AS ONE OF THE MOST SOCIALLY liberal nations in the Western Hemisphere, Uruguay is a natural choice for LGBTQ globetrotters looking for a welcoming experience. The government decriminalized homosexuality way back in 1934 and made even more progress in the 21st century, with laws prohibiting discrimination in effect since 2003 and allowing same-sex marriage since 2013.
“Uruguay is historically a vanguard nation in terms of legislation and social rights,” said Adrián Russo, president, the Cámara de Comercio y Negocios LGBT Uruguay (Uruguay LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Business). In terms of visiting, “The peak season is summer, thanks to the sun and sand, water sports and other entertainment that’s available,” Russo said. “But Uruguay has something to offer for every season. Wine tourism, design, shopping, adventure, wellness and culture are some of the reasons why LGBTQ travelers visit our country.”
The point of entry for most visitors is the capital city, Montevideo. There, Russo recommends the culinary offerings in gaypopular restaurants like Francis, La Cocina de Pedro and 1700. Top sightseeing attractions include the historic Solis Theater and National Auditorium, as well as La Rambla, a verdant avenue that runs between the city and the sea.
For after-dark fun, top choices include Cain Club, a disco that stages a different show every night; Il Tempo, a dance club that attracts a variety of LGBTQ and straight night owls; and Chains, which targets an over-30 gay male clientele.
Gay-friendly accommodations in Montevideo include Casa Roberto and Casa Sarandi, both bed-and-breakfasts set in historic homes. Among the top internationally branded hotels in Montevideo are the Sheraton Montevideo, Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco and Spa and Hyatt Centric Montevideo.
Another must-see destination — especially in the warmer months — is Punta del Este, an international hot spot for sun worshipers. Playa Chihuahua, a nudist beach, is among the popular gathering places for LGBTQ travelers. Find gay-specific accommodations at Undarius, a men-only hotel, while mainstream luxury hotels include the chic Hotel Fasano Punta del Este and spacious Conrad Punta del Este Resort & Casino.
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.
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.
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.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.
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.
IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.
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