. He wanted to be buried at Powell’s, so his ashes were mixed into the concrete used to make the sculpture. That entrance also takes you directly into the Orange Room, where you can pick up a map of the store.
Two blocks from Powell’s is Cacao. If you like chocolate, it’s a great place to stop.  I highly recommend the drinking chocolate, but get the small-sized cup, as the chocolate is super-rich.
Portland, Oregon in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine
Further afield, I recommend seeing the Japanese Garden, located in Washington Park. They are close to downtown (about a 7-minute drive from downtown hotels). You can get there on public transportation too, but you’d have to ask your hotel concierge to sort out the route for you).
For shopping close to downtown, there’s the Pearl District, which you can get to on the Portland Streetcar (catch it going into the Pearl District on Southwest 10th Avenue; it comes back downtown on 11th). There are stops for the streetcar every few blocks on 10th and 11th and the cars run repeatedly, so you can show up at any stop and usually never wait more than 15 minutes. There is also a lot of great dining in the Pearl. If you want to try a good Portland microbrew, Portland’s oldest craft brewery—BridgePort Brewing—is in the Pearl.
Portland, Oregon in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine
A little farther out is Northwest Portland/Nob Hill. This is also reachable via the streetcar, which goes through the Pearl and then on to Northwest/Nob Hill. If you get off at the streetcar stop on Northwest 23rd Avenue and walk toward Burnside Street, you’ll pass dozens and dozens of great shops and restaurants. Jo Bar & Rotisserie is a good one for lunch, and its sister restaurant (and next door neighbor), Papa Haydn is the best for desserts. Another of my favorites on this shopping strip is Moonstruck Chocolate, a Portland-based chocolate company.

If you’ll have a car and can get to the east side of town, I recommend Biwa Izakaya (Japanese small plates; get the black cod, if they have it that night), 215 S.E. 9th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214; Toro Bravo (Spanish), 120 N.E. Russell Street, Portland, OR 97212; and Pok Pok (Thai street food; the chicken wings are fantastic), 3226 S.E. Division Street, Portland, OR 97202.

If you have tips to share, please let us know! And don’t forget to subscribe to ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine. And here are a few more Portland, Oregon-related pieces in our blog.



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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, 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 @ 10/24/17 in Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, New York

Halloween Parade in New York and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineHalloween is gay Christmas—a veritable holy day for a large portion of the LGBTQ community. When the Village Halloween Parade started in 1974, the Stonewall Riots had recently happened and queer people were gaining visibility in a new way. While mainstream culture wanted LGBTQ people to stay quiet, the community wanted to get loud. And what’s louder than an unruly queer Halloween parade? Ever since, the parade has been the City’s most over-the-top costume party.

So here’s how to do Halloween in New York City the right way. You’ll need to know where to party and how to recover once it’s all over, and we’re here to help.

Getting in the Spirit

Before the parties and the costumes, you have to set the mood. Luckily, a city like New York has so much history that it’s bound to come with a few ghosts…if you know where to look. The “House of Death,” for instance, on West 10th Street in the Village, is an old brownstone that is often considered the most haunted place in NYC with residents claiming ghost sightings that go back decades. Then there’s the Chelsea Hotel on West 23rd Street, famous for being the site of many celebrity deaths: the poet Dylan Thomas and Sid Vicious’ girlfriend Nancy Spungen both died here. Back in the Village, there have also been rumblings of the Gay Street Phantom, a cloaked figure that may be a socialite from the Prohibition era when a popular speakeasy was located at 12 Gay Street. We can’t say for sure the ghost is gay, but any supernatural being who goes by the name of the Gay Street Phantom is at least questioning. (For other ghostly locations, see NYCgo’s guide to haunted New York City.)

Ghost Tours

If you don’t want to go looking for ghosts yourself, you can hire a tour guide to do it for you. The two-hour Greenwich Village Ghost Tour takes you through the historic Village tracking ghost sightings, murder scenes and burial grounds. Even spookier is the Haunted Lantern Tours at Fort Totten Park in Queens. The Urban Park Rangers give you lanterns to explore Water Battery Gate in the dark while sharing spooky stories.

Stonewall Happy Hour and Costume Party

OK, so you’ve set the tone and heard some ghostly tales. The Halloween weekend is here and you’re ready to party! We suggest you start where it all started—The Stonewall Inn. On October 29, they’re hosting a Halloween happy hour and costume party that shouldn’t be missed. The very talented Veronica Scorcia and The Cake Boys will perform, with a costume contest and raffle for prizes. It’s a great chance to visit this landmark of LGBTQ history and see it at its most fun and carefree.

Biggest Gay Halloween Party

On the Saturday before Halloween, set sail on a three-hour midnight cruise aboard the Haunted Ghost Ship. You’ll dance in the shadows of the skyline to DJ Danny Verde, and you can enter a massive costume contest. The ship offers dramatic views of the City, plenty of heated indoor space and special features like a full laser/EDM show.

LGBTQ Halloween in New York and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

The Night Of

You’ve got your costume (something Game of Thrones, perhaps?); now you need to show it off. The classic Village Halloween Parade is the place to see and be seen on Halloween. It started small back in 1974 and now has some 50,000 people jammed into the Village to see revelers and paradegoers in their best creepy outfits. The parade takes place Halloween night from 7 to 10:30pm, running up Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to West 16th Street.

Take Wednesday Off

Halloween is on a Tuesday this year. That really isn’t fair. May we suggest you take the next day off for recovery? Your morning-after hangover could be intense and, according to science, there’s only one cure: carbs! And nobody does carbs like Rosemary’s in the West Village. This gay-popular Italian spot does an excellent breakfast full of pastries, croissants and pancakes; for lunch there are panini and pastas. And there should be plenty of cute guys to ogle.

Heeling Power

And you thought going as a slutty nurse for the third year in a row was a good idea! Turns out 18 hours in heels can be rough. But this is why spas were invented. When our bodies need some serious care and rejuvenation, we disappear into the Ritz-Carlton Spa in Battery Park for its experienced therapists who perform a wide variety of massage, facial and body treatments. It’s one of our favorite New York day spas.

Shhh…

After a long weekend of crowded streets, packed bars and sharing a hotel room with five of your best buddies, you just might need some peace and quiet. To get away from it all, we like to go way uptown to The Met Cloisters, a beautiful museum featuring medieval art in a rebuilt monastery and serene gardens near Washington Heights. Or you can take a peaceful stroll through the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. Neither will be overly crowded on a weekday, and each offers a gorgeous respite to the hectic “holiday” weekend you’ve just survived. You’ll be guaranteed some silence.

Photos: Top Arbolito via Flickr; middle Istolethetv via Flickr

# # #

This article originally appeared on NYCGo.com. ManAboutWorld is a proud partner of NYC & Company, the official destination marketing organization for the five boroughs of New York City.

 



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By @ 08/21/17 in Chicago, Gay travel, Hotels, Travel

Palmer House Hilton in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinThis year makes the 147th year the Palmer House, A Hilton Hotel is open and the rich history, distinguished service, with fine combed layers of subtle modern upgrades makes this property the place to stay in downtown Chicago. The current Palmer House is actually the third Palmer House. The first Palmer House opened in 1871 but burned down in the Great Chicago Fires. The second was completed in 1875 and the third (and current installment) was designed by Holabird & Roche and opened in 1925. One step into the decadent lobby is enough to make you gasp and grab your pearls. (Photo by David Cowan.)

Gay factor

The Palmer House Hilton Hotel is an extremely gay friendly hotel, situated in the heart of downtown and within close proximity to The Art Institute of Chicago, The PrivateBank Theatre (Where Hamilton is currently running), Symphony Center, and the scenic Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. The property is the ultimate launch pad into the artistic and cultural landscape of Chicago and also boasts it’s own unique History is Hott!!! Tour. Local historian Ken Price, named best historian of 2014 by Historic Hotels of America leads a sassy luncheon at Lockwood restaurant including a presentation of local curiosities and hotel museum relics followed by a tour of the storied art deco lobby, grand ballrooms and vintage artifacts throughout the hotel. Tours are offered Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Rates

Rooms are quite affordable for downtown Chicago, starting out as low as $102 for their special “Escape to Romance” offer for couples (Upgrade to breakfast for two for $142/night). Prices go up seasonally, starting at up to the $285 during prime summer weeks. The key? Book early (but keep an eye out for specials and fun package deals.

Basics

We can recommend visiting the Palmer House Hilton year-round as the property offers something for everyone each season. Truly a city within a city, The Palmer House captures the essence and energy of Chicago. Check out the Magic Parlour to have your mind read, explore the History is Hott Tour, sip on a glass of specialty labeled bourbon, live it up over high tea at the Metz, or simply recharge at The Spa at Palmer House. The holidays are an especially magical time at the Palmer House when guests can sip on Yuletide tea service in the lobby, munch on a special brownie on National Brownie Day (the brownie was invented in the hotel in 1893), or take in the popular “Merry TubaChristmas – A Concert of Christmas Music” an evening of 400 tuba players in the Grand Ballroom orchestrated in honor of music professor and creator Harvey Phillips. The Lockwood team curates the farmhouse-style cuisine menu for their signature Lockwood Restaurant & Bar year round. Focusing on locally-grown ingredients from the hotel’s rooftop garden & apiary, Lockwood features new seasonal butters and Chef Mathew’s crave able Cheese Curds.

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