Miami’s South Beach boasts a slew of hotels that are not only friendly to the LGBT lifestyle, but there are those that specifically cater to the demographic. In South Beach, as with most other hot spots, location, location, location is key. Situated near the gay beach or sizzling nightlife, a hotel’s locale is as important as the sun and scenery.
Oyster.com found the stand-out hotels that cater to the gay community. Here they are in ascending order:
The Raleigh Hotel
The Raleigh (pictured at left) is sibling to The Standard, has a popular gay pool scene and is accessible from The Standard by a shuttle. Its iconic saltwater pool has a five-foot waterfall and draws in-the-know young adults.
The Albion is steps from the gay scene on Lincoln Road Mall and home to the gay dance club Score -- a South Beach mainstay. 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.
The Standard Miami
The Standard, a sashay across the street from the gay portion of South Beach, is part of the gay hub on Ocean Drive. Miami.com named its pool scene as popular with the gay crowd and a good place for celeb spotting. The pool isn't just for guests: Passes can be purchased for $50 on weekends or $40 on weekdays.
Hotel Victor is at the intersection of 12th St. and Ocean Drive -- directly across the street from the gay portion of beach, and easily identifiable by rainbow flags near the chairs. The hotel's sexy, clothing-optional Turkish hammam draws exhibitionists of all ilks. 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 David Barton Gym, all Moroccan decor, club music and mood lighting, is a popular place to see and be seen for both gay and straight exercisers. To cool down after a workout, head upstairs to the largest rooftop lounge in the country, with a long, narrow pool for flaunting and swimming.
Number 1: Doubletree Surfcomber
The Doubletree Surfcomber, host to some of the area's significant gay events, is ranked Miami's gay-friendliest hotel. It was the official host hotel for the 2009 Winter Party -- a week-long gay festival -- as well as for the 2009 lesbian Aqua girl party. The hotel's heated pool with a waterfall is a guest fave.
Just for the record, the rankings weren't voted upon by anonymous or questionable sources. Oyster Hotel Reviews (Oyster.com) is the first and only company dedicated to publishing thorough, independent, professional hotel reviews coupled with thousands of undoctored hotel photos. Oyster.com adheres to the highest editorial standards; it does not accept compensation or incentives from hotels, and pays for all travel expenses. Hotels cannot pay to be reviewed by Oyster.com nor can they influence Oyster.com reviews in any way.