Carlos Melia – Postcards of San Miguel de Allende

Author: , September 18th, 2015

San Miguel de Allende - Carlos Melia

Here a few reasons why, you should visit UNESCO World Heritage San Miguel de Allende. An image speaks for a million words, and here over a dozen postcards photographed by me. Check also my posts on Where to Stay and Where to Eat when in San Miguel de Allende.

By Carlos melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog | Guanajuato Gay Travel Resources

San Miguel de Allende - Carlos Melia

San Miguel de Allende - Carlos Melia

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Ochenta y Dos, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

Author: , August 29th, 2015

Ochenta y Dos

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Ochenta y Dos is an urban B&B in the heart of the beautiful historic colonial city of Merida. Our Merida Bed and Breakfast is gay owned and operated, and the owners live on the premises. Our brand-new building has been built with close attention to historic design and preservation, along with smart home technology which makes it a truly unique boutique property in historic Merida.

See the Ochenta y Dos Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Merida

That Gay Backpacker – Instagramming Oaxaca

Author: , April 13th, 2015

Oaxaca - Jaime Davila

Since returning to Oaxaca on New Year’s Eve, my love for this city has been completely cemented. It feels almost as much of a home to me as my own birth place, London, and although I am heading back to Europe in the summer, I have absolutely no doubt that I’ll be living here again at some point in the not too distant future.

You may have noticed that I haven’t been quite so active on the blog across the last six months, but I have been posting regularly to my Instagram account. If you don’t follow me on Instagram, why not? But also, not to worry because I’m going to share my best photos from Oaxaca from the last three months with you right here and now.

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at That Gay Backpacker | Oaxaca Gay Travel Resources

Featured Gay Accommodations: Villa David, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

Author: , April 12th, 2015

Villa David

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Villa David Bed & Breakfast is centrally located in Old Town PV, an authentic Mexican neighborhood within easy walking distance of all the finest attractions of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The old world hacienda style mansion is built around a central courtyard in the area called “gringo gulch”. The house is on the hillside overlooking the beautiful Bay of Banderas and built in the open-air style to catch every mountain and bay breeze.

See the Villa David Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Jalisco

Puerto Vallarta Mexico for foodies!

Author: , March 29th, 2015

DSC03124 Yogen Fruz

Looking to experience a fantastic gay friendly culinary destination? Check out Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The very successful, multi-million dollar “Live It To Believe It” campaign launched by Mexico’s tourism department (SECTUR) for 2014 has an exciting, second phase for 2015. Unveiled November 2014 in London at the World Travel Market, the new promotion showcases Puerto Vallarta as an exciting, modern, and sophisticated gay friendly culinary destination.

Puerto Vallarta is on top. Six of the ten, 2014 Trip Advisor’s “Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Mexico” are located in Puerto Vallarta and all are gay-friendly: Cafe Des Artistes, Vista Grill, Ocean Grill, Bistro Teresa, Trio, and Le Kliff. Great dining is very important to the LGBT market. Like the world famous gay nightlife in Puerto Vallarta, this destination boasts hundreds of some of the best chef- inspired restaurants and culinary events in Mexico.  Barcelona Tapas, Vitae, Daiquiri Dicks, Si Senor, The Swedes, Taste and Archie’s Wok.  The list is endless. Many of these fabulous restaurants are gay-owned and operated but all are super gay friendly. Here is the list of the great restaurants in Puerto Vallarta.

Book your trip for Vallarta Gay Pride in May 2015 and take advantage of Restaurant Week 2015. It is an annual food event held the last two weeks of May. Take advantage of over 50 of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta some discounted 50% from the regular menu. Discover for yourself how beyond gay friendly Puerto Vallarta can be.

 

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Lesbian Travel: My Cancun Love Affair

Author: , March 27th, 2015

Cancun, Quintana Roo - Apple MapsIt started as an innocent press junket to Cancun for the weekend. Five days, two hotels and a beach that stretched out like the tail of a runaway kite. I kicked off my shoes (and stress and responsibilities), anticipating a fun weekend of getting up close and personal with Cancun.

Then it happened – I fell in love. It wasn’t the kind of pulse-racing cliff-dive into love of my teenage years, but rather a slow and steady overtaking. Like a solar eclipse on a sunny day, Cancun stretched itself across me and I, well, I submitted.

I’m eager to share my vacation love affair with you and I can’t think of a better way to do it than through the words of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who would be a GoGirlfriend if she were around today…

How do I love thee, Cancun? Let me count the ways.

By Julia Rosien – Full Story at Go Girlfriend | Quintana Roo Gay Travel Resources

Eating Out: Mexico City

Author: , March 24th, 2015

Carlos Melia - Mexico City

You know me most for lavish gourmet experiences, which I did plenty at Dulce Patria, Rosetta, Quintonil and Anatol, but I do greatly enjoy eating like a local, away from the award-winning restaurants and chefs. During my recent visit to Mexico City, I went out of the beaten path and enjoyer more than one option…

Carlos Melia - Mexico CityLa Casa de las Enchiladas. Located on a corner just across the street from the Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City in the district of Reforma. This was my first stop on my first day arriving to Mexico City. I was craving for a great enchilada, and indeed I found it, while killing some time before my meeting at Four Seasons Hotel.

Mercados sobre Ruedas. aka Market on Wheels in Polanco. This organic open market and bazaar, usually takes place on Saturday mornings, and you will see lots of locals flocking to the stalls on the streets, to enjoy a true Mexican breakfast. At Mercado sore Ruedas, everyone seems to walk the gourmet red-carpet.

Pasaje Polanco. A few block away from Mercado sobre Ruedas and steps away from my hotel Las Alcobas, I found this charming quiet street called ” Pasaje Polanco”. It is like a mirage in the city, with some small cafes and stores. If you want to step away from the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind over a cup of coffee, do as I do and take an hour of your schedule, to seat down and read your Mexico City Guide, to plan the rest of your trip.

One of the gourmet highlights without a doubt, was El Califa Taqueria. A local chain of Mexican food, featuring the most amazing Tacos, Chicharron de Queso, Nopales, Pastor and more… Restaurant I saved for my last night, the perfect way to close my visit to Mexico City. After dinner I took a long walk back to my hotel, to digest the many local delights I sampled going local in the city.

By Carlos melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog | Mexico City Gay Travel Resources

Exploring Mexico City’s Historic Centro

Author: , March 7th, 2015

Carlos Melia - Mexico City

My first day in Mexico City began very early. I was very excited to explore the Historic District. So by 6AM I was up and getting ready for a full day out. First my beauty mask, while doing some research on where to go and what to see. Right after, down the iconic spiral stairs for Las Alcobas boutique hotel, to enjoy a local breakfast “Green Chicken Chilaquiles” at Anatol Restaurant.

Interesting facts to share. Did you know that Mexico City holds approximately 25 million people and it is considered to be, the city with most museum in the whole entire world ? The purpose of this post, is to give you and ABC 101 list of the places to visit during your visit to the Historic Center of Mexico City, without getting into much detail on each of them.

Carlos Melia - Mexico CityBy the time I took the last bite of my favorite Mexican breakfast, my day was fully curated and I was ready to head off. I had a long day ahead, since I LOVE to walk and I decided to do so all day. First stop from my location in Polanco, was the Bosques de Chapultepec and a long walk along Paseo de la Reforma.

Paseo de la Reforma is the main artery of the city and this is where you will find the Angel of the Independence, built in 1910 to commemorate the centennial of the beginning of Mexico’s War of Independence, and The Huntress Diana Fountain.

From there, and 30 minutes after walking along Paseo de la Reforma, I arrived to Square Central Alameda and my first stop within the Historic District circuit, the Museo Mural Diego Rivera. Here you will be able to enjoy one of Diego Rivera’s creations ” Sueno de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central “.

Carlos Melia - Mexico CityFrom there I took a short stroll along Alameda Central, to the opposite far side, to the stunning Palacio de Bellas Artes. The floors between the ground floor and the uppermost floor are dominated by a number of murals painted by most of the famous names of Mexican muralism.

Just across the street from Palacio de Bellas Artes, you will find ( one of my absolute favorite ) the Palacio Postal or Post Office. It is both marvelous from inside out. Its architectural style is highly eclectic, and the main stairs and ceilings is something you must see.

Next, I was instructed to walk along Av. Francisco L. Madero from the Avenue off Palacio de Correos, all the way to the main square, known as Zocalo. On the way, you will pass on your left, by Casa de Azulejos, (aka. the House of the Tiles ) where I strongly recommend you enter the Sanborns shop and make a brief technical break to enjoy a coffee at their internal patio/cafe. (and this is something you must keep in mind in Mexico City, most houses feature internal patios, which usually are beautiful. So always be attentive and aware to explore them ).

At the very end of Av. Francisco L. Madero, you will finally arrive to the heart of the Historic District, Plaza de la Constitucion, the main square, commonly known as Zocalo. It was the main ceremonial center in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan and from the colonial period on, the main plaza or square in the heart of the historic center of Mexico City. There you will find the main cathedral ” Catedral Metropolitana de la Ciudad de Mexico “, the Palacio Nacional and the Gran Hotel de Ciudad de Mexico.

Take some time to explore the Palacio Nacional. It is not opened all the time, but you should try. The interiors are wonderful, and the murals on the second floor must be seen. National Palace, is the seat of the federal executive in Mexico. Much of the current palace remains original, from the one that belonged to Moctezuma II.

Next stop, and just across the street from the exit to the National Palace, is the Antiguo Palacio del Arzobispado and Museo de Arte de la SHCP. During the Mexica Empire, this was the venue of the temple dedicated to one of their deities: Tezcatlipoca, protector of the warriors, lord of the underworld.

Carlos Melia - Mexico CityNext stop was the Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico. The original Tiffany stained-glass ceiling is quite spectacular and something you have to see before you leave the area of Zocalo. It is quite impressive. Discover the Old World elegance of the Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, an exquisite turn-of-the-century property perfectly located in downtown Mexico City. You can feel the history from the moment you step inside. From the Art Nouveau decor to the gilded open elevators and immaculate stained-glass ceiling in the lobby, every inch of the Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico pays tribute to the past while providing the comfort you expect from a fine luxury hotel.

My itinerary for the day, was coming to an end, and being almost 2PM, I was ready to enjoy a nice lunch. So going back to the recommendations of the Les Clefs d’Or Concierge and my hotel Las Alcobas, I began to have a look at all the options available. In the area…. and I must admit that I tried them all… ha ha ha …

First stop was DOWNTOWN. There on the basement you will find several options for lunch. But on the first floor, you will find the charming DOWNTOWN Hotel by Grupo Habita. They have a lovely bar with tapas, where you can enjoy a drink while you gaze at their main mural and seat at the outdoor patio. This was indeed my first drink of the afternoon. There I met Gustavo, the general manager, who introduced me to the property, and also shared with me their most precious secret, the rooftop bar and pool, see below.

Just across the street, Isabel la Catolica, from DOWNTOWN, you will find the Casino Espanol. If you like Spanish food, then you must try their restaurant on the second floor, opened for breakfast and lunch. Not to mention, as you may see on my photos, that the building, in a fabulous Porfiriato-era architecture and decor, is worth the visit.

Going back to the Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, on their rooftop, they have an open buffet style restaurant, with panoramic views of Zocalo. Perhaps the best views of Zocalo you will find. Now the restaurant itself and the buffet is pretty basic ( ranging from MEX$ 190 onwards per person ).

After trying a few of my gourmet options, I decided to head back to my hotel in Polanco, and walking sounded like the best plan. So taking the advice from some local friends, I walked along Calle Regina, a charming street in the Historic District, designated as a “cultural corridor” in 2007. Being such a lovely afternoon, I decided, I would love to spend a few hours chilling at a rooftop, having a chilled Michelada Beer and lounging for the rest of the afternoon. So at the very end of Calle Regina, I jumped on a taxi and headed to trendy and bohemian Colonia Condesa, to enjoy my last gourmet stop of the afternoon, and the CondesaDF hotel by Grupo Habita. This hotel features a lovely Sushi Bar at their rooftop, with relaxing views to Plaza Espana and Plaza Mexico.

Two hours later, and a few Micheladas, I check my emails, and I see a note for the General Manager at Las Alcobas hotel, inviting me to test their spa, with an invitation to a 90 minutes massage and full body almond scrub an Avocado wrap. HA…. this was sent to me from heaven, after a full day walking. So I gather my staff and off I went back to Las Alcobas boutique hotel, to enjoy my Spa treatments, and get ready for dinner, at one of the top restaurants in Polanco, the Dulce Patria. But this is for my next post. Stay Tuned. Hope you enjoyed my day exploring the Historic District of Mexico City.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog | Mexico City Gay Travel Resources

The Pyramids of Teotihuacan

Author: , February 27th, 2015

Carlos Melia at TeotihuacanDuring my recent visit to Mexico City, one of the hightlights. Located approximately 40 minutes drive away from Mexico City. Doors to this UNESCO World Heritage site and landmark. Teotihuacan, is commonly known as the City of Gods, but as my local Nahuatl-speaking guide explained to me, the original inhabitants, later followed by the Aztecs, did not believe in Gods, but in Energy. So the correct translation should read at ” City of Energy “.

Established around 100 BC, Teotihuacan was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas, with a population estimated of 200,000, located in a sub valley of the Valley of Mexico, located in the State of Mexico.

Teotihuacan, other than being considered the main archeological site of Mexico, it is considered to have the second largest pyramid in the world – Pyramid of the Sun, right after the Great Pyramid of Cholula in Puebla and followed by Giza in Egypt. I climbed it myself and it took my at least 1o minutes to get to the top.

Following the universal law of “3” in the layout of the city, you will find three, so called pyramids, which indeed are three temples, Pyramid of the Sun (my favorite and the reason why I wanted to visit), Pyramid of the Moon and Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent, with incredible images of Quetzalcoatl. All interconnected by the Avenue of the Dead, and a circuit to allow the flow of energy.

The way they are placed, represent the human body, where the Moon is the head, the Sun the heart and the Feathered Serpent the feet. As my guide said, Think with a cold head, live with a warm heart and move like a serpent flying away. You will also be able to visit the Citadel and the area of the residences.

Again the so called Avenue of the Dead, is a name given by the colonizers , which originally was translated from the Nahuatl as ” Avenue of the Stars “. The reason of this name was because during the rainy season, this avenue would flood with water and serve as a mirror for the original inhabitants to observe the cosmos. Much of what we see and what we were told for many years, obviously do not match.

And I like to mention this line my guide shared with me…. after looking at several representations by the original inhabitants, depicting the earth as rounded. He said “… the colonizers used to call the inhabitants as savages and ignorants, that needed to be civilized… well how is that they knew many decades before them that the earth was rounded, while those colonizers arriving on their ships, were still afraid of the fact that the earth was squared…. ” ha ha ha …. no need to further comments right?

Ok but enough of history, you can find out more on your own. The best way to visit Teotihuacan, is to take a taxi ( MEX$ 1300 ) or private car with a guide (MEX$ 2700). If you take a taxi like I did, then once there you will have to hire a local guide (MEX$ 300), which I preferred over a private one, since once there you are mostly to have a local Nahuatl-guide, who will share with you all the local myths and secrets.

I would recommend arriving around 8.30 AM to avoid the masses (for that you will have to leave Mexico City around 7.50AM ). Allow at least 3 hours to visit all pyramids. By 12.30PM you will be back in town, ready, as it was my case, for Brunch at the Four Seasons Mexico City, with lots of interesting stories to share. Another option is to do the Hot Air Balloon experience over the site.

We aware that Sundays, is a major day for local Mexicans, since most sites, museums and attractions are free of charge. If you need more information or would like to book this experience, do not hesitate to contact me. This journey was made possible thanks to the support of the following companies: Las Alcobas Boutique Hotel + St Regis Mexico City + United Airlines and First in Service Travel. I will be posting much more on the next few days on my five days visit to Mexico City.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia blog | Mexico City Gay Travel Resources

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Genesis Eco-Oasis Retreat, Temozon, Yucatan, Mexico

Author: , February 13th, 2015

Genesis Eco-Oasis

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Gay Friendly Retreat in Temozon, Yucatan, Mexico – Lush gardens, numerous ponds and a cenote-fed swimming pool for those who would like authentic cultural experience.

See the Genesis Eco-Oasis Retreat Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Yucatan