Posts tagged rosario

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 Hotel Rosario, Argentina

Plaza del Sol Hotel, Rosario, Argentina

 

 

By Roy Heale

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

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

Rosario Beach Promenade

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

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

Hotel Sun Deck

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

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

Spacious Rooms With Balconies

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

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

 

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