Cities around the world have been celebrating Gay Pride throughout the month of June, and most -- like NYC, Paris, San Francisco, Seattle, and Barcelona, to name a few -- are hosting their biggest events this weekend. We're celebrating in our own way: By taking a look at the best hotels designed for LGBT travelers. Here are seven standouts.
This destination for gay travelers is an eclectic, amusing, and comfortable little charmer. With just 21 rooms built into four adjoining houses on a steep, winding street just south of Old Town, Cupula is unique among Puerto Vallarta properties; it’s an eccentric yet comfortable collection of individual parts that add up to a totally inviting whole. Throw in great views, two sexy pools, a popular restaurant, in-room spa treatments, and a modern well-lit fitness center, and you have a complete adults-only package that is hard to beat.
This small, adult-only hotel wins points for its distinctive style, quirky touches, and gay-friendly ethos. (It’s also gay-owned and operated, and provides a welcoming atmosphere for LGBT travelers.) The dozen rooms are packed with features like outdoor bathtubs and small kitchens, and each feels private and self-contained, thanks to the lush gardens on all sides. The slightly out-of-the-way location and lack of big-hotel amenities may be off-putting to some, but those looking for a boutique mid-range option in the Port Douglas area should be pleasantly surprised.
The Mayafair Design Hotel features an odd combination of decor. Housed in what appears to be a former, cheesy, Mayan-themed strip mall — complete with non-working escalators — the hotel now has modern touches like cool, new-age furniture in the lobby and rooms inspired by designers or fashion icons. Rooms are spacious and sleek with sexy open bathrooms. This hotel is geared toward gay men and offers inexpensive rates, but visitors looking for more amenities can find other hotel options nearby at similar rates.
Located in historic Key West, Island House is a 34-room boutique designed exclusively for gay men. Many restaurants and tourist attractions along Duval Street are located within easy walking distance. Rooms are stylish, if small, and some have showers with multiple shower heads. The outdoor pool and hot tub is surrounded by lounge chairs and lush foliage. The entire hotel (except the gym) is clothing-optional and the staff plans on- and off-site activities specifically for gay men.
This 105-room hotel in the heart of Barcelona bills itself as a “gay hotel” that is “hetero-friendly.” It is in the heart of the Eixample neighborhood, the city’s dynamic gay area with great restaurants and nightlife. The theme here is seduction — nude photographs adorn the walls, naked mannequins hang out in the hallways, and see-through glass bathroom walls make for little privacy in the rooms. The rooms are large here, and upgrading to a suite will get you a very nice private terrace. Amenities include a top-notch fitness center, rooftop pool and bar, and relaxing spa. This is a good choice for couples, gay or straight, looking for a sexy atmosphere and a modern scene.
A boutique, adults-only option in the gay Olas Altas neighborhood, the Amaca Hotel is decorated in traditional Mexican style with bright white walls, peeping palm fronds, and tile floors. The outstanding feature here is a rooftop lounge and small pool area with sweeping views of Banderas Bay below. While the 22 rooms offer hammocks, balconies, and walk-in showers, some guests complain about a lack of free Wi-Fi and the absence of bathroom doors.
The Out NYC opened as one of New York’s first hotel specifically tailored for gay travelers, but it has rebranded to broaden its appeal. Indeed, the 105-room boutique property hosts guests of all orientations, including many foreigners drawn by the hotel’s central location, sleek design, gorgeous common areas, and hot nightlife. Business travelers also appreciate its proximity to the Javits Convention Center. Rooms are small but filled with features such as natural beauty products, Internet-enabled flat-screen TVs, and absurdly comfortable beds. You won’t, however, find any closets — a cheeky reference to the fact that no one needs to be in the closet here.
Please Note: Some in the LGBT community are boycotting this property due to the owners’ support of Ted Cruz.