Monday, June 30, 2008

Latin Destinations: Costa Rican Art Oasis

I just discovered an exclusive retreat for lovers of nature and art, operated by gay partners Carlos & Randy, in a private rainforest preserve in southern Costa Rica. No way could Steve & Bob (from Las Aguas Waterfall Jungle Lodge an hour away) believe what was behind the electronic gate after driving 6kms on some of the worst roads in this country! Part of the adventure is getting there, they say. Not to mention anticipation of an equisite work of art from the kitchen.

Monte Azul, the name of their 125-acre dream oasis, is where jungle meets luxury in arty, stylish cottages. Further into the property is a work-live studio for artisits and writers, including furniture makers with local timber.

The place is calling for birdwatching tours, too. They have identified 250 species on the property, which is no wonder given the gardens and streams that run through it. Gardeners should not miss the place either!

I can't say enough about all the ferry dust at Monte Azul. Carlos and Randy both have degrees in art, and have the requisite gay designer gene which is evident in the stylish comfort at their boutique hotel. They get my Rainbow Tourism Recommendation award this month. (Soft opening room rates are available through

Come visit Costa Rica and don't miss this stopover between the gay beach in Dominical and the city gay nightlife in San Jose. It will be the best time out you can take in an otherwise hectic vacation schedule.

PS Like the artwork in your room? Ship it home! They represent some wonderful artists and artisans.

Rainbow Concierge
Dee, traveling in Costa Rica

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Auckland Lesbian Ball - 23rd August 2008

Silver Masquerade Lesbian Ball celebrating 25yrs!
23rd August 2008, Langhan Hotel, Auckland.

The Ball supports the work of LESO

* Enjoy catching up with women you haven’t seen for ages?
* Want to dance the night away?
* Ever met someone special at the Ball?
* Do you remember the first Ball?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then circle Saturday 23 August, dust off the glad-rags and join us at the Silver Masquerade Lesbian Ball where we’ll be celebrating a remarkable achievement as the community gets together to enjoy the 25th year of this iconic event.

From small beginnings the ball has grown into one of the major occasions on the social calendar of many lesbians and we’re hoping that this anniversary year will inspire those who haven’t been to the Ball recently to climb off the couch and get reacquainted with the fun, creativity and enjoyment that defines the Ball.

To make this year’s Ball one to remember we’ll be kicking off the evening’s entertainment with performance artist Lorraine Butler and later on turning up the heat and the volume with music from Razor.

Remember – the ball is only as good as the lesbians that attend so get a group together, start nagging the couch potatoes and make plans to have a fantastic night as we celebrate the last 25 years and look forward to the next.

Tickets on Sale: 1 July 2008 from
Women’s Book Shop 105 Ponsonby Rd
LESO - PO Box 3833 Shortland St, Akl.

Contact the Rainbow Tourism Concierge for Accommodation and ticket packages.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wanaka - 'Gorgeous' lake ripe for romance

Move over Paris - anyone after a world-class romantic rendezvous need look no further than the picturesque South Island lakes district.

The Central Otago resort town of Lake Wanaka has been voted one of the 10 most romantic holiday destinations in the world in a new book.

Published by Life Books, Dream Destinations: 100 of the World's Best Vacations, puts Wanaka in 10th spot on a list topped by India's Wildflower Hall and The Carmargue in France.

Read the full story on the New Zealand Herald Website.

Rainbow Tourism Wanaka information.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Attitude Hotels - New Partner

One of the joys of going to the IGLTA convention in Vegas was meeting with some of the 400+ delegates.

Of of these was Pedro from Attitude Hotels. He has collected a great range of hotels from Europe - you can now book these directly from the Rainbow Tourism website.

Expect more "Attitude Hotels" as Pedro travels the globe.

Newest B&B in Northshore, Auckland

A new superb Bed and Breakfast lodge has just opened located at Milford Beach on the Northshore of Auckland.

Great Decor, Great Views, all modern facilities and a great breakfast.

Facilites include

  • Spa Pool
  • Pool table
  • Mountain Bikes
  • Kayaks
Additionally ask about sightseeing tours, Fishing tours, Skiing tours and Hunting tours.

Contact the Rainbow Tourism Concierge for more details and bookings.

Turkey - New Destination

We are always looking for new destinations for gay and lesbian travellers and Turkey now has a growing gay and lesbian tourism industry.

Rainbow Tourism's newest property is the Local House Apartment is located in an area of Istanbul called Taksim, which is one of the modern and gay parts of the city. The apartment is located right by the underground station which will bring you to the city centre in just one stop. There are also bus and taxi services nearby so you can easily get to any corner of Istanbul. Reachable by metro, bus or taxi, within a short journey, are some of the gems of Istanbul such as Hagia Sophia, Spice Market, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar.

The apartment is located on the second floor of a historical building and is made up of one big double room (20 m²) with a double bed, a shared bathroom with hair-dryer, and there is a kitchen available also. The apartment owner speaks English and Turkish, and keeps a cat in the apartment. Coffee and tea facilities are available and there is no need to bring towels, sheets or blankets, as they are all provided. There is a TV lounge, Wi-fi internet connection, and also laundry facilities. Breakfast is not included in the price of your stay.

If you are looking for a well located and independent stay in Istanbul, this is for you..

To book contact Rainbow Tourism Concierge.

Phone Hire NZ

One of the downsides of travelling is coming back to a large mobile global roaming charge or paying expensive hotel phone call costs.

This can be avoided by a number of means including using local phone cars or purchase a pre paid mobile or using skype on your computer.

In New Zealand there is also now an alternative -

You can either hire the phone - from a basic to camera phone - or just hire a local sim card.

So on your next trip to New Zealand check out

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Jet Lag Cure Specific to Costa Rica

I've learned two things in my first two days in Central America. The locals - Ticos - live to a very ripe old age, probably because they know how to achieve a natural wellbeing by connecting with the universe's vital energy. My encounter with a massage practitioner named Luis Alberto Sanchez helped me discover my natural state - and cured my jet lag on the morning after my arrival.
Luis is available for sessions by appointment when you stay at Colours Oasis Resort in San Jose. I recommend you set up a time on the day of your arrival in Costa Rica to get rid of your jet lag, hangover, whatever. Then you can explore and enjoy the city from the get-go.
Luis has los manos of an angel and can do reflexology, digit pressure, deep tissue, aroma and therapeutic massage. I took the lot!
For a look at the dee-vine pool, hot tub and rooms at Colours, check out the story on

Friday, June 06, 2008

There's a Tahiti for Everyone

...but if you're a North American and click on their Gay Tahiti page, you won't get answers to FAQs, descriptions of activities or the gay nightlife. It's still under construction. But you will find a little bit more on the Tourism Tahiti Australia Gay Tahiti site.

That aside, I'm told Tahiti Tourism is very interested in courting gay and lesbian travelers, and are putting together an introductory FAM trip for travel agents. Yours truly will be on it and get a first hand look to report back in this space and on

Legendary Tahiti...a place to relax and unwind. Only 8 hours from LAX and about the same from SYD, yet seemingly a world away.

The best known islands of Tahiti - Bora Bord and Moorea - are very gay welcoming. If you're looking for the perfect Tahiti for you and your mates, for traveling couples, or gay and lesbian family travel, call Mark at on SKYPE. He has all the scoop from the tourism bureau and can help you plan your trip.

If you want to know how far French Polyensia is from your country, take a look at this neat map. There's a great story and photos in this month's issue of Islands magazine. Made me drool and re-ignited my wanderlust. They say you should see the islands from under the water, from the land, on the sea and in the air. I'm packing now! --Rainbow Concierge Dee

Sunday, June 01, 2008

One of the great things about the IGLTA Convention was meeting so many interesting people.

One of these was Tanya from

Girlports is a great new resource - and will grow over time to cover the globe - providing up to date information for lesbian travellers.

For the downunder region they have a great page on Sydney and more to come.

If you are looking for New Zealand lesbian information check out

Greenland...a hot g-spot? Civil Union Honeymoon Destination?

I'm reading a lot of buzz about "undiscovered" destinations beyond the well-known gay villages or tourism hotspots in urban places. Getting off the beaten track of NY and London maybe means giving the Yukon or Greenland a go.This remote self-governing territory of Denmark (yes, Greenland has legal gay civil unions like its motherland) is a landmass of untouched ecosystems ...and it is listed on the Top 10 Gay Adventures of a Lifetime! (See full list on

According to Charlie David, Canadian co-host of the American TV series "Bump,"there are places in Greenland that are strongly advocating that gay and lesbian tourists come visit here. Hmm, anyone for dog sledding and a completely different experience?

Exploring the Fjords of Greenland

The Adventure: With just over 56,000 inhabitants, travelers do not head to Greenland for the city life. This remote self-governing territory of Denmark (yes, Greenland has legal gay civil unions like its motherland) is a landmass of untouched ecosystems teeming with walrus, whales, reindeer, musk oxen, white foxes, falcons, rabbits, and of course unruly polar bears. On the dramatic eastern coast of the island lies the tongue-twistingly named village of Ittoqqortoormiit (population 550, Greenland’s third biggest town), center of the world’s largest fjord system that encompasses over 23,000 square miles. Cruises on 100-passenger ships offer cozy cabins, lectures, good food, zodiac rafting expeditions to stunning rock mountains rising 5,000 feet out of the water, and more icebergs than you can shake a parka at. Tip: Don’t fly to Greenland itself, which can be expensive and iffy weather-wise, but grab a cruise leaving from Iceland—a cheaper and gayer way to go, since you can drink at Reykjavik’s queer bars before heading north. When to Go: The sun doesn’t rise above the horizon from about November 23 to January 17, so July and August are when the flowers bloom, but be warned—temperatures still hover around 45 degrees in summer.

For more information on other undiscovered Gay and Lesbian welcoming destinations and adventures - like the Australian Outback - please contact the Rainbow Concierge.