Category Archives: Caribbean

Dominican Republic Celebrates Caribbean Pride

TravelingIQ-CariubbeanPrideJPG

Is the Dominican Republic ready for its gay close-up? It’s a slow zoom, increasingly coming into focus.

Last month, the CHIC Punta Cana, the all-inclusive resort (or “all-exclusive” as the brand boasts) hosted the second annual Caribbean Pride. For one week, the expansive resort turns into an adult playground packed with pool parties, drag shows, culinary workshops, and a slew of fitness activities—all geared toward the LGBTQ traveler…

Learn more about Caribbean Pride and how the Dominican Republic is emerging as a gay travel destination, by reading the rest of my article, published in EDGE Media Network.

EDGE-Dominican Republic

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean, Events, Gay, Hotels, Photos, Publications

IQ Heading to Caribbean Pride

Facetune_12-09-2018-22-17-13

Want to hang on to summer just a little bit longer? Pride Season is not yet over!

This weekend IQ is heading to the powdery-soft beaches of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, for the second-annual (my first) Caribbean Pride. Held at the luxury, adults-only, all-inclusive CHIC Punta Cana over seven days packed with pool parties, beach parties, foam parties (yes, that’s still a thing apparently) and whatever kind of party you can imagine.

There will also be shows from beloved Toronto queen, Miss Conception, culinary classes, cocktail samplings and even a broad range of fitness activities for those who… do fitness activities while on an all-inclusive gay vacation.

Follow @travelingiq on Instagram to share in the festivities.

And visit CaribbeanPride.com for photos, event schedule and booking info.

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean, Events, Gay, Hotels

Samana, Dominican Republic

1-Samana-Los Haitises-Aerial

Aerial view of Los Haitises National Park in Samana, Dominican Republic

As your plane descends toward the Samana airport, you’ll see postcard-perfect views of a natural paradise: rolling hills of lush, green forests pressed against countless kilometres of pristine beaches. The Samana Peninsula, which juts from the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, is about a four-hour direct flight from Toronto or Montreal, but a worlds-away tropical escape for the entire family.

Partly because of its geographical positioning, Samana has retained a unique identity from its resort-packed sister cities. Up until the Samana Highway was finished in 2009, the five-hour drive from Santo Domingo kept the province isolated even from other Dominicans. Now a 2½ hour drive from its capital and with increasing flight access to Canada, Samana is ready to welcome tourism to its unique topography and cultural history. Pack your swimsuits in the suitcase and your curiosity in the carry-on, and prepare for a combination of adventure and relaxation…

Click here to read the full article published in Family Fun Canada

(Photo Credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism)

Leave a comment

Filed under Canada, Caribbean, Hotels, Publications

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado-Samana, Dominican Republic

1-LBP Cayo Levantado_Aerial View

The Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado sits on its own island, accessible only by ferry, off the secluded Samana Peninsula in the Dominican Republic. This luxury all-inclusive resort is perfect for couples seeking a romantic escape, away from a party scene.

Though there’s much to explore in Samana, the Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado has you covered should you want to stay put on your own little Caribbean island. The all-inclusive resort offers 6 restaurants, with buffet and international a la carte options; and 4 bars, including a beach bar and a pool bar. Guests have full access to the resort’s relaxing private beach with kayaks and paddle boards available for use. There is also a public beach for day-trippers with lively beachside restaurants and bars. The resort even includes a scuba diving lesson in one of its 2 pools, should you want to prepare for deeper sea exploration. At night, you can hit the disco or enjoy nightly entertainment, ranging from acrobats to dance troupes. During our stay they even featured a synchronized swimming performance. Or you can wind down a romantic evening in your room with a specially prepared bath, from their butler services menu…

Read the full article, published in ManAboutWorld by clicking here

https://www.manaboutworld.com/checkout-luxury-bahia/

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean, Hotels, Publications, Restaurant

Cyber Monday Travel Deals

Really?!?

Few things appeal to me less than being trampled by a half-priced mob on the day after Thanksgiving.  I will go on record admitting I have never understood the appeal of Black Friday.  On “the biggest shopping day of the year” I prefer to sit at home in my Snuggie, turkey leg in hand.

Still need a shopping fix?  Relax.  Our modern world-wide-world now offers a side dish of savings from the comfort of your home or office.  This Cyber Monday—online shopping’s answer to Black Friday—resorts in Mexico, Costa Rica, Aruba, Curaçao and Puerto Rico are warming up the season with more than just leftovers.

Remember, these deals must be booked on the Monday following Thanksgiving–CYBER MONDAY, November 28, 2011.

CASAMAGNA MARRIOTT CANCUN RESORT – 65% Savings
www.casamagnacancun.com 
Offer: Book your 2012 vacation on Cyber Monday and pay $99/night + tax, plus get a $50 resort credit and free room upgrade (subject to availability)
Savings: 65%
Details: Valid for travel Feb. 16, 2012 – March 31, 2012
Reservations: Visit www.casamagnacancun.com and input promo code D50
 

JW MARRIOTT CANCUN RESORT & SPA – 58% Savings
www.jwmarriottcancun.com
Offer: Book your 2012 vacation on Cyber Monday and pay $179/night + tax, plus get a $50 resort credit and free room upgrade (subject to availability)
Savings: 58%
Details: Valid for travel Feb. 16, 2012 – March 31, 2012
Reservations: Visit www.jwmarriottcancun.com and input promo code D50

ARUBA MARRIOTT RESORT & STELLARIS CASINO – 50% Savings
www.arubamarriott.com
Offer: Buy 2 nights and get 2 nights free
Savings: 50%
Details: Rates start at $359/night. Valid for travel from April 22, 2012 – December 21, 2012.
Reservations: Visit www.arubamarriott.com and enter promo code D52

MARRIOTT HOTELS & RESORTS OF COSTA RICA – 35%-55% Savings
www.marriott.com/costarica 
Offer:  Book your 2012 vacation on CyberMonday and receive $79-$129 nightly rates.  $79.00 plus tax per room/night at Courtyard San Jose Escazu (standard room) and Residence Inn San Jose Escazu (studio); $99.00 plus tax at Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose (deluxe room); and $129.00 plus tax per room/night at Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort (standard room)
Savings: From 35% – 55%
Details: Valid for travel from January 1, 2012 – December 20, 2012, except for a few blackout dates.
Reservations:  Visit www.marriott.com/costarica and enter promo code PR5 

 KURA HULANDA RESORTS, CURACAO – 35% Savings
www.kurahulanda.com 
Offer: Buy two nights and get third night free
Savings: 33%
Details: Valid for travel through Dec 23, 2012.  Black out dates: Dec 24, 2011 – Jan 02, 2012
Reservations: E-mail reservation request to reservations@kurahulanda.com or call 877254 3106 and request Black Friday special

 SAN JUAN MARRIOTT RESORT & STELLARIS CASINO, PUERTO RICO – 30% Savings
www.marriottsanjuan.com
Offer: Receive 30% off all reservations
Savings: 30%
Details: From $132 per night. Bookings cannot be combined with any other offers. Valid for travel through Dec 24, 2011 and from April 10 – Sept. 30, 2012. Not valid for groups of 10 or more rooms.
Reservations: Visit www.marriottsanjuan.com and enter promotional code D3Q

Really!!!*

(*Lodge Kura Hulanda)

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean, Events, Hotels, Mexico

3 Deals on 9/10/11

Aruba Marriott Resort

Count ’em:  1, 2, 3 deals on 9/10/11

Three Caribbean resorts are offering a 24-hour sale on rooms booked on September 10, 2011.
1.
The Aruba Marriott Resort & Stelaris Casino is offering nearly 50% off resort rates, starting at $129 per night. Valid for travel through December 23, 2011.
For reservations visit www.arubamarriott.com or call 1.800.228.9290, and use promotional code D56.
Click here to learn why you’ll be “One Happy Islander.”
2.
The Kura Hulanda Resorts in Curaçao are offering one night at a rate of $9.10, when purchased with another night at regular price, starting at $160 per night.  Valid for travel through December 23, 2011.
For reservations visit www.kurahulanda.com.
Click here to learn how “Curaçao imbues your tropical vacation with cultural authenticity.”
3.
The San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino in Puerto Rico is automatically applying 30% off on all bookings made on 9/10/11, starting at $159 per night.  Valid for travel through December 15, 2011.
For reservations visit www.marriottsanjuan.com or call 1.800.228.9290.

Remember all these offers must be booked on 9/10/11!

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean, Hotels

Dutch Attitude at a Caribbean Latitude

The Dutch island of Curaçao invites you to experience European sophistication with Caribbean warmth.

Offering an enticing combination of Dutch Attitude at a Caribbean Latitude, Curaçao is emerging as one of the Caribbean’s most popular gay destinations.  A rare island where tourists and locals effortlessly coexist, Curaçao imbues your tropical vacation with cultural authenticity.

Conveniently located outside the Hurricane Belt, Curaçao enjoys year-round 80-degree days with minimal rain, perfect for both beach and city escapes.  To best experience the island’s diversity, the sister properties of Kura Hulanda (kurahulanda.com) offer the “Best of Both Worlds” Package.  Spend two nights admiring the Dutch Colonial architecture of the island’s capital, while staying at the UNESCO World Heritage designated Hotel Kura Hulanda (Langestraat 8-Willemstad).  This luxury boutique resort boasts glorious courtyards, multiple pools, restaurants, a spa and casino.  Then, spend three nights perched on rugged cliffs overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, at the secluded Lodge Kura Hulanda & Beach Club (Playa Kalki-Westpunt) on the island’s western tip.  The Lodge’s onsite dive shop, Ocean Encounters West (oceanencounterswest.com), will complete your beach vacation by arranging snorkeling, diving, and boating excursions.

Planning your honeymoon?  Both resorts are members of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association and are eager to celebrate New York’s recent Marriage Equality victory.  Until December 22, they are offering newlyweds who present a valid New York marriage license a free upgrade and dinner for two.

All right, time to get a little sweaty and explore the island’s natural beauty.  Hardcore hikers should head to Christoffel National Park (christoffelpark.org) where you can climb 1,240 feet to the top of Mt. Christoffel, the island’s highest point.  On a clear day you can see the coasts of Venezuela and Bonaire.  If you prefer a rough ride, then fasten your seatbelt because it’s going to be a bumpy one.  Eric’s ATV Adventures (curacao-atv.com) will take you through the wildest and most beautiful parts of Curaçao, including cliffs, dunes, caves and beyond.

Next, explore the tasty variety of Curaçao’s cuisine.  Located about a mile from the Lodge Kura Hulanda, Landhuis Misjé (landhuismisje.com) serves up Caribbean comfort food with a sophisticated flair. Clearly stating her “100% gay friendly” policy on the restaurant website, Chef Graciela Real will make you feel right at home serving a unique fusion of the island’s Latin, Dutch and Caribbean influences in the lantern-lit yard of this restored plantation home.   Want to recreate the island’s flavor back home? Learn the necessary skills at Angelica’s Kitchen (Hoogstraat 49-Willemstad, angelicas-kitchen.com) Caribbean cooking class.  The ladies of the Kitchen will teach you how to make delicious “no fuss food” in a relaxed, festive setting.  Drink, cook, eat and bond with a group of old friends or favorite new acquaintances.   For a tasty Mojito or Caipirinha, head to the Latin-inspired café and bar Mundo Bizarro (Nieuwestraat 12-Pietermaai, mundobizarrocuracao.com).  Part restaurant, part live music venue, Mundo is a perfect spot to socialize with the locals.

Want to make a splash? Curaçao will be dripping with cocktail, beach, and boat parties from September 30-October 2, when it kicks off the 7th annual Get Wet gay party weekend.    Year round, Madame Jeanette “aims to make being Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered, Bisexual or just confused a perfectly normal thing to be, one Party at a time!”  The island’s hostess with the mostest throws her extravagant theme parties on the second Saturday of every month at TuTu Tango (Kaya Jombi Mensing 18-Willemstad, tutu-tango.com).  For information on all upcoming events and parties, visit GayCuracao.com.

Less than a three-hour flight from the U.S., Curaçao provides a taste of Northern Europe in the Southern Caribbean.  Trade your wooden shoes for a pair of sandals and enjoy the island’s “Live and Let Live” progressive attitude—with a tan!

(This article originally appeared in Next Magazine)

1 Comment

Filed under Caribbean, Gay, Hotels, Publications, Restaurant

IQ Talks Travel on Toronto Radio: Curaçao

Ivan Quintanilla is featured as the travel expert on Toronto’s Proud FM “Your Morning With Richard & Chris.”

This morning IQ talks about the gay-friendly Caribbean island of Curaçao.

Click below to listen to the interview:

Want to hear more?  Listen to other Proud FM travel segments, discussing Pittsburgh and New York.

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean, Gay, Hotels

Curaçao Celebrates NY Marriage Equality

By signing the Marriage Equality Act on June 24, allowing same sex couples to legally marry in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo set off a wave of celebration that reached the shores of Curaçao.

The Kura Hulanda Resorts, two of our favorite properties on the Caribbean island, are offering all newlyweds who present a valid New York marriage license a free upgrade and dinner for two when booking a four-night stay now until December 22, 2011.

“A progressive member of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, on an island with a refreshing ‘live and let live’ vibe, the Kura Hulanda Resorts offer guests a heavy dose of culture, fine dining and city-life, all wrapped up in a gay-friendly, high-end village community,” says Jody DeLeon, Director of Sales and Marketing for the resorts.

Rates start at $160 per night at Hotel Kura Hulanda and $140 per night at Lodge Kura Hulanda.  To book the deal, call 1.877.264.3106 or visit www.kurahulanda.com.

Article originally published in GPS.OutTraveler.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean, Gay, Hotels

Aruba Marriott: “One Happy Island”

Aruba Marriott Resort

If variety is the spice of life, Aruba is hot, hot, hot! This self-proclaimed “One Happy Island” is a blend of Caribbean ease, European sophistication and American comfort.  Though best known for the pristine beaches along its west coast, Aruba also has a rugged eastern coast and a colonial town center.  It is the rare island where a cactus, palm tree and native Divi-divi tree can all peacefully cohabitate.

Reflecting the diversity that makes this island unique, the Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino, combines the offerings of a large resort with the exclusivity of a boutique hotel.  Bon bini:  Welcome…

Read the full article published in Travel Squire by clicking on the picture below:

Leave a comment

Filed under Caribbean, Hotels, Publications