EVER SINCE THE FIRST glittering marquee rose above the Strip, Las Vegas has been a legendary destination for business and leisure travel. And in more recent decades, it’s carved a reputation as a growing hot spot for LGBTQ travelers as well.
“You might think that a town called Sin City wouldn’t live up to its own hype,” said Jim Werner, co-owner, Fagabond.com, an LGBTQ travel site. “Well, Las Vegas is just as surreal as its high-reaching nickname. Cher impersonators. Pool parties. Feather boas. This is Vegas on a normal day.”
Much of the liveliest nightlife takes place along the so-called Fruit Loop, where a club called Piranha holds weekly events, including after-hours parties that start at 6 a.m., as well as VIP packages with top-shelf liquor. FreeZone, meanwhile, hosts events including talent contests and music bingo and — like many bars in Las Vegas — has gaming facilities on site.
Gaming, indeed, is a big draw in Las Vegas — as is the city’s varied live entertainment. Ricky Martin, among the newest performers on the Strip, performs at the new Park Theater at Monte Carlo in April, June, July and September of this year. Other gay-popular singers appearing this year include Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Mariah Carey and Britney Spears.
Nearly every Las Vegas hotel is LGBTQ-friendly, including the MGM Grand and the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, both members of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. Also popular are the Hard Rock Hotel, especially close to the Fruit Loop, and the Luxor, which has a weekly LGBTQ pool party during the summer called Temptation Sundays.
For those tying the knot, Las Vegas ramped up a variety of same-sex destination wedding options. A company called Viva Las Vegas, for example, is among the companies offering decidedly destination-appropriate “Elvis weddings,” complete with a performing impersonator.
Top annual LGBTQ events in the city include Las Vegas Pride, which takes place in October with a night parade and festival. Sin City Shootout, billed as the largest annual LGBTQ sporting event in the world, takes place in January, attracting some 9,000 participants for 25 different sport competitions, from arm wrestling to water polo. To be sure, not every activity in Las Vegas is about “sin.” But there are certainly lots of temptations.
The world’s first and highest 360-degree infinity pool will open in Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah. One of the region’s most anticipated attractions, AURA SKYPOOL will begin welcoming guests in mid-November.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
Airplane travel evokes a lot of emotions these days: excitement, anticipation, uncertainty and nervousness, just to name a few. But when you do take to the skies again, the giddiness of getting pampered at 35,000 feet can most certainly wash away the surrealness of the past year and a half — at least for the duration of a long- haul flight — as you sip Champagne and slip your feet into plush slippers. While some global airlines have paused or pushed back plans for upgrades and refreshes to their premium cabins, others have introduced exciting changes that await in your pod or lie-flat bed in first and business classes. What’s more, amenities like privacy screens, sliding suite doors and space to spread out all serve a dual purpose as methods to luxuriate in the air while keeping social distance. Here are some nice- ties to expect now and in the near future, from retrofitted seat configurations to updated décor to Michelin-starred meals:
United Airlines is making international travel more accessible. United announced the largest trans-Atlantic expansion in its history, including 10 new flights and five new destinations including Amman (AMM), Jordan; Bergen (BGO), Norway; Azores (PDL), Portugal; Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Spain; and Tenerife (TFS) in the Spanish Canary Islands. All new routes, set to begin in spring 2022, are not served by any other North American carrier.
This holiday season, escape to the Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises and reconnect with family and friends in luxurious accommodations that make you feel right at home. Savor globally inspired cuisine designed by our Michelin-starred chef, paired with the most awarded wine collection at sea. Elevate “me time” with a soothing spa treatment sure to renew. With both long and short cruises to celebrate in December, and even three special Ultimate Holiday Cruises that sail over Christmas and into the New Year, the time to gift an experience and create unforgettable memories is now. Celebrity Cruises’ Always IncludedSM pricing — drinks, WiFi and tips — ensures a seamless, carefree vacation with the ones you love.
Galataport Istanbul, a new cruise and lifestyle destination on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, welcomed its first ship, SeaDream II, on Oct. 1. Approximately 150 passengers and crew from Bulgaria Varna arrived at 10 a.m. for a two-day homeport operation before continuing to Bulgaria Burgaz.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Walker Hotel Tribeca is blushing pink with an exclusive offer benefitting the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Throughout the month, guests can book an all-pink guestroom, among additional amenities.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
Insight Vacations, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland are offering the chance to win a free trip to Ireland for two, valued at $6,000. Oct. 18–22, The Road to Ireland contest page will be updated daily with a new clue and question that contestants will need to answer for a chance to win a trip for two on Insight’s Country Roads of Ireland tour in 2022. Contestants have until 11:59 p.m. PST Oct. 29 to submit answers.