Times sure have changed since the writer Oscar Wilde first arrived in England’s capital in the 19th century. Today, LGBT globetrotters have no problem navigating and enjoying what is truly one of the world’s great gay meccas.
To get a historic overview of gay life in London (including, perhaps, a bit about Mr. Wilde), contact Centred, a community organization that offers a 90- minute guided walking tour of Soho on Sunday afternoons covering 300 years of LGBT history, including its effect on the arts, culture and politics.
There is no dearth of hotels in London that know how to serve the needs of LGBT travelers. Nearly all the international upscale brands are here, of course — such as Andaz London Liverpool Street, part of the Hyatt portfolio, which hosted a fundraising concert with the London Gay Men’s Chorus in June and also stages a quarterly burlesque night hosted by Joe Black, one of the city’s best-known drag performers.
London also excels when it comes to offering a diverse group of independent, LGBT-friendly hotels with various styles. The noteworthy options include Hazlitt’s, a boutique hotel set in the former home of 18th-century writer William Hazlitt and conveniently close to the gay scene; and The Soho Hotel, a luxurious, 91-room property with a bar, restaurant, gym, screening room and film club. One of the city’s newest options is Town Hall Hotel & Apartments, a stylish member of Design Hotels located in the East End. Other LGBT-friendly properties include the Amsterdam Hotel in Earls Court and the Church Street Hotel, a funky property with Latin American décor touches like bathroom tiles from Guadalajara and imported movie posters.
London’s vibrant nightlife offers plenty of excitement. Comptons, the oldest gay bar in Soho, remains a must-stop venue, featuring DJs every weekend. Also in Soho find the aptly named G-A-Y, a hot spot known for its great drink specials, available Sunday through Thursday every week. And in South London, The Two Brewers offers everything from dancing to cabaret-style shows.
London & Partners, the destination’s official promoter, maintains a helpful listing of LGBT travel information, including details about nightlife, hotels and the annual weeklong Pride in London festival, which takes place in June with a parade, performances and parties. If you’re planning on visiting during that event, it’s a good idea to book LGBT-popular hotels especially early so you don’t get shut out of the fun.
Banyan Tree Group recently announced its first-ever expansion into Japan with five new properties across four concepts. The hospitality group’s partnership with Wealth Management Group saw Dhawa Yura and Garrya Nijo Castle launch in June, with two more properties slated to open now through 2026. Another partnership with Terraform Capital sees plans to build Cassia, a property in the ski resort of Niseko.
Start planning that long-awaited trip to the island of Ireland. With all travel restrictions now lifted, there has never been a better time to visit.
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First opened in 1742 by George William Wilton, a seller of oysters, shrimp and cockles near Haymarket in London, Wiltons continued drawing diners with its delicious food for more than two centuries. This summer, Wiltons celebrates its 280th birthday and its place as one of London’s most beloved fine-dining establishments with a unique dining experience.
PONANT recently announced a new collaboration with Smithsonian Journeys for a series of co-branded sailings for 2023. Led by two Smithsonian Journeys experts, such as an art historian, solar astrophysicist or international relations expert, the 21 itineraries seek to deepen travelers’ immersion and knowledge of different destinations.
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In honor of its 20th anniversary, Four Seasons Hotel Prague celebrates the beauty and eternity of this historic city with a limited-time stay offer. The Eternal Beauty offer includes a stay in one of the Premier River rooms, which boasts unique views of Prague, a limousine transfer and breakfast.