2014 Editors’ Choice Awards — Recognizing The Very Best In Gay Travel

4 09 2014

mawWhile it implies objectivity, “best” is almost always subjective, or — at best — qualified. When we ask for the best hotel or restaurant, the answer can be as much a reflection of our sensibilities as it is of any objective quality measure.

Generally, “you get what you pay for,” but finding “the best” isn’t simply a matter of picking the most expensive option — it’s knowing what resonates for you. In our first two years of ManAboutWorld, we’ve seen more than 100 destinations and 1,500 hotels on six continents. Much of it is a blur. But some of it stands out. Editors’ Choice winners are the ones that resonated most for us. The ones that truly shared our values. The ones we would go back to… and sometimes do, when we’re not busy searching out new and different places to recommend.  (download the list as a pdf from the link at the end)

And this year’s Awards go to…

DESTINATION OF THE YEAR: Fort Lauderdale

Gay-popular since the ‘70s, Ft. Lauderdale is still on the rise while other gay destinations are mainstreaming. With its white sand gay beach, 16 exclusively gay guesthouses (the most of any destination), and a nightlife scene that’s busy seven nights a week, Ft. Lauderdale is one of the few places where you don’t have to rely on a phone App to hook up. And while it wins our hearts with its sun, sand, surf and fun, it’s also home to the Stonewall Museum, one of the only permanent spaces in the U.S. devoted to exhibitions relating to LGBT history and culture, and the world’s first AIDS museum.

Not content to rest on gay assets, the county’s tourism promotion board sets industry standards. The county has worked tirelessly in the last year to bring new gay events and many meetings to Greater Ft. Lauderdale, and to support the advancement of LGBT rights in Florida and around the world. In July, it became the first Convention and Visitors Bureau in the country to call for a repeal of its states’ gay marriage ban. It is currently conducting the first survey of transgendered travelers, showing sensitivity to all segments of the LGBT travel market.

Previous winner: Provincetown, Massachusetts 

GAYBORHOOD OF THE YEAR: Le Village Gai, Montreal
An authentic gay hamlet centered along and radiating out from the ever-vibrant rue Ste. Catherine, Montreal’s “Gay Village” shines all year round but never as brightly or as in summer. With strands of pink bulbs strung above bustling outdoor restaurants and bars tended by handsome men with charming accents and bursting with sunburned, tipsy patrons, Montreal’s gayborhood welcomes all but remains an oasis for LGBT locals and visitors.

Previous winner: Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

AIRLINE OF THE YEARJetBlue
This year we recognize a young airline that keeps innovating with respect to product development, LGBT customers outreach, and engagement of its LGBT employees. JetBlue is laser focused on customer experience, recently introducing Mint, an out-of-the-box approach to meeting the needs of premium air passengers, as well as main cabin travelers, with expanded entertainment options and fast WiFi on its A321s; it has been active in gay causes including PFLAG; and supports its own LGBT employee group JetPride.

Previous winners: Cape Air and Porter Airlines

TOUR OPERATOR OF THE YEAR: Out Adventures
Specializing in adventure tours for all (from gentle elephant treks to more demanding climbs up Kilimanjaro), Out Adventures is a leader in connecting gay men and their friends and family to authentic experiences and LGBT locals the world over.

Previous winnerBrazil Ecojourneys 

SHOPPING DESTINATION OF THE YEAR: Buenos Aires
Argentina’s Import restrictions have manifested a silver lining of locally-designed and made handicrafts and fashion, while the country’s currency restrictions have enabled a highly favorable ‘blue rate’ exchange for visitors with cash dollars or euros to spend.

Previous winner: Amsterdam

ADVENTURE OF THE YEAR: Obeid Naser Al-Amamreh Bedouin Guide, Wadi Rum, Jordan
Genuine Bedouin hospitality trumps homophobia in the desert of Lawrence of Arabia, complete with dining, singing, and dancing. A rare and heartfelt welcome for gay travelers in this ancient, beautiful and complicated part of the world.

Previous winnerArctic Norway

EVENT OF THE YEAR: WorldPride 2014 Toronto
WorldPride celebrates the true diversity of queer people well beyond L, G, B and T from around the world, unifying us by trumpeting our uniqueness and differences. Toronto pulled off WorldPride this year (June 20-29, 2014) flawlessly and handed this every-few-years celebration to Madrid which will have a big honking pair of stilettos to fill in 2017!

BEST GAY FAMILY TRIP: Kauai
Simultaneously exotic and familiar, Kauai is a green gem of an island that feels like 1950s American: People smile; no one worries about being late; and there’s a sense of contentment in the air

BEST SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN: #LoveTravels by Marriott
Touching, inclusive social campaign (the largest-ever for the LGBT demographic) by world’s largest hotel company broke barriers and generated a lot of conversation

TRAVEL GADGET OF THE YEAR: New Trent Powerpak Dual USB External Battery Charger for Smartphones and Tablets
This best-of-breed external battery stores enough juice for five iPhone charges, and the dual ports will make you a hero to your traveling companions as well.

TRAVEL APP OF THE YEAR: Uber
The App that changed the economics of private car service won our hearts this year with the introduction of UberX — combining the incredible ease of App tapping for pickup, with significantly lower prices — comparable or less than the cost of a taxi.

EDITORS’ CHOICE ACCOMMODATIONS

(★ indicates new in 2014)

NORTH AMERICA

Atlanta, Georgia, USA
★ Loews
“Upscale, great gym and close to gay neighborhood”

Atlantic City, New Jersey USA
Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa
“The best run, most luxurious, resort in town and sincere outreach to LGBT travelers”

Austin, Texas USA
Kimber Modern
“This ultra-modern hotel in the funkiest part of town is one of the best small hotels anywhere”
Heywood
“This über-mod seven-room hotel is a dream of a place to stay”

Baltimore, Maryland USA
Hotel Monaco
“Chic, hip, charming, and incredibly supportive of the LGBT community”

Boston, Massachusetts USA
Clarendon Square Inn
“Gay-owned 1867 townhouse is the kind of place you’ll feel a bit envious you don’t live in”
XV Beacon
“Sleek and arty yet friendly and inviting”

Chicago, Illinois USA
The Public Hotel
“Fusing great design, customer service and value”
The Dana Hotel and Spa
“Super sleek and modern”

Cleveland, OH USA
 Aloft
“On the river, with a decidedly modern, minimalist vibe that sizzles on the weekends”
Ritz Carlton Cleveland
“A surprising touch of rock & roll amidst stylish sophistication”

Dallas, Texas USA
Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
“Elegant yet contemporary and surprisingly unfussy”
The Warwick
“Distinctly classic luxury in proximity to the gayborhood”
Hotel Zaza
“Chic, contemporary and sophisticated lodgings for young and hip travelers”
Door County, Wisconsin USA
Holiday Music Motel
“Big city flair meets farmland dreams”

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida USA
The Worthington
“The friendly and frisky Worthington has no equal”
The Grand Resort
“With a masterful balance of sexy luxury, the Grand’s continual upgrading have made it the top choice on Ft. Lauderdale beach.”
Pineapple Point
“Remains the standard of gay guesthouses after more than a decade on top”

Hawaii USA
★ Lava Lava Beach Club (Big Island)
“A gay-owned resort situated right on the beach with a gay popular restaurant and bar”
Ko’a Kea Hotel (Kauai)
“Sophisticated, luxurious design and the friendly intimacy of only 121 rooms”
★ St. Regis Princeville Resort (Kauai)
“Epic views of Hanalei Bay from this luxurious masterpiece”
★ Grand Hyatt (Kauai)
“Intimate despite its large size, the Grand Hyatt Kauai delivers the quintessential Hawaii experience”
Travaasa Hana (Maui)
“Immerse yourself in a restful environment of great natural beauty and spiritual depth”
★ Aqua Bamboo (Oahu)
“A great value option in central Waikiki”
★ Royal Hawaiian (Oahu)
“One of the most beautiful, iconic and historic hotels, better than ever after a multi-million dollar renovation”

Key West, Florida USA
Alexanders
“Elegant, affordable, intimate”
Casa Marina
“Elegant and stylish for nearly 100 years”
Island House
“Sets the bar for all-male gay guesthouses”

Las Vegas, Nevada USA
Aria Resort & Casino
“Contemporary and sleek”
Cosmopolitan
“Swank and naughty”

Los Angeles, California USA
Ambrose
“A distinctly local perspective”
★ Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles
“Experience originality, sustainability and hospitality in a splendidly restored downtown theater”
★ Andaz West Hollywood
“Modern, classic and fresh, this is the best option for style and value on the strip”
The Charlie
“Charming bungalow accommodations set amidst lush gardens”
El Tres Inn
“A chic boutique mini-hotel with apartment-style suites”
JW Marriott
“A luxurious option in the heart of the new downtown”
L’Ermitage Beverly Hills
“A discrete oasis of Asian-inspired luxury”
London West Hollywood
“For style and value, it’s hard to beat the London”
Shutters on the Beach
“The best option directly on the beach”

Miami Beach, Florida USA
Freehand Hostel
“An affordable place with a swank design”
The James
“Our favorite of the Collins Avenue high-rise properties”
Townhouse Hotel
“A throwback to South Beach’s gay heyday”
Hotel Victor
“It doesn’t get more Miami”

Milford, Pennsylvania USA
Hotel Fauchère
“This sophisticated gay-owned inn screams Architectural Digest at at every turn”

Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA
★ Iron Horse
“Sleek hotel: all lush black leather, exposed wood beams and worn brick from the 100-year old building”

Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Grand Hotel
“Four-star Kimpton luxury in the heart of downtown, with access to the city’s best fitness center”
Le Meridien Chambers
“Sleek, modern and cheerful, with a fantastic contemporary art collection”

Montreal, Québec, Canada
Hotel Gault
“Our first choice in the city; industrial-minimalist decor and very gay-popular”
Maison des Jardins
“Super friendly, and crawling distance to the nightlife of the Gay Village”
La Conciergerie
“Quality accommodations and personal service for gay travelers for more than a quarter century”

New Orleans, Louisiana USA
Hotel Le Marais
“A comfortable mix of modern and classic in a heart-of-it-all location”
The International House
“A perfect update of a Beaux Arts heritage with minimalist modern design at surprisingly affordable rates”
Ritz-Carlton New Orleans
“An architectural stunner with genteel charm and one of the best spas in the country”

New Hope, Pennsylvania USA
Inn at Bowman’s Hill
“A standout, with beautiful grounds”

New York, New York USA
Chelsea Pines Inn
“Impeccably managed and friendly”
Crosby Street Hotel
“Charming, with a refined British sense of service”
Eventi
“This Kimpton skyscraper offers the nicest rooms and best service of Chelsea’s mid-range hotels”
★ High Line Hotel
“A registered landmark with a prime Chelsea location”
NoMad Hotel
“A heavy dose of European chic with beautifully designed public spaces and interiors”
★ The Quinn
“A stunning art-focused hotel with an edgy yet refined vibe”
★ Regency Hotel
“Gay-managed modern glamour after a $100 million facelift befitting its Park Avenue address”
★ Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott Central Park
“These co-located properties feature the most spectacular views of Central Park at irresistibly affordable rates”
Wythe Hotel
“Rave reviews for this 72-room three-story glass and aluminum Brooklyn boutique hotel”

Ogunquit, Maine USA
Admiral’s Inn
“A winning combination of local charm and full-service amenities”

Orlando, Florida USA
Waldorf-Astoria Orlando
“An oasis of style, sophistication and luxury”
Holiday Inn Lake Buena Vista Downtown
“Surprisingly chic for a Holiday Inn”

Palm Beach, Florida
Grandview Gardens
“Spacious, traditionally-furnished rooms set amidst lovely gardens”
The Breakers
“A sprawling resort at the top of its game”

Palm Springs, California USA
Ace Hotel and Swim Club
“So darn cool, sprawling and popular with non-guest local hipsters and gays”
East Canyon Hotel & Spa (4.5 Palms)
“A spectacular hotel and spa”
Hacienda  (5 Palms)
“No property has received more accolades from us than The Hacienda. From our very first Editor’s Choice awards at OUT&ABOUT,  the Hacienda has stood the test of time”
Pura Vida (5 Palms)
“Sleek modern design, and luxury amenities”
Santiago (4 Palms)
Comfortable and sexy, without being sex-focused, Santiago charmed us with attention to detail”

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Hotel Palomar
“Stylish decor and professional, friendly service”

Phoenix, Arizona USA
Arizona Biltmore
“This stunning luxury resort has spared no detail”
Hotel Palomar
“A sophisticated and cosmopolitan choice in the heart of downtown”

Portland, Oregon USA
Ace Hotel
“Bohemian-chic Ace was founded here by three gay men, with fresh thinking about what a modern hotel should be”
Heathman Hotel
“A National Historic Landmark oozing with sophistication, luxury and sustainability”

Provincetown, Massachusetts USA
8 Dyer Hotel
“Classic beachy chic” (4.5 Palms)
Brass Key
“Set the standard for gay guesthouse resorts” (5 Palms)
Carpe Diem
“A modern, sexy and sophisticated stand-out” (4.5 Palms)
★ Inn at 7 Central (unrated)
“A relaxed, casual style from new energetic young and gay owners”
Land’s End
“A gothic-chic masterpiece” (5 Palms)
Prince Albert Guest House
Provincetown’s best gay location” (3.5 Palms)
Salt House Inn
“Martha Stewart meets André Balazs loaded with Cape Cod charm filtered through an urban sensibility” (4.5 Palms)
White Wind Inn
“A great guesthouse and a solid value with a stellar location” (4 Palms)

Rehoboth, Delaware USA
Bellmore Inn & Spa
“The go-to for upscale accommodations”
Silver Lake Guest House
“Lakefront elegance and comfort”

Québec City, Québec Canada
Auberge Place d’Armes
“Its design and location make this quirky and charming small hotel a top choice”
Hotel Le Germain-Dominion
“A gem in the Old Port area, with modern, cozy-chic accommodations”

San Diego, California USA
Andaz San Diego
“Downtown’s most upscale design hotel”
★ Pantai Inn
“Balinese style meets in tranquil La Jolla”
Tower 23
“A fabulous choice in Pacific Beach”

San Francisco, California USA
Best Western Americania
“Our top mid-range recommendation in town”
Hotel Vitale
“Understated elegance with spacious, stylish rooms — it’s the best hotel in the Embarcadero”
Intercontinental San Francisco
“Sleek and modern, it’s the nicest hotel closest to the gay action in SoMa”
Parker Guest House
“This gay-owned Victorian on the Castro-Mission border has long been a favorite”
St. Regis San Francisco
“Everything you could want in a modern luxury hotel”

Santa Fe, New Mexico USA
Inn of the Five Graces
“One of the most romantic places we’ve ever stayed”
Inn of the Turquoise Bear
“This lovingly-restored gay-owned historic inn remains one of our favorite places to stay”

Seattle, Washington USA
Ace Hotel Seattle
“As hip as they come; very central and convenient with an unbeatable price”
Gaslight Inn
“A very comfortable and well-appointed gay-owned B&B”
Hotel 1000
“One of Seattle’s most stylish luxury properties”

Sonoma, California, USA
★ MacArthur Place
“Beautiful grounds and individually decorated rooms.

Toronto, Ontario Canada
The Drake
“Fabulous artist-designed rooms”
★ Four Seasons Toronto
“Spiffy new flagship property for the posh iconic brand founded here”
Thompson Hotel
“Its rooftop pool and lounge is one of the sexiest, most happening spots in town”

Washington, DC, USA
★ Hotel Monaco
“Modern, stylish interiors in a classic Georgian building with a tourist-perfect location”

Vancouver, British Columbia Canada
Opus Hotel
“A best-bet, with stylish, generously sized rooms”
Shangri-La Vancouver
“Nothing surpasses the pampering of the Shangri-La’s first North American outpost”

Vermont, USA
Moose Meadow Lodge
“Combines rustic charm with creature comforts”

LATIN AMERICA

Argentina
★ Legado Mitico (Buenos Aires)
“The quintessential Palermo experience with perfect service”
★ Algodon Mansion (Buenos Aires)
“Recoleta’s best luxury boutique”
★ Cavas Wine Lodge (Mendoza)
“Sets the luxury standard in the area”
 Entre Cielos (Mendoza)
“A swirl of luxury that’s as deliciously intoxicating as their house-label Malbec rose”

Brazil
Pousada Casas Brancas (Buzios)
“Airy and modern, with top-notch service”
★ Hotel Das Cataratas (Iguazu)
“A pampering oasis in the jungle. Oh and one of the world’s most amazing waterfalls is just outside!”
Pousada Casa Turquesa (Parati)
“Sophisticated, stylish and quite exclusive”
Hotel Fasano (Rio)
“Swanky, modernist style evoking Rio’s ‘50s and ‘60s Bossa Nova heyday”
Ipanema Plaza (Rio) “Moderately-priced rooms just steps from the gay beach
★ Emiliano (Sao Paolo)
“Exclusive boutique on the prestigious Oscar Freire street”
Renaissance (Sao Paolo)
“High-rise business-focused hotel, with great views”
Pousada Estrela D’Agua (Trancoso)
“Sophisticated rustic-chic”

Costa Rica
Hotel Banana Azul
“A beloved 14-room B&B on the beach”
La Mansion Inn
“Stunning in every way”
Monte Azul
“Four casitas adorned with contemporary art, set along a gorgeous riverside”
Nayara Hotel Spa & Gardens
“A favorite among gay visitors, it just keeps getting better and better”

Merida, Mexico
★ Rosas & Xocolate
“Brilliantly merging traditional and modern with a terrific spa”

Mexico City, Mexico
Condesa DF
“Personal attention that can make all the difference”
Hotel Habita
“It doesn’t get cooler than the starkly minimalist chic of the Hotel Habita”
Room Mate Valentina
“Budget boutique in the heart of the Zona Rosa”
St. Regis Mexico City
“Luxury at a fraction of the usual St. Regis price”

Panama City, Panama
★ American Trade Hotel
“Reflects historic aura of Casco Viejo yet projects a modern face”

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Casa Cupula
“This stylish boutique hotel is one of the best gay-owned and gay-marketed properties around”
CasaMagna Marriott Resort and Spa
“A favorite of the LGBT community for its reasonable rates and large resort amenities”

San Miguel de Allende
★ Rosewood
“One of the best hotels in all of mexico, a charming Colonial retreat in a majestic city”
★ Susurro
“Gay-owned gem with boatloads of charm”

Vieques
★ W Retreat and Spa
“Huge rooms with ocean views”

EUROPE

Amsterdam, Holland
The Conservatorium
“Modern luxury with a gorgeous spa”
The Dylan
“Our first choice for its artful decor and best location in the city”
Van Ostade
“The best B&B in Amsterdam, and one of the most charming in all of Europe”
★ Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
“Steeped in history, opulently appointed and perfectly located”

Berlin, Germany
★ 25 Hours Hotel Bikini
“A charming, hip hotel that happens to feature the exotic rumble of African wildlife thanks to its proximity to the zoo”
Hotel Adlon Kempinski
“The first choice of rock stars and royalty”
Hotel de Rome
“Undeniably posh, the hotel never feels pretentious”

Brighton, U.K.
The Amsterdam
“With seafront rooms, a sexy sauna and a gay-central location, we’d love to book a room for the whole summer”
Hotel Pelirocco
“Sexy, funky, eccentric and unforgettable”

Brussels, Belgium
The Dominican
“Our top choice in town is a gorgeous 150-room design property right next to the opera house”
Aloft Schuman
“A superbly stylish stay on the cheap”

Budapest, Hungary
★ Brody House
“A private club like SoHo House, with a little less attitude and a little more art and culture”
★ Budapest Marriott
“The Executive Lounge deck has the city’s best views and all rooms face the river”

Cologne, Germany
Excelsior
“Top-choice for old-world luxury”
Stern am Rathaus
“Sophisticated design, great value and location”

Copenhagen, Denmark
★ Andersen Hotel
“Colorful and hip with excellent service and complete embrace of LGBT travelers”
★ Hotel D’Angleterre
“The city’s finest hotel with an unbeatable location”

Edinburgh, U.K.
★ Balmoral
“Gilded-age tradition meets contemporary luxury”
★ Hotel Portmeirion
“Idyllic setting and outdoor heated pool”
★ Tiger Lily
“Sexy cool glamour hidden behind a traditional Georgian facade”

Hamburg, Germany
★ 25 Hours Hamburg HafenCity
“An outpost of nautical cool anchoring the city’s new neighborhood”
★ Le Méridien Hamburg
“A gay-perfect location, sophisticated modern style and a lake front view”

Lisbon, Portugal
★ Internacional Design Hotel
“Stately, chic and sexy as hell hotel in the heart of Lisbon”

London, U.K.
The Boundary
“The best of Shoreditch, semi-retro and totally stylish”
The Goring
“London’s ritziest hotel, fit for royalty”
Hoxton Hotel
“Loaded with flavor, smart design and thoughtful amenities at a great price”
St. Pancras Renaissance
“Blending Victorian and contemporary in a compelling 5-star way”
Soho Hotel
“Glamour in the thick of iconic London”
★ The Edition London
“The Marriott/Schrager love child sets new standards for luxury lifestyle hotels”
 Town Hall Hotel
“Fabulously chic new hotel with surprisingly low rates”

Lyon, France
Cour des Loges
“The crème de la crème of lodging; sumptuous and romantic”

Manchester, U.K.
Radisson Blu Edwardian
“Low-key luxury and sophisticated, contemporary style”
Velvet Manchester
“Stunning boutique style in the heart of the gay village”

Marseille, France
Au Vieux Panier
“Six small but charming affordable rooms decorated by local artists”
Radisson Blu
“Chic and stylish rooms with breathtaking views”

Milan, Italy
Bulgari Hotel & Spa
“The pinnacle of Milano luxury”
Hotel Spadari al Duono
“Centrally located and modern, with some of the friendliest staff in Europe”

Munich, Germany
The Charles
“Inviting, luxurious and lush”
Deutsche Eiche
“Gay-owned, modern, convivial and reasonably priced, we love the rooftop terrace and location”
Sofitel Munich
“Graceful, modern and sleek”

Mykonos, Greece
Elysium Hotel
“The most exclusive gay hotel in Mykonos”
Geranium Hotel
“Very gay popular friendly and fun place to stay”
Myconian Imperial Hotel
“Like staying with friends who happen to be super rich with exquisite taste”
Semeli Hotel
“The best budget luxury option in Mykonos town”

Paris, France
Hotel Esmeralda
“Funky charm and affordable rates in a great location”
Four Seasons George V
“In a city full of luxury, this is our first choice, and one of the best in the world”
Jules & Jim
“Funky, minimalist decor in the heart of the Marais”
One By The Five
“An unusual, dreamy escape”
W Paris Opera
“One of W Hotels’ most glam outposts, with a 9th Arr. location we love”

Porto, Portugal
Yeatman
“A cocoon of wine-deepend serenity overlooking the River Douro”

Puglia, Italy
★ Borgo Egnazia
“The feel of typical village with town square, fab spa and restaurants and multiple pools in serene location”

Ravello, Italy
Palazzo Avino
“The best way to experience one of the most beautiful and romantic places on earth”

Reykjavik, Iceland
★ 101 Hotel
“Contemporary design as cool as the nearby glaciers”

Rome, Italy
Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel
“A heavenly stay at affordable rates”
JK Place Roma
“Contemporary luxury and personalized service in the heart of Rome”
Kolbe Hotel
“Mid-range luxury with reasonable prices, a great location and a copious breakfast”
Palazzo Manfredi
“Opulent and modern, with spacious rooms, a great art collection, and drop-dead views of the Colosseum”

Sitges, Spain
Hotel Calipolis
“Contemporary and modern, located right on the gay beach”
Hotel Subtur
“A charming and convenient budget option”

Stockholm, Sweden
Nobis Hotel
“A marvel of sophisticated Swedish design”

Vienna, Austria
The Ring
“With a great location and consistently good service, its huge rooms at inexpensive prices are a great option between the luxe choices and bare bones options”
★ Sans Souci
“Serving up some significant swank without taking itself seriously”
 Guesthouse
“An unbeatable location with cool Conran-designed interiors”

MIDDLE EAST

Tel Aviv, Israel
★ Brown TLV
“Chic, gay-owned boutique hotel”

Petra, Jordan
★ Petra Marriott
“Beautiful views over the valley — a great place to end your day and watch the sunset”

CARIBBEAN/ATLANTIC

Bermuda
Elbow Beach Resort
“Gorgeous, relaxed elegance”

Grand Cayman
★ Westin Seven Mile Beach Resort
“An impossible choice between the perfect beach and the swim-up pool bar”
★ Ritz Carlton
“Chic and refined retreat far from the cruise-ship crowds”

St. Croix
★ Renaissance Carambola Beach Resort & Spa
“Drop-dead gorgeous”

St. Martin
★ La Samanna
“A highly desirable stretch of paradise”
★ Villa Rainbow
“Small, luxurious exclusively gay guesthouse with breathtaking Caribbean views”

San Juan, Puerto Rico
★ La Concha
“Gay-popular four-star property in the heart of Condado”

Saba
★ Queens Gardens
“Luxurious, charming, private and super gay-friendly for honeymoon or tranquil getaways”

Turks and Caicos
★ Parrot Cay by Como
“A decadent, pampered private-island retreat”

ASIA/OCEANIA

Auckland
Hilton Hotel Princess Wharf
“Gleaming, with spectacular harbor views”
Mollies Boutique Hotel Ponsonby
“Luxurious and eclectic, with great views and a day spa”

Hong Kong
Four Seasons Hong Kong
“Luxury and convenience, with a choice of rooms in contemporary Chinese or Western decor”
Intercontinental Hong Kong
“The best unobstructed views of Hong Kong harbor”
★ Ritz Carlton Hong Kong
“Setting new heights for luxury accommodation in Hong Kong (literally and figuratively)”
Upper House
“A Zen haven with the best of modern east-meets-west sensibilities”

Japan
Capitol Hotel Tokyu (Tokyo)
“The best luxury value in town”
Conrad Tokyo Hotel (Tokyo)
“An appealing vibrancy and energy convenient to public transportation and the famous Tsukiji fish market”
Hotel Granvia Kyoto (Kyoto)
“The very first hotel in Japan to court LGBT travelers, the Granvia is strategically located atop the Kyoto rail station”
Hoshinoya (Kyoto)
“The ultimate Japanese resort experience”

Melbourne, Australia
Art Series Hotels
“Modern and laid-back, with open-plan studio suites, and decor styled around the artwork of notable Australian artists”
Grand Hyatt Melbourne
“Fashion-forward luxury”

Thailand
★ Siam Hotel (Bangkok)
“An opulent, intimate urban resort where guests feel like royalty”
★ Sofitel So (Bangkok)
“This contemporary, sophisticated hotel is also the city’s most gay welcoming”
★ Dhara Dhevi (Chiang Mai)
“Sheer beauty and jaw-dropping attention to detail”
★ Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle (Chiang Rai)
“Gorgeous tented camp tucked away in a jungle”
★ JW Marriott Hotel and Spa (Khao Lak)
“One of the best mainstream hotels, with modern Thai-influenced design and the longest pool in Southeast Asia”
 Zeavola Resort (Koh Phi Phi)
“A pitch-perfect blend of remoteness, accessibility, luxury and casual ease”
★ Mai Samui (Koh Samui)
“Chic boutique hideaway on secluded beach”
★ Tubkaak Boutique Resort and Spa (Krabi)
“Locally owned resort distinguished by excellent, personal service and one of the best beaches in the area”
★ Kamala Paresa (Phuket)
“Heavenly views, impeccable service and dramatic accommodations”
★ La Flora Patong (Phuket)
“A handsome, contemporary, quiet oasis amidst the local hedonism”
Anantara Sikao (Sikao, Trang)
“Beautiful property surrounded by stunning rock formations, unspoiled beaches, and the breathtaking Emerald cave”
★ Six Senses Yao Noi
“54 traditional yet modern secluded villas with an excellent spa”

Taipei, Taiwan
★ W Taipei
“Our top recommendation in Taipei, a pinnacle of luxury in an otherwise modest city”

AFRICA

South Africa
Ellerman House (Cape Town)
“One of our favorite small hotels of all time”
Derwint House (Cape Town)
“Exceptional hospitality at this 10-room lesbian-owned guest house at the foot of Table Mountain”
Mala Mala (Sabi Sand Game Reserve)
“Legendary, family-owned safari lodge with the best game viewing”
Sandton Boutique Hotel (Johannesburg)
“Five-star, gay-owned luxury B&B in Sandton, with impeccable service”
Singita (Sabi Sand Game Reserve)
“The most stylish and luxurious safari experience”
Twelve Apostles (Cape Town)
“The epitome of waterfront luxury”

SPECIAL MENTION: RESTAURANTS, NIGHTLIFE, SHOPPING, ATTRACTIONS

Barnes Foundation (Philadelphia)
“A remarkable priceless art collection in a brand new home”

Elmo (New York) 
“The best looking stream of patrons and staff in Chelsea”

Gramercy Tavern (New York)
“Still our #1 go-to choice for fine dining without pretension”

★ The Girl and the Fig (Sonoma)
“A favorite amongst locals and tourists alike”

★ Repris (Sonoma)
“Repris soars as a romantic lunch spot, tucked deep inside a romantic wine cave for a romantic dinner”

★ Tavern Road (Boston, Massachusetts)
“Globally influenced local favorite in hot new Fort Point neighborhood”

 R House (Miami, Florida)
“Art house-cum-restaurant in the sizzling and still gritty Wynwood neighborhood”

 El Vez (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
“Eclectic, inventive Mexican cuisine and more”

 The Iron Gate Inn (Washington, DC)
“Smashingly successful reinvention of long-time gem”

★ Lucali (New York, NY)
“Lucali is in a league of its own when it comes to old-school Brooklyn charm and pizza”

★ Buvette
“Buvette is the perfect neighborhood restaurant with a menu straight out of Provence”

★ Café Cluny (New York)
“A neighborhood restaurant that’s perfect for the cobblestoned corner it sits on”

lab.oratory (Berlin)
“This sex club embodies Berlin’s shame-free attitude towards sex”

★ Bartola Corner (Buenos Aires)
Buenos Aires’ quaintest, most creative, and delicious café…bursting with style, beautiful men, and yummy brunch options”

★ Mani (Sao Paulo)
“A contemporary farmhouse … lovely afternoon lunch or a bustling dinner…”

Le Depot (Paris)
“The ne plus ultra of gay sex venues in Paris, and the biggest cruising bar in all of Europe”

Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (New York)
“The first and only gay/lesbian art museum in the world”

Mälarpaviljongen (Stockholm)
“The crowd gets gayer as the night gets later at this chic floating restaurant bar and lounge”

MAP (Provincetown)
“Always a step or two ahead of the trends”

The Neon Museum (Las Vegas)
“This outdoor museum is our favorite nostalgia piece in town”

Pink Pub Crawl (Philadelphia)
“This monthly bar crawl is wildly popular and super fun”

The Week (Rio/Florianopolis/Sao Paulo)
“Beautiful decor, excellent sound and lighting and the hottest crowd in town”

Starbelly (San Francisco)
“A hip lively atmosphere and great food make this quintessential San Francisco dining”

Ten Thousand Waves (Santa Fe)
“This Japanese-inspired bathing-focused spa is zen perfection in a beautiful setting”

Viva (New York)
“The partnership of John Blair (the Roxy) and Ric Sena (Alegria) gave gay New York its Saturday night back”

Red Door Café (San Francisco)
“An exquisitely tasteful bistro”

Bottega Prelibato (London)
“A picture perfect Italian restaurant”

Dabbous (London)
“This ultra-chic post-industrial-style loft space may be the best restaurant in London”

Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails (Phoenix)
“The best restaurant to come along in some time”

 

(Download the list as a .PDF by clicking here: 2014 Editors Choice)

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