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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 31, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 53
OUTBOUND: BEST OF TRAVEL 2010
Section One
ALL STORIES
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OUTBOUND: BEST OF TRAVEL 2010

Olympic Museum, Royal Hawaiian, two bars with Gay nights make list

by Albert Rodriguez
SGN A&E Writer

Traveling is not only a fun thing to do; it's essential in learning about the world we live in. While I won't bid 2010 farewell with a fancy iPhone, the trendiest sneakers, or a new vehicle (I don't even own a bicycle), I will have traveled 30,000 miles and sipped tea with Japanese geishas, awoken to a morning sunrise over Cannes, ridden a train to 3,100 feet on a Swiss mountain, and spent a full afternoon on Waikiki Beach drinking beer and watching hot surfers. From my travels of the past 12 months, these places and sights were the most memorable. Great adventures to you in 2011!

ATTRACTIONS

Olympic Museum
Lausanne, Switzerland

Even for non-sports buffs, this museum with impeccable views of Lake Lausanne provides excellent history and memorabilia of both the Summer and Winter Olympic games.

Picasso Museum
Antibes-Juan les Pins, France

In the fortressed part of this seaside French destination, this Picasso Museum is filled with stunning works and a clear view of the Mediterranean.

The Swiss William Tell Path
Rutli and Seelisberg, Switzerland

The best views of Switzerland are from above, so pack your hiking shoes and climb by foot on a safe mountain trail to the charming town of Seelisberg. The hour-long boat trip from Lucerne, the nearest big city, is also astounding.

Geisha experience
Kisarasu, Japan

The art of geisha has become rare in Japan as the new generations are wooed by Westernized entertainment, so consider yourself very fortunate to find genuine performers of this tradition, such as in Kisarasu, to entertain you over tea and cake.

Cogwheel train ride to Gornergrat
Zermatt and Gornergrat, Switzerland

The viewpoint of Matterhorn, glaciers, and Swiss mountain peaks from the miniscule area of Gornergrat are breathtaking, but more exciting is the train ride up to 3,100 feet above sea level. It must be done.

HOTELS

Hotel New Grand
Yokohama, Japan

"Grand" is only the first of many adjectives that comes to mind when you step foot into this immaculate, legendary hotel in the heart of Yokohama. Not only is it prestigious and historic - Charlie Chaplin stayed here - but it's steps from the city's famous Chinatown district.

Le Mas de Pierre
Saint-Paul de Vence, France

Tucked into the lush green valley of Southern France, yet less than an hour from the Nice airport, is this five-star petite resort that caters to Europe's elite, like French actor Vincent Cassel and British singer Mika.

The Royal Hawaiian
Oahu, Hawaii

Known as "The Pink Palace," The Royal Hawaiian lives up to its reputation as the Pacific's most chic hotel. From the chilled guava juice presented to you at check-in to its exclusive strip of private beach, this is what sweet dreams are truly made of.

Chalet Nepomuk
Zermatt, Switzerland

Want an unobscured view of Matterhorn for you and your BFFs? Book this multi-floor, seven-room contemporary chateau, in the ski resort town of Zermatt, with all the essential appliances, hot sauna, and an outdoor whirlpool bath.

Hotel Lucia
Portland, Oregon

The location, smack in downtown Portland, is one reason to love this boutique hotel. But its chic interior, simple yet classy rooms, and consistently friendly service gives it unparalleled status in the Rose City.

RESTAURANTS

La Cours des Thes
Antibes-Juan les Pins, France

This adorable cafe in the South of France served a warm goat cheese salad and homemade lemon tart "with lemons from the proprietor's garden" that was pure heaven.

Glowbal Grill and Satay Bar
Vancouver BC

Twilight movie hunk Robert Pattinson enjoyed a birthday at this modern steakhouse in Vancouver's Yaletown district, which offers an upscale, outrageously good version of spaghetti and meatballs.

La Litote
Vence, France

Foie gras brûlée? Never heard of it before, but it blew me away, as did the stewed lamb at this well-known restaurant in the rustic French town of Vence.

Chez Heini
Zermatt, Switzerland

Dan Daniel is a man of many talents - he's a singer, writer, and knockout chef. His prized restaurant nestled in the Swiss mountains is home to succulent meat dishes and hearty wines in a fabulous setting. He might even sing for you, too.

Gnusserei
Zurich, Switzerland

A salad that was overflowing with freshness and variety, a traditional Swiss dish of chicken smothered in rich brown gravy with fried potatoes, and an ambitious flan dessert easily put this West Zurich restaurant in my top five.

BARS-LOUNGES
MAD
Lausanne, Switzerland

Home to the popular "Trixx" Gay party, this tri-level nightclub conveniently located in Lausanne has a giant condom displayed on its exterior wall. Inside, a mixture of Gays and straights get busy on multiple dance floors.

New York Grill
Tokyo, Japan

A view of Tokyo from the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt, home to this exciting bar that was used in the Oscar-winning film Lost in Translation, was worth every cent of my $11 draft beer.

Bar Ashes
Yokohama, Japan

You might have better luck finding a needle in a haystack than locating this hole-in-the-wall Yokohama bar, whose patrons are young, cute Japanese businessmen who are quick to welcome foreigners.

Bastion Restaurant & Lounge Bar
Antibes-Juan les Pins, France

The lounge section of this striking establishment in the conjoined French towns of Antibes-Juan les Pins provides guests with fun cocktails like the "girly mojito" and terrific live jazz on select nights.

Rumfire
Oahu, Hawaii

This marks the third time by two separate writers that Rumfire, at the Sheraton Waikiki, lands in a Seattle Gay News best-of list. Its monthly Gay soirees attract the island's hottest boys, and on most other nights the scenery is just as tempting.

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