I spent a weekend at the Sheraton airport hotel in Frankfurt recently. As a group of food & travel bloggers, we had the opportunity to sample some of the culinary creations from the hotel. With two restaurants, two bars and a café, the hotel offers guests (and people stranded at the airport) plenty of options.
Sheraton Club Lounge food specialities
The Club Lounge at the Frankfurt Sheraton hotel offers a complimentary buffet breakfast, afternoon hors d’oeuvres and cakes plus coffee and smoothies throughout the day. Access is complimentary for guests of the premium hotel rooms, or can be purchased by both guests and non-guests of the hotel on a daily basis. The afternoon hors d’oeuvres were particularly tasty—but it was hard to ignore the cakes, too. I especially liked the carrot cake (not pictured).
The Taverne Restaurant is located on the basement level of the hotel. It’s your typical German restaurant serving meat & potato type dishes, though with a bit of a gourmet twist. I sampled a risotto appetizer and an amazingly tender slice of steak. The dessert options were small and light—the perfect way to end a German dinner.
Sheraton Social Hour
A new initiative by the Sheraton hotel group is called the Sheraton Social Hour. I spent about an hour-and-a-half at the hotel bar, Lemons & Limes, during the Frankfurt social hour. For just 6€ you could try two glasses of wine. The night I visited, the wine came from a local winery near Frankfurt. Check Twitter and Instagram for the #socialhour hashtag to see other people enjoying the daily event around the world!
During the Frankfurt social hour, there were also pretzels, German breads and a few other small snacks available.
With a population of ten million in the city proper, and over twenty million when taking the surrounding metropolitan area into account, Seoul is one of Asia’s largest cities and it has a thriving nightlife scene to boot.
For a city with such a huge population, Seoul’s gay scene could be seen as insufficient, with only a handful of decent bars in the city. Seoul’s gay scene is divided into two main areas, Jongro-3 and Itaewon’s infamous Homo Hill, with the former being frequented almost exclusively by Koreans and the latter a mix of Koreans and foreigners, with a large amount of locals being able to speak English at a decent level, making it much more accessible to the casual traveller.
Walking out of Itaewon subway station and taking exit number three, Homo Hill can be found on the left hand side tucked away behind the aptly named Hooker Hill, the city’s red light district where many a German engineer and American soldier can be found on Friday and Saturday nights.
Homo Hill’s name is pretty self explanatory. A hill with a handful of gay bars to choose from, and a few clubs for after hours, the area is where Seoul’s gay nightlife really gets going, compared to the tame and, honestly, rather boring, smoky bars of Jongro.
For sitting down and chatting with friends, Always Homme and Eat Me (the bars on Homo Hill have genius names) both offer a friendly atmosphere and barmen with just the right amount of sass to go with their sweetness – for they need the sweetness given that the drink prices in Itaewon cause quite a sting upon first sight.
Wanting a dance but not quite ready to hit the clubs? Head on over to Soho first, which has a small dance floor and shots with delightful names such as Cum Hot Top (yes, it is white). Blasting out the latest pop hits from the west, Soho is always busy at the weekends.
The next logical stop on a night out is Queen, although it can get uncomfortably crowded and is packed with locals two-stepping away, for they have no space to do any other dance. The brave can get up on the cube-shaped podiums in the middle of the narrow bar and strut their stuff, and the bar is frequented by cute young guys, hunky Korean gym bunny types and everyone in between.
If you’re still intent on hitting a club, then Why Not?, Trance and Pulse are all at your service. Pulse is very much for Korean guys who like other Korean guys, so if you’re looking to get lucky, then chances are Pulse isn’t the place for you, unless you can speak the local lingo or have Asian blood on your side. Why Not? and Trance both charge a cover, although the amount of punters is hit and miss and you can’t see inside before heading in – and the door staff won’t tell you if there’s barely a soul in there. Sticking to Soho or Queen is probably your best bet given the uncertainty of the clubs, with both bars open until the wee hours of the morning.
Seoul’s gay scene isn’t as developed as others in the region, with the discos of Bangkok and the Go-Go boys of the Philippines having the edge as far as the fabulous factor is concerned. However what you really need is good company and a happy-go-lucky attitude (and preferably a few drinks in you already) to party on Homo Hill until you’re ready to clomp on down in the early hours.
Tom Stockwell is the voice, brains and fingers behind Waegook-Tom.com, an expat and travel blog. Living in South Korea since 2009, Tom will embark on his round-the-world adventures, boyfriend partially in tow, in March 2013 and hopes that food, new friends and vodka will be free-flowing. You can stay up to date with Tom’s adventures by following his blog, Waegook-Tom on Facebook, and @waegook_tom on Twitter.
Columbus, Ohio is one of those surprisingly über-gay cities in the American midwest. Being a massive university town with plenty of diversity, it shouldn’t come as a surprise at how open-minded and diverse the city is. And even, in 2011, Columbus was the winner of Logo’s Best “NewNowNext” Destination and also named by GayCities.com as its Up-and-Coming Gay City.
I only had a few days in Columbus on my most recent weekend trip, but definitely had a good time. I spent most of my weekend in Columbus eating and drinking, but I did spot a few gay-specific things. Here’s a photo summary of my weekend in Columbus.
Started my weekend off by walking through the Short North neighborhood. Lots of gift shops, restaurants, bars and vintage shopping. It’s also where you’ll find some of Columbus’ more interesting street art and graffiti.
While in the Short North, I popped into a gay gift shop. The Columbus “gayborhood” is in this area and there are a handful of gay bars. During the day, most of the shops are open and selling tchotchkes. This was at the relatively new Maotef Gifts. A pretty simple shop selling assorted things, mostly with rainbows, fur and glitter. A bit over-the-top, but hey, that’s probably what sells. Read their reviews on Yelp.
Also in the Short North there are plenty of coffee shops and cafes. I visited the popular chain North Star Café which has lots of vegetarian and vegan options.
In the evening, rather than party hard at the Union Cafe & Axis Nightclub (Columbus’ most popular gay nightlife), I opted for a more laid-back evening of Spanish tapas and classic cocktails. Started the night at Barcelona, a tapas restaurant with a beautiful outdoor patio. It’s located in the German Village which is worth walking around regardless.
My evening continued at the popular LGBT bar, Club Diversity. It’s in a house in Columbus’ German Village and hosts a popular karaoke night. I was there for the martini, though, which was strong and made to perfection. The bar’s slogan “home of the best martinis and jello shots” lived up to its name…though next time I’ll have to come back to try the jello shots!
My next day in Columbus was all about sightseeing. I went back and visited the German Village to check out the Book Loft, a popular indie bookstore, and have lunch at Katzinger’s Deli—a Jewish deli that came highly recommended. (If you go, get a half sandwich & soup combo!). In the afternoon I took a segway tour of Columbus through the capital city’s downtown area.
The segway tour was interesting because I discovered quite a bit about Columbus I never knew before. The downtown area has several historical buildings (including the state capitol) and early skyscrapers. Read my full review of the Segway tour here.
My weekend in Columbus ended as most of them do…with ice cream. This “fruit loop” scoop from Jeni’s Ice Cream was the perfect way to end my weekend. It was probably the gay-est scoop I could get (and with sprinkles on top, no less)!