Blog Archives

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 @ 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 @ 01/16/18 in Gay cruise, Gay family travel, Gay honeymoon, Gay rights, Gay tours, Gay travel, Gay travel news, Gay-Friendly, Human rights, Travel, Twitter chat

 

Twitter chat on LGBT travel safety, Tuesday, Jan 16 2pm ET via ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

LGBT travel safety is becoming an increasingly important topic. Join ManAboutWorld, Human Rights Watchthe U.S. State Department-TravelGovOutRight Action International and many other organizations for an important chat about LGBT travel safety, Tuesday, January 16 at 2 pm EST. Just follow #LGBTtravel on Twitter.com.

We want you to travel safely all year round. Let your rainbow flag fly and come back safe! Please follow along with us during this important LGBT travel safety chat. Ask questions. Answer questions. Just be sure to join in the conversation. Look at some of the amazing participants we have including: The U.S. State DepartmentCenters for Disease ControlHuman Rights WatchOutRight Action InternationalNYC & CompanyTravel GuardIGLTA; and many more!

See you on Tuesday, January 16 at 2 pm ET!

MORE LGBT TRAVEL SAFETY AND OTHER TOPICS AT MANABOUTWORLD  

Download ManAboutWorld, our free digital/mobile-only gay travel magazine app covering destinations, themes and events around the globe including a FREE Guide to Ft. Lauderdale. Find the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, Android tablets, iPhones and Android phones. There are a few other free publications in the app. Register here for a FREE three-month subscription.

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By @ 01/09/18 in Cape Town, Gay honeymoon, Gay travel, South Africa, The CheckOut, Travel

Twelve Apostles Hotel, Cape Town in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThe luxurious but relaxed Twelve Apostles Hotel, Cape Town, tucked into a lush national park, fronts the South Atlantic Ocean and is near vibrant communities with beautiful wide beaches — including Sandy Beach, the gay nude beach and Clifton 3rd Beach, the gay strand — and scores of cafes, markets and restaurants where you can sip a South African rosé and do some serious people watching. It’s a 15-minute drive from the city center so it would require some planning if gay nightlife is a priority. Twelve Apostles Hotel makes a good base to explore wine country.

Location

Located on a rise southwest of downtown Cape Town overlooking the dramatic swells of the South Atlantic, the hotel is flanked by Table Mountain National Park and the Twelve Apostles mountain range. Facing due west you’re almost guaranteed spectacular sunsets nightly, which you can enjoy with cocktails on the pool-side Azure Deck. The gorgeous hotel is convenient to bustling Camps Bay and Green Point, communities with numerous options for enjoying the delicious farm- and sea-to-table cuisine and wines for which South Africa is known; sunning, swimming and flirting at Clifton 3rd Beach, the gay beach and the nearby gay, nude Sandy Beach; taking in in the beautiful scenery; or frolicking in the chilly water (if you dare).

Downtown Cape Town’s tourist attractions are a little farther away but the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle to town center till around 9:30pm. After that it’s an inexpensive Uber ride back to the hotel.The hotel may be better suited to a couple seeking a romantic getaway than gay visitors wishing to experience gay nightlife and meet locals since there are a few logistics involved. Best to enjoy the incredible amenities of the hotel and also the proximity to wine country. We arranged a day-trip visit to Bouchard Finlayson, which is under the same family ownership as Twelve Apostles Hotel. Wine-tinted memories are a tad hazy but the drive was lovely, the vino was flowing and the views were eye-popping on this 308-acre vineyard which also offers beautiful botanist-led nature walks.

Amenities

The Twelve Apostles operates a 16-seat screening room available to guests with a new schedule of complimentary movies each month. There’s a small but very well-equipped gym with several machines and free weights; It’s covered on nearly every surface with mirrors (including the sloped ceilings) so you can snap a few cool pumped-up photos for your, ahem, travel apps. The hotel features several dining and drinking options including a casual pool side open-air cafe, a fine-dining restaurant and a beautiful bar, all taking advantage of the incredible ocean views. We loved just hanging out on the Azure Deck by the pool noshing and sipping the hours away while enjoying the ocean views.

The spa in a lower level is a mix of African and Eastern styles. It’s small but intimate and the salt soak is a great way to detox after a day of all that pool-side wine-sipping. It also offers the Rasul Chamber where couples can rub mud on one another and then shower off (in privacy). There is also a private gazebo overlooking the ocean for couples massage.

Room/Bathroom

There are 55 deluxe guest rooms and 15 luxurious suites overlooking the mountains or the sea. Whichever direction you face, the views are stunning. The light and airy rooms are an eclectic mix of contemporary African and classical European styles (the combination of local and European styles typifying the Red Carnation aesthetic) with the modern amenities you’d expect in an upscale hotel. The bathrooms are modern and spacious and very comfortable. We love the plush bathrobes.

Twelve Apostles Hotel, Cape Town in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Presidential Suite

Gay factor

The hotel is consistently included in lists of best and most romantic hotels in the world. Family-owned luxury brand Red Carnation Hotels purchased the hotel in 2002 and painstakingly restored it and the surrounding gardens. The result is a laid-back luxury, with lots of lovely decorative touches and friendly but relaxed service.

If your  primary goal is nightlife or meeting locals, this hotel may not be the best choice for you. Nightlife is a good drive away and there aren’t that many guys conveniently nearby as you’ll quickly see on Grindr or Scruff. This is a better choice for those seeking to enjoy a romantic getaway, celebrating a milestone with another couple or small group or capping off a fun few days at a hotel closer to the action.

Rates

Rates range from US$600 and up, and include a very good breakfast.  With the U.S. dollar still very strong against the South African rand, with $1 fetching over 14 rands, accommodations, restaurants, wine and activities are a very good value. The hotel offers a range of special offers. https://www.12apostleshotel.com/offers

About the CheckOut

ManAboutWorld highlights properties where we have personally and recently stayed, 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 @ 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

Marriott Hotels

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 @ 12/14/17 in Gay travel

Time to get serious about the holidays. If you procrastinated through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we’re here to help. Forget the gloves, sweaters and fruit-of-the-month, here are 10 great gay gifts for your great gay friends and family.

For Your Hubby With The Sweet Tooth

For your partner with the sweet tooth, order gourmet marshmallows from 240 Sweet, a lesbian-owned business outside of Indianapolis. With flavors like Bourbon Cinnamon and Rhone Rangers Syrah, he’ll know you’re not vanilla. If you’re local, check out their marshmallow classes.

For That Friend Who Needs a Vase Shaped Like A Weiner

One of our favorite gay couples in New Orleans, Matt and Beau, turned us onto Pansy Ass Ceramics, a hilarious and artisanal queer ceramics movement. Gay-owned, gay-made, and too cute to be true, these original trinkets for your house make for an adorably queer present. 

Big gay holiday gift guide in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

For Those New Gay Mommies and Daddies

Of all the LGBTQ-friendly children’s books that came out this year, none captured our hearts and the cultural zeitgeist quite like I Am Jazz, an uplifting queer-positive story about America’s favorite trans tween. The runner-up prize goes to Santa’s Husband, where Santa is black and married to a white man. It practically sells itself. 

For The Ec0-Friendly Lesbian

Out of Philly, the gay-owned Analog Watch Co. hand-carves these eco-friendly wooden watches and we’re in love. The watches are timeless, classic, and handsome. And for every purchase made they plant a tree!

For The Gays That Just Bought Their First Home

Lesbian-owned Bijou candles out of New York create unique, women-inspired candles. Alaina and Jocelyn’s first collection of candles is named after actresses from the Old Hollywood era. A perfect way to get your friends hooked on a luxury candle habit.

For That Single Gay Friend

What else? The Perfect C*Ring. Perfect Fit has developed the first c*ring sizing system designed to fit you (or him) without too much pull but with enough restriction to be truly effective. Why are you looking at us like that?

For The gay millennial

We were going to say dishes, because the millennial in your life is probably still using his mom’s reject plates. But let’s be real, what they really want is super expensive Bose headphones. And this pair of Soundlink wireless headphones are pretty damn cool.

For The sexy gay cook in your life

If your beau likes to get down in the kitchen, head over to the website of gay-owned Bushwick Kitchen where you can buy all kinds of organic and artisanal honeys, syrups, spices, totes, towels and kitchenware. They even have pre-arranged gift sets for $50 all ready for you!  These boys are based out of Brooklyn if you’re in the area.

For The Horny Bachelor

Eco schmeko, bring on the dick pics, amiright? Ron Amato’s collection of nude photography, The Box Book, is a naughty coffee table book for that gay daddy in your life who wears robes and a has a houseboy and an impressive collection of body oils. You know the type…

Big gay holiday gift guide in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

For The Good Queers Among Us

You can also make a donation to some of these incredible, difference-making LGBTQ charities. OutRight Action International has been fighting for LGBTQI rights around the globe for more than 25 years. The Ali Forney Center helps shelter homeless LGBTQ youth. GMHC is one of the leaders in HIV/AIDS prevention. Immigration Equality has been providing services for LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrants for more than 23 years. The National Center for Transgender Equality is a social justice advocacy group focused on trans rights. And, of course, The Trevor Project, aimed towards helping suicide prevention and providing crisis intervention.

 

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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 @ 11/08/17 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 @ 11/07/17 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 @ 11/06/17 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 @ 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 @ 10/23/17 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Interview with Jamaica's tourism minister in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineAn interview with Jamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, MP by Billy Kolber

Next month, Jamaica will host a tourism conference on jobs and inclusive growth. Tourism jobs and training have been an important source of economic empowerment for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) people all over the world, and Jamaica’s focus on providing opportunities for local entrepreneurs to create experiences for visitors is particularly promising.

Jamaica is the most cited example of places that are not friendly for LGBTQ people — In 2006, Time Magazine labeled it “The Most Homophobic Place on Earth.” Much progress has been made in the last decade, and indeed, Bloom Jamaica will also be in Jamaica next month, for a seventh time as the largest annual LGBTQ trip in the Caribbean.

We caught up with Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, the Honorable Edmund Bartlett, MP  at the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit to ask whether LGBTQ visitors are welcome in Jamaica. Check out the interview below.

And for more information, recommendations and commentary on Jamaica and the Caribbean, check out our 15-island feature in the February/March 2017 issue of ManAboutWorld.Interview with Jamaica's tourism minister in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

The Interview

ManAboutWorld: Outside voices in the news media’s frequently cite Jamaica as the best example of a country that is unfriendly and unwelcoming for gay travelers. So, what would you say to LGBT travelers, are they welcome in Jamaica?

Minister Bartlett: We say that Jamaica is open to all travelers. We have a diversified offering that the extent to which we go to embrace various passion points is equal. We have no laws which prevent people of any orientation to come in and to enjoy the benefits of the destination. The ethics which guide tourism guide everybody, and so it is within that tourism ethic that we will operate with all the visitors that come to our country.

ManAboutWorld: Others countries that has been similarly pillared by the media — the Bahamas, Grand Cayman — have made greater public strives in reversing their reputation and being seen as more welcoming, and some of that is started directly with public statement from those tourism ministries. Is Jamaica looking at its reputation in the LGBT community as something to be remediated and if so are you doing that?

Minister Bartlett: To begin with, we think that policy initiative from government, legislative arrangements go a long way in defining how peoples actions will develop. One cannot say that an instant statement is going change because people’s attitudes are a time-related matter. But the narratives are changing, and Jamaica is in fact having far more congenial types of narrative to enable a greater feeling of comfort by a wider group of people.

ManAboutWorld: We’ve seen that. I know your prime minister has said “No one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.”

Minister Bartlett: So the narratives are improving. We are country with a long history and a culture that is embracing, especially that we are an amalgam of many kind of strains, many ethnic and cultural strains, and within that there are lifestyle issues that we are contending with every day and I believe that Jamaica has come a long way in terms of a more embracing approach for lifestyle issues.

ManAboutWorld: I think we’ve seen that. One of the things that turned up in our research the largest annual gay Caribbean trip occurs in Jamaica [Bloom; November 29-December 4, 2017]

 Interview with Jamaica's tourism minister in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Minister Bartlett: And yet no great big statement is made about it. So this is the point we are making. People are happy, people are enjoying the benefits of a great country and they have not felt discriminated against. What happens is you end up with advocates who sometimes are just riding the rewards of the advocacy and the sort of skewed opinions in relation to how their own agenda is structured.

ManAboutWorld: The hospitality industry has been among the most progressive in the world. In fact all of the largest hotel companies scored 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index. Is Jamaica’s hospitality industry looking at a LGBT issues in terms of sensitivity training for employees in terms of employment non-discrimination?

Minister Bartlett: Well. I must said that there is not a structured approach in terms of it, but there is a regular sensitization which happens within the entities themselves and I think that has gone a long way in reducing the level of negative matters flowing now with regards to that community. And I’m comfortable that this is going to continue and it’s going to only get better.

ManAboutWorld: Good. Thank you very much. It’s been a few years — probably six — since I’ve been to Jamaica. So I look forward to coming back.

Minister Bartlett: You need to come back.

# # #

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Note that many communities are still rebuilding after recent devastating storms. Help rebuild LGBTQ lives in the Caribbean through Alturi

Here is more Caribbean coverage on ManAboutWorld’s blog.

 

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By @ 09/14/17 in Caribbean/Latin America, Gay travel, Travel

Help Rebuild LGBTI lives in the Caribbean through Alturi via ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineMost relief work in the Caribbean is administered by religious organizations, which often leaves LGBTI people without help. Our friends at Alturi show a way to directly fund the Caribbean’s most vulnerable communities:

From Alturi: In the Caribbean it can be extremely difficult to reach members of the LGBTI community, but in the wake of Irma’s destruction, reach them we must. Alturi is raising funds for CVC: Caribbean Vulnerable Communities. CVC has worked for 12 years to better the lives of the Caribbean’s most vulnerable communities, who in this case are even more vulnerable than before.

Emergencies often exacerbate prejudices and make marginalized people more vulnerable. In the 2008 Haiti earthquake, CVC witnessed first-hand the challenges faced by gay men who were blamed for the disaster by fundamentalist religious groups, and were denied food and water aid due to a ration plan that excluded households without females.

Help Rebuild LGBTI Caribbean Lives 

CVC and The Rustin Fund are offering support through their Emergency Relief Fund to people who have suffered from hurricane Irma. This Fund will help CVC’s partner organizations provide desperately needed vital services that address immediate basic needs for people who suffer discrimination. Please donate today, your help will help those who most need it after the destruction of hurricane Irma.

How Your Donation Helps

  • $15 – Provides Emergency Food and Water
  • $25 – Provides Emergency Clothing for Dislocated Folks
  • $50 – Helps Locate Long-Term Shelter
  • $100 – Supports On-the-Ground Organizers Assist Those in Need
  • $250 – Helps Rebuild the Homes of Dislocated Folks
Help Rebuild LGBTI Caribbean Lives 

 

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By @ 09/01/17 in Gay travel, Montreal, Travel

The renaissance of Griffintown and Little Burgundy, along the Lachine Canal, is in full swing. Trendy stores and restaurants have been opening and luxury condos are rising on the shores of the canal, as the city tries to retain the neighborhood’s industrial “charm” while accommodating the gentrification resulting from Montreal’s influx of tech/AI companies.

For visitors, these neighborhoods offer a uniquely local and culturally diverse experience. Airbnb is currently the only accommodation option here, though these neighborhoods are easy to visit from downtown. Wherever you stay, it’s worth spending at least a half-day to explore Montreal’s new hot neighborhoods.

Here are our Gay Montreal Travel Tips

1. Atwater Market

This bustling farmers’ market is busy year round, though especially in the summer, when the parking lot overflows with fresh produce. Don’t miss Chocolats Privilège for their decadent sweets (the chocolate covered marshmallows are a favorite), and the Première Moisson bakery inside.

2. Junior

Filipino cuisine may not have the pedigree or popularity of its Asian brethren, but a visit to Junior will leave you wondering why. Influenced by Malaysian, Chinese and Spanish cuisine, Filipino dishes mix sweet, salty and sour in gratifying ways. Opened by two local brothers and well-known DJs, Junior’s serves up traditional Filipino dishes during the week, and a Filipino-fusion brunch on the weekends.

3. Boucherie Grinder

If Anna Wintour opened a butcher shop, it would look like Grinder. This tip-to-tail butchery displays meat like jewelry, hung in refrigerated display cases along the shop windows. It’s worth a trip just to see it, though you can sample their meats at their restaurant of the same name just down the block.

4. Arsenal

With 50,000 square feet of exhibition space in a former 19th-century shipyard, Arsenal is the largest private art center in Canada, and the heart of Montreal’s contemporary art scene. (See photo above; credit: Antonio Roberts.)

Le Petit Navare in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine5. Le Café Bloom

A little off the beaten path in the Point St. Charles neighborhood, this is our favorite brunch spot. With a handsome crowd and a menu of updated, stylish comfort food. Be sure to try the spruce soda — a refreshing bubbly Christmas in a bottle.

6. Bixi

Montreal’s shared bike system is great for exploring Griffintown and Little Burgundy, with lots of docking stations to pick up/drop off a bike. Enjoy the bike paths all along the Lachine Canal, into downtown and the Old Port and around town.

7. MixxAuthentik

You’ll find a range of antique stores in Little Burgundy, MixxAuthentik skews more towards mid-century modern, and the swinging ‘60s-’80s.

8. Stockmarkt Boutique

International designer clothes at deep discounts, in a stylish boutique that doesn’t feel like you typical off-price retailer.

9. Code Ambiance

The bars in Little Burgundy and Griffintown are mostly of the pub variety, but Code Ambiance wine bar takes it up a notch with a satisfying selection of wines by the glass, and sophisticated cocktails in a chic atmosphere. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

10. Le Petit Navire

From early July through Late August, this electrically-powered boat does a daily round-trip from the Old Port (10:30am departure) to Atwater Market and back (1:00 pm departure) on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; 105 minutes each way. You’ll learn about the 150-year history of the canal, enjoy the waterfront scenery, and pass through three locks.

To read the article and many more in the current issue of ManAboutWorld, the leading app-based gay travel magazine, head over to the App Store or Google Play.

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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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