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.
ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: Climbing along the coast, I was trying to snap pictures of the cool-blue Puerto Vallarta waters outside my car window (I know, it never works) when we started winding along stone walls draped in jungle-like foliage. Annoyed my view was blocked, I looked around to see where we were just as we were parking at Hotel Mousai — I audibly gasped. The all-glass, chic and incredibly grand entrance was so well-secluded, it somehow snuck up on me.
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Emirates added Seychelles (SEZ) to its list of recent flight resumptions, including Stockholm (ARN) and beefing up services to the Maldives (MLE). Emirates resumed Seychelles services Aug. 1, alongside the country’s re-opening to international tourists.
ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: Arriving in Singapore is an easy affair as there are plenty of taxis for the 15-minute ride from Changi Airport, with little traffic. Coming into the circular drive of the famed Raffles hotel, you take in the view of this historic 1887 property. The equally famed doormen, dressed in traditional Sikh livery, greet guests and help with any requests.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
The United Arab Emirates announced all inbound travelers are required to carry proof of a negative COVID-19 test to show upon arrival. This requirement will be upheld by all the country’s airports and applies to residents and tourists alike.
Take Five at Saint Lucia’s famed Jade Mountain. The resort’s deal allows guests booking the signature Sky, Star or Moon sanctuary to receive their fifth night free, an offer valued at a savings of more than $1,200. The offer is valid for travel through Dec. 19. Learn more and book.
Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
Looking for a romantic getaway? At Couples Resorts in Jamaica, travelers can earn up to $500 in instant cash credits when booking a stay of five nights or more with the Couples Comeback offer. The offer is valid at all properties for bookings through Sept. 30. Travel by Aug. 31 for $500 in cash credits and Sept. 1–Dec. 24 for $400 in cash credits. Guests who provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result will receive a $100 resort credit. Book online.