Aqua Hotels & Resorts, including Queen Kapiolani Hotel, has gone above and beyond to embrace the gay community // (c) 2013 Aqua Hotels & Resorts
Have you ever wondered where in the world to send your clients seeking gay travel? Our agency, Pride Travel, regularly books travelers seeking gay-welcoming destinations and resorts. Here are some of my favorite options for popular destinations.
Orlando: Home to a gay resort complex spanning 10 acres
With half a dozen bars and clubs, pools and expansive grounds, Orlando’s Parliament House Resort is a happening place that will leave clients with many fond memories of a great evening out. For the more adventurous, an onsite resort offers a hundred motel style rooms that are attractively priced. Clients seeking a quiet haven will not find one here until the clubs, bars and discos onsite go dark after the wee hours. But, for customers who don’t mind basic rooms and noise, this is the right place in the heart of the action.
Palm Springs: A city full of men’s resorts
Palm Springs is one of the few cities in the world that can boast so many gay welcoming and men’s only resorts — this article couldn’t begin to scratch the surface. There are small boutique motels, exclusive luxurious resorts and, of course, the very popular clothing optional men’s resorts. Palm Springs is so popular with gays and lesbians, the first ‘gay timeshare’ even was invented here. Just a few of our clients’ favorites are The Oasis, INNDulge Palm Springs, La Dolce Vita Resort & Spa, Pura Vida Palm Springs and the just opened Random Haus.
Hawaii: A welcoming paradise oasis beckons
Aqua Hotels & Resorts has gone above and beyond to embrace our community for years, and promises to be just as hospitable with your gay clients. The boutique chain has been an active member of IGLTA, obtained TAG Approved certification and continuously promotes a gay welcoming atmosphere. The occasional ‘Out and Proud’ discounted stay or free Mai Tai at Hula’s Bar on Waikiki never hurts either.
San Juan: Two options in the heart of Condado
Atlantic Beach Hotel is in the heart of the Condado area, with an active gay bar that’s an attraction in itself. Though rooms are basic, they are beachfront with the added convenience of being in the thick of one of San Juan’s iconic clubs. Nearby, the posh refurbished San Juan Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino is very gay welcoming. Offering superlative service and the upgraded amenities of the Marriott chain, the resort is also in the thick of the gay nightlife of Condado.
Victoria: British Columbia’s capital for your client’s gay wedding
Host to celebrities and lay persons alike, the ultra-luxurious yet unpretentious Inn at Laurel Point Hotel graces Victoria’s Inner Harbour with charm and understated elegance. Sporting breathtaking views, gardens and banquet space, the Inn at Laurel Point plays immaculate host to any event. I’ve often thought this is where I could have my wedding, and I would be in good hands — the Inn stands ready with the experience of several recent gay and lesbian weddings.
Amsterdam: Europe’s undisputed gay capital
Housed in a pair of 18th century row houses, Hotel the Golden Bear is the oldest gay property in the city since World War II. A few of the rooms have en-suite bathrooms and showers, but most are shared, with only a small washbasin in the room. That said, I’ve stayed many times over the years and can attest to impeccable cleanliness, comfortable duvet beds and a scrumptious breakfast to start the day. There’s a certain camaraderie in the cozy breakfast room that can’t be matched at bigger hotels, and the location is central to all attractions.
Cancun: Where ‘men’s only’ and ‘all-inclusive’ combine
Several gay welcoming destinations offer men’s only resorts, but Cancun is the only one I know of that marries the all-inclusive concept with the men’s only model. Mere minutes from the heart of the Tulum Archeological site, the Adonis Tulum Riviera Maya Gay Resort & Spa promises to provide an exclusive experience for your gay clients wanting the all-inclusive experience tailored to the gay community.
Bangkok: Asia’s heart is found in Thailand
Sharing a complex with a day spa and sauna, The Babylon Bangkok’s little secret are the suites. Accommodations at this bed and breakfast are tastefully decorated in a fusion of traditional Thai and western decor. Some rooms share a duplexed common and semi-private living room or gardens, and most rooms come with breakfast in the tower as well as daily spa passes to the sauna and health club.
Orient Express Hotels: Luxury chain dedicated to welcoming diversity
Few luxury hospitality companies are as dedicated and involved in LGBT travel. In addition to joining IGLTA, Orient Express has been sending its director of diversity for the brand to the association’s global convention for years. Orient Express has also invited travel agents specializing in gay travel to preview and tour such exclusive properties as the impeccable Maroma on Mexico’s Costa Maya, the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro Brazil and countless properties in the Americas and beyond.
Celebrity Cruises: A fleet of cosmopolitan and trendy resorts afloat
From the old days of the Galaxy class, to the Millennium and now the Solstice class, it seems that every Celebrity Cruises ship built has attracted gay travelers. Almost inexplicably, gay men and women often seem to flock to the brand’s chic trendy decor, excellent entertainment options, abundant nightlife and hip clientele. I’ve sailed almost two dozen times, and continue to count Celebrity as my favorite, so I’m obviously biased. Whether it’s for a gay cruise, group or even an individual FIT booking, your clients will thank you for booking them on a line that resonates with their tastes.