I will be slower than usual with replying to emails, confirming comments and posting, while I travel for work. Thank you for bearing with me while I’m away.
Category Archives: Travel
Earlier this week discount airline, Norwegian Air, rolled out a killer sale for flights from Providence, RI to introduce new flight routes that will begin later this summer from that airport. The new nonstop flights to Scotland and Ireland which start at $65 for a one way fare are now sold out, but Norwegian Air says its long term lowest fares on these routes will remain quite low, with more deals to come with fares starting as low as at $99 one way.
Norwegian’s eye-popping introductory fares show just how much competition there is among European discount airlines which in recent years have set their sights on U.S. airports. Norwegian, along with Icelandic upstart WOW Air, have added multiple new routes between the New England and Europe recently.
New Norwegian Air destinations from Providence
Edinburgh flights begins June 16
Belfast flights begins July 1
Cork flights begins July 1
Dublin flights begins July 2
Shannon flights begins July 3
Following my post on the CMI LGBT travel and tourism survey, I thought it would be fitting to share news about Azore Airlines sale which starts today and runs through February 28th. Their promotion which is valid for trips booked between March 27 – June 19 offer roundtrip flights from Boston to the Azores for $568 (including tax). Passengers can upgrade to Business Class for just a few hundred dollars more each way. Restrictions/blackout may dates apply in some cases. Capacity controlled and subject to availability.
Madeira Island in the Azores is approximately 750 miles southwest of Lisbon off the coast of Africa. Red volcanic cliffs that rise dramatically from the sea characterize Madeira’s fascinating landscape. The islands steep rise creates six unique climate zones, each with its own beautiful flora and fauna that contribute to the comparison of Madeira with Hawaii.
Azores Airlines, part of the SATA Group. For more information about booking flights visit azoresairlines.pt.
Each year Community Marketing Inc. (CMI) share the results of their annual LGBT travel and tourism survey. This past December findings from their 2016 survey were shared after collecting and analyzing responses from more than 4,700 people. The survey focuses on travel in the United States and is of interest to those in the travel industry as well as people like yours truly who is curious to see how LGBT travelers differ from the industry-at-large.
In CMI’s survey they found that LGBT travelers want many of the same things, for example survey respondents indicated rest and relaxation was the most important aspect of their travel but people “relax” differently. In the case of travelers who identify as gay, visiting large cities, LGBT-popular destinations and nightlife were more important than lesbian travelers. More lesbians preferred visiting nature and remaining active outdoors; not much of a surprise.
The most popular destinations in the US for LGBT travelers (this includes for work and leisure) was New York City followed by San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Chicago. It was noted on CMI’s webcast (where they explained a lot of their findings) that Boston slipped for the first time out of the top 10, ranking 11th. It was also noted that interest in Seattle has increased and they tied for 8th most visited destination along with San Diego and Fort Lauderdale.
The survey provides more information about demographics, how the LGBT community spend their time and money when they travel. If this is of interest to you check out the link below that I’ve included or Google the survey to download and read all the findings from their 2016 survey.
About Survey Respondents: The majority of respondents identified as single gay men who earn less than $100,000. You can see the full breakdown of the demographics if you download their report if you find this sort of thing interesting: CMI LGBT Travel & Tourism Survey 2016.
Two weeks ago Sergio and I spent a few nights in sunny, warm Miami to forget about winter and relax. Below is my review of the hotel, The Gaythering.
Located one block from Biscayne Bay on Lincoln Road, The Gaythering is a boutique hotel that markets itself as Miami’s only gay hotel. I would describe it as part hotel, part bar and part sauna / spa. The entire property seems to give a nod to the Red Light district with its color palette of blood red, grey and black – not what one typically thinks of for South Beach. The property draws a lot of locals because of the bar and saunas which adds a nice dynamic that was missing at the other property we stayed at on this visit. We had the chance to meet and talk to guys who live in the area and get tips that are hard to come by otherwise if you are a gay traveler unfamiliar with South Beach.
The property unabashedly serves the gay community and from what I saw during my stay it seems that it is paying off. On the weekends tourists mix with locals who come to the hotel bar to socialize en masse. A local explained to me that while Miami is known for their nightclubs, they have very few gay bars you can go to just hang out, relax and chat.
The back room located to the right of the check-in counter (and shown below) is set up with board games and is host to a titillating library, featuring everything from Bruce Weber to Madonna’s Sex Book. The rooms are clean and room 3100 located in the back where we stayed was surprisingly quiet considering how many people were two levels below us in the courtyard drinking and socializing.
The big negative to this property is its lack of water views, pool or access to the beach, but fortunately, South Beach is an easy 15 minute walk or 5 minute bike ride on Lincoln Road. This hotel is going to appeal to men who wants to be close to a party-like atmosphere and are not bothered by the lack of access to the beach or pool. A big plus for the hotel is their “Crate Share Rooms” which are very affordable for those traveling on a tight budget. Should you go, say hello to the Sergio who works the front desk. He is handsome and helpful and was one of several people we met while staying there who really made us feel welcome.
BosGuy rating: 3 out of 5 stars, Good.
The Gaythering South Beach
1409 Lincoln Road, Miami South Beach
Below are photos of our room at The Gaythering
Two weeks ago Sergio and I spent a few nights in sunny, warm Miami to forget about winter and relax. Below is my review of the Standard Miami Beach Hotel.
Originally built as a two-story motor court, the property was sold and rebranded in the early 1960s as the Lido Spa Hotel. It remained as such for the next 40 years until The Standard – a small independent hotel chain with other properties in Manhattan and Los Angeles – purchased the aging property in 2006. The rooms, amenities and grounds have been updated but it is not hard to imagine how it looked some 50 years ago when they first opened as the Lido Spa Hotel. The entire property has a very relaxing tropical vibe with gardens and many rooms outfitted with outdoor soaking tubs on private patios. But it is their amazing pool with views of Miami in the distance that impressed me the most.
While visiting Sergio and I indulged, spending an afternoon at the spa which is coed and free for hotel guests to use as much as they like. The spa includes a Turkish-style hamam, aroma steam room, hot tub, Finnish sauna, treatment baths, mud lounge and their salt water infinity pool that I referenced previously. I found the experience very relaxing and the perfect way to spend the first few hours in Miami.
Perhaps the biggest selling point for us is that nobody under the age of 18 is allowed to stay at the hotel, making it paradise for adults who want to be able to relax. As a result, the hotel attracts a large number of gay travelers and during our stay I would guess that approximately 25% of the guests were gay couples or friends, which made Sergio and I feel very comfortable staying here.
Although the hotel has a snack shop and a restaurant, an easy 10-minute walk over the Venetian Way to Purdy Ave and Bay Road gives you many more dining options. But before walking over the bridge for dinner, enjoy the beautiful sunset views during happy hour from 4-7PM where you can sip the hotel’s deliciously refreshing signature cocktail the F’rosé – part vodka and part rosé.
The only drawback with the hotel property situated on Belle Island is that for those who love the beach the hotel is a 20 minute walk or quick ride to the beach. This didn’t bother us because of the views of the water, downtown Miami and their beautiful pool but for beach bums take note of the distance to South Beach.
The Standard Miami
40 Island Avenue, Miami South Beach
Below are photos of our room at The Standard Miami
Last week Azores Airlines announced that starting June 1, 2017 they will provide service from Boston to the Cape Verde Islands with one stop in the Azores before landing in the capital city of Praia (the word means beach in Portuguese) on Santiago Island. A special fare of $704 round trip including taxes and fees is currently on sale until February 28, 2017 for flights booked between June 1 to June 30, 2017 and September 1 to December 8, 2017. Flights are twice a week: Sundays and Thursdays – Boston/Ponta Delgada/Praia.
Cape Verde is volcanic archipelago off the Northwest coast of Africa best known for sandy beaches, Creole Portuguese/African culture and sunny weather. Its largest island, Santiago, is home to the capital, Praia (population estimated at 130,000), a cliff top city overlooking the sea with many beachfront hotels.
If you are looking for an exotic destination for later this year, Cape Verde, which is off the coast of Africa may be perfect for you. The weather is low 80s year round and sunny. For more information about booking a trip visit azoresairlines.pt or call 800-762-9995.