We’re back with more great travel advice. Episode 1 is all about our Ten Favourite Hotels around the world, and Uwern Jong – Editor-in-Chief of OutThere – joins us to share his thoughts. As the world’s leading luxury and experiential travel journal for gay men, OutThere’s mission is to hunt down the best hotel and resort experiences. This season we’re also pleased to welcome GayCities aboard as the Official Sponsor of The Gay Travel Podcast.
Today’s Podcast Takeaways
Listed below are the hotels we discuss, along with a summary of what makes them so special. This list is not a countdown – every property is impressive in its own way, so we say bookmark this page for when you’re ready to ‘treat yo’ self.’
10. Hotel Diplomat, Stockholm, Sweden
Old-world charm meets modern Swedish splendour at this Scandinavian, gay-owned grand dame. If picking up your Nobel prize, you’d probably stay here. NBD.
9. The Peninsula, Bangkok, Thailand
This Siamese outpost of the renowned luxury stalwart is where Uwern met his partner. The hotel is known for its opulent suites, and you can even arrive by helicopter.
8. Madu Luxury Desert Camp, Morocco
This is one of our favourite experiences on all the tours we offer. Modelled after a traditional Berber camp, we journey through the sand dunes and arrive at sunset. By camel!
7. Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This may not be the most polished hotel in Rio, but it’s an institution with unmatched service. They also host the exquisite Bal de Copa during Carnivale.
6. Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Canada
We can’t overlook this hotel in our country’s most popular national park. It began as a railway hotel for Canadian Pacific and looks like a fairy tale castle set amidst the mountains.
5. Hotel Antumalal, Pucon, Chile
Built-in the 1950s, this hotel offers beautifully preserved Bauhaus architecture. With only twenty rooms – and no room numbers – it would be an understatement to call this place intimate.
4. The Siam Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
Owned by the ‘Barbra Streisand of Thailand’ (we’re already sold), this hotel was designed by Bill Bensley. With his husband, they’ve created some of the top design hotels in Asia and have even begun to develop their own properties.
3. Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion, The Amazon, Peru
After a motorized canoe ride up the Amazon River sets the tone, you’ll arrive at this special place. The rooms are open-air, and the property offers special experiences like otter spotting (not the gay kind).
2. Icehotel, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
More than a hotel, this is an art piece that’s rebuilt every winter. Everything from the hotel itself to the bar is made of ice, and you’ll sleep on Carpe Diem beds covered in reindeer hides. It’s the perfect place to canoodle with somebody special.
1. MannaBay, Cape Town, South Africa
On the podcast we talk about MannaBay which has since been converted into a private residence (fancy!). It’s owners opened an equally-fabulous spot just down the road called Camissa House. With only 8 rooms, this property feels more like a private home and sits on the edge of Table Mountain. It offers a kitschy ambience and a swish Champagne High Tea that you don’t want to miss.
BONUS: Hotel Escencia, Riviera Maya, México
The Riviera Maya was once famous for spring break partying, but this hotel has reinvented itself for pure escapism. Also, it was once owned by an Italian contessa.
Season 3 of The Gay Travel Podcast is brought to you by GayCities: Know where to go, stay, and eat in over 240 destinations worldwide.