Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona

Majestic Hotel & Spa BarcelonaMajestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona  |   Barcelona, Spain  |  If you are on a the search for an iconic hotel in Barcelona, complimented by premium location and personalized service, Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona is the right option. 90-year-old history in excellence. The hotel is located in the middle of Paseo de Gracia, -right in the heart of the city- and close to Gaudi’s buildings, Sagrada Familia,  restaurants, exclusive shopping facilities and Barcelona’s most important historic tourist sites. The hotel is located in a historical building and therefore all rooms are unique. I spent literarly 48 hours in Barcelona, and Majestic Hotel was the perfect headquarter for my brief visit. Continue reading Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona

Sagrada Familia inside out

Photo Jan 08, 6 03 20 AMSagrada Familia inside out  |  Barcelona, Spain  |  This was not my first time in Barcelona, but yes indeed the first time spending almost two hours exploring inside-out, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sagrada Familia. Right after my Facades and Architecture walk/tour along Paseo de Gracia and Av. Diagonal, I arrived right to Sagrada Familia, considered by many as the most famous landmark of Barcelona. Designed meticulously by the great architect Antoni Gaudí. This work of art has taken over 100 years to build and contains the finest architecture in the city. Construction continues and they estimate will come to full completion by 2026.  Continue reading Sagrada Familia inside out

My AVE Speed Train journey from Madrid to Barcelona

My AVE Speed Train journey from Madrid to BarcelonaMy AVE Speed Train journey from Madrid to Barcelona  |  Spain  |  One I had to decide whether to fly or take the speed train from Madrid to Barcelona, the answer came to me right away. What did I take into consideration ? well time, comfort, price and hassle. As you might know by now, if you follow me, I am a huge fan of trains. I try to take them anywhere and everywhere around the world, either if it is for a few hours or even overnight or for an entire week. Here you can read more on my global train experiences.  Continue reading My AVE Speed Train journey from Madrid to Barcelona

Exploring the Modernist facades and architecture of Barcelona

Exploring the facades and architecture of BarcelonaExploring the Modernist facades and architecture of Barcelona  | Barcelona, Spain  |  A morning exploring the Modernist facades, architecture and interior design of iconic on and off the beaten path of Barcelona by friends and colleagues at Rainbow Barcelona. From my hotel the Majestic Hotel & Spa all the way to Sagrada Familia by Paseo de Gracia and the Diagonal. A path I could have done by taxi or metro, I chose by their expert advise to do walking. Paying attention to unknown facts and details, I would have totally missed, if it would have been by their local perspective. From the classics Gaudi houses of La Pedrera and Casa Batlló, the  tiles I was walking on at Paseo de Gracia, which were also designed by Gaudi, the best known practitioner of Catalan Modernism, to the interior designs of private residential buildings.  Continue reading Exploring the Modernist facades and architecture of Barcelona

24 Hours of Barcelona Gourmet

Xiringuito Excriba24 Hours of Barcelona Gourmet   |  Barcelona, Spain  |  During my recent and brief visit to Barcelona, community of Catalunya, I managed to find some time to spend enjoying the outstanding cuisine, and also I scouted a few MUSTS for my next visit. I must say that this time, these were not my findings, but the expert suggestions of my friend and colleague Barcelona connoisseur Sònia Graupera. As I often joke with her, all this venues are Graupix Approved.  Continue reading 24 Hours of Barcelona Gourmet

Lapsang Souchong at tealosophy Buenos Aires

tealosophy Buenos Aires  |  Buenos Aires, Argentina  |  one of the many marks Thailand left on me was this love and appreciation for great teas, in fact this is my third month free of coffee and I must admit that I am feeling great. The other day during my breakfast at the Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, I tasted this amazing tea that not only impress by the taste, but by the smoked aroma and the dark brown color, and I could not get over it. To the point that I became quite known in the hotel, and everyone knew what to serve me before I even opened my mouth, yeah true Park Hyatt service. But going back to the tea, I began my search for this blend, I rather ever get so much interest on things, but this became an obsession. Now the problem was that I kept calling it Smoked Darjeeling, and I was dead wrong…. the true blend was Lapsang Souchong by tealosophy, a charming tea store with two locations in Buenos Aires, and also one in Barcelona, Spain. Lapsang Souchong,  is a black tea originally from the Wuyi region of the Chinese province of Fujian, sometimes referred to as smoked tea. Lapsang is distinct from all other types of tea because lapsang leaves are traditionally smoke-dried over pinewood fires, taking on a distinctive smoky flavor. I have become addictive to it, and luckily enough seems that all luxury hotels in Buenos Aires have adopted it too, since you can find tealosophy at most properties nowadays. (special thanks to Jorgelina at Park Hyatt Buenos Aires for the present by tealosophy, you are beyond excellence in service) Lear more about tealosophy at www.tealosophy.com and choose your favorite one.  CM

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OCEANIA Cruises new cruise ship MARINA

OCEANIA Cruises new cruise ship MARINA | Pier 90, New York |  Last night I was invited for a Site Inspection and fabulous welcome diner on board of the new cruise ship of OCEANIA Cruises, their new pride and jewel  MARNIA. The cruise was spending 2 nights in New York on their way to Azores Islands, Balearic Islands and final port in Barcelona. Red Ginger, one of the six restaurants on board, was the restaurant chosen for this select group of local Luxury Travel Agents. I am working together with Oceania Cruises hosting Small Gay Groups on board. An experience itself for those that have tried everything and are looking for the premium cruise experience with focus on destinations, fine cuisine, wines, art and a great time onboard.
MARINA was docked at Pier 90 in at Manhattan’s cruise port (50th. Street and 12).  A quick tour of the ship and suites, a welcome cocktail at Horizons Lounge on the 15th. floor of the ship and a multi-steps diner at Red Ginger Restaurant.
The Oceania-Class Marina represents an evolution of the line’s extremely popular Regatta-Class ships. Since the inception of Oceania Cruises, their ships have delivered an unparalleled onboard experience. So many of the indulgences are a direct result of their ships’ ideal mid-size, a tradition that Marina will proudly continue, but in an even more refined incarnation. She personifies the Oceania experience and then some.
While larger than her consorts Regatta, Insignia and Nautica, Marina remains comfortably mid-size, adroitly utilizing the additional space for even greater amenities. She rewards guests with their signature “finest cuisine at sea” in six restaurants, including two new gourmet venues — Jacques and Red Ginger. Her new La Reserve by Wine Spectator holds enlightening wine and food pairings. For special coffees and snacks, there is Baristas Coffee Bar. The new Bon Appétit Culinary Center offers hands-on cooking instruction under the guidance of master chefs. Similarly, artists-in-residence teach fine arts in The Artist’s Loft, a new enrichment center. Intimate lounges abound. Accommodations in every category are incredibly spacious, especially with regard to the lavish bathrooms. Yet remarkably, with so many additions, the onboard ambiance and experience remains comfortably familiar. We have retained everything guests adore about our ships and raised the bar ever higher.
Thank you Thierry Vuolo and Lanier Reid (photo above) Regional Sales Directors for OCEANIA Cruises in the United States for inviting me to this small gathering onboard of this fantastic cruise ship. Look forward living the Oceania experience soon.  CM

(*) To find out more about Oceania Cruises + CM by Carlos Melia Small Hosted Gay Groups, please do not hesitate to contact me at carlos@carlosmelia.com, Cel. 646.460.6045, Tel. 212.399.6161. Carlos

Gay Cruises Season 2011 multiple options available

Gay Cruises Season 2011 multiple options available December is around the corner and most of you around the world, already have your Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year Holidays gateways already sorted out. This is a list of some of the Gay Cruises scheduled for season 2011, covering multiple destinations, options and crowds. So if you find any that interests you or would you need further information please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. CM by Carlos Melia ( Ph. 212.399.6161 | Cel. 347.944.0026 | Toll Free Number 800.729.7472 Ext. 205 | carlos@carlosmelia.com | Skype/Facebook/Twitter carlosmelia ).
> An EPIC Caribbean Voyage February 19th – 26th 2011 ) • Norwegian Cruise Line’s incredible new ship that reinvents cruising once again.  You’ll be one of the first to experience the many new entertainment options of the EPIC, including special performances by the Blue Man Group and the world’s only ice bar at sea. You’ll be visiting unique, exotic islands which are waiting to be explored on this Western Caribbean Voyage from Miami to Mexico and Honduras. Cabins from USD 999 per person based on double occupancy. Government taxes and fees not included.
> Gay Group to HAWAII on Cunards Queen Victoria ( February 17th – March 03rd 2011 ) • Enjoy 14 nights on one of the most luxurious ships on the high seas. Departing from Los Angeles with 4 days at sea to experience the majesty of this ship, then sailing to visit Hilo, Honolulu, Nawiliwili, Lahaina and 4 other wonderful days at the sea. Cabins from USD 2049 per person based on double occupancy including port fees and NCF.

> All Gay Cruise to Costa Rica and Panama March 06th – 13th 2011 ) • Puerto Caldera, Isla de Coiba, Panama, Gulfito, Isla del Cano Drake Bay, Quepos, Curu, Isla Tortugas. Imagine sailing on a tropical sea. There are black sand beaches, turquoise waters, emerald rain forests and white face monkeys. And above all, there is the magical, dream-like quality of sailing on the luxurious S.V. Star Flyer…enjoy a sense of joy and freedom and endless possibility. Cabins from USD 2475 per person based on double occupancy. Government fees and taxes not included.

> Tahiti & Society Islands Cruise on the Luxurious Paul Gauguin ( May 07th – 15th 2011 ) • Gay Group visiting the most romantic and beautiful destination in the world, on one of the most luxurious cruises at sea. Sail round trip from Papeete, visiting Raiatea, MotuMahana (private island), with two full days in Bora Bora and Moorea. Cabins from USD 3806 per person based on double occupancy including Flight on Air Tahiti Nui round-trip to/from Los Angeles + taxes + gratuities + meals + room service + watersports (except Scuba) + alcohol + beverage + entertainment.
> Miami Beach Pride Cruise ( April 18th – 22nd 2011 ) • In April 2011, our community is coming together in a big way. Starting with Miami Beach Gay Pride on April 16th, South Florida will show the world a true celebration of the beauty and strength of our community. Make plans now to extend the magic of Miami Beach Gay Pride by joining the group that will be departing on a 4-night cruise to the Bahamas April 18th – 22nd, on the Norwegian Sky, leaving from the Port of Miami, right after Pride weekend.  And the celebration doesn’t end there. You will return, just in time, to join the opening night of the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival which runs April 22nd – May 1st, 2011. Cabins from USD 419 per person based on double occupancy. Government fees and taxes not included.

> Scandinavia & Russia Cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas May 30th – June 11th 2011 ) • Gay Group visiting some of the  most beautiful places in the world. Whether you are looking for history, culture or plain natural beauty, chances are you will find it on this cruise vacation to Northern and Western Europe. From medieval architectural styles to modern, world-renowned museums and theater to world-class shopping, gentle rolling hills and dramatic towering fjords. An amazing adventure awaits you around every corner. Cabins from USD 1420 per person based on double occupancy. Taxes and port charges not included.

> Italy, Spain, Africa and France Cruise with overnights in Barcelona and Ibiza August 01st – 10th 2011 ) • coming out on sale NOV 08th. You can be one of the first to sail on the bran new Celebrity Silhouette ship, that has been secured for this 100% Full Gay Cruise. Sail round trip from Rome, visiting Florence, Pisa, Barcelona, Ibiza, Tunis, Naples and Ajaccio. Cabins from USD 2049 per person based on double occupancy plus taxes and tips. Single shares available.
> Rome to Venice Cruise on Windstar’s Wind SurfSeptember 03rd – 10th 2011 ) • Come and sail the Amalfi and Dalmatian coast abroad the MSY Wind Surf. Experience a new adventure that will take you on an extraordinary voyage from Rome to Venice. Sip a Posip alongside elegant bohemians in chic Hvar, explore designer boutiques in Capri or enjoy stunning view of an erupting volcano. Castles and beaches, bastions and boutiques, bright days ad starry nights, all awaits your and 312 other privileged guests as you sail towards a timeless journey. Cabins from USD 3199 per person based on double occupancy.Does not include international airfare, trip cancellation insurance, gratuities or port fees.

CM by Carlos Melia ( Ph. 212.399.6161 | Cel. 347.944.0026 | Toll Free Number 800.729.7472 Ext. 205 | carlos@carlosmelia.com | Skype/Facebook/Twitter carlosmelia ).

Carlos Melia on SHANGAY Magazine Spain

Carlos Melia on SHANGAY Magazine Spain • ( Madrid, Spain ) The most renown LGBT magazine of Spain has interviewed Carlos Melia, and featured our work promoting BUENOS AIRES DIVERSA. For this I made a photo session at their offices in Madrid. The small pictures are (top photo) Press Conference in Madrid. Lic. Carlos Gutierrez – Executive Director of Tourism Office Buenos Aires, and Carlos Melia. (bottom photo) Press Conference in Barcelona. Lic. Carlos Gutierrez – Executive Director of Tourism Office Buenos Aires, Juan Julia – Director of AXEL Hotels and Carlos Melia.

(*) Special Thanks to Alfonso Llopart – Editor of SHANGAY Magazine, for his friendship, assistance and press coverage over all. SHANGAY Magazine ( www.shangay.com )

My fabulous week in Paris

My fabulous week in Paris by Carlos Melia • I have spent an amazing week in Paris, after also a great time in Zurich, Madrid and Barcelona. It was the first time, after several times visiting Paris, that I was able to really enjoy this wonderful city, explore the neighborhoods, interact and socialize with the locals. I was there on duty for the Tourism Office of Buenos Aires promoting ” Buenos Aires Diversa ” ( LGBT ). For this we did Press Conferences and Press Dinners all over Europe and in Paris in particular at the George Restaurant at the Centre Pompidou.

I invite you all to follow my posts about Paris by clicking Paris by Carlos Melia. There you will access to all my posts on this wonderful city, the restaurants I tried, the hotels, and the attractions in general. Hope you all enjoy it.

You may also check all my photos on Paris online at my Facebook Profile and comments on them and leave your feedback. Paris by Carlos Melia Photo Album.
(*) Special thanks to Clark Massad – Ambassador of the IGLTA for Europe and Denis Pirouelle – Chef Concierge Hotel Astor Saint Honore. You made a huge difference to my visit of Paris and my work while there. CM