Market Metrix hospitality index has ranked the best US hotels. The survey which was compiled by responses from more than 40,000 travelers placed Drury Hotels at the top of the list.
I’m not familiar with Drury Hotels, which has properties in 20 states but mostly in the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest. Other very recognizable hotel chains scored well including Kimpton, Renaissance, Hard Rock, and Ritz. Huffington Post breaks down the findings to show you the top ten hotel brands according to Market Metrix, which you can view here.
Curious to see all the brands that were included in the ranking – click here.
No sooner have I returned from Puerto Rico and I’ve been told to hop on a plane to San Francisco. I’m so bummed, because the trip is so last minute and so quick I won’t even be able to see friends or go out and enjoy the city.
Enjoying the first full day here. The view above is from our second floor balcony which I find unbelievably serene. The weather this morning started out overcast with a few passing sprinkles, but the afternoon has been gorgeous. I’ll write more about the W Spa and Resort after I return home, but as you can see the property does not lack for beautiful views of the water.
This afternoon I will dash off to the airport and if all goes according to plan, I’ll be checking into the W Retreat and Spa in Vieques by 8pm.
While away, my blogging may lag, but I’ll certainly be tweeting so join me on Twitter. On my last visit to Puerto Rico some of my tweets included hashtags like #HotDaddy and #UglyFriskyCouple. There is something so much more interesting about people watching while on vacation.
Posted in Travel, Twitter
Next week at this time I’ll be heading to the airport to leave for Puerto Rico, and after the bitterly cold temperatures of this week I am more than ready to go.
I am longing to feel the warmth of the Caribbean and look forward to having a few days that are free of conference calls and meetings. On this particular visit to Puerto Rico I’ll be at the W Hotel resort on Vieques. The image above was taken a couple years ago at El Conquistador Resort at my cousin’s wedding.
After Christmas I mentioned Sergio had surprised me with airfare to Puerto Rico so I cashed in points to stay at W Retreat and Spa on Vieques Island. Despite the fact that we’ve been to Puerto Rico several times, we’ve never been to Vieques. I’m curious if any readers have suggestions on things to do, places to eat or go out and of course tips about the W Hotel property. We’ve reserved a “Fabulous Ocean Front Escape” (their room description not mine), and the resort is highly rated on Trip Advisor.
Year in rewind: BosGuy’s favorite posts from 2012
The photo below comes from my post, Praia Mole: Where the gays are. It is my favorite photo of Sergio and me in 2012 and precisely how I’d like to remember this year where so many good things happened.
Wishing you all the very best in 2013.
On Christmas Eve my partner surprised me with airline tickets to Puerto Rico at the end of January. Neither Sergio, nor I enjoy the cold weather and getting away to the Caribbean for a few nights sounds fantastic.
We have not been to Puerto Rico since December 2010 when we flew to my cousin’s wedding. The photo above was the view from our room at The Conquistador where we stayed. I love visiting this island and look forward to returning.
Work brought me to New York City this week and unlike most business trips, I actually had a few hours on Tuesday evening to enjoy by myself. The City looked very festive and no matter where I went, there were plenty of lights, wreaths and all the other decorations you would associate with this time of year.
Shown above is Grand Central Station on 42nd Street. This and the neighboring Chrysler Building are two of my favorite in NYC. The first time I came to NYC, I emerged from Grand Central, walked out to the streets of Midtown, looked up and saw the Chrysler Building. I’ve been in love with New York City ever since.
The skating rink at Bryant Park (shown above) might be less famous than Rockefeller Center’s, but it is larger and far more fun. Earlier this year I tweeted a photo of hundreds on the park doing yoga after work. No matter the time of year I always enjoy stopping by Bryant Park.
Excluding Times Square, I cannot think of a more crowded destination for tourists than NYC’s than Rockefeller Center. The ice rink and Christmas tree below always looks pitifully small under the soaring art deco sky scraper, but that doesn’t deter the crowds who come to get their photograph taken.
Here is a photo of my partner and me on vacation earlier this month in Florianopolis Brazil. I’ve been writing about the vacation not only to share with people who peruse this site but as a way to relive the time there. This is a photograph of the two of us on Praia Mole (Mole Beach).
I last featured items from Sky Mall in October in my post Sky Mall holiday edition. While flying home from Brazil I couldn’t help but continue to peruse this bizarre catalog and thought I’d add the Upright Sleeper to the growing list of odd items for sale.
I’m not sure which I find more strange – the actual product or the model they chose who has a the horrible haircut; when I was a kid this is what we referred to as a “bowl cut”.
Honorable mention for freakish garb you may purchase on Sky Mall and wear goes to the spandex power mesh posture support called The Cincher for women. The catalog write up encourages buyers to wear this contraption over their clothes; I couldn’t make this crap up.
I recently returned from a trip to Brazil, and the last two nights of my vacation were spent at the Renaissance Sao Paulo so I thought I’d share my thoughts about this Marriott property.
Americans accustomed to hotels in the United States will appreciate the comfort of the Renaissance Hotel as well as the location just a few blocks from Avenida Paulista and near the beautiful Jardins District. The rooms are well appointed and provide ample space as shown below. The higher rooms also provide amazing vistas to view Sao Paulo – one of the largest cities in the world.
The property offers a lot more than just a convenient and comfortable room. The hotel gym is large and has helpful staff as does the pool and spa and there are several restaurants and bars for you visit should you not want to leave the property.
There happens to be a Starbucks just a block away, but I would encourage you to visit the gay-friendly cafe next door, Fran’s Cafe, which also provides a great option for a quick breakfast or lunch if you are on the go. If you will need the Metro, the hotel is just a couple of blocks from the Consolação metro station.
Built into a small hill in the Barra de Lagoa neighborhood is the Bistro Isadora Duncan. Above the restaurant is a treetop suite that is partly indoors, partly outdoors and 100% private. Co-owned by a friendly gay couple, Greg & Amauri, this 5 room suite complete with stunning views and a large jacuzzi to enjoy them.
Bistro Isadora Duncan is convenient to the local gay beach, Praia Mole. I first learned about the bistro and it’s one room suite in an old Passport Magazine article you may read here. If you are contemplating a trip to Florianopolis, this might be a good option depending on what you expect from your lodging and what your budget is like.
View from Isadora Duncan Suite
Despite the suite’s proximity to Praia Mole it is still quite a leg work out to get there and is about a 20 minute walk. All the hills you must navigate if staying in this part of the island are offset by the spectacular views and the fact that each morning Greg brings a delicious breakfast up the spiral staircase that leads to the entrance of the suite so you’ll feel the need to burn off some of those calories.
The amount of food Greg’s partner, Amauri, prepares is nothing short of a feast. While the space is a little worn, it remains very comfortable. Adding to the convenience is the very quaint Bistro below you, which serves delicious, albeit pricey dinners (~$150 per couple). Never fear, cheap eats can be found next door at Pacai, which is open Wednesday through Sunday and at other cafes.
Travel Tips: Owners Greg and Amaury don’t speak English so practice your Portuguese to see if you can communicate or grab a Brazilian friend to help.
To access the suite you must walk up a spiral staircase that is at the top of a very steep hill – this can be tricky if you have lots of luggage or are lazy.
Lastly, it can be tricky using a credit card over the phone and reservations may take more time than you anticipate so be patient and plan accordingly.
Our visit to Brazil concluded with the final two days of our vacation in Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo. This city lives in the shadow of the more famous, Rio de Janeiro, because it lacks the natural beauty that Rio is so blessed to have. However, I love this city of 12 million residents, which by the way makes it the largest city in the southern hemisphere.
The key to having a good time in Sao Paulo is having someone to show you around, because the size of this city makes it too large for a tourist to wrap their head around. Previously, we’ve hit the clubs – Sao Paulo is home to my favorite gay club called The Week, but this was a more relaxing visit spent eating and visiting with friends and family.
Paulista’s (a resident of Sao Paulo) are famous for their many delicious pizzerias and thousands of pizzas are made and consumed each night in this sprawling urban jungle. On this trip we enjoyed the fantastic restaurants in the trendy Jardins District near our hotel including a pizzeria on Saturday night called Pizza na Mao.
Should you be planning a trip to Brazil and have any questions about Sao Paulo or another area definitely give me a shout and I’ll be happy to share what I know.
Prior to visiting Florianopolis, I had heard that if you were gay you should check out Praia Mole. If you’d like to learn more about the official gay beach on the island be sure to check out my recent post, Praia Mole: Where the gays are.
If you would like to see another part of the island and not be the only gay man on the beach, venture over to in Jurere International; specifically by the beach in front of Taeko – a restaurant / bar area with beautiful views and warm water to enjoy.
Most who visit this part of the island seem to stay at the Jurere Beach Village. I had opted to stay elsewhere since the resort looked so family-friendly and if I go back I would seriously consider renting a house near Taeko, but if that is not an option, I’d suggest trying Jurere Beach Village since it is an easy walk along the beach to Taeko (5-10 minutes).
I would guess approximately 25% of the people here were gay if not more. In addition to the beach, which is beautiful, the neighborhood has constructed a walking / jogging path that gives you views of the the water to one side and beautiful mansions on the other side. The path also attaches to the various beach bars (like Taeko).