Though it still has a long way to go, the US is one of the best countries to visit for an LGBTQ traveler. Annual events such as the NYC Pride parade draw in huge crowds of both LGBTQ visitors and allies alike. Small towns such as Providence, Massachusetts, are filled with queer-friendly venues, as well as rustic New England beachfront charm. There are even resorts designed solely for queer guests. The best LGBTQ-friendly hotels in the US range from large international brands based out of nearly every major city to small boutique hotels localized in specific areas. Whether for work or for pleasure, finding accommodation in the US that is LGBTQ-friendly is essential for any queer traveler.
Hotel San José is founded by queer businesswoman Liz Lambert. A stay at the Hotel San José guarantees a warm welcome to members of the LGBTQ community. The layout of the hotel is unique and boutique, with a focus on music, arts, and urban renewal. Liz Lambert also runs other renovated hotels throughout Texas, all of which have the same attention to detail and comfortable elegance.
Where: 1316 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
Kimpton Hotels is a major hotel chain with a focus on supporting the queer community. It was the first official hotel sponsor of The Trevor Project, which is a crisis and suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ youth. The company also has an LGBTQ-specific section of its website offering promos for travelers. Kimpton Hotels has boutique hotels in over 60 locations, so regardless of which US city you are looking to visit, chances are high that there is a Kimpton close by. Washington, DC alone offers multiple Kimpton options, such as Hotel Palomar in Dupont Circle, a neighborhood widely known for its prolific LGBTQ history. The company has maintained a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Index.
Marriott International is a readily accessible hotel chain that is a welcoming choice to LGBTQ travelers. It is focused on creating an accepting environment for queer customers, as well as sponsoring and marketing specifically to potential queer clientele. The company has previously sponsored Pride events in Washington, DC, San Francisco, and NYC. Marriott is a nationwide brand with locations all throughout the US, and therefore makes a convenient and comfortable choice for accommodation. It also recently launched its #lovetravels campaign to raise awareness for global queer travelers all over the world.
4. W Hotels
W Hotels, which is now part of Marriott thanks to the Starwood merger, has shown consistent support to the community in terms of both outspoken alliance and assistance to charities and nonprofit organizations. LGBTQ travelers can rest comfortably at one of the many unique locations throughout the US. W Hotels, partnered with Jennifer Hudson, manages an LGBTQ organization called Turn It Up for Change, which fundraises and creates positive publicity for the queer community. It was also one of the first hotels to publicly sponsor the Pride parade in NYC.
Hyatt Hotels is another major hospitality company that has maintained a perfect Human Rights Index score for a subsequent number of years. It was one of the first hotel brands to offer benefits to domestic partners, in addition to the standard benefits offered to a heterosexual married couple. Hyatt has been named one of the best places to work for LGBTQ equality and has made public strides to show equality to all of its employees, no matter their sexual orientation. This commitment carries over to customers as well. In 2019, Hyatt offered multiple packages and promotions during Pride month, such as discounts for staying three days or over and food and entertainment bundles.
6. Villa Royale
The Villa Royale is located in Palm Springs. It is situated close to Dinah Shore Weekend, an annual lesbian music festival, which features excellent parties, live music, and dance performances. The hotel is owned and run by women, and features a variety of rooms with carefully curated style and a luxurious outdoor pool area. It is located right near the deserts of California and has the capability for hosting large events, such as weddings. The boutique hotel offers a few special discounts and packages, including a “rosé all day” offer, which features a late checkout, a reserved poolside cabana, and a bottle of rosé paired with a fruit platter.
Where: 1620 S Indian Trail, Palm Springs, CA 92264
The Brass Key Guesthouse is located in Provincetown and is queer-run, queer-owned, and queer-operated. The accommodation has traditional East Coast beach-style cottage housing as well as a courtyard pool. The hotel clarifies in its mission statement that it caters to guests of all orientations and that open-mindedness is valued most. Provincetown is well-known for its queer community, so LGBTQ travelers can find plenty of spots to enjoy outside of the hotel, in addition to the whale watching, paddleboarding, and beach-combing that the Cape is famous for.
Where: 67 Bradford St, Provincetown, MA 02657
The La Dolce Vita Resort is an all-male, clothing-optional gay resort in Palm Springs. The backdrop is not bad either as mountains and desert surround the resort on all sides. It caters specifically to queer men and includes outdoor pools, saunas, massage parlors, and hot tubs. The hotel itself is located in a quieter area outside of the Palm Springs “gay” neighborhood, yet is still within walking distance to many restaurants.
Where: 1491 Vía Soledad, Palm Springs, CA 92264
If the name isn’t obvious enough (or the unmissable rainbow logo), Rainbow Mountain Resort is an accommodation intended for traveling members of the queer community. Since 1981, the hotel has been dedicated to serving LGBTQ guests. It is located high in the Pocono Mountains, outside of NYC, and can be accessed best from either NYC or Philadelphia. Guests can stay in a wide array of unique quarters, such as cabins or lodges. The hotel regularly hosts different events and parties that guests can attend, and the website has a complete events list available.
Where: 210 Mt Nebo Rd, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
Alexander’s Guesthouse is an LGBTQ accommodation in Key West, Florida. The hotel used to be geared more specifically toward gay men but has since expanded to include a broader clientele and now LGBTQ travelers of all orientations are welcome. Inclusion and acceptance of all members of the LGBTQ community are core focuses when it comes to the accommodation’s hospitality, with its famous happy hours being a perfect example of the importance it places on community. Note, the property is intended for guests over the age of 21.
Where: 1118 Fleming St, Key West, FL 33040