Going to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is an experience in warmth. The expected aspect of that would involve the actual air temperature; in fact, it was a record 85 degrees one “winter” day when I was there recently. However, the sunny disposition of the people (natives and tourists) was just as obvious as the climate and warm beach.
The first place this was obvious was The Grand Resort & Spa (539 N. Birch Rd.; GrandResort.net) Fort Lauderdale’s largest gay-owned and -operated men’s spa/resort—and there are a few in the neighborhood. Lee very kindly showed me around the spacious Grand, pointing out the pool, spa and, yes, clothing-optional grotto (where my cool suite happened to be). Yes, there’s warmth—and if you want to shed your inhibitions (and clothes), this is the place to be.
The spa ( which is essentially a bungalow ) features rooms that are comfortable. Massages (Swedish, mud and otherwise) are available, although I opted for a facial that left me feeling and looking refreshed.
After checking in to The Grand Resort, it was off to Wilton Manors restaurant Bubbles + Pearls (2037 Wilton Dr.; bubblesnpearls.com/), a champagne raw bar that can boast a Top Chef contestant as its owner—in this case, lesbian Josie Smith Malave. Malave, like various people I met and just observed, was extremely friendly, chatting up visitors and regulars alike.
By the way, if you can get her to tell you about her adventures in New York City, you’ll be transfixed. As for the food, there’s some excellent seafood—and the chicken and ribeye are pretty impressive as well. A side benefit was getting to introduce one of my dining companions to shishito peppers. He was so enthralled that he planned to send seeds to his own father sothe can plant some.
By Andrew Davis – Full Story at Windy City
Fort Lauderdale Gay Travel Resources