Category Archives: Hotels

Mexico City’s Ravishing Renaissance

Big and gritty and complex and glamorous, Mexico City defies categorization. El Distrito Federal or DF, as the city is commonly called, is far more nuanced than many of the country’s famous resort towns, where the tourism bubble stays easily intact.

Here, you are in it; it’s real life in a real, big city. This is where people work, live, eat… and, yes, party. Spending a few days among DF’s 20 million people, you’ll discover a vibrant culture, delicious food, a hoppin’ gay scene, and a colorful whirlwind of unexpected surprises…

*Read my full article published in EDGE by clicking on the photo below:


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Rock the Vote with Hard Rock Hotel

To help you celebrate Election Day in the United States, the music-inspired Hard Rock Hotels chain is keeping you inspired with a free “Rock the Vote” playlist, made available exclusively to the readers of USA Today (and by proxy, Traveling IQ).  For more information on how to download the free playlist, visit “Hotel Check-in” on USA Today

(Photo courtesy of Hard Rock)

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Filed under Hotels, U.S.A.

Innkeepers Thank Veterans

B&B for Vets

Innkeepers in the United States and Canada are thanking the brave men and women who have served in their country’s armed forces the best way they know how… with hospitality.

On November 11, (Veteran’s Day in the U.S. and Remembrance Day in Canada), an estimated 1,000 inns and bed & breakfasts in both countries will offer complimentary stays to veterans and current military personnel.

Entering its fourth year, the B&B for Vets program aims to offer a much-needed break to veterans who may not otherwise be able to afford a vacation.   Many of the participating inns and B&Bs are donating guest rooms for free stays on November 11, and others are offering special military discounts throughout the weekend.

Veterans (with military ID) interested in reserving a room should contact the inn/B&B where they wish to stay.

For a complete list of participating inns and B&Bs visit (U.S.) or (Canada).

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IQ in New York Magazine: San Antonio

With new museums and riverfront projects, San Antonio is finding new ways to celebrate its international history…

Click on the picture below to read the article published in New York Magazine:


Filed under Hotels, Publications, Restaurant, U.S.A.

Lords Pops Big Apple

Lords South Beach celebrates NY Pride, polar bear and all

The Lords South Beach is making a colorful splash on New York’s Lower East Side this gay pride.  From June 18-24, Miami’s gay boutique hotel will invade the Hotel on Rivington, creating New York City’s first ever Pride pop-up hotel:  Lords New York.

And pop it will.  The Lords New York will feature a hot pink lobby, a New York version of the Lords South Beach beloved polar bear sculpture, and pop art portraits of Elizabeth Taylor (who watches over guests in every room of the Miami property).

The Lords New York is also bringing the party up north.  The Lords Penthouse series will occupy the Owner’s Suite of the Hotel on Rivington to host “Proud to Party”–a fetish beach party–with DJ Vito Fun on Friday, June 22.  The next morning, the hotel joins OUT Magazine in hosting the “Proud to be Creative” brunch at the hotel’s CO-OP restaurant with food, drink, music, and a special art installation.

The Lords New York at the Hotel on Rivington LGBT Pride Package Includes:

  • 15% Savings off the Best Available Rates
  • Exclusive access to the “Proud to Party” event on Fri., June 22nd
  • 2 welcome cocktails in CO-OP Food & Drink
  • Lords New York welcome gift bag
  • Priority reservations to the “Proud to be Creative” Brunch on Sat., June 23rd

Want to make more of an impact on our community?   Put your money where your pride is.  The Lords is introducing a New York version of its “Rooms that Matter” program.  Upon check-in, guests can choose to donate $10 to either the Aqua Foundation or Hetrick-Martin Institute. Last year, a similar Lords South Beach program raised over $10,000 for designated LGBT charities.

For more information on all the events or to book your reservation, visit

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The Week in Travel (5/25/12)

The world of travel moves fast!  Let’s keep up–together.  On Fridays, Traveling IQ curates the highlights from the past week:

The Water Discus Hotel in Dubai

*Dubai is diving deep.  Plans are underway for the Water Discus Hotel, a luxury underwater hotel in Dubai, with rooms deeper than 32 feet below the surface and surrounded by a coral reef.  (via Bloomberg)

*Americans live in the “No Vacation Nation.”  The United States lags behind most other developed countries when it comes to vacation days. Yet 57% of workers had unused vacation at the end of 2011. (via CNN Money)

*Japan towers!  Almost twice the height of the Eiffel Tower, the Tokyo Skytree opened in Japan as the world’s tallest tower, offering two observatories.  (via CNN)

*I’ll drink to that, America.  Esquire magazine finds, in their opinion, the best bars in the U.S.  (via Esquire)

What did I miss?  Share your favorite travel news in the comments below or by posting on the Traveling IQ Facebook page.

(Photo via Bloomberg Business Week)

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Fleet Week New York comes OUT!

Photo via flickr

The Sailors are coming to town and this year—for the first time ever—they can be openly gay.

From May 23 to 30, thousands of men and women serving on U.S. Navy and U.S. Coastguard ships will debark onto the streets of Manhattan for the annual Fleet Week New York.   According to the event’s website “Fleet Week New York is the City’s celebration of the sea services… [providing] an opportunity for the citizens of New York City and the surrounding Tri-State area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness first hand the latest capabilities of today’s Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Team.”

This year will also mark the first Fleet Week since the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the U.S. policy that kept gay and lesbian troops from serving openly in the military until September 20, 2011.

To help celebrate, THE OUT NYC, the city’s first gay urban resort, is unveiling its Served with Pride package for any guest with a valid military ID.  This package will continue indefinitely, offering our service men and women:

  • 30% off the best available rate
  • Complimentary Served with Pride t-shirt or tank top
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary continental breakfast

So let’s welcome our troops to fully–and openly–explore New York City this Fleet Week.

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Filed under Events, Gay, Hotels, U.S.A.

Winter Party Heats Up Miami

Winter Party Beach Party

Get a tan this winter.  From February 29 to March 5, Miami heats up the season with the 10,000-guest, six-day Winter Party Festival.    This year’s events range from cocktail soirees to cultural outings to—yes—parties, parties, and more parties.

And as if you needed another reason to head south, Winter Party is produced by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which donates the majority of net proceeds to The Miami Foundation and the Task Force’s national efforts to “build power, take action and create change for the LGBT community.”

Once again, the Surfcomber is serving as the host hotel, though this year’s guests can expect some delightful surprises.  In December, the Surfcomber officially reopened as a member of the Kimpton Hotels brand, following a multi-million dollar renovation.   Kimpton Hotels are always inclusive and sassy, and now they are inviting you to party on South Beach.

This year, the official events begin on Wednesday and continue beyond the weekend.  Two of my favorite, not-to-be-missed events are the Under One Sun Pool Party at the Surfcomber Hotel and, of course, the main event: the Winter Party Beach Party, grooving on the South Beach sand to the beats of DJ Joe Gauthreaux.

For a list of all Winter Party events and passes, visit their website at

Surfcomber Hotel

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The Aloft London Excel Hotel

Aloft London Excel Hotel

London’s cup runneth over and its creativity is pouring East. Thanks to new rail stations, contemporary art galleries, bohemian shops, and — of course — the 2012 Olympic Games, London’s Eastside is emerging as the city’s new, gold medal neighborhood. It is no accident that Aloft Hotels, the young, hip sister of the W brand, has chosen this hood to launch their first U.K. property.

The Aloft London Excel brings impeccable design and urban sass to the next generation traveler. The 252 loft-like rooms feature 10-foot-high ceilings, walk-in showers with Bliss Spa products, and a plug-and-play system which connects your electronic devices to the 42” flat-screen TV, turning each room into a high-tech office and entertainment center…

But the Aloft is also made to mingle. Bring your laptop; with free, hotel-wide wireless internet, you can share your ideas or plan your sightseeing activities in the communal spaces. Bring your gym shorts; at the spacious re:charge fitness center you can sweat and pump with the latest exercise machines, cardio equipment and free weights. And bring your swimsuit; the Aloft London Excel also has an indoor, heated pool and sauna.

When you are hungry for a meal, bop over to FEDE restaurant  for contemporary British food, or pick up a snack at the 24-hour grab-and-go re:fuel café. And save some energy for nighttime. Aloft’s wxyz bar and re:mix lounge not only serve great drinks, but also invite a rotating roster of local bands and artists so you can rock to East London’s diverse music scene.

And best of all, with rooms under $150 per night, the Aloft London Excel is making a fashionable stay affordable for all travelers.

Aloft London Excel
One Eastern Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock
London, England, E16 1FR
+44 020 3203 0700

This article was originally published in Out Traveler:


Filed under Europe, Hotels, Publications

Cyber Monday Travel Deals


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.

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 and input promo code D50

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 and input promo code D50

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 and enter promo code D52

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 and enter promo code PR5 

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 or call 877254 3106 and request Black Friday special

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 and enter promotional code D3Q


(*Lodge Kura Hulanda)

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Filed under Caribbean, Events, Hotels, Mexico