Travel Expert

12 12 2017

Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 2.57.38 PMEd Salvato is an LGBTQ travel expert, published author, occasional instructor at NYT Tisch School and Temple and chief content officer of ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine. Read his bio. Need travel advice? Post a comment below or send an email. SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST POSTS, STORIES & PIX. 

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Our Big, Gay Holiday Gift Guide!

14 12 2017

Time to get serious about the holidays. If you procrastinated through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we’re here to help. Forget the gloves, sweaters and fruit-of-the-month, here are 10 great gay gifts for your great gay friends and family.

FOR YOUR HUBBY WITH THE SWEET TOOTH

For your partner with the sweet tooth, order gourmet marshmallows from 240 Sweet, a lesbian-owned business outside of Indianapolis. With flavors like Bourbon Cinnamon and Rhone Rangers Syrah, he’ll know you’re not vanilla. If you’re local, check out their marshmallow classes.

FOR THAT FRIEND WHO NEEDS A VASE SHAPED LIKE A WEINER

One of our favorite gay couples in New Orleans, Matt and Beau, turned us onto Pansy Ass Ceramics, a hilarious and artisanal queer ceramics movement. Gay-owned, gay-made, and too cute to be true, these original trinkets for your house make for an adorably queer present.

Big gay holiday gift guide in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

FOR THOSE NEW GAY MOMMIES AND DADDIES

Of all the LGBTQ-friendly children’s books that came out this year, none captured our hearts and the cultural zeitgeist quite like I Am Jazz, an uplifting queer-positive story about America’s favorite trans tween. The runner-up prize goes to Santa’s Husband, where Santa is black and married to a white man. It practically sells itself.

FOR THE EC0-FRIENDLY LESBIAN

Out of Philly, the gay-owned Analog Watch Cohand-carves these eco-friendly wooden watches and we’re in love. The watches are timeless, classic, and handsome. And for every purchase made they plant a tree!

FOR THE GAYS THAT JUST BOUGHT THEIR FIRST HOME

Lesbian-owned Bijou candles out of New York create unique, women-inspired candles. Alaina and Jocelyn’s first collection of candles is named after actresses from the Old Hollywood era. A perfect way to get your friends hooked on a luxury candle habit.

FOR THAT SINGLE GAY FRIEND

What else? The Perfect C*Ring. Perfect Fit has developed the first c*ring sizing system designed to fit you (or him) without too much pull but with enough restriction to be truly effective. Why are you looking at us like that?

FOR THE GAY MILLENNIAL

We were going to say dishes, because the millennial in your life is probably still using his mom’s reject plates. But let’s be real, what they really want is super expensive Bose headphones. And this pair of Soundlink wireless headphonesare pretty damn cool.

FOR THE SEXY GAY COOK IN YOUR LIFE

If your beau likes to get down in the kitchen, head over to the website of gay-owned Bushwick Kitchen where you can buy all kinds of organic and artisanal honeys, syrups, spices, totes, towels and kitchenware. They even have pre-arranged gift sets for $50 all ready for you!  These boys are based out of Brooklyn if you’re in the area.

FOR THE HORNY BACHELOR

Eco schmeko, bring on the dick pics, amiright? Ron Amato’s collection of nude photography, The Box Book, is a naughty coffee table book for that gay daddy in your life who wears robes and a has a houseboy and an impressive collection of body oils. You know the type…

Big gay holiday gift guide in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

FOR THE GOOD QUEERS AMONG US

You can also make a donation to some of these incredible, difference-making LGBTQ charities. OutRight Action International has been fighting for LGBTQI rights around the globe for more than 25 years. The Ali Forney Center helps shelter homeless LGBTQ youth. GMHC is one of the leaders in HIV/AIDS prevention. Immigration Equality has been providing services for LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrants for more than 23 years. The National Center for Transgender Equality is a social justice advocacy group focused on trans rights. And, of course, The Trevor Project, aimed towards helping suicide prevention and providing crisis intervention.





CheckOut: Kapital Inn, Budapest, Hungary

29 11 2017

Kapital Inn, Budapest, Hungary gay-owned B&B in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

CHECKOUT: KAPITAL INN, BUDAPEST: TOP/BOTTOM LINE

The Kapital Inn, Budapest, Hungary reigns as the #1 bed and breakfast on TripAdvisor for the past 10 consecutive years. That might be because it’s gay owned/operated by Albert, a local Hungarian and former 5-star hotel exec and Paul, a South African and former advertising exec. You’ll find the Kapital Inn on the penthouse floor of an elegant 19th century apartment building. They recently renovated the Inn blending the neo-renaissance architectural interiors with contemporary furniture, to create modern living spaces. This is the place to stay when you are in Budapest, and here’s why:

LOCATION

Nestled in the 6th district of the Pest side (east of the Danube River), the Kapital Inn is set one block back from the city’s Andrássy Avenue, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Budapest’s answer to Paris’ Champs-Elysées. The Avenue is home to an abundance of upscale shops and restaurants and it’s side streets have just as much action. The Millennium rail line, the first subway line in continental Europe, is just steps away to access the entire city.

Here are just some of the top attractions within walking distance:

Hungarian State Opera House: Um. Madonna filmed the balcony scene from Evita here. If that’s not enough, there’s vocal and orchestra performances throughout the year.

  • The House of Terror Museum: The only of its kind dedicated to those victims of two terror regimes.
  • 360 Bar: An iconic Budapest rooftop terrace with 360° panorama views atop the tallest building on Andrássy Avenue. They recently installed six themed heated igloos with designer furniture to sip cocktails in during the winter months.
  • Széchenyi Thermal Bath: Budapest is known for their baths and this one is the largest medicinal bath in Europe. Tip: Dip in once the sun goes down to let the steam rise around you into the night sky.
  • Jewish DistrictEmerged as one of Budapest’s hippest neighborhoods, known for its quirky ”Ruin Bars”, cafes, art galleries and design shops.

ROOM/BATHROOM

The Kapital Inn is a quintessential BnB boutique housing just seven rooms. Each is spacious, clean and smartly renovation and designed. The best I’ve seen in Europe. Even with an intimate feel, you won’t find yourself uncomfortably close to any other guests. And you’ll get a good night sleep; there’s a refined and calming stillness from being up in the penthouse that silences the bustle of Budapest below.

Kapital Inn, Budapest, Hungary gay-owned B&B in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

The rooms to book:

  • Deluxe King Room: This is the largest room and boasts a relaxing contemporary design, high ceilings, large French style windows and a comfy king-size bed. It has a big en-suite bathroom, his and his or hers and hers vanity, a walk-in shower and a two-person bathtub. The shower design is sexy, sleek and where you’ll want to spend your time.
  • Deluxe King Suite: For those traveling with family or more than one couple, this spacious 65sqm suite two bedroom has a living room and a large en-suite bathroom with walk-in shower. It is furnished with an eclectic mix of contemporary furniture and lighting, and features high ceilings, queen size beds and four large French style windows for a light and airy atmosphere.
  • Deluxe Double Rooms: Very spacious rooms, each with their own en-suite bathroom fitted with “RainDance” showerheads and walk-in showers large enough to fit two. They both feature contemporary design, which blends modern and vintage style furniture.

AMENITIES

Breakfast: Each morning head to the elegant kitchen for breakfast (8:00am and 10:30am) where you’ll sit at the huge island with other guests from around the world. There you’ll find Albert or Paul ready to take your order for eggs, bacon or one of their must have omelets (Albert is a Hungarian trained chef). A choice of coffee or tea is available, alongside apple and orange juice, traditional pastries, a selection of cereals, fresh fruit, yogurt, cream cheese and Hungarian salami. *Breakfast is included in the price of your room. They accommodate specific dietary requests too.

Kapital Inn, Budapest, Hungary gay-owned B&B in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineRoof Top Terrace: After checking in I was completely surprised to find a 600-sq. ft. private terrace with rooftop views. Weather permitting, this is where to sip a cocktail before heading to dinner or to relax after a day of sightseeing. There’s also a fully fitted guest kitchen area located next to the terrace.

Guest Office: A private guest office comes equipped with laptop and printer if you need to connect with the real world. There’s free Wi-Fi throughout the property and the office is packed with books, games, DVD’s and more.

Other room amenities include: All air-conditioned room, daily housekeeping, hairdryer, shower gels and soaps.

Kapital Inn, Budapest, Hungary gay-owned B&B in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

LOCAL EXPERIENCE

From the moment you arrive, you feel the love.

Arrival Love: Albert or Paul will graciously welcome and sit down with you to chart out your Budapest experience. They’ll pull out a map, pen and begin marking up things to do that best fit your interests.

Local Love: Albert, a native Hungarian, knows the city, it’s people and politics. You can’t ignore the passion he holds for the city. Breakfast time is when you can learn the most from Albert and Paul about Budapest and make up of its culture. You may be a thousand miles from home, but you’ll never feel you’re that far away with the conversation and hospitality provided by Albert and Paul.

GAY FACTOR

  • LGBT owned and operated
  • Conveniently located near gay bars and clubs (ask Albert and Paul for recommendations)
  • Started out as a strictly gay BnB, but now open to all – but still caters to many gay guests.

RATES

Rooms start at €65 for Standard rooms start and slide up to €99 for the the Deluxe Suite.

READY TO GO

For rates and reservations click or tap the website for Kapital Inn, Budapest.

ABOUT THE CHECKOUT

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please let us know.  We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure.





Is Saint Lucia Safe and Welcoming for LGBTQ Travelers?

20 11 2017

Dominic Fedee, tourism minister for St. Lucia in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

The Honorable Dominic Fedee visited New York this month with his marketing and public relations team to launch a new campaign for St. Lucia and to assure Americans that this lush Caribbean nation was not affected by recent hurricanes. The small country depends on tourism, and he asserts that “The best way to help the Caribbean is to visit the Caribbean.”

In St. Lucia, as in a number of Caribbean countries, same-sex relations between men are illegal though there are no laws against lesbians. We caught up with Minister Fedee to ask him whether LGBTQ visitors are welcome in St. Lucia. The interview, below, is part of a series with senior tourism leaders about LGBTQ travelers, including our recent interview with Jamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, MP.

Interview with the Honorable Dominic Fedee, Saint Lucia’s Minister of Tourism, Information and Broadcasting by Ed Salvato

ManAboutWorld: Sometimes the LGBTQ media cites the Caribbean as an example of a region that is unfriendly or unwelcoming for gay travelers. Would you say LGBTQ traveler are welcome in St. Lucia?

Dominic Fedee: Well, everyone is welcome in St. Lucia. Absolutely. I can tell you there is a comprehensive constitutional review taking place in a number of Caribbean countries. Sometimes the books don’t reflect the pulse or where the population is and a lot of our law is based on old antiquated British law. For example, capital punishment is still in the books. You must remember that we are small jurisdictions. A lot of us only got independence in the ’60’s and ’70’s, and we don’t have the economic might to reform our legislation and make the changes necessary to move forward as fast as we would like.

But the question is, “As humans, how do we appreciate differences in one other? How do we respect each other and not allow those differences to divide us?” I think that is the key. I don’t think any of us will be extreme about any position. I think it is our responsibility to be patient and understanding with them and to keep giving them opportunities to understand us.

ManAboutWorld: Do you think that is a sentiment shared by yours fellow St. Lucians, especially in the hospitality industry, for customer-facing service workers? It feels like that may be the culture there.

Dominic Fedee: Well, I worked in the hospitality industry. I had 16 long years in the specific company and we welcomed many gay couples, and it is a practice.

ManAboutWorld: Is the government giving serious consideration to removing antiquated anti-sodomy laws? It sounds like the country doesn’t necessarily have the resources to move as quickly as it wants.

Dominic Fedee: Well, there’s a lot of discussion and debate. I mean I just got back and two weeks ago, the news was talking about whether marijuana should be legal — another subject that divides us. Also whether capital punishment should be legal. So it’s not just about same-sex marriage.

ManAboutWorld: A lot of countries and marketers are seeking gay travelers for the economic and social benefits that the group provides and the positive PR message it sends by welcoming them. Does St. Lucia actively seek to attract LGBTQ travelers?

Dominic Fedee: No, though everyone is welcome. I think of tourists are tourists. I don’t want to differentiate between Muslim and Black and White and Christian and fat or gay and straight. We welcome everybody.

ManAboutWorld: I interviewed a couple of hotel marketers in St. Lucia and one thing that came up a was that there seemed to be restrictions on marriage officiants blessing same-sex couples because they’re afraid that they could have their license revoked. Is that something that an officiant should be concerned about?

Dominic Fedee: Well, in the absence of a definitive policy, I can understand one would be cautious. I mean even in this interview — I can’t remember my cabinet ever sitting down together to talk about this specific problem. We have discussed the judicial system in general but we have not looked at whether we look specifically at gay marriages or marijuana. When do we make them legal? That discussion has taken place whether we disregard capital punishment. In some jurisdictions, that has been outlawed. It will take a lot of time for the Caribbean.

ManAboutWorld: Let me ask you this final question. Hospitality companies and brands are among the most progressive in the world, scoring high in the Human Right Campaign Corporate Equality Index which rates most large hotel companies 100% in terms of their support for their LGBTQ customers and employees. Is St. Lucia’s hospitality industry looking at LGBTQ issues in terms of any sort of sensitivity training or awareness as far as you know?

Dominic Fedee: We have a very active civil society group and we leave that — it is still a contentious issue even here in the United States. And so civil society drives that and I can’t remember government ever actively taking it on. I think the St. Lucian LGBTQ movement is very courageous. [editor’s note: Led by executive director, Kenita Placide of United & Strong (LGBTQI) St. Lucia.] I wish it all the best. It’s very welcoming and that’s why I love democracy where people can default on different things and people can still respect each other’s differences and people must not allow those differences to divide them. But the differences in us should inspire us and the differences in us should — we should all take away from the differences in us.

St. Lucia in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine





Our Biggest Issue Ever! Honeymoons, Weddings and Celebration Travel

16 11 2017

New Free Guide to Same-sex Weddings, Honeymoons and Celebration Travel by ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineOur new and expanded free Guide to Same-sex Honeymoons, Weddings and Celebration travel — our biggest issue ever — is now available in the ManAboutWorld app, which you can download via the App Store or Google Play. The updated guide is our largest free guide yet covering a wide range of topic areas, featuring 11 of the world’s most romantic venues plus the expert advice of Intentional Travel expert David Alport; “Fascination Personality” expert Sally Hogshead; and legal expert Elizabeth Schwartz.

Advice to plan the best weddings, honeymoon or celebration travel

If you’re thinking romance or marriage or celebration: Download our free Guide to Weddings, Honeymoons and Celebration Travel. We included our own expert advice as well as that of a number of our Global Correspondents and other travel and wedding experts and advisors who specialize in LGBT group travel to help us sort through the process, and help you plan your own memories-of-a-lifetime trip.

New Free Guide to Same-sex Weddings, Honeymoons and Celebration Travel by ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineTopics

All you need is an iPhone, iPad or Android tablet to view it. Go to the App Store or Google Play to download the ManAboutWorld app. Here are some of the topics we covered:

  • Deciding on an experience/style
  • Timing your trip
  • Finding and working with an expert
  • Planning your budget
  • Choosing a destination
  • Managing a guest list
  • Communicating excitement
  • Social media strategies
  • Planning a ceremony
  • Keeping track of the little details
  • Packing for your trip
  • Preparing for your departure
  • Enjoying the moment
  • Managing group dynamics
  • Embracing the unexpected
  • Easing your return
  • Sharing your memories
Chill the Champagne

Whether it’s a honeymoon, wedding or other romantic or celebratory travel occasion, don’t even begin to start planning till you read this free guide to Weddings, Honeymoon and Celebration Travel! Besides romance, all you need is an iPhone, iPad or Android tablet to view it. Go to the App Store or Google Play to download the ManAboutWorld app. The guide is free. Champagne is on you!

New Free Guide to Same-sex Weddings, Honeymoons and Celebration Travel by ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine





Portland, Oregon Insider Tips

9 11 2017

Portland, Oregon in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineHere a few Portland, Oregon insider tips from a reader. We occasionally hear from our readers about their favorite spots in our favorite gay-friendly cities. This was submitted by loyal, long-time subscriber Deborah Wakefield.

If you’re heading to Portland and staying downtown, here are some nearby recommendations. On the MAX light rail system, you can ride over to the Lan Su Chinese Garden (the blue, red and yellow lines all stop at the Old Town Chinatown stop, which is the one you want to use for the garden). The garden is one block west (away from the river) of the MAX light rail station. The garden is beautiful and there is a nice tea house on-site that I recommend.

Powell’s City of Books is about a 10-12 minute walk from Pioneer Courthouse Square, which is is the center of downtown. If you love bookstores, I would definitely check this one out—it’s the world’s largest. It’s open until 11 p.m. every night, so you could go after dinner even. If you’re interested in rare books, take a peek into the Rare Book Room (it closes at 7 p.m.). I recommend using the entrance to the store that is located at the corner of Couch Street (pronounced “Kooch,” if you want to talk like a local) and N.W. 11th Avenue. There, you’ll see the Pillar of Books sculpture that includes the ashes of one very loyal Powell’s customer. He wanted to be buried at Powell’s, so his ashes were mixed into the concrete used to make the sculpture. That entrance also takes you directly into the Orange Room, where you can pick up a map of the store.
Two blocks from Powell’s is Cacao. If you like chocolate, it’s a great place to stop.  I highly recommend the drinking chocolate, but get the small-sized cup, as the chocolate is super-rich.
Portland, Oregon in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine
Further afield, I recommend seeing the Japanese Garden, located in Washington Park. They are close to downtown (about a 7-minute drive from downtown hotels). You can get there on public transportation too, but you’d have to ask your hotel concierge to sort out the route for you).
For shopping close to downtown, there’s the Pearl District, which you can get to on the Portland Streetcar (catch it going into the Pearl District on Southwest 10th Avenue; it comes back downtown on 11th). There are stops for the streetcar every few blocks on 10th and 11th and the cars run repeatedly, so you can show up at any stop and usually never wait more than 15 minutes. There is also a lot of great dining in the Pearl. If you want to try a good Portland microbrew, Portland’s oldest craft brewery—BridgePort Brewing—is in the Pearl.
Portland, Oregon in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine
A little farther out is Northwest Portland/Nob Hill. This is also reachable via the streetcar, which goes through the Pearl and then on to Northwest/Nob Hill. If you get off at the streetcar stop on Northwest 23rd Avenue and walk toward Burnside Street, you’ll pass dozens and dozens of great shops and restaurants. Jo Bar & Rotisserie is a good one for lunch, and its sister restaurant (and next door neighbor), Papa Haydn is the best for desserts. Another of my favorites on this shopping strip is Moonstruck Chocolate, a Portland-based chocolate company.

If you’ll have a car and can get to the east side of town, I recommend Biwa Izakaya (Japanese small plates; get the black cod, if they have it that night), 215 S.E. 9th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214; Toro Bravo (Spanish), 120 N.E. Russell Street, Portland, OR 97212; and Pok Pok (Thai street food; the chicken wings are fantastic), 3226 S.E. Division Street, Portland, OR 97202.

If you have tips to share, please let us know! And don’t forget to subscribe to ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine. And here are a few more Portland, Oregon-related pieces in our blog.




What’s New in Key West by Dennis Hensley

8 11 2017

Dennis Hensley Key West update on a podcast and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineManAboutWorld correspondent Dennis Hensley was recently in Key West, Florida. He had planned to post a collection of short interviews he did with the people he met. Then Hurricane Irma happened. He did manage to organize two interviews: One with an openly gay man who ran a small tour company. And another with a woman who’s been tirelessly working to promote Key West for years. Here’s Dennis’ report.

Cody White, Passionate Key West Resident

One of the people I met and interviewed while I was there was Cody White who until recently ran a small tour company with his husband RyanListen to the podcast here. In the wake of Irma, the pair decided to focus on other endeavors … but I spoke to Cody before the storm over blizzards at a Dairy Queen not far from the gay resort I was staying at, The Equator. We talked about how he ended up in Key West, what it’s like to have an Airstream trailer, Key West’s passion for costume parties, how tourists react when they learn he’s gay and why Key West is the place for him. Listen to the podcast here.

Dennis Hensley Key West update on a podcast and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineCarol Shaughnessy, Newman Public Relations, Key West

Met lots of awesome people on my trip to Key West, FL in August for Man About World magazine. One of them was local writer and publicist Carol Shaughnessy. Listen to the podcast here. Over breakfast with our small group of journalists, she regaled the table with the story of Mel Fisher, the legendary treasure hunter who spent 16 years combing the waters around Key West for treasure from a Spanish ship that sank in the 1600s.

It was such an amazing tale–complete with a $450 million ending–I asked Carol to tell it again on the podcast. We also talked about the giant rainbow flag that went from the Atlantic ocean to the Gulf of Mexico down Key West’s main boulevard and the spirit of Key West and how the community supports people in their dreams, no matter how out there they may be. I’ve heard from Carol since Irma and she said that Key West’s motto of “One Human Family” if in full display as everyone works together to get back to normal. Listen to the podcast here.

More from Dennis Hensley on ManAboutWorld here.








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