Spartacus Hotel & Restaurant Guide 2011
Oh, if only I’d had the Spartacus International Hotel & Restaurant Guide for my first solo gay travel adventure. I booked what I thought was a charming art deco bed & breakfast in South Beach, just a short walk from the ocean. But what I stepped into was a ground floor room with broken window screens and steel wool-patched mouse holes in the wall. I think not!
And when the monsoon rolled in instead of the anticipated "sunny and 80 degrees," I found myself in a movie theatre (not that kind) with a bunch of geriatrics followed by dinner at a chain restaurant that included an iceberg lettuce salad with French dressing. The only thing gay about that trip was the Gloria Gaynor mantra "I Will Survive" playing over and over in my mind like a Kabbalah prayer.
Thank goodness that publisher Bruno Gmünder and Editor-in-Chief Briand Bedford have pulled together a comprehensive guide for the modern gay traveler. Now in its 10th edition, the Spartacus International Hotel & Restaurant Guide is an invaluable resource, whether you are planning a business trip, weekend getaway, or blow-out holiday.
Using the Guide
The guide is chock-full of helpful identifiers to steer you towards your perfectly planned vacation. Organized by country, each section begins with a broad overview that includes a map to get your bearings, a short list of "important" gay cities and a brief climate summary. Accommodations range from quaint bed & breakfasts to modern boutique hotels, each offering a wide variety of services. The restaurant listings are fewer but do include important bites of information such as outdoor seating, vegetarian, wine list and entertainment options.
At almost 400 pages, Spartacus has made every effort to summarize international gay travel. Here are my picks for interesting travel destinations:
Looking for a historical enclave steps away from shopping and nightlife? Check out Bon Maison Guest House in New Orleans.
An urban oasis next to Switzerland’s Lake Lucerne, Post Hotel Weggis offers total relaxation with spa services and culinary highlights.
The newly renovated Rembrandt Hotel is in the heart of Manchester and overlooks the Rochdale Canal and Sackville Gardens.
Not every queer wants to head to a gay mecca for vacation. Some of us actually prefer to travel off the beaten path. If you’re looking for an unusual gay getaway, check out these Spartacus listings:
Taleni Africa manages four stunning properties throughout Namibia (Need a geography brush-up? This African country’s west coast sits along the Atlantic Ocean and borders Angola, Botswana and South Africa.) Dig out your safari hat and sunscreen for an unusual adventure.
Dan, Eduardo and their little dog Tommy have opened La Puerta Negra the first gay guesthouse in Uruguay. Just five blocks from the ocean.
Surrounded by coconut trees and near the beaches of Chaweng and Bophut, Wonderworld Samui is a gay-owned and operated bed & breakfast that offers exotic and unusual experiences of Thailand.
These highlights merely scratch the surface of what the Spartacus Guide has to offer. The Spartacus International Gay Guide received the Hanns Ebernsten Hall of Fame Award from the International Gay and Lesbian Tourism Association (IGLTA) last year, so you know Spartacus gets a thumbs up from gays in the know.
So pick up your 10th Anniversary edition of The Hotel and Restaurant Guide and start planning your next gay adventure, wherever it may take you.