By Aefa Mulholland
Originally published on Advocate.com June 22 2008 11:00 PM ET
For top-notch gay
stays, we're beginning to be spoiled for choice. Attitude Hotels offers an
extensive portfolio of hotels in three categories, Premium,
Comfort, and Value, from the United Kingdom to Florida.
Another excellent all-gay accommodation option is World's Foremost Gay and Lesbian
Hotels, an intimate collection of some of the
absolute best LGBT hotels, resorts, guesthouses and
inns that includes The Cabana at Waikiki ; Fort Lauderdale's
Royal Palms; Provincetown's Brass Key and the two top
women's properties in the United States, the Highlands
Inn in Bethlehem, N.H., and Pearl's Rainbow, Key West,
hotel companies trot eagerly out of their way to make
LGBT travelers welcome at their properties, from putting
together gay-specific websites and Pride packages to
offering discounts and local scene advice to gay and
lesbian travelers. These five homo-loving hotel
companies deserve particular recognition for their efforts
in making our overnights away from home a real treat.
1. KIMPTON HOTELS
With an impressive 100 percent score in the
Human Rights Campaign's Equality Index for four years
running for the way it treats its gay staff, Kimpton
was always going to make this list. However, it doesn't
stop there. The company wins extra points for advertising in
LGBT media, donating to gay charitable causes and
offering Pride discounts (10 percent when you type
"PRI" into the rate code field) and packages, such as
70 Park Avenue's "Propose on Pride" package; from
$249) in New York City.
2. W HOTELS
With innovative LGBT marketing campaigns and
extra feathers in its cap for attention to detail,
such as same-sex-inclusive wording in marketing
efforts like the "Wow Vows" campaign, it's no wonder W wins
so many gay admirers. The Pride 365 package includes
hot rooms, cocktails and extras from subscriptions to
Out and Out Traveler to a Puma travel wallet.
Another hotel collection with a perfect score
from HRC, Hyatt also won 2006's PlanetOut Travel Award
for Best Hotel Collection for LGBT Travelers. One of
the first national hotel chains to advertise in LGBT
media, Hyatt is also a sponsor of the GLAAD Media Awards.
4. RED CARNATION
At Red Carnation's nine four- and five-star
properties, all guests receive the same welcome.
Concierges are ready to dispense insider tips on local
gay scenes, and the hotels in London often host
civil-partnership ceremonies. In addition to London, the
group has hotels in Geneva, Palm Beach, Fla., and Cape
Town, South Africa.
5. JOIE DE VIVRE
All of Joie de Vivre's 37 California hotels are
gay-friendly, and LGBT occupancy ranges from 10
percent to 100 percent at San Francisco hotels during
Pride, but the hip Phoenix and the sophisticated Hotel Rex
are particularly gay-popular. The company,
California's largest independent boutique hotelier,
has a city guide, "The Gay Life: San Francisco Style,"
ready for guests at all its hotels.