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There’s a reason that hotels charge twice as much - or sometimes even three times more - for a room facing the crashing surf or a soaring mountain peak than, say, a unit overlooking a parking lot or airshaft. Venturing away to some cushy retreat surrounded by visually arresting scenery practically guarantees romance (provided you bring a hot date). Overnight accommodations with stunning views come in many varieties, from antiques-filled B&B rooms overlooking sweeping desert mesas to sleek, skyscraper hotel suites offering magnificent panoramas of city skylines or monumental suspension bridges.
Here are eight gay-friendly hotels and inns around the world whose views promise to dazzle and delight you
Adobe & Stars, Taos, New Mexico
In Arroyo Seco — a small and richly scenic village north of Taos - the luxurious, light-filled Adobe and Stars B&B offers stunning 360-degree vistas of the surrounding countryside. To the east, you can see the 13,161-foot Wheeler Peak, the highest point in New Mexico, which is often capped in snow. Look west, and the high-desert mesa rolls for miles and miles - as far as the eye can see. This contemporary inn is surrounded by decks and patios and filled with big windows, high ceilings, and elegant furniture. Some of the seven guest rooms have fireplaces and Jacuzzis.
Casa Cupula, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Puerto Vallarta is home to one of the most alluring, dramatically situated gay resorts you’ll find anywhere — the stellar Casa Cupula, which excels as much for its stately accommodations as for its incomparable views. The elegant compound consists of 14 rooms and five suites, some with patios that afford unparalleled views of the city and Banderas Bay. Facilities include a well-stocked gym, four pools, and a large open-air lounge with adjacent computer room. The property tumbles down a hillside high above Zona Romantica, a 10- to 15-minute walk from the gay beach and the many bars and restaurants. But once you’ve spent a little time relaxing here, away from the crowds and in full view of Puerto Vallarta’s stunning shoreline, you may find it hard to leave this romantic property.
Grand Hyatt Hotel, Hong Kong
On the east edge of Central Hong Kong, in the Wan Chai district, the Grand Hyatt is distinct for its magnificent setting on the edge of the harbor. There are few tall buildings around it, which means that rooms enjoy knockout views of the water, the bustling Kowloon District, and the city center. This is a star in the gay-popular Hyatt brand, with some of the most lavishly decorated rooms imaginable. Don’t miss the 11th-floor outdoor pool, which is the city’s largest — it adjoins the beautiful Plateau Spa, which is an exceptional choice if you’re seeking a spa treatment while in town.
Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco, California
Sure, plenty of soaring skyscrapers around the world house luxury hotels, but downtown San Francisco’s Mandarin Oriental truly stands out. Every room here is on a high floor, as the hotel occupies the 38th through the 48th floors of the city’s third-tallest building. And the views take in the Bay Area’s gorgeous topography. Depending which direction you face, you might gaze out at the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Headlands, San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island, the hills above Berkeley and Oakland, or some of downtown’s other dramatic towers. In every direction there’s both natural and man-made beauty. Decorated artfully with Asian silks fabrics, bamboo flooring, and tasteful antiquities, the rooms here are spacious and airy. Some units even afford knockout views from their bathtubs.
Mount Lofty House, Adelaide Hills, Australia
A highlight of touring the Adelaide Hills is a stop at Mt. Lofty Summit park, from which you’ll enjoy unsurpassed views of the city of Adelaide and the surrounding region. Nearby is one of area’s best lodging options, Mount Lofty House, a beautiful country lodge that offers similarly magnificent views. The hotel’s Piccadilly Restaurant & Wine Bar has earned considerable kudos for its well-chosen wine list and tasty food. It’s a great place to enjoy a memorable meal, high above the stunning South Australia countryside.
Nelson’s Guesthouse, Cape Town, South Africa
Close to Cape Town’s most exclusive beach communities, Clifton and Camps Bay, this posh, gay-owned guest house sits along the gentle slopes of Signal Hill. From this modern, Mediterranean-inspired, six-room property, you’re afforded fantastic views of the ocean and historic Robben Island in the distance. Look up in the other direction, and you can see the bald, grassy summit of Signal Hill and adjacent Lion’s Head. Each of the nattily decorated rooms has its own private courtyard, a perfect spot to soak up this romantic inn’s lovely ambience.
On The Rocks, Santorini, Greece
Among the many gorgeous Greek islands that dot the Aegean Sea, Mykonos has the strongest following among gay travelers. But it’s Santorini, whose cliffs rise several hundred feet above a volcanic caldera now filled with clear-blue water, that offers the most spectacular views. A number of accommodations here sit along the island’s sheer ledges, with the gay-friendly On The Rocks among the most luxurious, with each of its 20 rooms (with verandas) overlooking the sea. Decor is minimalist and clean — the same white and blue color scheme that dominates the island’s architecture. Also with fantastic views are a decent-size pool and adjoining bar, from which you can sip refreshing Greek wine while watching the sun descend each evening.
View Point Inn, Corbett, Oregon
A popular spot for romantic brunches, lunches, and dinners, this elegantly restored Arts and Crafts restaurant and inn is perched high on a promontory, some 1,100 feet above the Columbia River, with mesmerizing views of the Pacific Northwest’s iconic Columbia Gorge. Relax with a glass of local pinot noir in an Adirondack chair on the View Point’s sweeping back lawn, and you’d never know you’re just 20 miles or so from the bustling city of Portland.
What some visitors don’t realize is that this gay-owned property has a handful of eclectic overnight accommodations, ranging from an ultra-plush and spacious suite with a private bath and sweeping gorge views, to a few inexpensively priced, cozier rooms that have shared bathrooms. The fancier of the bunch, the Roosevelt Suite, is ideal if you’re planning an over-the-top romantic getaway, while the other rooms work nicely for budget-minded travelers who still want to stay somewhere with amazing views and great food in the restaurant, or for groups of friends traveling together.
The Little Black Book
Adobe & Stars, Taos, New Mexico 505-776-2776, taosadobe.com
Casa Cupula, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 322-223-2484 or 866-261-3516. casacupula.com
Grand Hyatt Hotel, Hong Kong 2588-1234, hongkong.hyatt.com
Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco, California 415-276-9888
Mount Lofty House, Adelaide Hills, Australia 08-8339-6777
On The Rocks, Santorini, Greece 30-22860-23889, onrocks.net
Nelson’s Guesthouse, Cape Town, South Africa 27-21-433-2602 nelsons.co.za
View Point Inn, Corbett, Oregon 503-695-5811, theviewpointinn.com
Andrew Collins is the author of Fodor’s Gay Guide to the USA and eight additional travel guides. He can be reached at OutofTown@qsyndicate.com.
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curative has announced that it is currently providing COVID-19 no-cost testing in your area at Metropolitan Community College.
Stay safe and get tested!
You can schedule COVID-19 Test at curative.com, and receive results in 24-48 hours.
Curative is the leading provider of COVID-19 testing in the United States. Curative’s mission is to end the COVID-19 pandemic by providing simple-to-use and painless testing at scale to produce reliable data for patients and health officials. We know that broad access to testing, robust contact tracing, and a vaccine are necessary to end the pandemic.
Is there any cost?
Regarding the tests, there is no out of pocket cost to the individual. Through the CARES act, all individuals with health insurance will be covered for a COVID-19 test. No one is ever charged a copay or deductible.
For uninsured individuals, they are covered under the HRSA fund under the CARES act. Curative will never send a bill to any individual getting a COVID-19 test through any of our testing sites.
How soon do I get the results?
Curative provides results within 24 hours of arrival at our lab (if not sooner). We pride ourselves on our ability to distribute tests rapidly, test patients easily, and send them their results quickly. Other highlights include:
· Non-invasive cheek swab (video) that is more accurate (~90%) than a nasopharyngeal test (~80%)
· Can be self-collected under supervision by lightly-trained individuals (so no onsite medical professional required)
· Results within 24 hours of receipt at our lab
· Lab capacity to process tens of thousands of additional tests
· Manufacturing capacity to meet any order size
· Minimal PPE requirement due to the test’s self-collected method
Please visit curative.com to schedule your no-cost appointment TODAY at a site nearest to you. Together we can end this pandemic!
Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
Curative is building infrastructure to make essential health services easier to access for everyone. Their infrastructure is designed to change as the world does—offering nearby access, affordable services, and science-based guidance.
Their efforts are supported by the optimism and ambition we share with communities across the US, and together we’re imagining new ways to help more people stay safe, healthy, and informed wherever they are.
“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at email@example.com.