Welcome to Insider Out Travel, a blog about LGBT travel written by LGBT tourism professionals. Travel the globe and gain insight into the tourism industry (with a gay twist), brought to you by the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

HomoSphere and New Caledonia Tourism Rolled out Gay Welcome Mat for FAM

When in Rome...When in the Paris of the South Pacific, you feel like you're in Gay Paree!

The first-ever gay media and travel agent's educational trip to New Caledonia saw 8 lucky men and women descend on the French Territory for 72 hours.

Air Calin and New Caledonia Tourism, both IGLTA members, hosted the FAM, which included 2 agents and 6 publications from Australia – which is less than 3 hours east of Sydney.

The guests toured Noumea, the French and English speaking capital, including the Melanesian Culutral Centre, a noted architectural wonder in the South Pacific. There was a day trip to the romantic hideaway Isle of Pines, and the evening was topped off at Mv Lounge which has a sign that welcomed the Ausdtralian delegation and Homo-sphere, which hosted a cocktail party for the group at its new community centre.

If Captain Cook could find it, and American soliders during the war, you can find it on your bucket list too.  The IGLTA Fam Trip to Australia's Gold Coast in March 2011 will have a post-option for 3 days in Noumea - just a 2 hours flight from Brisbane.

The only hiccup in the fine-tuned itinerary was a 1.5 hr delay in return flight from Isle of Pines to
Noumea. After a hard day of snorkeling, site inspections, and devouring a large lobster for lunch, Sean and Dee re-defined the meaning of a “layover” on the tiny terminal's lawn
Yes, there's a bit of gay paree in the south pacific, waiting to be discovered by international lesbian and gay travellers. Curious? Check out RainbowTourism's New Caledonia features, penned by IGLTA co-founder, Dee Farrell.   

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Buenos Aires Tradition---INSIDE Resto Bar

By Roy Heale

The famous Follies Bergère cabaret of Paris led the way in risqué entertainment in the late nineteenth century. In England “The Full Monty” became a household expression in the 1990s. But today in Buenos Aires one of the renowned main attractions for tourists and locals alike is the dinner and dance at INSIDE RestoBar. This is where, during dinner, the dance is not Tango but rather it refers to some hot, Latin male performers who slowly peel off all their attire with audience participation as the main course.

Visitors to INSIDE RestoBar whether tourists or portenos---as the locals are affectionately known--- all seem to agree on one fact: it's the overall ambiance that makes it a fun place for a unique night out in Buenos Aires. Commencing with the warm and friendly greeting at the door, to the attentive service, the intimate pepper “ritual”, the hands-on entertainment, and good food at modest prices, this has developed into a singular Buenos Aires night-life tradition. For just over seven years INSIDE RestoBar has entertained many satisfied guests from Argentina and around the globe. Known simply as INSIDE to the portenos, just one visit and almost everybody is in agreement upon the uniqueness of the INSIDE experience.

In a city filled with unique attractions this is no small undertaking to achieve such recognition. Just over seven years ago Diego and Matias were working together at Tacla Restaurant, where they had initiated the concept of dining with dancers, when they decided after five years it was time to move on. At first they had both planned to follow other career paths outside of the restaurant industry, but later they decided to open their own restaurant and bar. An extensive real estate search resulted in the current location for INSIDE and the rest, as they say, is now history. During this time they perfected the INSIDE ambiance and friendly tone with amazing staff and cozy décor. After six years Matias decided to move on and spend more time with his family, while Diego has continued on as the sole proprietor to maintain the INSIDE tradition.

Upon arriving at the magnificent, tall carved wooden entrance doors the pleasures awaiting inside are not apparent at first glance. But one step through this narrow entrance and the soft lighting, with a low-key red and black interior, immediately exudes an aura of warmth and intimacy. The lower level includes a friendly small bar and about twenty tables, while the upper mezzanine level is a smoking section---including special air conditioning--- with another dozen or so tables and chairs. The two rooms are surrounded by flat screen televisions for entertainment and closed-circuit video. Altogether the maximum capacity is less than one hundred patrons ensuring a comfortable closeness for all to enjoy.

Diego is a hands-on owner who spends much of his time waiting on tables and greeting customers. His own very warm, Latin personality exudes friendliness and generous hospitality which has become infectious to the other staff members who all follow his lead and have learned from the “master” how to keep their customers happy. “It is always difficult to find good staff for any restaurant. But once you find them and train them, then you have to make sure that they enjoy their work. This way they will stay with you for a long time and get to know the regular customers. Both patrons and employees must enjoy seeing a regular face when they are at INSIDE,” says Diego when asked how he is able to find such wonderful employees and keep them for such a long time in an industry notorious for employee mobility. Diego's successful formula is apparent right from the very first time you visit INSIDE.

An extensive menu with French and Italian influence offers a wide variety of appetizers, a selection of meats, fish, and pasta entrées plus tantalizing desserts. Amazingly all of this is offered at regular competitive prices without the normal surcharge which one would expect at venues where entertainment is included.

And then there's the dancers... To use an old phrase, this has to be the icing on the cake! Normally any male dancers would be performing up on a stage and out of reach from the audience. But here at INSIDE this is a truly hands-on experience as the hot, sexy, Latin men roam around the room flaunting their perfect bodies and table hopping with their intricate dance routines and high-energy movements choreographed seductively with audience participation. This brings new meaning to the old phrase “strip tease” with a truly unique INSIDE recipe. The entertaining result is indeed a truly singular INSIDE brand which has gained worldwide recognition.
See the Full Story at : http://www.royheale.blogspot.com/
For More Information Visit: http://www.restaurantinside.com.ar/

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Love

By Ed Salvato

With its motto "The City of Brotherly Love," Philadelphia seems tailor-made for gay travel. Bursting with history, charming architecture, a sizzling food scene, and red-hot nightlife, Philly offers loads to see and do for LGBT visitors. Plan a visit to Philadelphia only, or pair it with other east coast faves like New York or Washington, D.C.

The city just celebrated the 40th anniversary of its vibrant "Gayborhood." Consider making your temporary home at the 24-room Indepedent Hotel Philadelphia, a located in a lovingly restored Greek Revival building (on the National Register of Historic Places) in the pink heart of this centrally located and eminently walkable area. This friendly, cozy boutique hotel offers oodles of charm and luxurious touches (think feather-soft pillow-top mattresses, hardwood floors, and French windows). Some rooms have fireplaces.

Now, it's time to toast this milestone in one of Philly's hot bars or clubs. You only turn 40 once. (Well, most people!) For a casual start to your evening hit Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar in the northern section of the Gayborhood, where you'll find a super-friendly, relaxed atmosphere, locally brewed beers and decent bar food. If sports aren't your thing, head upstairs to the casual lounge, where there's often a themed event.

You're almost guaranteed to meet gay and lesbian softball players at the recently remodeled Westbury, which practices Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection with a friendly welcome: great, inexpensive food and drinks and the sponsorship of softball teams of all stripes.

Woody's Bar and Nightlife Complex is a reliably fun option for gay men or women for a drink or for a night of debauched fun (and everything in between). If you can't quite get enough nightlife at the bars, see and be seen at Voyeur Nightclub, located within stumbling distance of Woody's. This multi-level sophisticated hotspot never fails to deliver on great music and attractive guys.

Ladies, Philly's got you covered, too. Sisters Nightclub, located near Woody's, is one of the biggest and most energetic venues for lesbians (and their gay pals) in the Northeast. For more nightlife and wide range of other gay trip-planning information, check, out VisitPhilly.com/gay.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tango, Wine, and Gay Tour of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Historic Abasto Shop

By Roy Heale

While Argentina's LGBT community is basking in the glow of the recent victory for same-sex marriage and adoption legislation there is a bustle of new activity in the gay tourism industry. International tourism to Argentina rose thirty percent in the month of June 2010 and it is probably safe to assume that many of these tourists were LGBT travelers. In anticipation of increased gay vacationers the local LGBT travel agency---and fellow IGLTA member---tour operator Duques del Plata have added the new Tango, Wine, and Gay Tour as one of their regular Saturday excursions.

This LGBT trip includes a Thematic Tour through Tango neighborhoods, A Tango lesson---either for participation or spectator enjoyment---plus a Wine Tasting of local Argentine wines including the renowned Malbecs. There is also an option to enjoy the El Querandi's dinner and Tango Show after the tour completes in their impressive wine cellar.

The historical journey by private tour bus travels through Recoleta, Abasto, Corrientes Avenue, the Theatre District, Plaza de Mayo and San Telmo. In English and Spanish a tour guide recants the Tango story and historical ties to each community, plus other tour attractions and highlights.

                     Wine Tasting at the Historic El Querandi Building

Ending at the famous El Querandi's Academy of Tango the event includes a private instructional dance session and informative wine tasting in this historic San Telmo edifice.

If all of this is not enough to really experience Tango then an evening of dinner and show is also available at El Querandi for a nominal extra charge.

The tour is for two to thirty people and includes a hotel pick-up and drop-off starting at about 4PM on Saturday afternoons and concludes around 8:30PM after the wine tasting. Reasonably priced at US$125 for the tour and US$175 with the dinner and show option this will be a memorable evening of Tango and local Buenos Aires culture.

For More Information Visit: www.duquesdelplata.com
For More Travel Stories By Roy Heale Visit: http://www.royheale.blogspot.com/