Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Apr 10, 2017

A preferred choice

Armando Mendonça

I fell in love with boutique hotels during my tenure at G Adventures over 10 years ago, when I spent some time in Peru, particularly in Cusco – also spelled as “Cuzco.”
I was pleasantly surprised that the flag of Cusco is the rainbow colours which are globally recognized as the LGBT flag for equality and diversity – the irony of millions that visit this Andean nestled city en route to the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu and who’s natives embrace visitors from around the world proudly share a symbolic flag of inclusiveness.
The family-run Tupac Yupanqui Palace Hotel, at the time, opened my eyes to a different style of accommodation that really felt like an authentic experience that complimented the destination.
I think that the combination of personalized attention, a sustainable property, location… location… location… modest accommodation and rustic courtyard spoke to me.
For most travellers, regardless of their like-mindedness, location is a big deal and a short walk to some of the main attractions or a short ride, in addition to, close proximity to restaurants and shopping, of course, are key factors.

Upscale cool
For a more upper-scale boutique property and really cool resto-bar, Fallen Angel & Luxury Guest House, is unique, cozy and offers chic amenities – a popular hangout for LGBT travellers passing through the city.
Check it out : ; in addition, for more information on Peru, please visit the official website: .
If you’re looking for an LGBT tour to Peru and like to be part of a group adventure, I highly recommend OUT Adventures – the only Canadian-owned LGBT adventure group tour operator in Canada.
For more information, please visit: .
Still in South America, another great boutique property is Hotel Cultura Manor, formerly known as Café Cultura, in Quito, Equador, located in a residential neighbourhood.
This historic building is rich in history and was home to local dignitaries and the elite who gathered to discuss the happenings of the country.
Closed for business, and after two decades, the property was bought and restored to its former glory and converted to a charming European-style boutique hotel.
The rooms are so quaint in style and the décor is simply a work of art – please take a look and see for yourself: .
Needless to say, the sitting room, restaurant and grounds are impeccable and really worth an extended stay while in Quito. I’ve recommended this property over the years to great reviews!
I also highly recommend a day trip to Otavalo situated about two hours north of the city – one of the most colourful outdoor markets selling local crafts, spices and delicious local cuisine offerings.
For more information on Equador, please visit the official website: .

Back in Canada
Now, back home in Canada – I recently spent a few days in Montreal and stayed at the Le Place D’Armes Hotel & Suites which is comprised of three 19th-century neoclassical buildings situated in the heart of Old Montreal across the street from Notre-Dame Basilica.
Actually, this is my second visit at this property and both stays delivered on customer service and attention to detail throughout my stay – the rooms are elegantly appointed and I recommend the fabulous in-house restaurants – Suite 701 and KYO Bar Japonais.
I did manage to squeeze in a mani-pedi at the “RAINSPA” and that was a treat on a raining afternoon – no pun intended.
Please visit for more information on this great boutique property: .
One of my favourite dining haunts in the gay village is “Le Saloon Bistro Bar” located on St. Sainte-Catherine street just a few blocks from Beaudry Metro Station.
The staff are super friendly, great atmosphere and service, two levels, cozy bar, and funky décor. In addition, the menu has a wide variety of delicious international food choices and are always consistent.
During my Montreal visit, I met with the Pride organizers who are busy planning the first Canada-themed pride.”
The host city estimates an overwhelming surge of visitors, and it’s highly recommended to book your stay well in advance.
The pride festivities start Aug. 10 throughout Aug. 20 with the pride parade as the closing event. For more information, please visit: .
Armando Mendonça is a tourism entrepreneur, philanthropist supporting HIV/AIDS charities and LGBT travel expert. He can be reached at: [email protected] .