Image via Passport
Here’s one way to get travelers to stay at your hotel, give them free things! This week, the hotel chain premiered an exciting and innovative new technology at its Seattle location. For the company’s annual Global General Manager’s Summit, Sheraton gave its employees hotel key cards equipped with a special capability — the cards came loaded with a $10 credit that could be redeemed, as a gift card would be, at any of five surrounding Starbucks locations!
Though Sheraton is the first Starwood hotel chain to use this technology, it’s speculated that it will be given away again in coming weeks for meetings held at brands such as W Hotels and Le Meridien.
And while the Starbucks partnership seems perfect for a test run, the potential for gift/hotel card hybrids seems limitless.
Image via Lou Hammond & Associates
When it comes to accommodations in Midtown Manhattan, location is everything (as is a good room rate). That’s why the new Hotel Boutique at Grand Central caught our attention. Its convenient location—facing the entrance to the famed Grand Central Terminal—is perfect for those visiting the city for business or pleasure.
The combination of location and state-of-the-art design and aesthetic make the new Hotel Boutique at Grand Central a welcome addition to the city that has everything. The hotel offers an array of conveniences for guests at no additional charge. These include: free high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, unlimited chilled bottled water, complimentary coffee, tea, newspapers, magazines, and games in the lobby, iPads for loan to registered guests, printer/computer usage, a fitness room, exercise equipment delivered to room, and self-serve laundry facilities. Also available are luxurious dinners at Davio’s — a restaurant serving Northern Italian cuisine. Rates start at $199 per night, which is a real bargain in Manhattan these days.
Image via Grand Resort
The Travel Channel has released their list of Travel’s Best All-Inclusive Resorts 2014, and included in this prestigious round-up is South Florida’s Grand Resort and Spa. We wrote about the men’s-only retreat in our Dreamscape section:
After a long day enjoying the gorgeous white-sand beaches of South Florida’s Gold Coast, pull up a chair near the heated pool at The Grand Resort and Spa and order a refreshing cocktail. This gay-owned and –operated, 33-room hotel has everything a traveler could need, and meeting your fellow guests from around the world is part of the fun. So, make sure to partake in the conversation at the clothing-optional tropical courtyard or in the ten-person Jacuzzi. For those looking to get pampered, visit the spa center that offers over 60 different individual and couples’ treatments as well as an assortment of packages using Dermalogica and Jack Black products.
Keep reading over at Passport magazine online.
Categories: Florida, Gay Travel, Hotels + Resorts best list, Fort Lauderdale, Gay Florida, gay travel, Gay-friendly, grand resort, men's only, south florida, Travel Channel
Image via Kempinski
Arriving by car late night at the Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay was deceiving. My nose could sense the refreshing sea air, but I would not truly appreciate the magnitude and stateliness of this resort property until the next morning. The spacious guest room with a private balcony overlooking a moonlit Aegean Sea lulled me to sleep with the promise of joys yet to come.
At breakfast, I enjoyed a hearty Mediterranean buffet that included local fruits and tasty cheeses along with freshly baked breads, while gazing over the turquoise Aegean waters. Following breakfast, I set out on a self-guided tour of this resort. Normally, walking about a 173-room property shouldn’t take long, and getting lost is out of the question, but few hotels of this limited guest capacity boast their own Blue Flag beach, a private marina, and a helicopter landing zone. The tiered layout of the hotel from hilltop to the beach made for fun exploring and offered cruise-like views from its several glass elevators and outdoor decks. As I meandered past the enormous Six Senses Spa, I discovered a serene indoor Watsu pool for massages, traditional heated Turkish Hamams built from local marble, and generous separate wet areas for men and women with sauna, steam, and showers. The exterior focal point of the property (other than the postcard-perfect view of the sea) is an enormous infinity pool, with domed Turkish architectural elements protruding from the shallow water that add a touch of mythology to my morning swim.
Keep reading over at Passport magazine.
Categories: Gay Travel, Hotels + Resorts, Turkey Asia, Eurasia, Europe, food, food travel, gay, gay travel, Hotel, Hotel therapy, kempinski, kempinski brodrum, Turkey, turkish airlines
It is with some sadness that we report that the hetero-friendly hotel company Axel Hotels has closed its Buenos Aires location. The boutique hotel in the San Telmo district was our home base a couple of times when visiting BA as well as the location of our swimwear shoot in 2010. A message on their blog reads:
Axel Hotels announces that Axel Hotel Buenos Aires won’t be part of our portfolio any longer from next October 1st on. It’s been 6 years plenty of good experiences, adventures and anecdotes that we will never forget, and we want to thank all of you. This decision represents a growth opportunity for Axel, as it will help to carry out the expansion plan in short term. Axel Hotel Buenos Aires has meant a very important step for the LGBT community in South America, especially in Argentina. Currently, we have consolidated all together the LGBT segment in the country, but there’s still a long way to go. We are happy to welcome you at any of our Axel Hotels in Barcelona, Berlin and Gran Canaria and we appreciate your loyalty. We also hope to give you soon good news about new destinations.
The Buenos Aires location appears to already be operating under a different hotel group, Be Hotel. So, if you’re craving those outdoor showers, you can still stay there.
Image via www.youtube.com
It has been a whirlwind decade filled with growth for the hetero-friendly Axel Hotels, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The President and founder of the chain, Juan Julia, invited clients, family, and old friends to Axel Barcelona’s Sky Bar earlier this month where everyone was given helium-inflated condoms to set loose into the sky. Attached to the 400 floating condoms, which were tied to a string two by two, were invitations to come have a drink at the hotel, gay or straight. Congrats Axel here’s to ten more great years!
The chain also released a touching thank you video of the flying condoms for those who could not be part of the celebration. Watch the Axel Hotel celebration after the jump…
Image via Passport.
According to the 2011 US Census Data, an estimated one-quarter of all same-sex households are raising children, providing one of the first portraits of gay American families. Like any other family, gay couples with children like to travel, and spend money (almost $65 billion according to a recent study). In fact, gay travel is so popular and common these days, The US State Department added a LGBT section on its website.
Gay-specific family travel is hot in the United States. Destinations that have already had a positive reputation for hosting gay visitors are further amping up amenities to attract more gay families and accepting them unconditionally.
Certain places stand out more than others, and we highlight here just some of the top destinations in the United States that exceed expectations when it comes to gay-family travel.
Keep reading over at Passport magazine online.
Categories: gay families, Gay Travel, Hotels + Resorts atlanta, best trips for gay families, Bloomington, Community Marketing, Gay Family, Gay Family Travel, gay travel, Indiana, new york
Image via Ocean House.
Now that gay and lesbian marriage is legal in Rhode Island, don’t settle for a wedding, honeymoon, or romantic escape that’s anything less than spectacular. Revel in the beauty of the Atlantic just outside your door at the historical Ocean House where New England comforts blend with timeless luxury. This TAG-approved turn-of-the-century-inspired beachfront resort features water views in all of its 49 guest rooms. Modeled after a Victorian seaside retreat, the rooms and suites take advantage of the natural views and New England’s colonial history with warm early-American wood furnishings and pops of yellows, blues, and creams.
Keep on reading over at Passport magazine online.
To celebrate Pride month, and Kimpton’s longstanding commitment to the LGBT community, the Kimpton hotels of NYC: Eventi, Ink48, 70 Park Ave and The Muse are joining forces with Passport Magazine to give away the ultimate Kimpton-inspired honeymoon in the Big Apple.
Do you think the story of how you and your sweetie met is too good to be true? Simply submit a 100 word essay to email@example.com by June 30 telling Kimpton NYC why you or a couple you think is worthy of a nomination deserve a complimentary honeymoon, Kimpton style. Kimpton NYC and Passport are also accepting submissions via any of the four hotel’s Facebook pages, Twitter (@KimptonInNYC) and Instagram (@KimptonNYC); as well as Passport’s platforms on Facebook, Twitter (@PASSPORTmag), and Instagram (@passportmag) using #ShareYourPride.
The winning couple will receive the following:
- Luxury accommodations at the chic Eventi Hotel for two nights.
- Romantic dinner for two at the award-winning NIOS restaurant at the Muse Hotel.
- Rooftop drinks at PRESS Lounge in Ink48 Hotel with sweeping views of the city.
- In-room couples massage at the Parlor Suite in the penthouse of 70 Park Hotel.
The winning couple will be announced on the Facebook pages of the four hotels on Monday, July 1. So start writing today and tell us why YOU deserve a NYC honeymoon.
Categories: contest, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, Gay Travel, Hotels + Resorts, New York gay contest, gay couples, Gay Honeymoons, gay marriage, Gay New York, Kimpton Hotels, nyc pride