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Winter 2007 | Readers' Choice Awards 2007

Winter 2007 | Readers' Choice Awards 2007

Readers Choice part 2: Airlines, islands, guesthouses and more!

Favorite International Airline

Gold: British Airways
Flying international carriers is always a treat -- and on BA you get sexy candy-like accents to boot! Roomy planes, tasty food, scads of entertainment options, and swift service make for basic yet solid flights. Its nondiscrimination policies and major national online and print advertisements tip its gayness to gold for the second year running.

Silver: Virgin Atlantic Airways
Bad boy Richard Branson strikes straight at our hip heart: goodie bags, bold graphics, and colorful interior design; forthcoming Dreamliner planes; and a plan to use jet biofuel. He'll be flying green, competitors will be turning a shade of it, and the debut of low-cost Virgin Airways in America will have you saving it.

Bronze: Lufthansa
We were fans at the reliable and modern service; Lufthansa's winning the 2007 Commercial Closet Images in Advertising Awards for its "OutShots" campaign only sealed the deal as far as making queer travelers comfortable.

Favorite Island

Gold: Mykonos, Greece
Gays and jet-setters have always had a lot in common, particularly their love of this shining azure-and-whitewashed jewel. Primo partying, the country's only (two!) gay-specific accommodations, and frisky nude beaches Super Paradise and Elias create an island of tipsy tolerance amid Greece's traditional Orthodox values.

Silver: Hawaiian islands
Although the honeymoon will have to wait (same-sex marriage is still slow to pass despite numerous attempts), gays can still say aloha not only to paradise at the new and beyond-chic Hotel Renew in Honolulu but also a new Trump hotel under way on Oahu, which will add cosmopolitan flair to her sister islands' hang-loose charm.

Bronze: Australia
Maybe Australia has an unfair advantage being a country, continent, and an island, but the straight-popular, raucous, nationally televised Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has it taking the queer cake. Staging Priscilla, Queen of the Desert as a musical in Sydney and then Melbourne? And domestic partnerships in most of its states? Delicious icing!

Favorite Domestic Airline

Gold: American Airlines
As American won over half the votes, its red, white, and silver might as well be the new gay rainbow. One of the first airlines to market to LGBTs, its perfect-100 HRC rating, gay vacation microsite, International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association membership, and active sponsorship of gay organizations such as GLAAD and Chicago's Gay Games prove its resounding support for us.

Silver: JetBlue Airways
Quirky, poppy, and retro, low-cost JetBlue has made flying fun again -- and humane. Personal DirecTV service, unlimited free snacks (biscotti and blue potato chips, anyone?), and leather seats are one thing. But add to it the industry's first-ever Customer Bill of Rights, a touchstone of plain-English service and respect.

Bronze: Delta Air Lines
Judging by a noticeable increase in its gay sponsorships and promotions, a respectable 85 Human Rights Campaign rating, a gay-cation microsite, not to mention a major hub in Hotlanta and the largest route network footprint in the world, Delta is taxiing for takeoff in the gay market.

Favorite Gay Resort/Guesthouse

Gold: Royal Palms, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
In a neighborhood crowded with gay guesthouses, the clothing-optional Royal Palms rises above with easy, measured aplomb. Exceptional service, Frette towels and linens, flat-screen TVs and DVD players, fresh-cut orchids, and lush, tropical landscaping make this a standout among most small hotels, gay or straight.

Silver: Island House, Key West, Fla.
Over $2.5 million in renovations have turned this classic Old Town compound into a private playground for opulent, masculine fun. A health club, Heavenly Beds, 24-hour pool and Jacuzzi, and an expansive deck add luxe notes to this clothing-optional property.

Bronze: Hotel Axel, Barcelona
Not only does the grand opening of a Buenos Aires offshoot in September make the Hotel Axel a global brand, but the original in Spain still draws the beautiful people to the rooftop bar with nearby pool and Jacuzzi, frequent parties, and sleek modernist rooms in the city's gay district.

Readers' Choice Awards 2007 | Page 1 | Page 3

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