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Hard to believe, but summer and its slew of Pride events will be here faster than you can squeeze into your short shorts. But if you can’t wait – or like us, are in desperate need of Vitamin D – head south to hotter climes where things are kicking off a little bit sooner.
Dinah Shore Week 2011 (March 30 – April 3; www.dinahshoreweekend.com): Okay, not technically a Pride, but in lesbian terms, this week-long Palm Springs affair might as well be. Expect massive bashes and pool parties, plus Estelle, The Real L World, and lingerie football. STAY: Hotel Zoso (www.hotelzoso.com)
Phoenix Pride (April 8 – 17; www.azpride.org): Ten days of Pride in the Valley of the Sun feature an LGBT film festival, a local heroes awards ceremony, and the requsite festival and parade, all to the thematic tune of “Do Ask. Do Tell. Be Proud.” STAY: Hotel Valley Ho
Fresh from the land of Kafka, Pilsner, Absinthe, and Bel Ami comes some pretty spectacular news: the first-ever Prague Pride (PraguePride.com) has been scheduled for August 18-21, 2011 pending police and city hall approvals. Sure it’s near a year away, but that’s the only weekend left in Europe’s summer without a conflicting Pride, so mark your calendars now. Because if my recent visit to the Czech Republic for the 11th Annual Mezipatra Queer Film Festival (Mezipatra.cz) was any indication, gay life is thriving. Prague, long a beacon for backpackers and culture vultures thanks to its über-romantic Old Town is also a haven for LGBT folk of the Central and Eastern European region thanks to a basically agnostic society and a sense of nationalism that makes it easier to be gay than non-Czech.
Gay-owned, Seattle-founded, rocknrolla hipster hotel chain Ace Hotels knows how to throw a party. Just check out the teeming fashiony hoards any weekend night at its Portland or New York City locations. D.I.Y., art-filled funkified style certainly draws a crowd. And this coming weekend, it’s bringing some cachet to the cliche of Palm Spring Pride (PSPride.org), November 4-7, the last big one of 2010.
Deemed the West Coast Love Train – a hotel-based hootenanny for “hot misfits, radical faeries, starving indie artists with a price, leather, squirrels, queers, furries and fuzzies, poly-tastic warm leatherettes, drag kings and queens, changlings, disco dollies” and way gay kitchen sinks – events are free for hotel guests and $10 a day for the public. A weekend Pride Package helps you get your freaky deeky on with 20% off double-occupancy rooms (from $229/night). They’ll also throw in a $25 treat resort credit for those all-important first cocktails. Call 760-325-9990 with code “Love Train” to book; two-night min.
Or better yet, head online, sans package, and take advantage of either 15 percent or 20 percent discounts each night for a 2- or 3-night stay, respectively. With discount applied, the cheapest rate for a standard king starts at an astounding $136/night for a standard room.
New Year’s might seem far off, but for powder hounds, it can’t come soon enough – especially when there are deals to be had for booking some of 2011′s roster of gay ski weeks early. Some even start happening before your hangover has had time to subside. Details below.
Never been to a gay ski week? Looking for something more low key? Ski Bums, the nation’s largest LGBT ski and snowboarder organization, runs group trips across the country and select worldwide pilgrimages (Courchevel, France and heliskiing in Sweden are on tap for in 2011), as well as day trips from NYC, creating what amounts to a mini gay ski week in the process. A new California chapter launches next Friday, October 8 at Gym Sportsbar in WeHo, so West Coasters can start feeling the chilly thrills soon. Both black diamond masters and bunny hill newbies are welcome.
Any time of the year, Atlanta (aka “Hotlanta”) wears its nickname justifiably, but when one of the nation’s largest Pride festivals rolls into town, the gay temperature gets downright sizzlin’. This year, join the fun of the 40th Annual Atlanta Pride from October 9th and 10th (just in time for National Coming Out Day on the 11th) with hotel deals as sweet as a Georgia peach.
The Hotel Palomar Atlanta, the city’s first property from über-gay-friendly Kimpton, is offering extraordinary rates as low as $125 a night for its upscale rooms, usually topping $349 for their King Deluxe standard rooms. Just over a mile from the Pride festivities in Midtown’s Piedmont Park and two blocks from the parade route, the Palomar is perfectly situated to the action whether you want a launching pad for parties or a sophisticated mod retreat. Best of all, rates are good now through December 30. To book call 866-945-6285 or use code PRI here. Read more
Having made headlines last year with mainland China’s first public LGBT event, including an unprecedented front-page story on China Daily, the government’s English-language mouthpiece and perhaps its first public acknowledgement and tacit endorsement of LGBT life, ShanghaiPRIDE’s second go was in danger of being cancelled so as not to conflict with the all-encompassing Expo 2010. (2009′s inaugural event was in the traditional Pride month of June.) But say xie xie for the fortitude of the mixed gay-straight-Chinese-expat group of organizers and mark your calendars for October 16-31: ShanghaiPRIDE 2010 is on and twice as long as last year.
Topping an already incredible airfare deal to Europe, Atlantis Events just announced two new 2-for-1 deals that brings down prices on two of its mega gay summer cruises to amazingly low levels.
For the 11-day Copenhagen to Amsterdam Pride sailing July 29–August 8, “Fly for Free” with 2-for-1 airfare promotion on already low base fares, such as $499 return from Boston, New York (JFK), and Newark. Buy one flight at a regular price with Atlantis and they’ll fly the second guest over for free, minus taxes. Offer valid from any city in the U.S., Canada, or Europe, but cannot be applied to existing reservations.
Or “Cruise for Free” later in the summer, with a 2-for-1 deal aboard its 10-day Athens to Barcelona (August 24–September 2) trip on the slick new Celebrity Equinox, featuring an overnight in Tel Aviv. Book one stateroom in categories 2B-Deluxe Balcony ($2,149, per person/double occupancy) to AQ-Aquaclass ($2,899) and receive a second stateroom in the same category for free (port fees and gratuities still apply). Offer extended to current passengers if their booking qualifies.
See www.atlantisevents.com or call 800-6-ATLANTIS for booking and specific terms. Both promotions end July 15.
For more summer bargains, search our Cruise Travel Deals.
All aboard! If you’re planning on attending the main festivities of the 30th anniversary celebration of Toronto Pride Week (June 25-July 4), why not extend your trip to another Canadian gateway and arrive in memorable style? VIA Rail, Canada’s national railway, official Pride sponsor and long-time supporter of LGBT rights in general in a country on the forefront of them, is offering a “Ride to Pride” package on specifically designated VIA Pride Trains.
June is here and Pride season is officially upon us. If you’re looking to be out – and get out – here are some of our favorite hotel deals that have crossed our desk. Thanks to the power of the pink dollar, it’s easier (and cheaper) than ever to party-hop the world over.
For a list of Prides around the world, visit Interpride’s Global Calendar.
Worldwide (through Dec 30, 2010)
Available at over 125 participating Hyatt hotels and resorts from Austin to Osaka, the Pride Welcome Package includes standard guestroom accommodation, full breakfast for two daily, a 4pm late check out, welcome amenities and LGBT-relevant info curated by the concierge. Whatever Pride you want to attend, you can be sure a Hyatt is nearby. Book using code LGBT10.
Los Angeles Pride (June 11-13)
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of LA Pride and the 20th anniversary of WeHo behemoth The Abbey, the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, a Luxury Collection property with stylings by Starck and NYC’s Moss, is offering superior rooms, VIP access and free transportation to/from the Abbey (a.k.a. Pride festivities central), a $50 credit at the hotel’s Ciel Spa, complimentary valet parking all weekend, personal LGBT specialist concierge, and 500 bonus Starwood Preferred Guest points. VIP packages start at $319. Special “Soul to Soul” couples massages followed by epicure treats by celeb Chef José Andrés available for $425. Book using code PRIDE. Read more
Salt isn’t the only thing that’s pink in the Himalayas. As stark a contrast as the mountain terrain is to the expansive skies, so are the social ramifications of being “queer” in one of the isolated and traditional – and to much of the western world, mysterious – regions of the world. Making headlines is Nepal, who is positioning itself to grab on the pink dollar on the heels of a royal same-sex Hindu wedding, while being gay in Muslim Pakistan or tolerant/intolerant Buddhist China is anything but community building.
In honor of New York City’s Gay Pride month, the Rubin Museum of Art focuses on gay, lesbian, and transgender issues in the Himalayan region with a series of high-concept, intellectual talks every Wednesday in June. Read more
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