Posts tagged lgbt

Exclusively Gay Azarenko Boutique Hotel, San Lorenzo, Salta, Argentina

Azarenko Boutique Hotel , Salta, Argentina

Azarenko Boutique Hotel , Salta, Argentina

By Roy Heale

The charming Villa San Lorenzo is located in the Lerma Valley at the foot of the Eastern Cordillera Andes foothills just on the edge of the city of Salta, Argentina. This leisurely village is a popular vacation destination where visitors can combine outdoor nature activities with city attractions nearby. Villa San Lorenzo offers a natural environment ideal for adventure tourism activities and eco-tourism in the mountain forest. Its landscape, mountains, hills and rivers, are an invitation to enjoy nature, tranquility and the great outdoors. Horseback riding or hiking in the mountains by day can be accompanied by urban gourmet dining and folklore entertainment by night.

Summer siestas in the City of Salta leave the city motionless, suspended in the heat. Escaping to the village of San Lorenzo, with its leafy roads and refreshing shade from the suns rays, is extremely popular. This hamlet is ideal for a stroll about, ride a bike, go on quad excursions, or photographic safaris across the mountain rainforest. Apart from its ravine, the micro-climate combines lush vegetation, fresh air, and clear waters, which entice visitors to return often.

Main Floor Living Space

Main Floor Living Space

Set in the jungle of the Yungas (tropical rainforests on the slopes of the mountains) the scenery is breathtaking, lush green, and tropical. The approximate 5000 local inhabitants doubles during the summer months and the village hums with activities. Now gay and lesbian vacationers can enjoy the luxury, exclusively gay, Azarenko Boutique Hotel while visiting Salta.

Already a popular LGBT travel destination, Salta is an historic town in Northwest Argentina and now there is an exclusively gay—hetero friendly—boutique hotel (opened in June 2013) for gay travellers to enjoy. Situated just 8 kms (10 minutes) from downtown Salta Capital, on several acres of beautiful grounds in San Lorenzo, Azarenko Hotel Boutique offers six deluxe themed rooms and suites with breakfast included. Inside the rooms and the main house is non-smoking, but the two large verandas and spacious grounds allow for outdoor smoking areas.

Ricardo at the Staircase to Second Floor

Ricardo at the Staircase to Second Floor

Gay-owned and operated by partners Ricardo and Enrique, this beautiful mansion offers quiet, secluded privacy on a tree-lined, secluded street in the heart of San Lorenzo and close to the city. After three months of extensive renovations, the hotel opened in June 2013 and the attention to detail is of a very high standard to guarantee guests’ satisfaction and luxurious enjoyment. Whether soaking up the rays poolside, enjoying the peace and quiet on a verandah, or relaxing on a comfortable couch in the grand living room, guests are certain to be satisfied here with their choice of accommodations in Salta, Argentina.

The main floor Art Bar is a permanent art gallery where you can enjoy a delicious Torrontes wine, champagne, or a cocktail, with a varied menu available.

The six themed rooms are stylish and large, each comes with a variety of windows for natural light and en-suite bathrooms. Enjoy the Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, Judy Garland, Edith Piaf, Aretha Franklin, or Marilyn Monroe rooms and suites from US$150 per night for one or two persons—breakfast included. Each is uniquely furnished and decorated offering a truly unique experience for a vacation, special occasion, weekend getaway, or even a honeymoon suite. The rooms are located on the ground floor and second level of this grand country home.

Aretha Franklin Room

Aretha Franklin Room

Rooms:
The hotel has six comfortable single, double, or triple rooms overlooking the magical setting of the landscape with forest and hills almost at your fingertips. Each are decorated with elegance, sophistication, and unique works of art.
Features:
•Room Marilyn Monroe, Master Suite Premium of 47 m2, double Hydro, separate shower.
•Room Edith Piaf, Deluxe Master Suite 42 m2, simple and hydro-shower.
•Room Judy Garland, Junior Suite (PA) of 32 m2, view facing the hill, with bathroom.
•Room Aretha Franklin, Junior Suite (PB) of 30 m2, view facing the hill, with bathroom.
•Room Whitney Houston, Junior Suite (PB) of 28 m2, side view, with hydro simple, built-in shower.
•Room Donna Summer, Junior Suite (PB) of 30 m2, side view, with bath.

Judy Garland Room

Judy Garland Room

Facilities & Services:
All rooms equipped with heating, queen / king size.
•Living room.
•Wi-Fi Service.
•Transfer to and from Airport.
•Transfers from / to the city with fixed schedules.
•Parking, fax, NDD and IDD at reception.

Outdoor Swimming Pool

Outdoor Swimming Pool

If you are planning a special occasion or simply want to have dinner at home, with a minimum of 24 hours notice your hosts Ricardo and Enrique will plan a special dinner according to your tastes. Or you can plan your own traditional Argentine Asado (BBQ) on the outdoor parilla.

San Lorenzo began as a summer village but now has a full-service infrastructure and tourist facilities consisting of outdoor activities, hiking in the mountains, restaurants, tea houses, boutiques and more.

Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor Living Spaces

With historic and conserved buildings, it is characterized by nineteenth-century mansions, among which stands out the Castillo de San Lorenzo. Its tree-lined streets reach the Quebrada de San Lorenzo Nature Reserve, or you can visit the main church and central plaza. The mountain forest and tranquility make the villa an ideal place for relaxation. The City of Salta is a short, convenient bus ride away or a 10 minute inexpensive taxi ride. Also, many day trips are available to destinations in the Andes where local culture and traditions can be observed. Your hosts at Azarenko Boutique Hotel will be happy to help you with local tours and advice.

So now you can plan a very gay stay in Salta, Argentina and enjoy comfortable LGBT hospitality high in the Andes mountains where every day is magical and mystical.

For More Information:

www.azarenkohotel.com

Gay-Friendly Estancia Puesto Viejo, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Puesto Viejo Estancia

By Roy Heale
Although many visitors come to Buenos Aires for an urban vacation experience, often times they want to escape the hustle and bustle of the mega city and enjoy a more relaxed break at an estancia in the country. Argentina’s estancias are very much a part of the country’s history and the essence of the local culture. Surrounded with tradition, they shelter the past and present of both criollos and immigrants. At the very gay-friendly Puesto Viejo estancia and Polo Club near Buenos Aires, guests can saddle up with traditional horsemen by day and enjoy sublime comfort, a traditional feast, and a glass or two of malbec wine at night.

Exciting Polo Action

Just over a one hour journey from the city, located near Cañuelas—a small town in Buenos Aires province— this estancia and Polo Club offers charming hotel accommodation, excellent polo club amenities, plus old-fashioned country style hospitality. So, whether you are looking to enjoy a gay-friendly, unique, relaxing escape from the city, or wanting to develop your skills in polo, you’ll find the perfect place at Puesto Viejo. In addition, the 250-acre property boasts panoramic views, a variety of flora and fauna, and an array of leisure pursuits from horse riding to relaxing poolside.

Saddle Up For A horse Ride

Puesto Viejo Estancia and hotel is ideal for those wanting a quiet respite in typical Argentine countryside. Comprising ten luxurious, air conditioned and heated en-suite rooms, the accommodations offer large beds with Egyptian cotton sheets, and individually designed interiors using antiques sourced from local markets. A stay at Puesto Viejo offers the perfect combination of an authentic estancia experience in modern day comfort. Rather than a typical hotel room number, each room is named after one of the owner’s favorite horses. The hotel attracts a diverse clientele from around the world and many guests make new friendships and learn about the exciting game of Polo.

Designer Rooms

Dining is a gourmet delight and three excellent meals per day are included in the room rates at Puesto Viejo. All the repasts served incorporate fruit, vegetables, herbs, and meat from the estancia—from homemade breakfast jams to organically reared lamb.
Guests are served lunch and evening meals outside under the trees or in the dining room, giving them the opportunity to meet each other and share stories. Breakfast is buffet style with fresh fruits and pastries, or eggs and meats cooked to order. Afternoon tea is served on the patio or in the drawing room every day and includes a range of specially blended teas, home made cakes, and soft drinks.

Outdoor Dining

Indoor Dining

A carefully selected wine list includes blends from the Luigi Bosca and Familia Marguery vineyards in Mendoza. Familia Marguery focuses on developing high quality wines using the latest technology and grapes from old vineyards in the Tupungato area. Having built a successful relationship producing wine for the exclusive Nobu restaurant in London, they have also developed a special edition of Malbec for Puesto Viejo.
Hotel Facilities:
◦10 en-suite bedrooms
◦Large dining room
◦Drawing room with fireplace
◦Honesty Bar
◦Library
◦Daily housekeeping and turndown service
◦Complimentary WiFi
◦Laundry service
◦Access to all complimentary facilities on-site (infinity pool, horse riding, stable tours, bikes, horse and carriage rides)

Luxury Rooms

Bedroom Facilities:
◦A range of beds including King size and Twin bed options
◦Egyptian cotton bed linen
◦Individually designed interiors
◦Air conditioning/heating system
◦Toiletries
◦En-suite bathroom with full shower and bath
The unique combination of exciting Polo games and the relaxed estancia atmosphere make this a true Argentine experience and getaway from the mecca of the Buenos Aires city. The gay-friendly staff are multilingual, very knowledgeable, and helpful in every way. Don’t worry if you have never played Polo before because they are happy to arrange lessons and practice with a professional instructor.

Infinity Pool With A view

They also offer Puesto Viejo Polo Days with Gaston Carrozzo (10am to 8pm) based on a minimum of two people. This is aimed at tourists and visitors staying in Buenos Aires city who want to try polo for the first time. Enjoy a one day trip which includes private car transfer to and from the city, welcome drinks and snacks, a traditional Argentine lunch with wine, theory lesson, stick and ball lesson, plus the opportunity to play in a mini match, afternoon tea and snacks, plus the use of all estancia amenities for the day. This day trip package is only available on club practice days (Tuesdays, Thursday, Saturdays, and Sundays) ensuring guests are able to watch a full polo game staged by the club members.

Learn To Play Polo

Unwind by the infinity swimming pool or saddle up for excitement and try your hand at polo—either way country life at the Puesto Viejo is a perfect gay-friendly getaway from the city life in Buenos Aires.
GETTING THERE:
Location:
Puesto Viejo is located on Ruta Nacional No.6 (direction La Plata). It is 70km from Buenos Aires city centre and 8km from Autopista Ezeiza-Cañuelas. The nearest town is Cañuelas.
Transport By Car:
From Buenos Aires city, take Autopista 25 de Mayo and then Autopista Riccieri (towards Ezeiza Airport). Just before the airport is the exit to Autopista Ezeiza- Cañuelas.
Transport By Bus:
Lobosbus runs a regular bus service between Buenos Aires (Congreso) and Cañuelas (www.lobosbus.com.ar)
Taxi:
Taxis from Cañuelas to the estancia are approximately AR$50
Remises Libertad: 02226431823
Remises Centro: 02226431823
Remises 25 de Mayo: 02226422331
Transport by Private Car Transfer:
Puesto Viejo can arrange private car transfers from Buenos Aires.

Relaxing Spaces

For More Information:
www.puestoviejoestancia.com.ar
Main Office Phone: +54 11 5279 6893
Email: info@puestoviejoestancia.com.ar

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 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

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

Pink Point Buenos Aires Enters Second Year of Service To LGBT Visitors

Pink Point Volunteers at FIT, Buenos Aires

By Roy Heale

 

After the successful inaugural year for Pink Point Buenos Aires plans are now underway for the second year of operations. Pink Point is now the Official LGBT tourist information centre of the Buenos Aires City Government (ENTE de Turismo de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires). A provider of LGBT information, gay city maps, and passes to bars and discos, Pink Point also has Pride articles, excursions, and the regular City informational brochures. The overall aim of Pink Point is to unite gay and gay-friendly businesses to build a stronger community spirit for all LGBT locals and for international visitors, ex-pats, and tourists. In Pink Point’s mandate these are the fundamentals for a real gay capital city.

This year Pink Point is selling annual memberships to individuals and businesses. Pink Point Buenos Aires does not receive financial assistance from any local government agencies and needs to raise its own operating funds. Without the support of visitors and residents of Buenos Aires they would not be able to maintain the Pink Point services. Pink Point is a non-profit organisation and needs the reinforcement of local gay businesses to continue providing their FREE visitor services.

Members will be posted in the Pink Pages—the LGBT version of the yellow pages—which is an online guide with listings of all gay related businesses and services (from plumbers to dentists, from doctors to wedding planners). Once a year—commencing in July 2012—a printed version of the Pink Pages guide will be distributed all over the city and in relevant places across the country. The Pink Pages will also be FREE to download from their website and also available for FREE as an App for Smartphones and Ipads.

Every two months a Pink Point Member’s event (workshop, talk, function, etc.) will be held starting in March 2012. With expert guest speakers on gay related topics, networking, and social activities, these events will be educational and informative. Also, an Official Pink Point member sticker will be supplied for promotional use by members. A newsletter will be published every two months with the Pink Pages new member updates and local upcoming events and information. There will also be an invitation to the Members’ Pink Point Ball, to be held annually during the last week of October commencing in 2012.

Corporate Memberships are only available when businesses agree with the rules of being gay- friendly—a Pink Point document which requires a commitment signature.

The new Pink Point LGBT guide and map to Buenos Aires will be published shortly in conjunction with ENTE de Turismo de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires. This map will be distributed at Pink Point and other tourism locations throughout Buenos Aires and beyond.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Erik Hovenga, Owner & Creative Director, Pink Point Buenos Aires: info@pinkpointbuenosaires.com
Official LGBT Tourism Information Centre (ENTE), Lavalle 669, local 24, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Phone: (+ 5411)  4322-1343