Category Archives: Mexico

HA Restaurant-Hotel Xcaret

A view of Chef Carlos Gaytan HA Restaurant in Hotel Xcaret, Riviera Maya Mexico
HA Restaurant in Riviera Maya, Mexico

“We want to be the best hotel restaurant in the world. That’s what we’re pushing for.”

Uttering that statement as he welcomes us into HA Restaurant, Chef Carlos Gaytan sets a very high bar. He then spends the next 3 hours exceeding all expectations.

After all, this isn’t your typical hotel restaurant. Carlos Gaytan is the first Mexican chef ever to receive a Michelin Star (for Mexique in Chicago). And although HA Restaurant is located within Hotel Xcaret in Riviera Maya, Mexico, it is open to all diners with a reservation and is the one restaurant not included in the hotel’s all-inclusive package. It’s a stand-alone culinary masterpiece in a resort area more commonly associated with dinner buffets.

*Read the full article published in Travel Squire

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Filed under Caribbean, Hotels, Mexico, Publications, Restaurant

The Muluk Spa at Hotel Xcaret Mexico

Muluk Spa at Hotel Xcaret

Muluk Spa at Hotel Xcaret

Why merely relax when you can transform? The Muluk Spa at Hotel Xcaret Mexico is your gateway to the ancient traditions and healing practices of the Mayan culture. As you enter the spa’s expansive, open-air lobby you immediately connect with the lush topography of Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Excavated from a rocky hillside of this jungle region, the spa opens onto a private river that runs through the entirety of Hotel Xcaret.

For those interested in moving beyond the pampering into the spiritual, plan to visit Muluk Spa on a Wednesday when their Shaman will guide you through the complete Temezcal experience. This traditional Mexican sweat lodge, dating back to Pre-Hispanic times, is not for the faint of heart (quite literally) or those particularly sensitive to heat (your body temperature can exceed 104°F). But it is through the sweat that you cleanse of toxins both physical and emotional… (continue)

Read the full article published on TravelSquire.com

 

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Filed under Caribbean, Hotels, Mexico, Spa

UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya

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UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya

Gay travelers to Mexico are increasingly becoming bi… coastal, that is.

According to the 2018 report by Community Marketing & Insights, Mexico is the second most visited international destination for LGBTQ travelers from the United States (Canada is the first). Within the country, the areas around Puerto Vallarta and Cancun/Riviera Maya are the two most popular.

Wooing our community to Mexico’s eastern coast, the UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya is prioritizing becoming the region’s most LGBTQ-friendly all-inclusive….

Read the full article published in EDGE Media Network

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Filed under Caribbean, gay travel, LGBTQ travel, Mexico, Riviera Maya, gay Mexico, VACAYA, Hotels, Mexico, Publications, Restaurant

IQ in EDGE: Puerto Vallarta’s Almar Resort

Couple at Pool at Mantamar Beach Club

The Mantamar Beach Club at the Almar Resort

The newest and only luxury beachfront LGBTQ hotel in Puerto Vallarta will make your tub bubbleth over. With hot tubs in 29 of its 78 suites; an infinity pool (featuring swim-up bar and more hot tubs) off the sands of Los Muertos Beach; member access to Mantamar Beach Club, the premier beach club in Zona Romantica; and a rooftop bar with heart-warming sunset views, drag shows and — yes, even more hot tubs — the Almar Resort is making sassy classy in Mexico’s favorite gay beach retreat…

Click here to read the full article published in EDGE.

Ivan Quintanilla published in Edge Media

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Filed under Gay, Hotels, Mexico, Publications, Restaurant

A Case for the Gay Hotel

Pool at gay hotel

A Perfect Day at the Almar Resort in Puerto Vallarta

I’ve recently had conversations with several gay men in their 20’s about the necessity, or lack thereof, of the “gay hotel.”  First, I think it is truly amazing that many of our younger gay peers feel so completely comfortable in their skin in any surrounding.  I think it is tangible evidence of progress.  And one I celebrate—wholeheartedly—as I toast with my frozen cosmopolitan, pomegranate margarita or glass of crisp sauvignon blanc. But these conversations have made me examine why I personally am still drawn to the congregation of gay.  Now, I love to travel often and on many different types of trips, frequented by many different types of people.  And I don’t ever want that to change.  But yet I find myself consistently drawn to the comradery of the gay hotel.

I’d guess this is greatly generational.  Perhaps it’s the childhood years of being schooled in the appropriate ways boys gesture. Or the exhausting energy expended in youth hoping no one will figure you out.  Or the many times you heard the f-word and continued walking pretending you weren’t the subject.   And I am thrilled if kids these days don’t grow up with any of these same concerns.  Because though I have never been targeted or mocked as a traveling adult, this well-adjusted gay New Yorker still can’t wait to return to Puerto Vallarta or Key West or Provincetown.

There is a world of difference between not feeling endangered and feeling truly welcome.  I am so accustomed to my life in New York City, where I never worry about holding my boyfriend’s hand as we stroll through Hell’s Kitchen or fret if my shorts are the appropriate length on a hot, summer day (I’m bringing the 5” inseam back!).  With so many elements of which to keep track on vacation—currency exchanges, language barriers, convoluted directions—watching yourself so you are not watched seems like wasted energy.

I prefer to spend that time meeting new friends—many of whom, especially now in the age of social media, will continue to be part of my life beyond my departure from the destination.  I have been fortunate to share unforgettable moments with some pretty fantastic people who I may or may not ever see again.  But if I ever visit their home cities, I guarantee you they will be my first call.  Because they are now part of my community.

So, I will continue to travel everywhere and stay anywhere, but I will always have a soft spot for the gay hotel.  And I hope all of our generations can join in the spirited, tipsy conversations which could never be replicated on an app or anywhere else, other than at that pool, with that fruity cocktail in hand, while blasting that Deborah Cox remix that will forever give us life.

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

Floating over Puerto Vallarta

The closest I’ve ever come to flying: parasailing in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was gorgeous and peaceful (and very comfy in that harness). And those views of Bay of Banderas and Playa de los Muertos were stunning. The entire ride lasted about 10 minutes but I would’ve stayed up there all day….

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The W Mexico City Satisfies

W Mexico City View

When was the last time someone promised to satisfy your every wish?

The W Mexico City will be your swanky genie-in-a-bottle. Whether you want a mariachi band performing in your bathtub or VIP tickets to a private club, the W concierge will make it happen through their “Whatever/Whenever” service (legally permitting, of course). Located in the Polanco area, steps from luxury shopping, galleries and Bosque Chapultepec, the largest city park in Latin America, the W Mexico is the place to indulge.

With the AWAY Spa and Fitness Center, Whiskey Bar, Solea restaurant at your fingertips–and spacious rooms that feature a hammock in your shower (should you be exhausted from your hygiene regimen)–you may have to force yourself to venture beyond the hotel’s colorfully accented lobby.

W Mexico City exterior

Read my full Mexico City travel article on Edge.

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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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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)

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Filed under Caribbean, Events, Hotels, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta: Vacation Versatile

Activo o Pasivo?  Regardless of your preference, Puerto Vallarta will satisfy.  Whether swinging through treetops above mountainous jungles or cruising hidden coves off Mexico’s Pacific rim, Puerto Vallarta provides a vacation of complete versatility.  Flaunting its natural beauty, colonial charm and cosmopolitan sophistication, Mexico’s premier gay destination will quench both your thirst for adventure and desire for relaxation.

Read the full article on Fuerte Men by clicking on the photo below:

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