Tag Archives: Travel

Hotel review: The Gaythering Miami Beach

gay travel, South BeachTwo 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.

gay travel, South Beach

A note and sparkling wine was set up in our room to congratulate us on our anniversary

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.

gay travel, gay hotelThe 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.
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The Gaythering South Beach
1409 Lincoln Road, Miami South Beach
gaythering.com

Below are photos of our room at The Gaythering

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Hotel review: The Standard Miami

SOBE, gay travel, hotel review

Don’t miss the sunset at The Standard Miami Beach. The views are beautiful.

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.

south beach spa

The entrance to The Standard Miami spa.

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.

Frose

Be sure to enjoy at least one of the hotel’s signature cocktail, The F’rosé.

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.

BosGuy rating: 5 out of 5 stars, Wicked Awesome.
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The Standard Miami
40 Island Avenue, Miami South Beach
standardhotels.com/miami

Below are photos of our room at The Standard Miami

Hotel reviewThe Standard MiamiThe Standard Miami closetThe Standard Miami ShowerThe Standard Miami bathroom

Flights from Boston to Cape Verde start June 1

Azore Airlines, Africa, travelLast 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.
Azore Airlines, travel, AfricaIf 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.

Heading to Miami for the first time

gay travel, gay florida, miamiSergio and I typically go somewhere warm at the end of January to give us something to look forward to after the holidays and to break up the winter months, which can be pretty bleak in Boston.  This year we decided to take a break from our routine of going to The Caribbean and visit Miami. I’ve never been to Miami, and I’m curious to see what all the hype is about.

Sergio and I are staying at two different hotels: The Standard and The Gaythering. Aside from plans to connect with friends and enjoy the warm weather, we have little else planned. For those who like Miami, share some suggestions on what you think we should do / places we should go while there.

Skiing has never been more gay

how to survive a Boston winterIn years past I’ve written posts for newcomers to Boston who may not be familiar with New England winters. One of my suggestions is to try and learn to embrace what winter offers.  Never has that been more fun with gay ski weekends and weeks here locally and out West to tempt you.

Below are a few such events you may want to consider. The price of tickets out West varies widely by destination and carrier but you can use a locally developed app called Hopper to alert you to last minute airfares and price reductions.

Shown Above: Logo’s Ultimate Après Ski Party

Gay Aspen Ski Week (January 15 – 22, 2017) is the longest running and perhaps largest event of the season. It kicks off this Sunday but most of the fun is reserved for the second half of the week.  Shown above is last year’s Ultimate Après Ski Party sponsored by Logo. For more information gayskiweek.com.

Stowe Vermont, Stowe Mountain, gay ski

Winter Rendezvous (January 18 – 22, 2017) is one of the largest gay ski events happening in New England.  The party at Stowe Mountain in Vermont is also only a 3 hour drive making it logistically a lot easier and more affordable option. For more information winterrendezvous.com.

gay Canada, gay ski

Whistler Pride Ski Festival (January 22 – 29, 2017) turns 25 this year and the winter pride festival is filled with fun events including a visit from one of my favorite drag queens, Pam Ann.  For more information gaywhistler.com.

Sunday River Mountain, gay ski

White Out Weekend – WOW (February 3 – 5, 2017) is an annual event hosted by The Welcoming Committee (TWC) and is the perfect opportunity for those who do not want include the hassle or expense of airfare or take off time from work. TWC will even take care of transportation for you up to Sunday River in Maine. For more information thewelcomingcommittee.com.

gay Utah, gay ski Utah

Elevation Utah 2017 (February 23 – 26, 2017) is celebrating its seventh annual party at Park City, Utah.  For more information utahgayskiweek.com.

Telluride, gay ski

Telluride Gay Ski Week (February 25 – March 4, 2017) is the last big gay ski week of the 2017 winter season in North America, bringing the gay ski season full circle back to beautiful Colorado. For more information telluridegayski.com.

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Boston’s OutRyders Gay Ski Club
If getting away for one of these trips is not going to work, but you’d like to ski, consider joining Boston’s Gay ski / snowboarding club, OutRyders. The group has monthly socials and plans numerous day trips and overnights to mountains here in New England and out west. For more information outryders.org.

JetBlue big winter sale $34 tickets ends tonight

JetBlue offers $599 all-you-can-fly dealThe JetBlue big winter sale is back and it’s time for you to plan your much-deserved vacation but here is the catch – the deal ends tonight.

For as low as $34, JetBlue will fly you from Boston to several destinations. Travel must occur between January 18 – March 8, 2017 with black out dates from 2/17 – 26/17 and traveling Monday – Thursday & Saturday. Published airfare rates from Boston include $39 to DC, $49 to NYC, $69 to Chicago, $89 to Puerto Rico and $99 to The Bahamas; 30+ destinations are listed as part of the sale.

J.D. Power: Boston Logan Airport Ranks at bottom in 2016 North American Airport Study

travelOUCH! Last month J.D. Power and Associates released their annual North American Airport Satisfaction Survey and Boston’s Logan Airport ranked 28th out of 32 large airports. One reason cited for Boston’s dismal ratings are the disruptions caused by renovations. However, Logan Airport has some unique issues that in the near term seem likely to continue to frustrate travelers.
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About the Study  Now in its 11th year, the study measures overall traveler satisfaction with large and medium North American airports by examining six factors (in order of importance): terminal facilities; airport accessibility; security check; baggage claim; check-in/baggage check; food, beverage and retail. The 2016 North America Airport Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 38,931 North American travelers who traveled through at least one domestic or international airport with both departure and arrival experiences (excluding connecting airports) during the past three months.

See more results here.