Gay travel with kids can be challenging. We have to be more careful in our choices than most other families. This means being on guard to how your family is perceived. It also means we make sure to bring our kids to places that welcome and celebrate families of all kinds. The truth is that not all hotels are family friendly and sadly, not all are LGBTQ friendly hotels for families either. The good news is that that are a growing number that are friendly to all.
According to Matt Jost, Co-Founder & CEO of misterb&b, gay travel can still be very risky and even life-threatening. The travel expert reminds us that some countries have essentially outlawed being gay. Jost created misterb&b to protect gay travelers, whether they’re staying at hotels or booking rooms or apartments. When it comes to where to stay, LGBTQ folks have to do extreme due diligence. Before a trip is booked, families should make sure hotels won’t discriminate against them or make them uncomfortable.
Check out Matt’s 4 tips to make sure you are staying at LGBTQ friendly hotels for family:
4 ways to tell if a hotel is LGBTQ friendly for families:
- They heavily market to the gay community. Does the hotel actively advertises in gay publications or creates gay-focused marketing campaigns? If so, you can be sure they’re looking to engage with the LGBTQ community.
- They can give you details about the local gay community. Prior to check-in, send an email to the concierge asking about the local gay scene. See what happens with their response. Or ask about local gay bars at the front desk. If it’s a truly gay-friendly hotel, they should have (and be happy to give) local information.
- They partner with major gay organizations. The most gay-friendly hotels are very out and proud, especially during PRIDE week. Look for ones that promote partnerships with organizations like IGLTA and GLAAD.
- They have a great score on a Human Right Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. Look for hotel chains that score big points on the national benchmarking tool. Do they have corporate practices that support and protect LGBTQ employees around things like domestic partnership benefits? These hotels are probably more apt to be open and welcoming to gay travelers. Hilton Hotels, Hyatt Hotels and Marriott Hotels are three hotel companies that all received a 100 percent score. Read the full report here.
6 LGBTQ Friendly Hotels for Families
Here’s a list of some of our family’s favorite LGBTQ friendly hotels, based on our own personal experiences:
Hyatt Palm Springs, Palm Springs, CA
Head to the always beautiful, always welcoming city of Palm Springs to stay at the nicely appointed Hyatt Palm Springs. Hyatt was the first major hospitality company to offer domestic partner benefits, and that inclusive environment has filtered down to its individual properties.
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tuscon, AZ
Families will find it a pleasure to stay at the luxurious Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Arizona. Though many might not think of Arizona as a gay-friendly state, Tucson is decidedly progressive with a live-and-let-live attitude. This city one of the most welcoming places for LGBTQ visitors and residents. Come in October for the Pride in the Desert event. Plus, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort advertises their hotel on GayArizona.com as a wedding venue.
Hawks Cay Resort, Duck Key, Florida
Hawks Cay Resort is on Duck Key, one of the Florida Keys islands. The Keys are well-known for being spectacularly friendly to gay travel. This resort is easy to get to and is the perfect jumping off point for fun family activities in the area. Hawks Cay Resort has everything a family would hope to find, including an enormous pool and nearby saltwater lagoon. It’s a little quieter and more family-friendly than Key West too. Read our full review here.
Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle, Washington
Seattle is known for its liberal and welcoming attitude towards LGBTQ visitors. Their slogan, #weSEAlove, is one of the genius ways they have promoted this expression. The Fairmont Olympic Hotel is less than 2 miles away from the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Seattle’s LGBTQ epicenter. This posh hotel doesn’t skimp on anything, even luxury. Try their High Tea – it’s a gay extravaganza complete with finger sandwiches and champagne. (And lemonade for the kids). Oh, and tea too. Read our full review here.
Kimpton Ink48, New York City, New York
Like almost every place in New York, choose the Kimpton Ink48 for its location first. Found in Hell’s Kitchen within walking distance to the Javits Center, this chic and elegant hotel is impeccably stylish. Plus it is surprisingly spacious, especially by NYC standards. Downtown New York is as gay-friendly as they come. Plus, Kimpton Hotels earned 100% in the latest Corporate Equality Index. Read our full review here.
Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, Los Cabos, Mexico
You don’t have to stay in the states to feel comfortable while traveling. Los Cabos has a friendly, relaxed vibe which has embraced the LGBTQ community. Families can escape to paradise at Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, a Four Diamond hotel with world-class amenities. You will feel welcomed and pampered, the best of both worlds! Read about our Cabos adventure here.
Whether you’re “TWG” (“traveling while gay”) or feeling like an outsider in some other way, it’s not always easy. We hope our recommendations for LGBTQ Friendly Hotels for Families offer you places to feel welcome and safe, while having tons of fun. LGBTQ travel, especially with kids, shouldn’t be anxiety inducing!