Gay Vegas: For the Boys and the Girls
Posted: 01/14/2010 - 20:45
• By Jon Fairbanks
Two different couples, two different hotels, both in Las Vegas, a city like no other. Gaytravel.com sent a lesbian couple to the T.I. hotel and a gay couple to the Luxor.
Known as “The Entertainment Capital of the World,” most of Las Vegas’ gay bars and clubs are located in two main areas. One area is situated within a series of strip malls on Paradise and is dubbed the “fruit loop.” Here you’ll find a number of gay bars, restaurants and businesses including the famous Gipsy nightclub.
Get Booked is a popular LGBT bookstore in the “fruit loop.” While you’re out and about, swing by Hamburger Mary’s for a bite to eat and stay for a drag show. The bookstore and restaurant are only about a block away from each other.
The other main gay area is The Commercial Center on Sahara. Here you’ll find Badlands Saloon, a country/western bar and The Spotlight, a popular lounge, if you’re in a chill mood. There are also two bathhouses in the neighborhood.
On the strip, KRAVE is a hot gay club located in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. If you come on the right night you may see a celebrity or two. Lady Gaga, Lance Bass and Pamela Anderson are just a few of stars that have popped up.
There are a few venues just for the girls. CANDYBAR is a great lesbian club on the strip. FreeZone and Piranha Nightclub are also nearby.
Entertainment is the name of the game in Sin City. Both of our couples stayed in incredible accommodations, but had unique and unforgettable vacations. Here’s what they had to say about their trips.
Our Ladies’ Luck: Barbara writes about her amazing weekend with her wife Kate.
When you try your luck in Las Vegas, there are a few essentials you need to pack. The Wife and I stuffed our bags with sequins get-ups, travel flasks and our lucky dice. When we arrived on the strip, the first order of business was to check into the newly renovated T.I.
The legendary pirate ship is still outside greeting visitors and swashbuckling sirens are still gyrating. The property, however, has undergone a MAJOR face lift.
Our room, in the South tower on the 32nd floor, was tastefully decorated in earth tones with crimson detailing on the bedding and carpet. Goodbye-eye patched parakeets and hello 300 thread count linens. The view of the strip and infamous Pirates Cove is breathtaking. A word of warning, if you treasure your beauty sleep, request a room that does not overlook the Cove. It can get loud late at night.
The pillow-topped king sized bed was a decadent delight and the deep soaking tub, pure heaven!
For relief from a long night of gambling or clubbing, how about some soup for the soul? After checking in, we went for a quick lunch at Pho, a laid-back Vietnamese diner adjacent to the coffee shop. We indulged in a huge, yummy bowl of soup, jammed packed with rice noodles, veggies and meat.
Swashbuckling Pirates performing the bombastic "Buccaneer Bay" show welcomed us into the T.I. casino. The space is intimate but has ample table games with low-limit blackjack and craps, as well as the usual smattering of slots.
That night, we didn’t have to travel too far for entertainment. We hit the dance floor at the new Christian Audigier, a nightclub free to T.I. hotel guests. The club isn’t gay, but Kate and I felt relaxed and comfortable dancing together. Swanky and sexy, the venue is decked out with huge Ed Hardy Tattoo murals, black vinyl couches and a live Jellyfish tank. The club boasts impressive lighting and sound systems. Bottle service starts at $125, one of the best deals on the strip.
The next morning, the hotel’s breakfast buffet was just what we needed to recharge our batteries. Reasonably priced and diverse, it had everything from your basic omelet station, to mango lassis, jook and the most adorable mélange of mini-donuts I’ve ever seen.
Breakfast was followed by a leisurely afternoon by the pool, complete with private cabanas for rental, and ample deck chairs for getting your tan on.
My wife and I came to Vegas to party, gamble and to relax. For us, being able to do all of it in one venue made this a real vacation.
Studs on the Strip: Joe and his partner Dave felt right at home.
For a gay couple looking for welcoming accommodations, The Luxor is a great choice. The hotel has come a long way from the first time I visited the property five years ago. The exterior views of the property are breathtaking with its unique pyramid design. The giant Sphinx standing guard out front, and the bright spotlight beaming each night in to the heavens make the Luxor stand out from the rest of the Las Vegas Strip. During our stay, we never felt uncomfortable. Dave and I walked around holding hands freely without anyone making us feel unwelcomed or unwanted.
When we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted by several staff members before entering, which was a nice, warm welcome. The staff members inside were just as friendly. They helped direct us to the check-in area. The service was great and everybody was professional. Once we checked in, the lady at the front desk gave us a map along with other information about the Luxor. She ensured that all of our questions were answered before sending us up to our room.
Our room was in one of the towers, not in the pyramid. The hallways, elevators, and general public areas were all neat and clean in appearance, though the carpet and walls showed a little age. The Tower Deluxe Room itself was spacious and the view of the strip was amazing! The room came with two queen sized beds, two chairs, an analog TV set and a refrigerator (oddly placed on a small-wheeled cart with a towel placed underneath it). The bathroom was spacious with a full shower and separate bath. Dave liked the bed but I found it to be extremely firm with no pillow-top!
The floor above the casino is dedicated to non-gaming entertainment including an IMAX movie theater, video games, and various rides primarily for children. The Luxor has multiple pools and spas on-site. While we did not swim, we did enjoy the spas both nights. Very relaxing! One pool is an adults-only pool with private cabanas, hammocks, and towel service.
There are plenty of dining options at the Luxor ranging from MORE than just the buffet. I recommend the Pub House and the Pyramid Cafe, both of which had great customer service and quality food. The prices at the Pyramid Cafe, however, seemed a little high for the amount of food you get. Other than that, dining at the Luxor was a pleasure.
No trip to Vegas would be complete without seeing some shows. The first, “KA” by Cirque du Soleil at the MGM Grand was amazing. It is a tale of twins separated at a young age and the journey they go through to get reunited. The sites, the smells and the sounds make for an entertaining show.
The next show we saw, also at the MGM Grand, was a magic show featuring David Copperfield. The man is a great performer but the seating arrangement is a little awkward. We had to share a table with two other people we didn’t know. Part of the theater is traditional stadium seating while the other part is more of a lounge.
Some of the entertainment was average but the great food, friendly customer service and spacious accommodations definitely made this an enjoyable trip.
To start planning your Las Vegas getaway or if you want more information about other top LGBT vacation destinations, visit our website, www.gaytravel.com
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