Where you rest your head at night is as important as who is laying there next to you! Exceptional hotels are destinations all their own. Combine luxury amenities with tons of free extras, add in stellar service and a great location, and you will find that these international hotels will surpass your every expectation. Of course, they are all gay- and lesbian-friendly and well worth your vacation dollars.
Hotel Fouquet Barriere, Paris, France
You know you’ve arrived when you check into the Hotel Fouquet Barriere, on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées at George V, across from the Louis Vuitton flagship store. A warm, multilingual staff greets you, then the hotel butler presents your room as if he is giving you a tour of hotel heaven. The hot tub in Spa Barrier is an escape for peace and relaxation. If you have to leave the hotel, window-shop along George V and immediately lunch at the Four Seasons George V.
Axel Hotel, Buenos Aires, Argentina
This hotel redefines “boutique.” Enter and you immediately notice the architectural beauty and innovation. Just look up at the fifth-floor glass-bottom swimming pool and the outdoor pool deck (open in summer), and you know you’ve found the perfect affordable luxury and weekend party hotel. Even the rooms are innovative, with closet doors that double as window shutters and free in-room Wi-Fi. A breakfast feast and weekend tango show is included.
Hotel Le Germain, Toronto, Canada
Oh, Canada! One could spend days in this hotel. The facility is perfect for mixing business with pleasure. You can hold sophisticated meetings next to the hearth fireplace while sipping complimentary cappuccino and, of course, free Internet. You can also play on the roof-top putting green, sip wine on the terrace and hit the gym. After all of this work and play, linger under the best rain shower in the world! Continental breakfast is included.
Intercontinental London Park Lane Hotel, London, Great Britain
Once the site of a royal residence, the flagship of the Intercontinental Hotel chain is magnificent. The seventh-floor Club InterContinental has stunning views of Buckingham Palace and offers complimentary drinks, breakfast, lunch and dinner fare all day. You definitely will want to sleep late on perhaps the most comfortable bed in the world. Complimentary turndown service is included. Most major attractions are within walking distance, so you can rush back for an evening massage in the spa. Cheerio!
Art + Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel
The Art + Hotel is dedicated to Israeli art, and you can’t deny the authenticity of this venue. Culture, anyone? The comfy rooms resemble large cruise-ship cabins, but the hotel features works by leading Israeli artists and video art by internationally renowned artist Sigalit Landau. The hotel is within a 15-minute walk to the gay beach and a 10-minute cab ride to all the gay bars, which are spread throughout town. Freebies include breakfast each morning with an evening wine hour and wireless Internet in the lobby. n
Jeff Guaracino is a vice president for the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation and the author of “Gay and Lesbian Tourism: The Essential Guide for Marketing.” He has learned how to find the best deals and travel resources out there for our community. If you’re traveling locally, check out visitphilly.com!