The gay travel industry is (to put it mildly) booming. With greater acceptance of same-sex couples and same-sex marriage across the United States, many hotels and other providers are in a race for LGBT travel dollars. Here are 11 of the best LGBT-friendly hotels in some of the top travel destinations across the United States. All of the properties on this list are TAG-approved, which means not only that they court gay travelers, but also their employment policies and practices are non-discriminatory and supportive of the LGBT community.
The Out NYC
The Out NYC, in Hell’s Kitchen, was recently recognized by Fodor’s as one of the Trendiest Hotels in the World, and it isn’t hard to see why—can you say: floor-to-ceiling mirrored headboards? This property strives for elegance and comfort, and a brief skim of the reviews suggests it has succeeded. The most commonly used adjective by reviewers? Fabulous.
NYLO, New York City
NYLO New York City is a luxury hotel on Manhattan’s upper west side, with many rooms overlooking Central Park. The property is steps away from trendy bars and restaurants, and three popular choices are located in the hotel itself. Reviewers rave about the staff and price, which can be well below the rate for many of NYC’s comparable rooms.
Hotel Nikko, San Francisco
San Francisco isn’t exactly suffering from a shortage of LGBT-friendly hotels, but Hotel Nikko ranks among the top. This modern property in the center of the city’s shopping district is all about luxury. Reviewers recommend it highly, even for those traveling with the kids.
Topaz Hotel, Washington, DC
Topaz is a newly renovated Kimpton hotel in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, DC. In addition to being LGBT-friendly, Topaz is also pet-friendly and environment-friendly. Guests don’t want to leave—it’s that good.
Hotel Lincoln, Chicago
Historic, but modern, Hotel Lincoln sits on Chicago’s north side. The décor is quirky, the location is hard to beat, and the J. Parker restaurant is on the roof. What more could you need for a night’s entertainment?
W South Beach, Miami
So, the W South Beach isn’t particularly convenient for accessing the area’s famed night spots, but why would you want to leave the beach? Consistent with the Starwood line, the W South Beach has the best of everything—design, food, spa, service. It’s not a cheap stay, but as one TripAdvisor reviewer put it: “Wow, wow and more wow!!!”
Colonnade Hotel, Boston
This hotel used to be, shall I say, dated? But recently, the Colonnade Hotel Boston underwent renovations that caused Fodor’s Boston to exclaim: “Whoa. Did the stylists at Saks Fifth Avenue…sneak in and give the Colonnade an extreme make-over?” Reviewers love everything, except maybe the price, but here’s a hint: Join the hotel’s loyalty program for a complimentary room upgrade.
The Edgewater, Seattle
The Edgewater Hotel, made famous by The Beatles in 1964, remains one of the city’s best, and most romantic, downtown properties. Overlooking the water (hence the name), the Edgewater is conveniently located to all of Seattle’s top attractions and has been named by Condé Nast Traveler as “one of the world’s best places to stay.” It’s also home to the acclaimed Six Seven Restaurant—book your table in advance.
Maison 140, Beverly Hills
Maison 140 is a 44-room boutique hotel in Beverly Hills that will make you think you’re in France. This isn’t a spacious, invite-people-over kind of place; it’s more of an intimate, cuddle-up type of place. If you do decide to wander, you are close to Rodeo Drive and many of Beverly Hills’ top restaurants.
Dauphine Orleans Hotel, New Orleans
What could be better than staying in the same hotel where John James Audubon painted some of his famous birds and drinking at a bar that was once a bordello? Nothing, that’s what. The French Quarter’s Dauphine Orleans Hotel is a small piece of luxurious paradise—you might even forget that party-happy Bourbon Street is just a block away.
Alcazar, Palm Springs
Small boutique hotel Alcazar in Palm Springs’ Uptown district aims for “relaxed luxury.” Guests enjoy fresh pastries and coffee, a relaxing pool and patio area, and luxe amenities. If you don’t want to stray too far from your deck chair, one of the city’s best new restaurants is adjacent to the hotel.
Photo Credits: “Rainbow Flag Breeze” by Benson Kua [CC-BY-SA-2.0]; “San Francisco” by Fred Hsu [CC-BY-SA-3.0]; “The Edgewater, Seattle” by Another Believer [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons