Purple Roofs Welcomes Our First Guest Blogger… Carlos Melia

Author: , September 29th, 2011

Purple Roofs is happy to welcome the first of what we hope will become a number of guest bloggers. Carlos Melia is a gay traveler with his own gay travel blog here, and he has graciously agreed to post some of his travel columns on Purple Roofs.

We’re thrilled to have him – you may have seen his first two postings this morning.

Welcome, Carlos!

–Scott & Mark, Purple Roofs

MannaBay Fine Boutique Hotel Cape Town

Author: , September 29th, 2011

MannaBay Fine Boutique Hotel Cape Town
 |  Cape Town, South Africa  |  My last three fabulous days I spent in Cape Town where at this small charming and lovely fine boutique hotel by the name of MannaBay. At the foot of the Table Mountain is Cape Town’s latest and most elegant boutique guesthouse, right in the heart of the city, MannaBay has just seven uniquely designed suites that set the bar for contemporary luxury. If you are looking for luxury, personalized professional service, attention to detail and great breakfast or high tea, do not look anymore. > Check the Full Post and more at www.carlosmeliablog.com

(*) Follow me around the world on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Mandarin Oriental

Author: , September 29th, 2011

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Mandarin Oriental
 |  London, England  |  Tonight invited by my fabulous host Sarah C. – Director of Communications at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London, to experience Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. For those not familiar with Heston Blumenthal, an English chef and owner of world renown The Fat Duck, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Bray, Berkshire voted Best Restaurant in the UK by The Good Food Guide 2007 and 2009, and voted best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine in 2005. Dinner is along with Bar Boloud the signature restaurant of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London. Read the full post @ www.carlosmeliablog.com

(*) Follow me around the world on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Stonecreek Cabins, Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Author: , September 26th, 2011

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

Gay Friendly Tennessee Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Stonecreek Cabins, Gatlinburg, TennesseeWelcome to Stonecreek Cabins in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. We are privately owned and an all welcoming cabin rental located in a prime location between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

We have two of the most romantic, private and secluded cabins located in a gated 23 acre Smoky Mountain Paradise. The cabis are perfect for your Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge vacation, romantic honeymoon or just that much needed stress relieving getaway. Each cabin is carefully cleaned and personally prepared for your arrival and is stocked with supplies and goodies to make you feel welcomed and appreciated.

Freshly cut flowers will welcome you to your cabin. Godiva or other fine chocolates are placed on your pillow and other personal touches will make you feel pampered and appreciated.

These private, secluded cabins are the perfect retreat for those looking for a romantic, peaceful and quiet getaway and yet the cabins are located just minutes from downtown Gatlinburg(6 miles),the Arts and Crafts Community(2.5 miles), Pigeon Forge(6 miles),Dollywood(5 miles), the main entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park(9 miles) and loads of area attractions. Fishing,hiking,horseback riding , golf and outlet shopping are just some of the popular pastimes our guests enjoy.

See the Stonecreek Cabins Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Visiting Gay Michigan

Author: , September 26th, 2011

Michigan Gay TravelAs the cooler weather of early autumn settles in, southern Michigan becomes a particularly enchanting spot for a vacation. Here’s a look at three very different communities in this part of the state: artsy and coastal Saugatuck, collegiate and progressive Ann Arbor, and scrappy and culturally rich Detroit. Each makes an appealing weekend destination, or you could easily visit all three of these places as part of an extended road trip through the region.

Here’s the skinny on what these three Michigan destinations have to offer, from friendly gay bars and stylish restaurants to some of the Midwest’s most acclaimed cultural attractions.

The charming town of Saugatuck (www.saugatuck.com), in combination with the neighboring village of Douglas, offers a bounty of urbane restaurants, handsome B&Bs, funky boutiques, and high-quality art galleries, as well as some of the most picturesque beach frontage on Lake Michigan.

Full Story from SFGN

Click here for gay travel resources in Michigan.

VA: Hundreds Attend Richmond Gay Pride

Author: , September 26th, 2011

Richmond Gay PrideMembers of Virginia’s LGBT community know that the state’s motto, “Virginia is for Lovers,” does not apply to them. Virginia does not recognize sexual orientation or gender identity as a protected class, and it formally bans any recognition of same-sex unions — including those that are legal in other states.

Despite the state’s anti-gay efforts — or, in some cases because of it — hundreds of gays as well as their family members and allies attended Saturday’s state PrideFest 2011.

The festival was held in Kanawha Plaza, a downtown Richmond park, just a short walk from the state Capitol building.

Full Story from the Examiner

Click here for gay travel resources in Virginia.

In the Castro: Now, Voyager’s Jonathan Klein

Author: , September 26th, 2011

In 1984, Jonathan Klein opened Now, Voyager, a Castro district travel agency, with his business partner Peter Greene. Unlike most travel agencies, it’s survived – largely because it found a core market in the gay community. Klein, 59, grew up in Massachusetts and Bethesda, Md., and moved to San Francisco in the mid-’70s. He shares an 1889 Castro district flat with two roommates.

There were many moments over the last 15 years that I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to keep the business going. I was so reluctant to close down because I had no idea what I would do other than this.

But now, having managed to survive, we’re one of the few travel agencies left, and business has done nothing but improve the last couple of years. We’re not booming – the economy is affecting us just the way it is everybody – but we are not declining anymore.

Full Story from SFGate

Click here for gay travel resources in the Castro.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Carolina B&B, Asheville

Author: , September 25th, 2011

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

Gay Friendly Asheville Area Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Carolina B&B, AshevilleThe Carolina Bed & Breakfast is located on a quiet street tree-lined street in the historic Montford district of Asheville. Whether you choose a pleasant stroll to town to visit one of the many award winning restaurants or shops, visit the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, or spend a day at the Biltmore Estate, you will find yourself happy to return to this cozy, historic house.

In the winter a cheery fire will greet you in the sitting room, in the summer a cool drink and refreshments will await you on either of the two porches where you may sit and enjoy a gentle evening breeze and the birdsong in the gardens around you.

This lovely house was built in 1901 by Richard Sharp Smith, supervising architect of the Biltmore. The spacious Arts & Craft style rooms showcase the unique art and antiques which the owners have collected in their voyages around the world. Your visit will be enhanced by the small touches which make all the difference: a special dessert treat in your room, nibbles by the fireplace in the evening, and personalized service to help make your stay special.

Unlike the Victorian homes of the same era, Arts and Craft Style Houses put more of an emphasis on natural wood, clean lines and simplicity. The Carolina Bed & Breakfast echoes this in its bedrooms. Each room is uniquely decorated with a color scheme and style of its own.

See the Carolina B&B Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

NC: Marriage Equality Ban Overshadows Triangle Pride

Author: , September 25th, 2011

Triangle Gay PrideFirst came the Harley riders, then the hula-hoop dancer, then the bagpipes and bubbles and kazoos, topped off by Randy Jones, the original cowboy from the Village People, riding on the hood of a Jeep.

On the surface, the 27th N.C. Pride Parade offered a mishmash of frivolity and gaudiness, best illustrated by the man dressed as Jesus on roller-skates, draped with a rainbow flag.

But an urgent tone ran through this festival for the Triangle’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens Saturday: Defeat the same-sax marriage amendment.

Full Story from the News Observer

Click here for gay travel resources in the North Carolina Heartland.

Searching for Greece’s Gay Past

Author: , September 25th, 2011

Gay GreeceThe nerdy gay traveler in me had long longed for Greece. My nerdy self yearned to stand on the ancient hill of the incomparable Acropolis, the place where democracy itself was born. My gay self was equally keen to check out queer Meccas like Mykonos, the stuff of modern legends.

But wasn’t there any place where Greek history and homosexuality overlapped? Where were the traces of those early foundations of LGBT culture that I knew lay buried somewhere here in gorgeous Greece?

As I found out, trekking in the footsteps of our Greek gay forefathers (and mothers) is surprisingly easy, if one just knows where to look. Thanks to an innovative history-focused British cruise company called Voyages to Antiquity, LGBT travelers can, by just adding a bit of additional queer-specific legwork, easily bring the deep gay past to life, all under the bright smile of the Mediterranean sun.

Full Story from the Miami Herald

Click here for gay travel resources in Greece.