Posts tagged lesbian

Gay-Friendly Vitrum Hotel

Palermo Hollywood, Buenos Aires

Vitrum Hotel Rooftop Spa

By Roy Heale
Palermo ‘Hollywood’ is an identity that was recently fabricated, but this area has been renowned as a popular place to live in Buenos Aires since the late 1800s.
As you discover Palermo Hollywood you will probably be struck by more of the old, Spanish-style architecture than other areas of the city, and also fewer high-rise buildings, apart from newer apartment towers. That’s because for a long time there was a law prohibiting new buildings in this community from being above nine meters in height. The combination of low houses, wide tree-lined streets, and historic landmarks create a unique Spanish ambiance.

Palermo Hollywood Streetscape

Often referred to as the restaurant capital of Buenos Aires, Palermo Hollywood is a barrio with its own distinctive flavor. 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 neighborhood began to be called “Palermo Hollywood”. Presently, it’s best known for the concentration of restaurants, cafes, night clubs, and its vibrant atmosphere.
The older 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.
When planning to stay in Palermo Hollywood If you are seeking a hip, modern, and avant-garde boutique hotel, then the Vitrum Hotel is a boutique hotel perfect for your needs.

Vitrum Hotel Exterior

Behind a facade composed of colored glass mosaics, the atmosphere of Vitrum Hotel creates the feeling of being at the heart of the creative vibrations of the city. This boutique hotel with only sixteen rooms and suites is also a quiet, comfortable, and intimate place.
The Vitrum hotel’s designer and urban style appeals to business travelers, to decoration and fashion aficionados, and to travelers looking to immerse themselves in trendy Buenos Aires. The inside of the Vitrum Hotel delights the eye with its pure lines, contemporary spaces, and bright colors. It will exult those curious of recent trends with its stained glass, brightly colored sofas, designer wallpaper, asymmetrical forms, and bathrooms with colored glass mosaics.

Vitrum Hotel Atrium

All suites are different in design, color, and size. Some have a balcony, others feature a terrace, yet others have a small private garden! The furniture features atypical antiques as well as unique contemporary works such as those designed by Paula Lavarello. Each room has a “botanic” wallpaper theme signed by Vanina Mizrahi.

Kitchen and Workstation

Designer Bathroom

Bedroom

Living Space

All rooms and suites are equipped with the most modern technology including air conditioning, Wifi, large flat-screen TV, and DVD player. The suites have a kitchenette with a Nespresso machine and a microwave. The bathroom amenities are designed L’Occitane.
The Vitrum Hotel transpires contemporary art everywhere. The decoration is unique with designer furniture such as BKF chairs and singular wallpaper. The interior of the hotel is the concept of two Argentine architects, Zas and Paula Lavarello. Monica Giron helped out for the design of the facade.
But Vitrum Hotel takes the local artists design experience even further. The hotel also has its own art gallery to promote local artists. Gallery Dabbah Torrejon art gallery honors Argentinean and Latin American contemporary artists.

Rooftop Gymnasium

Ground Floor Lounge

The Hotel’s Urban Spa opens its doors, or rather its sky, to you. It is situated on the rooftop terrace, with two massage rooms, a large Jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath, sundeck, and a gymnasium where you can do aerobics. The terrace, next to its solarium, is the place to relax and enjoy a memorable barbecue, a beer, or to sip on an exotic cocktail. The garden of Vitrum Hotel is an oasis of green in the bustling city of Buenos Aires.
A gay or gay-friendly multi-lingual concierge is your key to the outside world and will assist you with tourism information or where to best take tango classes and other activities such as golfing or horseback riding.

Pride Cafe

As you enjoy the tree-lined streets and distinctive architecture you will find The gay and lesbian Pride Cafe on Humboldt Street just a five minute walk from Vitrum 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.
Next door to the hotel is a great vegetarian experience at Buenos Aires Verde and just down the street is the fabulous American style Trixie Diner. You will quickly understand why this is known as the restaurant capital of Buenos Aires.

Trixie Diner

A must visit is the Eterna Cadencia bookstore and cafe where you can step back in time, browse the many shelves, and then sit down in a loung area or the cafe and enjoy your new book. Many local professional and amateur theaters are also located in Palermo Hollywood.

Eterna Cadencia Bookstore

Eterna Cadencia Reading Lounge

Palermo Hollywood, one of the chic districts of Buenos Aires. You feel the urban rhythm in this neighborhood where the days pass quickly between shopping and art galleries and where the nights are rich in entertainment discoveries. This really is the best entertainment and nightlife community in the city.

Vitrum Hotel Sushi Club

There are plenty of activities close to Vitrum Hotel and the Palermo Hollywood neighborhood. You can easily go to the zoo, the La Rural exhibition center, the Museum of Latin American Art, the Evita Museum, the Botanical Garden, the Japanese Garden, and the Polo grounds.
For More Information Visit:
www.vitrumhotel.com

Gay Friendly BA Sohotel, Palermo, Buenos Aires

BA Sohotel Entrance

By Roy Heale
Palermo with its cobbled streets, historic architecture, parks, the Zoo and the Botanical gardens, the largest exhibition center in the country, its racetrack, the polo field, and the Galileo planetarium, is one of the city’s most historic neighborhoods and well represents the Buenos Aires of yesterday and today.
Considered to be a funky, bohemian neighbourhood, Palermo is popular with residents and tourists alike due its festive atmosphere. It is the largest barrio, or neighborhood, of the city. The name of the district is derived from the still-existing Franciscan abbey of Saint Benedict of Palermo. The massive Palermo Woods also features beautiful lakes, a rose garden (Rosedal), a Japanese garden, and even a Hippodrome. Today Palermo is renowned for this massive parkland where outdoor fun activities and joggers abound.

Rooftop Sun Deck and Pools

Although appearing as one big area on the official map, Palermo can be subdivided into six distinctly different sectors. Today, this is one of the most popular residential communities of Buenos Aires and the new BA Sohotel is located in this barrio.
Built in 2012, gay-friendly BA Sohotel is a distinct addition to the city’s roster of boutique hotels. This is a smoke free premise and offers a first floor sun deck, spa tub, and a seasonal outdoor pool. This designer hotel features business amenities including a business center, a meeting/conference room, and a technology helpdesk. Dining options at this business-friendly hotel include the Rietti restaurant, a coffee shop/café, and a bar/lounge. The Rietti restaurant serves a wide range of excellent meals, daily specials, and a delicious hot and cold buffet breakfast in the morning. For lamb connoisseurs their Medallion de Pierna de Cordero (lamb roast) with a Malbec wine sauce and potato millefeuille is a must.
The multi-lingual LGBT welcoming staff can provide tour/ticket assistance, event catering, and business services.

Rietti Restaurant Buffet Breakfast

Guests can choose from thirty-three rooms, all of which exude an atmosphere of total peace and harmony. Rooms have city or pool views. The air-conditioned guestrooms at BA Sohotel include private en-suite spa tubs and laptop-compatible safes. Beds have signature bedding and down blankets. Guests can use the in-room complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access. Cable channels are available on the 32-inch LCD televisions. All accommodations provide desks, safes, and direct-dial phones. Bathrooms offer shower/tub combinations with jetted bathtubs and rainfall showerheads. Bathrooms also include bathrobes,slippers, bidets, and hair dryers. Additional amenities include windows that open. In addition, amenities available on request include in-room massages, irons/ironing boards, and extra towels/bedding. Turn down service is offered nightly and housekeeping is available daily.
Facilities:

Designer Bathrooms

24 hour room service
Air conditioning
Child/family friendly
Jacuzzi
Lift/elevator
Meeting/conference facilities
Outdoor pool
Wheelchair access
Wireless internet
Large Safety Deposit Box for Laptop and valuables
Restaurant

Corner Suite

Room Options:
A Deluxe Room offers one king bed or two queen beds with, balcony/terrace, bathrobe (bata), bathroom amenities, cable/satellite TV, disabled facilities, en-suite private bathroom, hairdryer, heating, free internet access, jacuzzi/whirlpool/spa bath, laundry service, non-smoking rooms, room service, safe in room and telephone. All the rooms are very spacious and have a balcony with a beautiful city view. They have a work desk, TV LCD 32in, fully equipped minibar, safety box for laptop, full amenities, robes and slippers.
The Premium King offers one king bed with balcony/terrace, bathrobe (bata), bathroom amenities, cable/ satellite TV, disabled facilities, en-suite private bathroom, hairdryer, heating, free internet access, jacuzzi/whirlpool/spa bath, laundry service, non-smoking rooms, room service, safe in room and telephone. All Premium King rooms are very spacious and have a balcony with a beautiful city view, with table and deck chairs. They have a work desk, TV LCD 32in, fully equipped minibar, heated/cold air conditioned, safety box for laptop, full amenities, robes and slippers.

Premium King

A Corner Suite offers two queen beds with balcony/terrace, bathrobe (bata), bathroom amenities, cable/ satellite TV, disabled facilities, en-suite private bathroom, hairdryer, heating, free internet access, jacuzzi/whirlpool/spa bath, laundry service, non-smoking rooms, room service, safe in room and telephone. Corner Suite rooms are very spacious and have balcony with a beautiful city view. They have a work desk, TV LCD 32in, fully equipped minibar, heated/cold air conditioned, safety box for laptop, full amenities, robes and slippers.
BA Sohotel is conveniently located in the eclectic neighborhood of Palermo Soho, just 300 mts away from the Subway and Exhibition center La Rural and 500 mts from Plaza Serrano. With a modern, elegant and warm design, you can enjoy a pleasant stay in a great loaction. All the rooms and lobby have original paintings by recognized Argentine artists.
Enjoy unparalleled services and a truly prestigious address at the BA Sohotel, Palermo, Buenos Aires.

Lobby

For More Information:

Scenic Gay-Friendly Salta, Argentina

Salta Cathedral, 9th July Plaza

By Roy Heale
With remarkably well preserved historic architecture, grand parks, and a vibrant nightlife, it is no surprise that LGBT travelers have recently discovered Salta as a gay-friendly Argentine vacation destination.
Surrounded by the Andes mountains, Salta is a very gay welcoming city located in the Lerma Valley, at almost 4000 feet above sea level in Argentina’s north west region. Along with its metropolitan area, it has a population of almost 700,000 inhabitants. Within Argentina, Salta is the city which has preserved its colonial architecture the best and recently has become more popular amongst LGBT travelers seeking an alternative Argentina experience.

Historic Architecture Preserved

Nicknamed Salta la Linda—Salta the beautiful—it has become a major tourist destination due to its old, colonial architecture, tourism friendliness, awesome weather, and the natural scenery of the valleys to the west. Attractions in the city proper include the 18th century Cabildo, the neo-classical style Cathedral, and the 9 de Julio central square, along with the view from San Bernardo hill, and it’s surroundings.
The city center features a number of impressive buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th and early 20th centuries. Clockwise around the Ninth of July Square are the neoclassical Cathedral, the French style Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cabildo (in former times, the city’s town hall, nowadays a historical museum) and the neoclassical Museum of High Mountain Archeology, which houses artifacts from the Inca civilization, including the magnificently preserved mummies of three Inca children.

Fountains Atop San Bernardo Hill

Rising imposingly in the east is San Bernardo Hill. Its summit, from which visitors can get an awe-inspiring view of the city and the entire valley, can be reached by car, cable car, or stairway. The summit offers fountains and parkland with great views, cafes, a craft market, hiking trails and you can even rent a mountain bike for your journey down the mountain.
Salta is probably the most Spanish city in Argentina by physical appearance—so much so that tourists visiting from Spain often find a strong resemblance between Salta and Andalucian cities. The local culture, however, is a blend of Spanish and gaucho (mestizo, criollo, both indigenous and non indigenous) traditions, lending the city a distinctive identity, somewhat different from the more European like metropolises to the south.

Plaza Del Lago

Gay-friendly accommodations in Salta range from four star hotels to pousadas and short-term apartment rentals.
Set in a charming historic Spanish building only a short walk to Plaza principal 9 de Julio square, the gay-friendly Casa De Borgona pousada provides the perfect atmosphere for an enjoyable stay in Salta. It is housed in a restored, red 20th-century townhouse with the guest bedrooms arranged around a classic courtyard with potted plants, fruit trees, and wrought iron and wooden benches. The English speaking gay-friendly staff will ensure a warm welcome. A generous complimentary continental breakfast is served each morning in the dining room or in the garden patio. The rooms are spacious, with daily maid service, and include linens and towels. They also include free Wi-Fi and cable TV. It features a coffee shop and a patio. Casa de Borgona’s warm service, colonial-style decor and tranquil atmosphere, create an inviting and relaxing gay-friendly atmosphere.

Casa De Borgona Foyer

Apart Salta is a gay-friendly rental agency offering fully furnished and equipped apartments of varying size. They provide daily maid service and are located in the center of the city of Salta. Reasonably priced they provide an economical, spacious alternative to hotel rooms.
Gay night life in Salta is robust, lively, and safe, but a smaller community exists compared to larger South American cities. The LGBT entertainment scene is relatively limited but there are a few gay venues.
The City Night Club (Avenida Asunción S/N Portezuelo Tel:0387 15 4425183) is a gay Disco located on top of a hill, with one of the best views of the city of Salta by night.
The gay Dr Jekyll Pub (San Luis 761) is a small local place to meet all kinds of people including locals and other visitors to Salta. This resto bar is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 21:00 until 05:00 in the morning.
The lesbian-friendly Pizzeria Qui Resto Bar (Calle Zuviria 406) in the downtown core is uniquely furnished and decorated with all recycled materials. This is a very popular woman’s meeting place.

La Balcarce Nightlife

Salteños and tourists alike meet in peñas, pubs, cafes, casinos and discos. Most of this activity is concentrated in the area known as La Balcarce. Many venues offer live local folklore stage entertainment during the evenings for a perfect accompaniment to dinner and drinks. Salteñan cuisine is varied and multi-coloured. Visitors can taste traditional empanadas, locro, and humitas, as well as enjoy modern dishes made with local products such as corn, llama meat, quinoa, trout, and pejerrey. At the weekends there is a street crafts market where tourists can buy different traditional handmade products.
One of the main activities in Salta is the April Culture Festival, which lasts the entire month and offers a wide variety of activities such as cultural performances, a handcraft exposition, and live orchestral performances. Also, from mid-February to mid-March there are numerous colorful and stunning Carnival celebrations and parades in both the city of Salta and the surrounding communities.

Carnival

Salta is also a perfect base for exploring Argentina’s Andean regions such as the Calchaqui valley and the Quebrada de Humahuaca north in nearby Jujuy. One of South America’s great railway journeys departs from Salta—the Tren a las Nubes (Train to the clouds), which has spectacular views as it zig zags up and down the Andes mountains. The natural Andes scenery provides a wide variety of day trips and excursions into the countryside.

Gay-Friendly Accommodations, Casa De Borgona, Salta, Argentina

By Roy Heale

Casa De Borgona, Salta, Argentina

Nestled in the Andes mountain range, Salta is a city in the heart of the Lerma Valley, at 1,152 metres (3780 feet) above sea level in the north west part of Argentina. Along with its metropolitan area, it has a population of approximately 800,000 inhabitants, which makes it the second most populated city in the northwest of the country. Within Argentina, Salta is the city which has preserved its colonial architecture the best. Also known as Salta la Linda (“Salta the beautiful”), it has become a major LGBT tourist vacation destination due to its old, colonial architecture, tourism friendliness, awesome weather, and the natural scenery of the valleys westward.

Spanish Style Courtyard

Set in a charming historic Spanish building only a short walk to Plaza principal 9 de Julio square, the gay-friendly Casa De Borgona pousada provides the atmosphere for an enjoyable stay in Salta. It is housed in a restored 20th-century townhouse with the guest bedrooms arranged around a lovely courtyard with potted plants, fruit trees and wrought iron and wood benches. The English speaking gay-friendly staff will ensure a warm welcome.

A generous complimentary continental breakfast is served each morning in the dining room or on the patio. The rooms are spacious, with daily maid service, and includes linens and towels.

Cafe Dining Room

The rooms include free Wi-Fi and cable TV in central Salta. It features a coffee shop and a patio.
Casa de Borgoa’s warm service, colonial-style decor and tranquil atmosphere, create an inviting and relaxing atmosphere for an enjoyable stay in Salta.

Set in a charming building only 300 metres from Guemes Square, Posada Casa de Borgona offers rooms free Wi-Fi and cable TV in central Salta. It features a coffee shop and a patio.

Posada Casa de Borgoña offers Double Rooms,Family Rooms,Quadruple Rooms, and Triple Room accommodation in Salta.

Reception

Decorated with parquet floors and wooden furnishings, rooms at Casa de Borgona have heating and guests can relax on the patio or in the lobby, which is decorated with modern paintings. They can also enjoy hot beverages at the coffee shop. Posada Casa de Borgona is 2 km from the bus station and 400 metres from Plaza Principal 9 de Julio Square.

During my recent stay at the pousada the guests were a mixture of gay, lesbian, and straight customers and all were equally welcomed with generous hospitality.

Lounge Area

Facilities:
•24-Hour Front Desk
•Garden
•Heating
•Designated Smoking Area

Services:
•Airport Shuttle
•Laundry
•Breakfast in the Room
•Ironing Service
•Internet Services
•Bicycle Rental
•Car Hire
•Tour Desk
•Fax/Photocopying
•Wi-Fi/Wireless LAN
•Free Wi-Fi Internet Access Included
•Shuttle Service (surcharge)

Lobby

www.posadacasadeborgona.com.ar
Address: España 916, 4400 Salta, Salta Province, Argentina
Phone:+54 387 431-5289
Email: info@posadacasadeborgona.com.ar

Gay Vendimia Wine Festival Mendoza, Argentina

2012 Gay Vendimia, Mendoza

By Roy Heale

Mendoza is the fourth largest city inArgentina with a population of approximately one million people. It is the acclaimed capital of Agentina’s wine industry and famous for the Malbec vintage. Mendoza is nestled in the foothills of the Andes, about 1000 meters above sea level and is also a center for skiing in the nearby mountain peaks during July, August, and September. Attractive streetscapes, the beautiful parks and lakes, and pulsing nightlife are establishing Mendoza as a popular new gay vacation destination at a very reasonable cost. It is recognized by many LGBT tourists as the second most gay-friendly destination in Argentina after Buenos Aires. The dry desert-like climate provides perfect conditions for cultivating grapes and Mendoza is known as the country’s Wine Capital.

Annually in March Mendoza celebrates Vendimia (the wine harvest) and this includes an official event‘Fiesta de la Vendimia Gay’ (Gay Vendimia) held on the second Saturday of the festival. It is the largest LGBT event of its kind in Argentina and last year over 5000 revellers attended. Seventeen years ago this event was founded by Ricardo ‘Tito’ Bustos, originator and iconic owner of some of Mendoza’s gay nightspots. Gay Vendimia started in 1996 as a joke, according to Bustos, who decided to stage a Gay Vendimia celebration at his night clubs.

2012 Gay Vendimia King & Queen

The LGBT festivities take place the second week in March, after the main Grape Harvest Festival ends. This conservative northern city has a smaller, more demure scene than Buenos Aires, but during this week-long celebration Mendoza lets its rainbow flag fly high and proud.

Developing into a major attraction of Mendoza’s annual Vendimia, in 2003 the City of Mendoza Government recognized this as an Official Vendimia event and included it in their Official Program.

As the event continued to grow in size and scope, five years ago Bustos hired brothers Gabriel and Fernando of Gabriel Canci Difusion to produce the event. They developed the slogan Vendimia For All recognizingit is now attended by the LGBT community and many straight persons. “This was a good idea which began within the gay community, but is now non-discriminatory and welcomes everyone to participate,” says Gabriel Canci. “This has caused the party to explode and become even more popular with attendees coming from all over the world. For the past five years the number of participants has grown each year and we keep having to move it to larger venues. For the 18thAnnual Gay Vendimia in 2013 we are planning to hold the event in a large stadium and this location will be announced later this year.”

This eye-popping Las Vegas style extravaganza and dance party with state of the art technology incorporates over 200 singers, dancers, acrobats, actors, drag queens, live music, renowned DJs, and, of course, the judging and crowning of the Gay Vendimia King and Queen. The doors open at 11PM with warm-up performances, the King and Queen contestants show begins just after Midnight, and then the dance party lasts until 8AM.

Live Entertainment

The main event of the King and Queen crowning is preceded by a week long series of events at the local LGBT bars and clubs including Bustos’ owned La Reserva Pub and Queen Disco. The contestants are pre-screened and the finalists participate in a series of activities until the grand finale when a panel of media and celebrity judges plus fifty randomly selected audience members make the final decisions.

The very gay-friendly city of Mendoza offers many attractions for LGBT travellers, although most venues are mixed with a gay and lesbian clientele. La Reserva Pub is a small boisterous pub that hosts theatre and music during the week and drag shows on weekend nights. Estación Miro is where you’ll find quite a diverse mix of gay men and women including many transsexuals dancing the night away. Queen Disco is Mendoza’s oldest gay club, and is the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights to boogie to pop hits, techno, and Latin music.
A sophisticated local culture blends with a simpler, unhurried lifestyle for a perfectly relaxing vacation. Great sights and experiences during the day plus restaurants, bars, and cafes offer a multitude of nightlife entertainment options including gay and gay-friendly establishments. Late at night the Aristides Villanueva is the street for dining out and of course the action starts at about 10PM as with all Argentine dinners. Here you will find a festive atmosphere with large patios full of locals and tourists indulging themselves at restaurants offering every International culinary delight imaginable. Plus, of course, the renowned Argentine Parillas, where beef is a heavenly delight especially when accompanied by a local Mendoza vintage red wine. All at prices lower than almost any other major vacation destination in the world today.

The heart of Mendoza is the main square called Plaza Independencia from which the streets and avenues spread out in all directions. The very large inner-city Parque San Martin offers a multitude of relaxing outdoor activities in a lush green environment, and the Area Fundacional is a trip back in time to the city’s origins.

Mendoza doesn’t have any exclusively gay-only accommodations but renting a stylish apartment at the gay-owned and operated DeptosMendoza is an excellent choice. The staff speaks English and the modern-style, fully-equipped suites are in the heart of downtown. They offer designer vacation apartments in Modigliani Art & Design Suites or DOT Suites. Here you can also find expert advice on the local gay and lesbian scene or tours to the vineyards, hot spring spas, or outdoor sports activities.

Modigliani Art & Design Suites

Towards the end of a hot sunny day the gay Alternative Spa for men can offer a respite from the heat. It is open from 3PM to 11PM offering whirlpool, sauna, lockers, solarium, relaxing areas, and bar with a chance to unwind and meet the local gay community.

Why Not Spumante

Plus of course you can sample the special LGBT spumante sparkling wine of Mendoza called“Why Not” with a rainbow incorporated into the label and know that you are truly in a gay-welcoming city.
Erica Reverter, the young entrepreneur responsible for initiating the project, while studying Marketing Wines at the Wine Institute of Mendoza. As part of a contest students had to submit a sales concept and find an original initiative to promote sales. Reverter chose the LGBT market since in the wine world vintners do not usually think of these LGBT consumers as having their own tastes and needs. The idea eventually won the contest and it was a matter of months before the “study”, became a reality.

Pack your party clothes, dancing shoes, prepare to sample good wines, and head to the Argentine city in the Andes which welcomes you—Mendoza.

 

 

 

 

 

Gay Vendimia Information:
Gay Vendimia 2013: 9thMarch 2013.

Venue: To Be Announced October 2012
Admission Prices Approximately: Regular ARS$160 VIP ARS$320
Websites For More Information: www.vendimiagay.com or www.gabrielcanci.com
www.deptosmendoza.com www.mendoza-gay.com.ar

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 Argentina?

FIT Travel Show Buenos Aires

By Roy Heale

Not surprisingly, when any country or territory takes the bold step to legalize same-sex marriages the business community subsequently decides it is acceptable to adopt a gay positive attitude. Such was the case in other countries like Canada following the 2005 Same-Sex Marriage Act and it now appears to be the circumstance in Argentina since the passing of the new law in 2010.

While this is a positive outcome of gay marriage there are also some precautions for the LGBT community to observe. What really defines “gay-friendly” and how genuine is this moniker versus just an opportunity to garner new business from the LGBT consumer?

In Argentina since 2010, the National Government Tourism offices known as INPROTUR (National Institute of Tourism Promotion) have been travelling the globe attending major travel trade shows promoting “gay-friendly” Argentina as a new destination for consideration by LGBT travellers. On many occasions the Minister of Tourism of the Nation, Sr. Enrique Meyer, has personally been accompanying the exhibit and attending the travel shows to demonstrate the country’s serious commitment to the LGBT community.

But how gay-welcoming is Argentina really to the LGBT traveller visiting the country for the first time?

Before embarking on a month long journey around central Argentina, I decided to pay a visit to an official Tourism Office in downtown Buenos Aires, on Santa Fe Avenue, to garner some LGBT information for my travels.

Arriving at the office I was accompanied by two friends from Toronto, Canada who were visiting the country for the first time and also wanted some information about gay Buenos Aires.

The friendly Argentine Tourism employee proved to be extremely helpful when we asked for gay information—no shocked expression or anti-gay vibes—but this subject matter proved to be sadly lacking in availability.

Firstly, my friends were offered a two year old gay Buenos Aires city guide, but with the caution that they could only use this for a reference guide as it was their only copy and must remain in the Tourism Office. They were told they could go to the publisher’s website for more up to date information. However, I happened to know that this website has been “under construction” for the past year. When I asked for LGBT information for Rosario, Cordoba, Mendoza, and other major Argentine tourist destinations I was told that none was available. Our endeavours spent heading to this important tourist resource center proved to be fruitless and a total waste of our time.

Although the employee was very gay-welcoming she clearly had not been armed with the appropriate tools and materials to welcome an LGBT traveller. She did not even mention we were a short ten minute walk away from the Pink Point Buenos Aires Information Center where we could find a wide range of LGBT information and services for all of Argentina.

Clearly this is a case where a Marketing 101 course is sadly lacking for INPROTUR to explain the importance of preparing the product and services before advertising these offerings to the LGBT consumer.

Argentina is a very gay-friendly travel destination with many diverse and spectacular attractions for the gay traveller, it was a great disappointment to see the official tourism services sadly lacking in information. The gay guide to Rosario, the gay-friendly map of Bariloche, the Gay Mendoza Wine Festival details, Gay Pride information, brochures of gay-owned and gay-friendly accommodations, and more should have been readily available for LGBT tourists.

If Argentina is going to promote a gay positive attitude internationally then much work needs to be done within the country to make this a genuine gay-friendly welcome.

Notwithstanding government initiatives—or lack thereof—my personal experiences in Argentina have proven this to be a very gay-friendly and gay-welcoming country.

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