Travelers from all around the world visit Barcelona for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, dramatic architecture, sunny beaches, trendy nightlife and buzzing arts scene, making it one of the most popular destinations for gay travelers in 2010. In fact, the city comes in at #6 on About.com’s list of “The World’s 20 Best Gay Beach Cities,” compiled by gay travel expert Andrew Collins.
Visitors to this gay travel hotspot have discovered a popular home base for their Barcelona adventures at the Hotel Casanova (www.casanovabcnhotel.com), which crowns the trendy Eixample District, affectionately called “Gayxample” by the city’s gay scene insiders. To solidify its position as Barcelona’s top gay-friendly hotel, the Casanova is offering a “Barcelona Nights” promotion valid for stays through the end of 2010.
During the promotion, guests booking rooms at the Hotel Casanova get a 25% discount at the hotel’s restaurant, bar, and spa throughout their stay. Guests staying for at least three nights also get a free pair of “le dd” brand designer recyclable moccasins. Guests are also invited to convene in the hotel restaurant every Wednesday night for a weekly reception with complimentary tapas.
The Casanova was transformed from an 18th-century limestone residence into a hip and elegant boutique hotel that combines modern design with theatrical flair. Design highlights include an angular sun-lit lobby with pistachio back-lit bar, whimsical lighting fixtures and sculpted chairs. The 124 guest rooms perfectly suit the spirit of this cosmopolitan city, inspired by the surrounding Gaudi architecture and artsy ambiance. Rooms offer WiFi access, goosedown pillows, minibars and satellite TV.
The hotel’s stylish Mexiterranée uses Mexican, Catalan and Mediterranean flavors to create signature dishes that even the locals are buzzing about. For a sample of the Barcelona nightlife, guests head to the Lounge Bar for the mod ambiance and exotic cocktails. And for a break from the Barcelona bustle, the hotel’s Stone Spa offers indoor and outdoor massages, body scrubs, aromatherapy and other relaxing, aesthetic and therapeutic treatments that incorporate precious stones, herbs, flowers and essential oils.
The Eixample area around the hotel is famous for its trendy cafes, boutique shops, and gay nightlife. The Casanova is also just a short walk from many of Barcelona’s top attractions, including Plaça de Catalunya, Las Ramblas promenade, La Boquería Market, Picasso Museum, Gothic Quarter, famous architectural sites, and a diverse range of restaurants and clubs.
Other hotspots in the area include the guy-filled Montjuic Park, Mar Bella gay beach, and the clothing-optional Saint Sebastian Beach. The famous nude beach of Bossa Rodona is just a 30-minute train ride down the coast in the resort town of Sitges.
There are many events in Barcelona throughout the year targeted toward gay travelers. Highlights include Carnival in February, Gay Pride Festival in June, the Circuit Festival Party Week in August, and the International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in October.
And don’t forget, Spain was the third country in the world to legalize gay marriage, so it’s safe to assume that some travelers just decide to stay forever.