New York, Gay York… and other LGBT cities

It’s the major societal transformation that EVERY Western Fiftysomething has witnessed in their lifetime.

Straight people’s changed perception and reception of gay people.

The catalyst for change happened this week in 1969 with the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village against police brutality of gay people.

It is fitting then that the Great Melting Pot has been the focus of commemorations this week.

New York has led the way for the rest of the Western World to be a more open and inclusive place for the LGBT community to travel.

This blog celebrates the best of those destinations:

New York

Time of your life: Photo by Mathieu Acker.

Greenwich Village is the historical gay heart of NY.

And the James New York in SoHo is within walking distance of the gay bars in Chelsea and Greenwich Village.

Take the glass elevator up to the rooftop bar for great views before heading to REBAR gay club or The Stonewall.

A standard queen room is from €409. Visit www.jameshotels.com.


Party on: Photo by Brett Sayles

It’s all about Pride and London is going rainbow-coloured.

Hazlitts Hotel is in the heart of Soho and the building was once a gentlemen’ s club back in the 18th Century.

A favourite with actors, artists and writers for decades many of the rooms have been named after celebrities. And should you want to you could even sleep in the same room Jonathan Swift did. Superior double from £290.00. Visit www.hazlittshotel.com.


Loud and Pride: Photo by FransA

Amsterdam has long been lauded for being gay-friendly.

A cruise along one of its many canals or a romantic walk or crepes by the water are a great way to while away the hours.

And then there’s the nightlife.

There are some great deals out there. The Double Tree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station which is near the historic Cafe ‘t Mandje gay bar has a Queen Room for €227. Visit https://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/netherlands/doubletree-by-hilton-amsterdam-centraal-station-AMSCSDI/index.html


City of Love: Photo by Jean-Baptiste Burbaud

It’s not called Gay Paree for nothing.

It’s iconic and worth spending a bob or two on. The gay-friendly boutique hotel Jules et Jim in Le Marais – 3e Arrondissement, a well-trodden paths for LGBT visitors. It is of course named after the Francois Ruffault cinema house favourite starring Jeanne Moreau.

Each room (there are just 23) has a backlit Hi-Mac shell around the bed creating a relaxing cocoon. It is arty but unpretentious. From £182 per night for the sample date of July 8.

The Pompidou is 10 minutes away by foot, the Louvre 20. 

Visit www.hoteljulesetjim.com/en.


Here comes the sun: Photo by Artem Beliaikin

But you want the beach. And who can blame you.

Benidorm has a great gay scene stretching out from the Old Town and the Gay Village.

The shows are legend. The best nightclub venues are located on the Avenida Beniarda. And the gogo dancers and drag queens are not to be missed.

There are two big music festivals in July while Benidorm Pride is in September. So that means two Prides, here and there. Can’t be bad.

The Hotel Centro Mar is just a minute walk from Levante Beach and just steps from Brief Encounter, El Papagayo and Company Gar gay bars. And there’s a rooftop swimming pool.

We found two guests with breakfast for £111. Visit http://www.hotelcentromar.com/en.


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