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Make New Friends At These 7 Gay-Friendly US Hotels

January 20, 2012 at 9:35 AM | by | ()

Maybe we got hit with the Valentine's Day bug a little early, but we're feeling extra-romantic this week. So we're channeling that energy into this list (as promised), of some of the country's gay-friendliest hotels and resorts. But don't worry—it's not all rose petals and glasses of champagne. Whether you want a DJ, a mountain view, or vintage patio furniture, we're pretty sure you'll find what you're looking for here.

Hilton Sedona, a 219-room resort located in northern Arizona's Red Rock country, was recently TAG-approved for its commitment to LGBT travelers. What's more, last September, it hosted the Sedona Pride on the Rocks Festival, which drew all sorts of fun-seeking folks from the entire Verde Valley region. And if the 2012 bash is anything like last year's, guests at the hotel can expect a private pool party, a drag show "Gay-La," and of course, the main festival itself, which takes place among the resort's three heated pools, two restaurants and 20,500 square feet of event space.

Rates start at $179

We laughed when Miami's The Lords South Beach announced itself as an "appropriately-oriented hotel" when it opened in 2010, but its intentions are perfectly clear. If the regular party scene wasn't enough to clue you in, just take a look at those bright yellow rooms and matching lobby. And now it's got its own gay travel app. I mean, really. An ultra-gay-er hotel, there never was!

Rates start at $187


Of course, if the thought of leaving New York for just a second proves too stressful, LGBT hotel-hoppers certainly aren't lacking in any destinations there, either. This March will see the opening of The Out NYC, a gay-themed hotel in Hell's Kitchen that's boasting an 11,000 square foot nightclub, a peekaboo pool, and rates starting at $229. In the meantime, Thompson Hotels' Gild Hall hosts a monthly gay party in the Library Bar called GEKKO. Held on the last Wednesday of each month, Gild Hall offers a classy alternative to the too-loud clubs and dive bars further uptown.

(Gild Hall has a rep for being extra quiet (at least for New York standards), so if you bring a special guest back to your room, try not to wake the entire hotel.)

Rates start at $251


Back in November, we were seriously wooed by the shiny Italian glass-tiled floors and gorgeous sunset views at Forty 1 North. But it turns out the hotel's adjoining restaurant and bar, Christie's, is also the site of Newport's hottest (and, um...only) gay party, GOSSIP. Every Thursday night, a DJ shows up to transform a traditional tapas bar into a packed nightclub. Hint: try to snag a spot in one of the hanging chairs, and bounce your way into the wee hours.

Rates start at $249


Advocate recently named Austin one of the fifteen gayest cities in America, and gave a particular shout out to the Hotel San Jose, a lesbian-owned with a vintage-y roadside vibe a la Ace Palm Springs. Rooms are separated by gardens and winding cactus-lined pathways. The hotel's website has soft twangy guitar music playing in the background, advertises weekly Thursday night movie screenings, and invites guests to come "experience a col Texas twilight." Don't mind if we do...

Rates start at $175


Palm Springs has been a destination for gay travelers since the 1950s, and it's estimated to have a higher concentrated LGBT population than even San Francisco. But what hotel to choose? Well, the Renaissance Palm Springs is always a good place to start. And not just because of the awesome mountains views or patterned headboards. We're talking about the White Party—America's largest gay dance music festival—which, every April, is hosted right here at the hotel (one of last year's guests was Lady Gaga). That's only three months from now! Better get booking!

Rates start at $149


For the past 10 years, DoubleTree Grand Key Resort has played a major role in the Key West gay scene—upcoming events this year include Gay Spring Break (March), Tropical Heat (August), Womenfest (September), Fantasy Fest (October) and Key West Pride (June). Furthermore, drag shows, frequent commitment ceremonies, and a gay and lesbian historic trolley tour make this uber gay-friendly spot fun even when the sun isn't shining.

Do you feel we've missed one out? Feel free to add to the list in the comments below!

[Photos: Lords South Beach, Hilton Sedona, Like/Want/Need, HotelChatter, Hotel San Jose, Renaissance, OverUnder]

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