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For a property that’s already redefined the “gay hotel” genre from cruisy all-male clothing-optional inns to a more snappy, design-driven all-inclusive affair, Lords South Beach is now staging what might be an industry first: a hotel takeover-pop-up at the hyper-modern Hotel on Rivington, just in time for New York City Pride, June 18-30. And saving you 15 percent while they’re at it.
And what does that mean exactly?
Design-elements from Lords like the iconic Marilyn portraits by Richard Bellino will be bringing Miami’s Art Deco District to the tenements and trendsters of the Lower East Side with re-styled rooms and a re-painted lobby (snappy neon pink, naturally). In essence, it’s the spirit of the brand dipping its toes into the NYC market – perhaps hinting at a full-blown property down the road – so it doesn’t just end at the design elements.
Saving money: a trend that just won’t quit. And although pop culture tells us gays are the trendiest of the lot [buffs fingers on shirt], they’ve only just now got into the crowded flash sale game. Launching today with three week-long sales, Out Escapes carves a members-only gay niche from Jetsetter, Vacationist, Living Social Escapes, and Groupon Getaways, amongst others, with offerings given the LGBT stamp of approval, in addition to offering value-added perks above and beyond the discounts other sites may provide. Cool-with-it allies, you’re in luck, too; nobody’s going to ask whom you sleep with to sign up.
In dollar terms that means the possibility of free round-trip airport transfers, bottle of champers at check-in, comp meals, spa passes, and special guided tours. It also means group trips geared towards gays, like their last-minute Tel Aviv Pride package June 1-10, and an Events platform to securely buy tickets to circuit parties and social/charity outings not necessarily at a discount but again, with potential special perks like expedited club entry. According to the site’s co-founder/travel writing veteran, the ultimate goal is to become a full-service travel portal including a tongue-in-cheek Gay Tripper blog about fabbing it up the world over and social networking “Meet Me Here” component (live July 2012).
But for now, it’s all about the sales. Here’s a peek: Read more
Does the trill of a songbird remind you of a diva crescendoing against a dance beat? Is that eruption of color in a bed of tulips conjure images of an unfurled rainbow flag? It’s official: You’ve got Pride fever. And Hilton Hotels has the cure with their new “Stay Hilton. Go Out.” package, now available at 140 properties worldwide (including the Grand Vacations brand). Never too early to start planning for the season.
Booking entitles you to celebration-friendly amenities such as:
- Reduced room rates (more beer money)
- Double Hilton HHonors points (quicker access to the fab life)
- Late check-out (when available, hangover be damned)
- Free high-speed Internet (Facebook won’t know what hit it)
- Free 1-year digital subscription to OUT (the world’s leading magazine for the world’s leading gays)
Also, as a premier partner of events such as London WorldPride 2012, The Advocate 45th Anniversary, and the IGLTA gay travel association, they are offering one lucky winner a free 6-night VIP getaway to Gay Days Orlando – including airfare – from May 29 to June 4. Read more
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.
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.
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
Although experts warn Iceland’s volcano may erupt for weeks, if not months, the great European flight blackout of 2010—the biggest disruption since 9/11—can’t last forever. When the ash clears, faster than you can say Eyjafjallajokull, it’ll be go time again! And airberlin wants to make sure you don’t miss any of the gay festivities.
Now through October, fly roundtrip on airberlin from any of its US gateways (New York JFK, Miami, Fort Myers, Los Angeles, and San Francisco) and receive $100 off just for being you. Flights go direct to Düsseldorf with connections throughout Europe such as Helsinki, Barcelona, Milan, and Salzburg. Having racked in numerous “Best Low-Cost Carrier” awards with its modern fleet and sharply bedecked flight attendants, airberlin feels like a Teutonic version of JetBlue: retro-mod stylings with prices just as nice.
Trips from Miami to Berlin around Christopher Street Day Pride start at $432 one way (taxes included), before discount. San Francisco to Cologne for the VIII Gay Games might only set you back $412 each way. London Pride in July? Also only $432 one way. Or just want some mountain air in August? San Francisco to Zurich starts at $515. Flights must be booked by May 31.
To get your $100-off coupon code, register with airberlin here.
Looking for a party at your destination? InterPride maintains a comprehensive calendar of prides and LGBT celebrations throughout Europe.
For more trip-planning information, see our Europe Travel Guide.
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