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Fall 2006 | Hotels We Love

Fall 2006 | Hotels We Love

Where We Go Full Steam Ahead
Hong Kong

Peninsula Hong Kong was already famous among globetrotting gays for its romantic corner-view suites (not to mention the sexy bathrooms at its Felix restaurant), but things have gotten even steamier with the opening of the Peninsula Spa. Built within the seventh to the ninth floors of the tower, the 14 treatment rooms, pool, and separate men's and women's Thermal Suites (which include saunas, steam rooms, and tropical scented showers) all take advantage of floor-to-ceiling harbor views. Couples eager to indulge in a shared experience have the option of booking an all-day spa suite that includes four hours of treatments, a private steam room, and a double bath. Don't miss their signature treatments: the ayurvedic, Dosha-specific, hot-stone massage, Chinese balancing (Yin Uplifter or Yang Soother) wrap and massage, and the skin-brightener age-defier facial. 011-852-2920-2888. --Scott Goetz

Where We Go When Only a Palace Will Do
Taj Lake Palace
Udaipur, India

Take a short boat ride to the middle of a lake and step into your Bollywood fantasy. You are showered with rose petals as you ascend the steps to the Taj Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur. There's more royal treatment in store at the sumptuous 18th-century summer palace, built for the rulers of this district in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan. There are opulent rooms, a flute player who melodiously beckons you to breakfast by the ornate lotus pond, and breathtaking sunsets from the white filigree roof terraces. And if the rain gods have been kind the month before, surrounding Lake Pichola will be a shimmering expanse of blue. The magic of the floating palace is complete. 011-91-294-252-8800. --Gerard Raymond

Where We Get Down (To Business)
Great Eastern Hotel

"You make my heart go boom-boom," reads the red neon sign above the reservation desk at the Great Eastern Hotel. Situated within the square mile of the city (the main financial district within greater London), this Victorian-era gem, polished up in 2000 with subtle modern touches like, oh, a six-floor atrium is ideally suited to satisfy the business-meets-pleasure demands of the gay or lesbian business traveler. Private turn-of-the-century dining rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art teleconferencing systems. And although all 267 bedrooms come with an ergonomically designed work station wired with two-line telephones and high-speed Internet access, no two rooms are alike. The four (count 'em!) bars and restaurants are also refreshingly distinct-from the Fishmarket, a sea-green room decorated with plaster cherubs, to the Temple, a former Masonic temple with mahogany-paneled walls and an overhead zodiac. The giddy gilded age comes alive-drowning out all thoughts of merger deals, buyouts, and other bothersome business transactions-when Immodesty Blaize, dubbed the "queen of British burlesque," hits the stage. Boom-boom, indeed. 011-44-20-7618-5000 --Darren Frei

Where We Go to Cozy Up to the Slopes
Adara Hotel
Whistler, Canada

We love that Adara Hotel has taken the quirky-minimalist boutique hotel aesthetic found in major urban centers and transported it to the heart of Whistler Village, just steps from the Blackcomb and Whistler Mountain gondolas. (Instead of a trophy deer hanging from the wall, antler insignias are etched into the mirror in the elevator vestibule and stitched into gray wool throw pillows.) During Whistler's gay ski week in February, you can count on Adara attracting a style-conscious queer crowd looking to up the ante on the ultimate ski-trip fantasy. Rooms contain Werner Panton desk chairs, huge walk-in showers, and a "floating fireplace" that seems suspended in midair. Preloaded iPods and laptops are available for complimentary use if guests demand a reality check. 604-694-2139

Where We'll Be Going in 2007
Axel Hotel
Buenos Aires

We all dream of hunky construction workers, but leave it to a gay-owned hotel chain to use that fantasy to its advantage when breaking ground on a new hotel. On June 1 the Hotel Axel officially started construction on its new hotel in Buenos Aires's San Telmo neighborhood, an area of the Argentine capital rapidly undergoing a gay gentrification. (As if hiring buff men in blue construction suits wasn't enough of a statement, a DVD of Madonna's Evita went into the time capsule buried near the cornerstone.) Like anything in Latin America, the process of getting the hotel under construction has been fraught with delays. According to Juan Julia, the president of Axel Corp., the investment group behind the hotel, the property is slated finally to open in April 2007. Promoted as the first gay five-star hotel in South America, Axel will feature rooms that begin at about $150 a night. The complex will have 48 rooms, a gay soccer-themed bar, two pools, a spa, and tanning decks on the roof. Undoubtedly, like Hotel Axel's main property in Barcelona, some of Buenos Aires's most glamorous gay locals will be hanging out bar-side in the hope you'll show them what your room looks like. If you're vacationing down there before it opens, head to 649 Avenida Venezuela to take a look at the site while they build. Not sure those hunky construction workers will still be there, but it's certainly worth a try! --Michael Luongo

PART 3 >

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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