Miami’s South Beach is one of the most gay-friendly destinations in the country, so any hotel in this neighborhood is a pretty good bet. But location, as they say, is everything, and hotels near the gay beach at 12th St. or near hot gay clubs have a slight edge over the competition.
The Doubletree Surfcomber plays host to some of the area's biggest gay events, and as such is arguably Miami's gay-friendliest hotel. It was the official host hotel for the 2009 Winter Party -- a week-long gay festival -- as well as lesbian Aqua girl party. Its heated pool with a waterfall was the setting for pool parties for both events.
The David Barton Gym in Chelsea has long had a gay following, and its Miami counterpart in Gansevoort South is of the same mold. A popular place to see and be seen for both gay and straight exercisers, the gym is characterized by Moroccan decor, club music, and mood lighting. Guests are likely to get hit on in the steam and sauna rooms, and the peak gay hours are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. according to Miami.com. To cool down after a workout guests can head upstairs to the largest rooftop lounge in the country, with a long, narrow pool used more for flaunting than swimming. Our reporter noted many gay couples staying at the hotel.
Hotel Victor is right at the intersection of 12th St. and Ocean Drive -- directly across the street from the gay portion of the beach, which is easily identifiable by the rainbow flags near the chairs. The hotel's sexy, clothing-optional Turkish hammam draws both gay and straight exhibitionists. Across the street to the north of the hotel is the gay cafe and bar The Palace (motto: Every queen needs a palace"), which hosts a weekly drag cabaret show.
The Albion is steps from the gay scene on Lincoln Road Mall, home to the gay dance club Score -- a South Beach mainstay that is still popular. Gay-friendly Lincoln Road businesses Van Dyke Cafe, Kiehl's Since 1851, and Diesel, all hosted events for the 2009 Winter Party, a week-long gay festival that takes place each year.