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 Betsy is a four-pearl boutique hotel that does just about everything right: Stylish but informal decor and an attention to detail make for a luxe, yet laid-back ambiance. The 61 rooms are a tad small, as can often be expected in historic buildings, but they feature chic white-on-white, beachy decor and teak accents, as well as high-tech amenities including flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, bathroom mirrors embedded with TVs, and free Wi-Fi. Guests rave about the rooftop sundeck, scene-y lobby bar, and excellent BLT Steak restaurant. It's also a member of the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the Pink Flamingo Hospitality Program.
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.
Miami.com named The Standard's pool scene as popular with the gay crowd and a good place for celeb spotting. And the pool isn't not just for guests: Passes to the pool can be purchased for $50 on weekends or $40 on weekdays.
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.