Berlin's hotel of the hour.
Previously, when I thought of the Berlin Zoo, my first association was the scenes from Christiane F. – We Children from Bahnhof Zoo where 14 year old Christiane and her boyfriend turn tricks for heroin at the Bahnhof Zoo station. Well, that, and the Helmut Newton Foundation, which is on the opposite side of the tracks across from the actual zoo for which the station is named.
Today I have a few more associations, which are decidedly less bleak than those relating to Christiane F. I recently stayed in a delightful room overlooking the Zoo at the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin. The hotel is the most recent property from the Hamburg-based 25hours Hotel chain. It is located in the newly renovated Bikini Haus, a modernist complex built in the 1950s along the edge of the Berlin Zoo. The Bikini Haus, which got its name because the top and bottom structures are separated by an open-air floor between, now houses a shopping center and restaurants in addition to the hotel.
The location is a bit surprising for a hip hotel in Berlin. It’s in the west, near affluent Charlottenburg and spots like KaDeWe, far from the grit and decay of eastern neighborhoods like Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain or Neukolln that epitomize the city’s “poor but sexy“ moniker. Of course, with Berlin’s public transport you can quickly ride over to those neighborhoods at any time. But the area around the hotel is worth reconsidering. In addition to the previously mentioned Helmut Newton Foundation and Zoo, the area has several other institutions that merit a visit. Adjacent to the Bikini shopping center is the newly renovated Art Deco Zoo Palast Cinema, which was hosting screenings of the Berlin International Film Festival while I visited. Located a few blocks further west is the Amerika Haus, a modernist building originally opened in 1957 as a center for Germans to learn about American culture, which now holds exhibitions of photography and visual media by C/O Berlin.
Even with all that culture calling you out, you may not want to leave your room. The hammock in mine overlooking the zoo was a perfect place to perch and scope out the monkeys and pelicans below. Add to that the beautiful sauna and sumptuous yet healthy food of the rooftop restaurant, and you may never want to leave the premises at all. The hotel is fantastically designed, with an immaculate attention to detail. Every inch of the rooms and common areas have been carefully engineered to match the hotel’s “urban jungle” theme. The lush, verdant look was created by local designer Werner Aisslinger, who cleverly drew on the hotel’s proximity to the zoo to craft a space that feels both wild and domestic.
The reception desk is staffed by helpful young Berliners
There’s a cute gift shop in the lobby, perfect for finding something for your friends back home. I brought the GAYLETTER family some cute soaps handmade in Berlin.
The lobby’s cafe is a great spot to grab breakfast to-go or sit and browse through the art books on display.
This huge hammock in the lobby is perfect for lounging and watching the monkeys.
The elevator’s walls are video screens playing a trippy loop of surreal images.
On the opposite side of the zoo are views of the urban skyline.
Sleek black hallways extend from common areas teeming with life. My room number was 909, an auspicious number: 909 was the area code of my childhood phone number.
I loved the design of my room and its views of nature. The comfy hammock got a lot of use during my stay.
It was like a visit to the zoo without leaving the comfort of your own room – throughout my trip I heard the hoots and bellows of baboons (though fortunately, never at night). While the hotel’s vibrance cut through some of the legendary gloom of Berlin, if you’re looking to enjoy the zoo view you’ll be better off visiting in spring or summer, when the plant life of the zoo and Tiergarten are less dead and grey.
Rooms are stocked with ecologically focused toiletries from Stop the Water While Using Me!
The hotel’s sauna is a wonderfully tranquil spot to relax and warm up. For a small fee, you get access to the sauna, use of sandals and a robe, as well as complimentary tea, soda, beer and snacks in the sauna area.
To conclude, this isn’t Christiane F.’s Zoo anymore. Nor is this the Zoo of the 1990s, where new arrivals from the East shelled out 99 marks for their uniforms of leather jackets, acid washed jeans, and tennis shoes. Instead, you can drop in to the Berlin-based eyewear manufacturer Mykita‘s boutique and pick up a pair of Mykita X Maison Martin Margiela sunglasses for a little over 500$. This isn’t the utopic outburst of underground DIY activity chronicled in Der Klang Der Familie, Felix Denk and Sven von Thülen’s recently translated oral history of Berlin’s techno scene in the early 1990s. But it is Berlin now, at this hour; without any self-righteous nostalgia.
The 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin, Budapester Strasse 40; +49-30-120-2210; 25hours-hotels.com. Rooms from 120 Euros.
A hot pink hotel next to the city's coolest neighborhoods
On a recent trip to Berlin, I stayed a few nights at the nhow Hotel. It is appealingly located on the picturesque banks of the Spree, and walking distance from some of Berlin’s (and by extension, the world’s) best clubs. The hotel, which is “music” themed, was a perfect home base for a few days of exploring Berlin’s nightlife; an oasis to restore, recharge, and refuel before embarking on another debaucherous bacchanal.
The nhow very much belongs to its environment. To begin with, the preponderance of pink in the nhow’s interior design coordinates perfectly with Berlin’s famed pink water pipes that you’ll see protruding from construction sites all over town. Nestled between the hip neighborhoods of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, and sharing a street with MTV Berlin and Universal Music offices, the hotel is part of a swath of recent development along the banks of the Spree that has been changing the face of the area. An image of the hotel was recently used in a satirical flyer for one of my favorite Berlin parties (Homopatik at ://about blank), but if the intent was to critique large developments like nhow, the image also succinctly illustrates the ambivalent coexistence of bohemia and capital, where countercultural phenomena such as queer parties and their cheeky promotional materials provide cultural cachet that investors and real estate developers cash in on.
Located at this tenuous nexus, the nhow Berlin provided me with the best of both worlds: a decadent breakfast buffet to sustain a 10 minute walk to Berghain followed by 10 hours of dancing there, (Watergate, ://about blank, Club der Visionaire, and Suicide Circus are all also a short jaunt away) and a luxe gym, two saunas, and steam room to unwind in the day after.
My room was perched on a top floor with panoramic views of the river Spree, and I often opened the curtains so I would wake up to that phenomenal bluish-grey light that blankets Berlin pouring in through the floor to ceiling windows. My room was in the top right corner of the metal section of the building!
The hotel’s buoyant lobby.
Cute candies to welcome me. I didn’t eat any, I have to stay thin somehow.
Works on display in the hotel’s art gallery by Tadoa Cern.
The nhow Berlin, Stralauer Allee 3; (49) 30-290-2990; nhow-hotels.com. Rooms from 150 Euros.
An adventure to one of the world's gayest islands.
Last year we were terribly under-prepared and found ourselves stuck in the hot city while everyone was going to the beach in Fire Island. We decided to say ‘fuck it’ and just head up there and see what we could make happen. Here’s what we did.
No trip to Fire Island, New York’s homo-away-from-home, is completely free. The trick we’re going to give you is one of the oldest in the book, but it’s a good one. Basically you are going to have to pay for your transportation, and you may have to buy a drink or two, but that should be about it.
First up, here’s the rule for going to Fire Island without a place to stay: if you’re comfortable sleeping on the beach as a last resort, then everything will be OK, but you shouldn’t have to. First, pick a weekend when people you know will be there. You don’t have to know them well, you just have to know them. Send them a message that you’ll be on the island beforehand and then when you arrive send another. Catch up with them, be friendly, and make an effort. People are more welcoming in Fire Island because they’re in vacation mood.
The trick is to not tell them you have no where to stay at first. Wait until you’ve been hanging out for a while. I’ve never been to a house in Fire Island that didn’t have a couch, and if you and your friends go out for the night, and you don’t meet a dude to go home with (that’s really the golden ticket), there’s a pretty high chance they’ll let you sleep on it. And if not there’s always the beach, as I said, if you can put up with a sandy night’s sleep under the stars, then you’ve really got nothing to lose.
I know this might seem like an obvious trick, but it really works. Below are a few photos from our last trip to the island. We ended up sleeping on a cramped old couch but we had no complaints. Abi even managed to score another night’s stay. It was better than being in the stinky city for another hot weekend that’s for damn sure.
Left: check out the crowd of homosexuals waiting in line to take the ferry from Sayville. Right: once we arrived we decided to eat our sandwiches and open a bottle of wine that we brought with us — having a little party while we figured out what to do next… Most people were ignoring us, others told us that we could get a ticket from drinking in that area… Some of the queens didn’t understand that bench was our accomodation for the moment.
Left: The great thing about FI is that you are always going to find people comfortable being naked, it’s so refreshing. Right: Me swimming in the cold water because I have this weird Australian rule that if I go to the beach I have to get in.
Later on we arrived at this party and we got to hang out with Bruce Vilanch — and of course Abi had to do a little bit of self promotion wearing our lovely GAYLETTER t-shirt. It was a great conversation starter. Later on we were the first people to get in the pool, well second technically behind this young boy with a hot body — he was obviously looking to get attention and a sugar daddy.
Left: We got drunk and of course we found a way to stay for the night. Right: Tom getting some food at the very limited supermarket. Bring your own food to Fire Island, that supermarket is terrible, and soooo over-priced.
Free-ish, Fire Island Pines (Pines houses are much nicer than the ones in Cherry Grove, not that you’re in a position to be picky).
We spent a night at SOHO's newest hotel. It was the cutting up.
Abi and I recently spent a night in the penthouse suite at The Broome Hotel in SOHO. The hotel is very unassuming, it’s entrance you could easily walk by without noticing what was going on inside. It’s a 14 room establishment that has something pretty incredible going for it: a gorgeous open-air courtyard it’s built around. For a city as tightly packed as NYC it feels almost sacrilegious to not fill in every square foot of available space, but boy is it wonderful edition to the hotel.
It was Oscars weekend when we visited, so we decided to invite a few friends over to watch the show. Being in the penthouse there was plenty of space to fit everyone in (I just love how that sentence sounds). The hotel has a very classic feel to it. Rooms are subdued and understated. Once you’re inside the hotel, you really could be anywhere. The courtyard acts as a buffer, helping to soundproof the city around you.
Attached to the courtyard is a very Parisian-like cafe, that will soon open to the public. It serves all sorts of traditional French dishes, and is undoubtedly going to be a hit with in-the-know locals wanting to impress their companions with this hidden gem.
We took a few photos while staying at The Broome and asked the manager of the hotel to answer a few questions about the hotel. Check it out below.
How long have you been open? The Broome opened on February 14, 2014, which coincided with Valentines Day. We actually offered a cheeky package called The Jean Claude to our guests for opening weekend which included a comp. bottle of Prosecco, a late check out, and one of the CV Intimacy Kits that are typically found in the hotel’s mini-bar.
Who is behind the hotel? Vincent Boitier, Damien Jacquinet, and brothers Jean Claude Iacovelli and Stephane Iacovelli. Boitier and the Iacovelli brothers have been wining and dining SoHo denizens for 25 years, at the helm of some of the neighborhood’s most spirited establishments including Fiat Café, Café Lure, Jean Claude, Soho Steak, L’Orange Bleue & Provence.
How did it come about? In 2007, Boitier, and the Iacovelli brothers shifted their focus from restaurants to hotels, purchasing 431 Broome Street, in the form of its last incarnation, an artist loft populated with SoHo’s bohemian graffiti vandals. In 2012, Entrepreneur and longtime restaurant patron, Damien Jacquinet, joined forces with the trio as an investor, helping to put the finishing touches on the project. The Four Frenchmen have infused their European sensibility, coupled with their love of New York, into The Broome. After seven years of meticulous renovation, The Broome is now every bit as modern as the city that has built up around it, while still maintaining an inviting and warm ambiance.
How many rooms are there? There are 14 Rooms broken down into four categories (Standard Queen, Deluxe Queen Patio, Junior Suites, and the Penthouse)
How do you hope guests will feel while staying at The Broome? Relaxed, Transported, and at Ease. We want our guests to feel like they are home among city-savvy friends, who can point them in the right direction for a hidden dumpling spot, or a nearby beautiful city park.
What’s your favorite part of the neighborhood? The neighborhood feel it has. Vincent and the Iacovelli brothers have been Soho residents for nearly 25 years, so we’ve been really warmly embraced by our neighbors, and we feel at home here.
What’s your favorite part of the hotel? The courtyard, but also the Penthouse rooftop, which overlooks busy Broome Street but still somehow feels far away. There is a great table up there where you can host a small dinner party. In the summer it will be an incredible perch with a great view of Manhattan.
Tell me about the courtyard, was that always planned or just a lucky part of the project? In Mediterranean cultures, where we take much of our inspiration, there’s always a heart of the home where the family gathers to eat, drink and share stories. Typically, its an outdoor space similar to our courtyard with the open air atrium. Its a complete dichotomy from the chaos of the city, and allows guests to have their own slice of peace in a heavenly setting.
What kind of guests have you had stay at the hotel? So far it’s really been a mix. We have many european travelers looking for a more homey hotel experience, but we have also had our fair share of New Yorkers, looking for a weekend escape. The hotel is really transformative, and makes you feel like you’re far away, even though Soho is buzzing right outside. It’s a really restful staycation spot.
Who designed the hotel? The owners designed the hotel, with help from their friend and design consultant, Olivier Weisse. They took inspiration from Soho’s industrial style, and decided to go contemporary, with a nod to the community around us. The hotel is literally furnished by our neighbors! Everything we purchased is in walking distance from us including BDDW, Thomas O’Brien, Jonathan Adler, Design within Reach, and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.
We spent a week at the newly opened hotel in LA's Koreatown.
We’d been hearing about the recently opened The Line Hotel in Los Angeles for a while now, so on our last trip to LA had to go check it out. It’s a very cool space, which comes as little surprise considering the people behind it, The Sydell Group, is also connected with the Ace hotels in New York and Palm Springs, the Saguaro hotels in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Palm Springs, the NoMad Hotel in New York, and the Freehand Miami hostel in South Beach, Miami. Sean Knibb of Knibb Design in LA is responsible for the interiors.
Located in Koreatown the “388-room lodging is surrounded by a big night-life scene, blocks from a snazzy 24-hour Korean spa, three miles west of downtown, six miles east of Beverly Hills. When they open, the hotel’s restaurants are to be Pot (hot-pot cuisine) and Commissary (vegetarian focus), run by Roy Choi, the prolific purveyor of Mexican Korean street food.”
All the other times we’ve visited LA, we’ve stayed in West Hollywood — mainly because it’s closer to the stuff we’re interested in (and I don’t mean just gay bars…but that helps). Being in Koreatown was a new experience. It’s perfect if you’re in to Karaoke or the BCD Tofu House, and for those with artistic interests LACMA is only a few minutes away on Wilshire Blvd.
The rooms at the Line are very comfortable, but quite small, and filled with too many designer knick-knacks. If you can, book a room with a Hollywood Hills view. The rooms have a wall of windows facing out onto the hills, which really opens up the space, and it’s a gorgeous sight at sunset.
Despite the size of the rooms, we would definitely stay at The Line again; once the restaurants and pool open we have no doubt it’s going to become a buzzy hot spot. Enjoy it while you can.
A serape-upholstered chair. It’s available to order from Knibb Design.
A very British hotel in the middle of West Hollywood
We visited The London Hotel West Hollywood a while back on a trip to Los Angeles. We usually like to stay at more boutique style hotels, but when in LA we love to stay at the London. It’s a large hotel, but it has a lot going for it. First of all it’s location is everything. It’s right at the base of the Hollywood Hills, and right above West Hollywood. This is great for two reasons: one you get a great view of the city and the hills behind you, and secondly you’re only blocks away from all the fag bars in WeHo, which when you’re visiting without a car is very convenient for stumbling home drunk.
Another cool thing about the London is the included buffet breakfast by Gordon Ramsay (not like he cooks it every morning, but he came up with the menu). It’s wonderfully lavish. There’s all number of hot and cold options, plus these delicious mini quiches: the quiches, you’ve got to try the quiches!
The bathrooms are another impressive feature of the hotel. The only problem is they’ll make you feel shitty about where you live because the one in my room was literally bigger than my apartment in New York. It was like a Grecian bathhouse in there with all that marble and multiple shower heads. Below are a couple of pics of our last trip.
Some images from our instagram from the last time we were staying at The London West Hollywood. From Top left: A view from the pool; hanging out with Abi at night time by the pool; Out and about — out the front of The Abbey with two brothers, one was gay one was straight; modeling some prints and expensive eyewear in WeHo.
I went on a fantastic spontaneous roadtrip to Washington D.C. with my friend, GAYLETTER contributor and groundbreaking artist Renee Cox. She had a couple of appointments with important curators there and I went along for the ride. I packed a black Juicy Couture corduroy blazer (cuz I know those queens love a lapel) a couple of french tailored pressed shirts, a nice bottle of red for the car, some tomme de savoie (that’s cheese), pistachio nuts and a cock ring. The drive down went by in a flash, we had so much catching up to do. We arrived at our host Shawanda‘s cute house dropped our bags, had a cocktail and pressed on to the spot that was hosting Renee’s cocktail party the next night for a boozy dinner, then straight to bed.
We woke in bright sunshine, Renee made a breakfast of fresh squeezed orange juice and steel cut oatmeal with maple syrup. While she went on to her meeting I investigated the National Portrait Gallery for the very first time. WOW, spent hours in that place. The exhibition of all the president’s portraits from Washington on was intense. Props to Bill Clinton for choosing Chuck Close to do his portrait. Apparently each sitting president chooses the painter they want to do their portrait-who knew? While deep in thought at the photo contest installation adjacent to the presidents, Renee texted me she was done. We met around the corner at OYA, a fabulous Japanese restaurant where we had sashimi, beers and a photo shoot in their black and white over-designed lounge. Then Renee split for appointment #2 and I went to the Corcoran Gallery for a brief visit. After it was time to head to the cocktail party.
I stayed in the background as Renee circulated effortlessly among the collectors and art patrons at the party. We went to a nearby french bistro for dinner where fortunately the waiter accidentally dumped a glass of red wine on Shawanda’s assistant and after some heated discussion, gave us the whole meal for free. Right to bed, no gay bars as promised, no need for the cock ring.
We woke early because Shawanda had to go to work and drove around for awhile waiting for The National Gallery to open at 10. We passed the Navy Yard where the shooting occurred which was sad. We parked right in front of the Capitol on the mall and had to run around chasing quarters for the meter…can you imagine? Begging for change from the cashier in the National Gallery gift shop while we are at the geographical epicenter of our government, how pedestrian! Once the car was sorted we went back into the National Gallery and saw an amazing tightly edited show of Kerry James Marshall as well as an enticing show of Ellsworth Kelley prints. But the true standout, for me at least, was the extensive exhibition about the Ballet Russes. We then tried to go back to Oya but they were having a private lunch for Trayvon Martin so we went to their sister restaurant whose name escapes me.
After lunch we hit the highway home with a stopover at the University of Delaware to visit Renee’s buff son and buy a computer at the local Apple Store and have some mall pizza. I then took the wheel to bring it on home back to our very own shiny apple. Happy to have gone, happy to be home.
Images from Church Dublin a monthly party in Ireland
Once a month, there is a service unlike any other in Catholic Ireland — one fuelled by a hedonistic celebration of sin. Church Dublin is one of the city’s hottest new gay-friendly club nights, and those that answer the High Priests’ (Dave Byrne, Kyle Barnett and James Kavanagh) call to worship offer glimpses of a very progressive, very eclectic, and very attractive future.
To date, each event has been held at The Pint down Eden Quay, a fitting venue spanning multiple floors connected by winding stairs and even offering a large open-air smoking deck. However, it is the central dance-floor where sinners gather and, in the shadow of looming crucifixes, a gorgeous array of Irishmen and women stumble and sway at the foot of the altar.
Biblical themes so far have included the Immaculate, Baptism, the Garden of Eden, and a special night of Halloween Necromancy. The range of local DJ’s passing through Church also means that various voices have joined together in the creation of an intoxicating repertoire of Hymns, which has included the likes of Azelia Banks, Cyril Hahn, Disclosure, M83, Eurythmics and M.I.A.
Church Dublin takes its inspiration seriously: it’s an event that not only welcomes all types of people, but thrives off the diversity of its congregation. It is this rejection of stigma that draws such a vibrant group each month — by celebrating those typically castigated as sinners, Church shows the inclusiveness that should characterise a house of worship. The truth of these debauched papal parties resonates, penetrating even the daze induced by remarkably well-priced ‘Holy Water’.
Typically occurring on the third or fourth Saturday of the month, at the unbeatable cover of €5, Church is an absolute must for anyone visiting the Emerald Isle. What’s more, for those with flexibility it is something to keep in mind when planning an Irish get-away. I first stepped up to the pews while on a visit to friends from my home in Scotland. Four days later, I’d already booked tickets back to coincide with the next event.
So if any of you are in Dublin on November 23rd, come to Church — follow the lead of Dublin’s finest and fall to your knees in fervent worship of His word.
A hotel for people with good taste and fat wallets.
The Spanish city of Barcelona, with a population of 1.6 million, is super gay friendly. In fact, behind Germany, Spain is the most fag friendly country in the world. You certainly get the sense, not just from their love of Almodovar movies, that it’s a very laid back, friendly place. Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be featuring a few of the places we visited on our trip.
First up is the El Palauet in the suburb of Gràcia. It’s one of the most luxurious places we’ve ever been. The hotel manager wouldn’t tell me what celebrities had stayed there, but I’m sure I’ve seen an Instagram of Rihanna smoking a blunt in a double-denim-midriff-baring outfit on one of the same couches we had in our suite. And when I say “suite” I’m not exaggerating. Honestly they should be called apartments, cos they’re that big. Ours had an entry way, full kitchen, dining room, living room, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms with walk-in closets. Then there was the chromo showers, Japanese toilets (they came with a menu of options) and full balcony overlooking the Passeig de Gràcia.
There’s no need to dial ‘0’ to reach the front desk when you need something at the El Palauet. Every guest is given access to a personal assistant who’s available to assist you 24 hours a day. Whenever we called our assistant Christian his response would always be the same: “I’ll be up in 5 minutes.” Didn’t matter if all we needed was a suggestion for a restaurant, or to ask how to turn on the TV, every time he’d appear at our door in 5 minutes as promised.
While we’re totally away not everyone can afford to stay at the El Palauet (rooms start at around $700 a night) if ever there was a place to splurge on (even for a night) this is it. We chatted with Lorna from the hotel to give us a little more info about the place.
How long has the El Palauet been open? El Palauet opened its suites to the public at the end of December 2009.
Can you tell me about the history of the building? The Bonaventura Ferrer family commissioned the architect Pere Falqués to build their family home which we use today as El Palauet. On the Tinell floor (lower ground) was the kitchen, the cellars and the servant’s living quarters. The rooms on the ground and first floor were the main rooms of the house where the family received their guests and enjoyed family time. Where the suites are now, were the family’s bedrooms. After being a family home the building was separated into private homes and offices. Finally, since 2007 the former living rooms were converted into spaces for private events and from the end of December 2009 the suites were opened.
You use the word “tolerant” a lot on your website when talking about the place. What does that mean to you guys? It’s our motto and it’s our way of describing the city.
“THE FAMOUS TOLERANT AND VIBRANT SPIRIT OF BARCELONA IS WAITING FOR YOU!”
Is Barcelona a tolerant city towards gays? Barcelona is a very cool and very gay friendly city, in fact Barcelona Pride week took place just last week!
Do you consider the place a hotel, it seems a lot more than that? We like our clients to feel completely at home when they stay at El Palauet and so we pride ourselves on a personalized experience. We enjoy going the extra mile for all our guests and that is one of the things that keeps them coming back again and again.
Who designed the place? The El Palauet Living Barcelona team.
I loved the chromo shower, Can you tell me about one of your favorite features of the hotel? For our Director, Jana Santamaria, one of her favorite things is how Modernist design is integrated in the building, like the carved wooden stairs, the chandelier which has 17000 Bohemian crystals combined with the up to date technology and the more modern materials. In the suites she loves the small details such as the peephole which is on the suite doors, made by artisan designers of the 21st Century is a replica of the original peephole in the access doors on the staircase. She also loves the terrace in the Principal Paseo de Gracia suite, having breakfast, first thing in the morning overlooking Passeig de Gràcia on that terrace is just bliss. In the Tibidabo suites she is head over heels about the original stained glass windows in the living room which give the suite a special quality.
Welcome to the chromo shower. Chromotherapy is a “complementary medicine“ method. Trained chromotherapists claim to be able to use light in the form of color to “balance energy wherever a person’s body be lacking, whether it be on physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental levels.” I didn’t know chromo showers existed before my visit to the El Palauet, and while it didn’t make me want to rush out and install one in my apartment, it was very relaxing. Above is me in my green phase.
Every room gets a personal assistant, what are some of the strangest requests they have been asked to do? The personal assistants have had many difficult, sometimes almost impossible requests but there haven’t been any really strange ones.
Can you tell me about the neighborhood the hotel is in? The hotel is located on Passeig de Gràcia, originally built to connect the old town with the village of Gràcia it is now one of the main shopping streets in Barcelona and the perfect street for luxury shops. Passeig de Gràcia is also home to La Pedrera and Casa Batlló, two of Gaudí’s most famous works and the ornate lampposts were designed by the same architect who designed El Palauet, Pere Falqués. To the north of the hotel is the Gràcia neighborhood. Once an independent village it’s now part of the city but still with its own distinct feel. Gràcia is perfect to explore as there aren’t many tourists or many crowds and in our, slightly biased, opinion, it is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Barcelona.
We were invited to spend a weekend in Barryville (Upstate New York) about a month ago from the owners of the Stickett Inn (hehe get it? stick-it-in). Barryville is a tiny town where everyone knows everyone. There’s a diner and a general store, plus a cute antique store and a German style restaurant. That’s about it. However the surrounding forests, and the Delaware River, make it the perfect place to spend a lazy summer weekend.
The Stickett Inn was founded by Johnny Pizzolato (entertainer and co-owner of the International Playground shop and showroom) and Roswell Hamrick (Production Designer for TV and Film, Interior Designer) at the start of 2013. The owners are a cute couple who clearly have excellent taste. We were so impressed by the interiors we decided to take a few photos to share with you. The boys told us that their vision for the inn was for it to be a “Sexy Boyscout camp for gays — a modern enclave in the woods with all the conveniences of the city, but away from it all… girl.” Cute.
What follows is a diary of our weekend at the Inn. We were joined by two of the GAYLETTER family: William and Mossy.
This is the living room of the Steam suite (the rooms are named after their major feature — the Steam Room has a steam machine in the bathroom and the Eat room, where Mossy and Tom stayed, included a full kitchen).
The rooms are filled with art by Trey Speegle. The boys seem to really like his work cos it’s in all over the damn place.
Cute stationary very reminiscent of the Ace Hotel.
We had a hot tub on the first night after the drive from the city nearly killed us (google maps screwed up and took us 2 hours in the wrong direction — two bottles of wine probably didn’t help either). We were drunk and starved by the time we arrived, so a warm soak was just what we needed.
Before we started our day we headed to the Woodloch Pines Spa for a much needed treatment. This spa definetly needed some homosexuals, we got a lot of looks from the visitors there, but you know, living in the woods it’s hard to find handsome progressive men like us… but we had a great time — we all had massages by nice middle aged men, we used their facilities and drank their nice tea. We felt like ladies after and headed back to the hotel…
Our vintage shopping looks which involved boxers worn as shorts and our Riudavets sandals.
Then we met the owner of the vintage shop, she was lovely we had a nice long conversation with her about the art market in NYC, her time as a model, how much stuff she sells each season (all of it)…Mossy and her got on like a house on fire.
On the Delaware side of the river their was this amazing bar wit an original 20’s 4-lane bowling alley on the 2nd floor. It was really beautiful. Tom is run-waying along it. Moments later, once we headed back downstairs to the bar, we nearly got in a fight with some wasted local girl and her closeted boyfriend (he was hot). Luckily we left before things turned ugly (there was 2 of them and 6 of us, so clearly they didn’t stand a chance against all us butch queens) but still, our clothes are too nice to get bloody.