Posts tagged gay friendly

Your Very OWN Gay-friendly Hotel

Own Hotel Entrance

Palermo Hollywood, Buenos Aires
By Roy Heale
Some may call it the restaurant capital of Buenos Aires, but Palermo Hollywood is a barrio with its own distinctive flavour. In the mid-nineties a number of TV and Radio producers set up shop in the area of Palermo Viejo between Córdoba, Santa Fe, Dorrego, and Juan B. Justo Avenues. Subsequently, this part of the neighbourhood began to be called “Palermo Hollywood”. Presently, it’s best known for the concentration of restaurants, cafes, night clubs, and vibrant atmosphere.

Palermo Hollywood Architecture

Although Palermo Hollywood is a name that was recently invented, this area has been a popular residential community in Buenos Aires since the late 1800s. Walking around Palermo Hollywood you will see more of the old, Spanish-style architecture than in other parts of the mega Buenos Aires city, and these historic buildings are mostly low-rise style construction. This is due to the earlier city bylaw prohibiting new buildings in the area from being above nine meters in height. A perfect harmony exists between the old and the recycled houses. The spacious factories and warehouses are mostly used as art galleries, showrooms, restaurants, bars, or TV sets and photo studios. These calm and shady streets are home to a huge variety of excellent restaurants. This is a special place for a full day’s stroll. The combination of low houses, wide cobbled streets, and trees lends it a nice ambiance. However, you will notice a great deal of new construction of high-rise apartment towers due to the recent trend of people desiring to live in Palermo Hollywood.

Own Hotel Foyer

Palermo Hollywood’s gay-friendly Own Hotel represents a new concept in urban boutique-hotels, characterized by personalized attention, modern design, and timeless style. Own Hotel offers a unique experience with oversized rooms providing all the services expected of a 5-star hotel. You have the feeling of being in your Own private oasis amidst the action of the city. The highly trained staff will insure that guests have everything they need to enjoy their stay in the hotel. The decor is pure and simple yet elegant, and in order to feel completely at home, the hotel offers you the opportunity to customize your stay!
With a choice of Junior, Deluxe, or Master Suites, your Own Hotel offers the perfect choice to suit your travel budget. They range in size from 35 to 55 square meters with either luxurious King or twin beds. The indulgent and spacious rooms include Mini Wine Bar, hot/cold individual air conditioning, hair dryers, luxury bathrobes and towels, 500 threads Egyptian cotton sheets, a security box large enough to store your laptop, and LCD TV with DVD, CD player, home theatre and surround system. Some suites include a balcony or terrace to enjoy the views over Palermo. A delicious continental breakfast is served daily in the lobby lounge and is included in the room rates. This gay-friendly boutique hotel is a must stay to enjoy the vibrant Palermo Hollywood community within walking distance.
As you enjoy the tree-lined streets and distinctive architecture you will find The Pride Cafe just a five minute walk from Own Hotel. This is the sister cafe to the very gay and popular Pride Cafe in San Telmo and it is developing a loyal following with the Palermo gay community. It is open Monday through Saturday from 11am till closing for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and simple snacks.

Pride Cafe Palermo

But Palermo Hollywood earns its reputation for fine dining with restaurants on almost every corner— and in between—with every culinary speciality imaginable. Close to the Own Hotel is a wide variety of dining choices. Il Ballo del Mattone is as peculiar as its Italian name—The Dance of the Brick. The interior is a jumble of tables and eclectic artwork, while out on the pavement or in the rear gardens you sit around an old tree, decorated with trinkets. The freshness of the homemade pasta and the tiramisú coupled with friendly service has resulted in the popularity of this genuine Italian experience. For some pastas and jazz, swing and bossa nova music, this is Palermo Hollywood’s favorite! (Gorriti 5950)
Hidden behind an 8-ft high wooden fence on the quiet street of Gorriti, sits Olsen, a wonderful restaurant serving Scandinavian cuisine in a tranquil environment. Whether you are seated at one of the reclining chairs in Olsen’s mini-garden out front, or at a round table for eight in the open-air dining room, your experience will no doubt be relaxing and enjoyable. Olsen transports diners from Palermo Hollywood to Scandinavia with its seafood-heavy menu and impressive selection of more than sixty vodkas. Dishes like blini, smoked herring, and red tuna are a large part of the restaurant’s allure, but so is the 60’s-inspired dining room, set in a former warehouse. Vodka is the focus at the bar, but innovative cocktails like dill martinis are also available. The Sunday champagne brunch attracts both expats and the Argentine elite. (Gorriti 5870)

Olsen Restaurant

If you are looking for a break from meat at the renowned parillas, then Artemisia is a veggie lovers delight. They only have a few dishes on the menu and daily specials, but most of the offerings are inventive and seasonal vegetarian meals. The home-made bread and garlicky hummus—served free before your meal—are sublime, and along with the gingery lemonade it’s seriously worth a visit just for the bread and juice. The pear, goats cheese and rocket bruschetta or the huge tapa selection, featuring fresh and tasty vegetables, cheeses and dips, provide a great variety of taste sensations. It’s a lovely bright space with huge windows, wooden tables and a small courtyard. The menu selections are constantly changing so they are handwritten on brown paper bags, while the hand-crafted, colourful plates and bowls add to the rustic charm. (Gorriti 5996)
Your Own Hotel is also located just a short fifteen minute walk to the Mercado de las Pulgas—flea market—where you can hunt through the antiques and other items for that truly unique Argentina souvenir.

Own Hotel Suite

Despite the lively nightly action the tree-lined streets provide a quiet, relaxed and tranquil atmosphere. The very gay-friendly Own Hotel is located on a peaceful street, yet just steps from all the vibrant action. Prepare yourself to enjoy the wilder side of Buenos Aires by night whilst enjoying your Own luxurious suite.
For More Information Visit:
www.ownhotels.com

Fashionable POP Budget Boutique Hotel

Villa Crespo, Buenos Aires, Argentina

By Roy Heale

POP Hotel Entrance

Sometimes referred to as “Palermo Queens”, the Villa Crespo barrio is located at the southern end of Palermo Soho with the unspoiled charm of  tree-lined, cobble stone streets for which Buenos Aires is renowned. However, this neighbourhood is much less touristy than its Palermo neighbours and the Porteños—as the local residents are affectionately known—dominate the scene here in cafes, boutiques, bars, and clubs.

Trendy Villa Crespo is home to the new and evolving Paseo de Compras—Fashion Outlet Stores—where shopping for new clothes is a unique, fun experience. And what gay person doesn’t love to shop for a new outfit while on vacation! The latest addition to this fashionable, hip community is the POP Budget Boutique Hotel—the first of its kind in Buenos Aires. Opened in November 2011, this unique hotel offers large, designer rooms—at modest prices—which are perfect to enjoy the local scene but leaving enough holiday budget to savour the nearby shopping.

Designer Outlet Stores

The gay-friendly POP Hotel is a place where you can make new friends, relax in spacious rooms, enjoy the lounge areas on each floor, and use the computers on the second floor. It is a comfortable place with a modern design, clean and accessible facilities, and with an outstanding price-product relationship.  Located in a strategic area near to the gay nightlife, commercial and tourist attractions, yet close to the subway and bus routes.

Whether it is for business or leisure travel, POP satisfies every traveller’s needs, regardless of the length of stay. Focusing on guests who are seeking to get the maximum benefit from their trip, POP offers a simple service, with emphasis on an economic price point. The forty-four rooms reflect the smart design of the urban clientele, created for comfort and flexible use of the specific space. POPCORN Lounges are on each floor with a specially designed area for pleasure, relaxation, comfort, recreation or to meet other guests. The F&B Lounge, located on the first floor, is a space to enjoy snacks and drinks, where you can interact with fellow guests plus make new friends. The 24/7 gay-friendly, knowledgeable front desk staff will quickly assist you to find your way around the Villa Crespo community.

Spacious Designer Rooms

Included in the low room rates is a morning breakfast and it is served at the nearby Krok Bar and Cafe. Here you will be able to enjoy complimentary coffee, fresh juice with a fruit plate, plus toast accompanied by preserves, dulce de leche, or cream cheese, and of course the local Argentine speciality—medialunas. Krok offers both indoor and outdoor seating with friendly, efficient service.

In close proximity to the POP Hotel many local restaurants offer a variety of menu options. The Almacen Purista Cafe is on the same block as the hotel and offers an extensive menu of Argentine specialities all prepared on-site. Just three blocks from the Hotel is the Cafe Crespin where the lox and cream cheese on a bagel or New York Cheesecake are rarely seen on Buenos Aires’ menus and the hearty brunches are renowned. Central Cafe on Serrano Street will delight you with fresh baked breads, pastries, salads, and more. For a unique experience the Jamming Radio+Bar on Loyola Street offers pizza, baquettes, tapas, burgers, and veggi specials accompanied by live Jamming Radio Reggae for musical entertainment. Of course there are several local Parillas (BBQs) where traditional Argentine assado and grilled meats are prepared for hearty appetites.

Central Cafe

Another fashionable reason to stay at the POP Hotel is the close proximity—fifteen minute walk—to the Murillo Street leather shops. Here you can find the best prices for genuine leather goods, made in Argentina, including shoes, coats, jackets, bags, accessories, and novelties.

If you are looking for a break from the urban excitement and shopping then a twenty minute walk will take you to the Parque Centenario—Centennial Park.  Here you can relax in twenty-five acres of parkland including a mile-long promenade around the lake’s perimeter which is very popular with local joggers. The Buenos Aires characteristic Tipa trees provide lots of shade but there is plenty of open space for sun worshippers.

So if you are looking to plan an economical visit to the gay mecca of Buenos Aires, the POP Budget Boutique Hotel and Villa Crespo offer a fashionable, budget conscious, and smart alternative to the more expensive and well-known tourist neighbourhoods. But there is no need to sacrifice any of the LGBT excitement of this metropolis which is still close at hand when you stay in Villa Crespo. This is one of Buenos Aires’ best kept secrets!

Centennial Park

For More Information Visit:
www.pophotelsbuenosaires.com
www.almacenpurista.com
http://www.jamming.com.ar/radiobar/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-Crespin/106729469390708?sk=notes

 

Gay-Friendly Rosario, Argentina

Florida Beach, Rosario, Argentina

By Roy Heale

Rosario is a radiant city on the move with a tolerant and gay-friendly population. The city is nestled in a gentle twist of the mighty Paraná River about 300 km northwest of the city of Buenos Aires. Due to this close proximity to the Capital City, it is often overlooked as a potential gay vacation destination by first time LGBT travelers to Argentina.

However, Rosario freely displays its natural ‘water-world’ of the Upper Delta with its magic islands covered by lush vegetation and the many desirable sandy beaches. In the city proper there are a number of museums, a curious blend of Spanish and Italian architecture, lovely parks harboring beautiful statues and monuments. The rainbow adorned LGBT Paseo de la Diversidad walk and monument is proudly located on the river boardwalk—located between Corrientes and Paraguay streets—for all to see. There are numerous beaches along the river front, restaurants with international cuisine, and steakhouses where you can sample the renowned Argentine beef cooked on a parilla, or taste the local gourmet speciality—fresh river fish.

Paseo de la Diversidad, Rosario, Argentina

Vacation activities abound for the LGBT traveler to enjoy in Rosario. Night life is exciting with several gay discos—mostly open only on weekends— gay-friendly bars, sidewalk cafes, and restaurants in a balmy, romantic atmosphere.

The local gay map and guide De Ambiente is an excellent source of Rosario LGBT information which is updated and published four times per year. It is readily available around town including the Official City Tourism Information Centers—another sign of how gay-friendly this city really is!

You know that you have arrived at a gay-friendly Hotel when the De Ambiente is displayed prominently in the hotel lobby along with other tourist information brochures. Such is the case with The Plaza del Sol Hotel in the heart of downtown Rosario where the local gay guide is readily available in the foyer. The welcoming gay-friendly staff are also extremely helpful and it is nearby all the historic attractions, including the Paseo de la Diversidad, Independence Park Theatre, and El Círculo Opera House, plus numerous gay-friendly cafes, bars, and clubs.

A short City Bus ride—costing less than two dollars—on the special “de la Costa” bus route will take you from downtown to the extensive sandy beaches of La Florida neighbourhood. Here sun worshippers gather around the umbrellas, beach volleyball games are everywhere, outdoor bars and cafes are dotted along the shore, nautical sports and bathers catch the eye. Were it not for the calm river and the lush islands in the background, it would seem akin to a tropical ocean resort beach.

For relaxation, you can take a leisurely cruise on the Paraná River and thread your way through a maze of vegetation-rich islands in the delta or, if you are more adventure-minded, paddle a kayak across to one of the islands. Many tourists and locals alike ride bicycles or horses around the parks.

Rosario is the city where General Manuel Belgrano, one of Argentina’s most important forefathers, designed the country’s flag. One of the most popular attractions in the city is the impressive Flag Monument placed in the Parque Nacional de la Bandera (National Flag Park). There is also the possibility of heading to the top of the monument’s tower for a great view of the city and river valley.

National Flag Monument, Rosario, Argentina

The history of LGBT Rosario is extensive and fascinating. According to local historian and long time Rosario resident Carlos Italiano—writer, history and Italian teacher—even during the oppressive dictatorships and religious influences the gay community in Rosario continued to thrive in secret. Some of their clandestine meeting places still exist today like the Hotel Savoy lobby bar. Although it has been renovated and upgraded it still seems to have a gay atmosphere inherited from those early days. Even Ricky Martin chose this hotel for his gay home-away-from-home when he visited Rosario. What could establish a gay reputation more than a “Royal Visit”?

In those early days the main gay cruising street was San Juan Street dating back about forty-five years when there were no bars or clubs in which the LGBT community could gather and no internet for instant hook-ups. Coincidentally, the gay-friendly Plaza del Sol hotel is located on this street today.

The renowned El Cairo Cafe was also a gathering place for the gay community along with local famous artists and authors. Today the Cafe has undergone a major restoration and is still a popular meeting place for locals and tourists alike.

Attractive Gardens and Architecture, Rosario, Argentina

The journey from Buenos Aires by bus, train, or rental car takes about three hours. It is well worth a side trip to Rosario for LGBT city life with some great opportunities for a change of pace and some relaxation during a gay vacation to Argentina.

With such a rich LGBT history, the Paseo de Diversidad, and a thriving LGBT community, it is no wonder that Rosario is recognized as an extremely gay-friendly major city in Argentina.

Contact De Ambiente Gay Guide:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/dambiente

Contact Plaza del Sol Hotel:
http://www.hotelesplaza.com/hotelplazasol/hotelplazasol.html

Gay-Friendly Azur Real Boutique Hotel, Cordoba, Argentina

Azur Real Boutique Hotel, Cordoba

 

 

By Roy Heale

In the center of Argentina—about 700 km northwest of Buenos Aires—with a student population of more than 300,000, Cordoba is a bustling, gay-friendly city. With nearly 1.5 million people, and 3.2 million in the region, Cordoba still has a small town feel to it with a variety of neighbourhoods and parks to enjoy. Nueva Cordoba is the heart of the university scene, full of gay life and community hang-outs. Just a short walk from here is Viejo Cordoba where the historic part of the city includes the San Martín square, the Cathedral, Córdoba´s Townhall, and the Jesuit Block which was declared by UNESCO in 2000 as a World Heritage Site with a group of buildings dating from the 17th century.

Heritage Buildings, Viejo Cordoba

The most gay-friendly living quarters in the city is surely the Azur Real Boutique Hotel located just two blocks from the heart of Viejo Cordoba and a ten minute walk to the Nueva Cordoba community. The historic hotel exterior proffers an unassuming entrance, but the short elevator ride to the hotel lobby reveals an elegant, calm, and tranquil haven in the heart of the city. Stylish and comfortable with gay-friendly, English speaking staff, the 24/7 reception area will immediately make you feel right at home.

The original house, where Azur Real Boutique Hotel is located, was built in 1915 as a traditional home-store, where the household members and the family business co-existed. The property evolved over the years, becoming a Drugstore, a Restaurant, and later a Students Residence. Part of the building was used by Dean Funes National School, where personalities from the City of Cordoba attended classes. Perhaps its most famous student was Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

 

 

 

Azur Real Boutique Hotel Lobby

The current owners began restoration work in 2004 and after five years finally the hotel opened its doors in 2009. However, the property is so well maintained and cleaned it appears to have made its debut yesterday.

Azur Real Boutique Hotel has fourteen spacious rooms each with a unique architectural style and exquisite modern design, equipped with LCD TV, Internet Wi Fi, computer sized safety deposit box, mini-bar, multi-function shower, and American percale 180 thread count sheets. The attention to detail is luxurious including bath robes, slippers, and nightly turn-down service. Comfort is combined with an opulent ambiance to make every guest feel pampered while staying here.

Stylish Rooms

A sumptuous daily breakfast buffet is served from a civilized 7AM to 11AM in the top floor restaurant, or by room service, or outside on the comfortable rooftop sun deck. The restaurant is also open for À La Carte lunch and dinner with exquisite local Argentine specialities being served. The Deli Lounge lobby bar also serves refreshments throughout the day and evening.

Throughout the property there exists a peaceful aura of relaxation combined with the total professionalism of the gay-friendly staff. A rare combination today in many hotels.

All The Home Comforts

One of the many attractions of Cordoba is the surrounding Sierras (hills) where many smaller towns and Villas (villages) offer unique tourist attractions and historic buildings from the earlier Spanish Colonialism and Jesuit Orders. Most of these communities can be visited as day trips from Cordoba via local buses or on organized tours. The Azur Real front desk staff will be happy to provide you with additional information.

The Hotel is also conveniently located close to the main Omnibus Terminal and the Mercado Sur Bus stop for easy access via local transit to the Sierras. A visit to Cordoba is not complete without at least one excursion into these hills to enjoy the scenery and local history. Of special note is the Villa General Belgrano, a small mountain village named after the creator of the Argentine flag—Manuel Belgran—and located in the lush green valley of Calamuchita. The Alpine architecture of the village attracted immigrants from Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria which gives this small town a truly European atmosphere and charm.

Rooftop Terrace

So be sure to stay at the gay positive Azur Real Boutique Hotel while you enjoy the LGBT life and the Sierras of Cordoba. It will be the perfect, memorable gay get-away during your visit to gay-friendly Argentina.

 

 

 

Azur Boutique Hotel Services:

•Deli Lounge
•Room service
•Roof-Top Terrace with splash pool
•Meeting room
•Wi Fi
•Transfers
•Maid service twice a day
•Laundry, dry cleaning and ironing
•Luggage Storage
•Safety deposit box in rooms
•Bilingual Staff
•Pillow Menu
•Massages
•Shoe shine service
Gays and Lesbians Welcomed

For More Information Visit: www.azurrealhotel.com

Gay-Friendly Hotel Rosario, Argentina

Plaza del Sol Hotel, Rosario, Argentina

 

 

By Roy Heale

You know that you have arrived at a gay-friendly Hotel when the local gay guide is displayed prominently in the hotel lobby along with other tourist information brochures. Such was the case when I arrived at The Plaza del Sol Hotel in the heart of downtown Rosario and the De Ambiente gay guide was readily available in the foyer. The welcoming staff were also extremely helpful and spoke English, which is not always the case in Argentina.

Located on San Juan Street near attractions such as Plaza Montenegro, The National Flag Monument, Plaza 25 de Mayo, and the Cordoba Street Pedestrian Mall, this is a perfect place to explore Rosario. Also nearby are Independence Park Theatre and El Círculo Opera House plus numerous gay-friendly cafes, bars, and clubs.

Rosario Beach Promenade

Of course the renowned riverbank promenade is also just a ten minute walk from the Plaza del Sol Hotel. Here you will find spacious and beautiful parkland with cafes overlooking the Rio Parana plus the islands and beaches of the Westbank.

Plaza del Sol is a comfortable hotel with all the necessary amenities for a perfect trip. Hotel guests can enjoy a free buffet breakfast served daily on the second level. The staff provides concierge services, tour assistance, ticket purchases, business services, and translation services. Additional amenities include a fitness facility, swimming pool, sun deck, laundry, and room service during limited hours. There is also a computer located in the hotel lobby for guest use.

Hotel Sun Deck

The spacious guestrooms have views of the city with cable television including free movie channels. All rooms have personal safes and telephones. Internet access is provided with free high-speed wireless connections. Beds have down blankets and the bathrooms have shower and tub combinations with jetted tub and rain shower head. They also offer bidets and hair dryers. The rooms include air conditioning and private balconies. In addition, guests may request iron and ironing board, bathrobes, and wake-up services.

During my visit to Rosario I learned that San Juan Street was one of the original gay cruising streets in the city, dating back about forty-five years when there were no bars or clubs in which the LGBT community could gather and no internet for instant hook-ups. Although times have changed it is interesting to find a gay-friendly hotel located on a street with such gay history.

Spacious Rooms With Balconies

Rosario is situated only 300 kilometers from Buenos Aires making this an easy destination for a visit during an Argentine vacation or business trip. By car the journey takes just over three hours and slightly longer by bus or train. The River Parana with its islands and beaches makes for an ideal relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires.

With moderate prices for room rates Plaza del Sol Hotel is perhaps the best option for staying “gay” in Rosario.

 

For More Information Visit:
http://www.hotelesplaza.com/hotelplazasol/hotelplazasol.html