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Winter 2007 | Readers' Choice Awards 2007

Winter 2007 | Readers' Choice Awards 2007

Our third annual Readers' Choice Awards reveal the best of the best in gay travel. We asked, you answered. Now it's time to praise the winners!

Favorite Domestic Destination

Gold: New York City
Although Chelsea boys made their last confessions on the Roxy's (in)famous dance floor before the club closed in March, the queer beat keeps going with progress the state is making toward same-sex marriage, Legally Blonde and Xanadu on Broadway, the announcement of a Topshop flagship store, and a peppering of new bars for seven-nights-a-week action -- making Gotham your favorite domestic destination for a third year running.

Silver: San Francisco
Now that destined-to-be-a-gay-favorite Virgin Airways joins Southwest and JetBlue with low-cost service to the City by the Bay, visiting the rolling hills and variegated neighborhoods of gaydom's laid-back granddaddy is cheaper, easier -- and more stylish -- than ever.

Bronze: Chicago
The Midwest's rainbow beacon continues to shine with beefed-up Broadway imports, luxe new sleeps such as Hotel Sax and the under-construction Trump International Hotel & Tower, plus thriving big-city-meets-down-home bar scenes in Boystown, Andersonville, and beyond.

Favorite International Destination

Gold: Amsterdam
A proposed ban on munching magic mushrooms might stop Amsterdam's psychedelic swirl of rainbows, but aside from some pointed press about conservatives' narrowing policies toward immigration and religion (i.e., Muslims), the Netherlands still maintains an inclusive love affair with all flavors of minorities, sexual or otherwise. Meanwhile, a new Museum of Bags and Purses -- the world's first -- ups the city's already fashionable and cutting-edge ante.

Silver: Barcelona
Coming in a close second to Amsterdam, Barcelona, with its steadfast drive toward liberal modernity (along with Spain's legal same-sex marriages), proximity to Sitges (the P-town of Iberia), culture for eons (Antoni Gaudi, anyone?), and a hedonistic LGBT festival (LoveBall), offers up one tasty spread of tapas for travelers.

Bronze: London
Harry Potter might have stripped bare in Equus, and Damien Hirst might have created a disco ball-esque $100 million diamond-encrusted human skull at the White Cube Gallery, but it's the 200 gay bars and clubs and voracious foodie scene that keep London in pink.

Favorite Gay Resort Town

Gold: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Homophobic mayor Jim Naugle has caused a stir recently, but even his hatin' can't overshadow now-chic Fort Lauderdale's embrace of all things LGBT. The resort is home to numerous top-ranking gay guesthouses, beaches for miles, ubiquitous queer bars, and spiffy new luxe hotels, including Florida's first St. Regis and a new Hilton, as well as Florida's first W scheduled to open next summer.

Silver: Provincetown, Mass.
Hetero condo-fication can't scrub the endearing classic grittiness out of Cape Cod's flaming tip. The Boatslip's tea dances are still poppin', an R Family-sponsored LGBT family-and-kids week is growing, and a new partnership between JetBlue and Cape Air makes getting there that much easier.

Bronze: Key West, Fla.
Shaking off its sleepiness while keeping its charm, the Conch Republic received a dose of youthful energy during its first Gay Spring Break, held for six weeks in March and April of 2007. Year-round, the award-winning women-only Pearl's Rainbow and the all-male Island House continue their clothing-optional party vibes against an encroaching (though cool and open-minded) straight crowd.

Favorite Hotel Collection

Gold: W Hotels
With gay-friendly policies from day one (with an LGBT travel package to boot), it's no surprise that parent group Starwood consistently receives high ratings from the Human Rights Campaign for supporting LGBT equality. For good reason, this is the fastest-growing luxury hotel chain-at least a dozen properties are planned in a global expansion that includes Thailand, Shanghai, and Santiago, Chile -- and gays will appreciate the sleek style and hip, luxurious fun to come when W's condo-hotel residences arrive in Fort Lauderdale, South Beach, downtown New York, and Atlanta.

Silver: Four Seasons
If luxury is all about individuality and attention, then the Four Seasons has got your number -- namely, 74 hotels in 31 countries, with 25 more on the way. From Jakarta to Silicon Valley, hypermodern new edifices and stunning classic grand dames create an apotheosis of eclectic indulgence.

Bronze: Kimpton
A sophisticated force in every top gay destination, Kimpton's super-progressive dedication is evident through a microsite featuring tailored gay-interest packages, a 100% HRC rating on workplace equality, and strong charitable and community support.

Readers' Choice Awards 2007 | Page 2 | Page 3

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