A new worldwide organization of gay-friendly hotels will aim to help the gay and lesbian traveler identify the best gay accommodations available, The South Florida Business Journal reports.
The World's Foremost Gay and Lesbian Hotels, led by the proprietor of a Fort Lauderdale resort, said its membership is limited to properties that meet guidelines in standards and operation. The group also said it will take into account eligibility factors including location, management, facilities, property standards, cleanliness, and atmosphere. "Members also need to demonstrate a consistent history of support for local gay causes and good staffing practices," the group said. "All members also accept reservations from travel agents or directly from the gay traveling public."
Richard Gray, the first president of World's Foremost Gay and Lesbian Hotels and proprietor of the Royal Palms Resort, said that what unites group members are standards of service, facilities, atmosphere, and value for money. In addition to Gray's property, the initial members of the group include: Turtle Cove in Cairns, Australia; the Hacienda in Palm Springs, Calif.; the Parker Guesthouse in San Francisco; the Brass Key in Provincetown, Mass.; the Highlands Inn in Bethlehem, N.H.; and Big Ruby's locations in Key West, Costa Rica, and the south of France. "All the properties are different, and they are all independently lesbian- and gay-owned and operated," Gray said.
Over time, Gray said, he expects the gay and lesbian traveler to recognize the cherry logo of World's Foremost Gay and Lesbian Hotels as a symbol of the best in gay accommodation standards. He also said the group has already forged an alliance with American Airlines as the group's airline of choice. "I think this is a most exciting development in gay travel," Gray said.