2013 Editors’ Choice Awards

By @ 09/16/13 in Uncategorized

Recognizing the very best in gay travel


While it implies objectivity, “best” is almost always subjective, or — at best — qualified. When we ask for the best hotel or restaurant, the answer can be as much a reflection of our sensibilities as it is of any objective quality measure.
Generally, “you get what you pay for,” but finding “the best” isn’t simply a matter of picking the most expensive option — it’s knowing what resonates for you. We saw a lot in our first year of publication: 68 destinations and 943 hotels. Much of it is a blur. But some of it stands out. Editors’ Choice winners are the ones that resonated most for us. The ones that truly shared our values.  The ones we would go back to… and sometimes do, when we’re not busy searching out new and different places to recommend.

And this year’s Awards go to…


Provincetown, Massachusetts 
In an era of rapid assimilation, gay communities are quickly losing their identity. But not Provincetown. It manages to stay current while honoring its great traditions, fostering diversity, community and a whole lot of fun. It’s also home to more Editor’s Choice venues than any other destination we’ve covered this year.

GAYBORHOOD of the Year

Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Another triumph over assimilation, Wilton Manors bucks the trend of the incredible shrinking gay community — it’s actually growing.

AIRLINES of the Year

There are lots of airlines marketing to and supporting the LGBT community in myriad ways. We’ll be looking at those airlines and how they stack up in the coming year. But for our awards, we want to recognize two small airlines that actually make flying a pleasure.

Cape Air
Remember when airline staff acted like they gave a sh*t about you? We don’t either. Which is why flying Cape Air is such a thrill. Super friendly staff who go out of their way to get you on yours.

Porter Airlines
Porter brings back the golden age of travel, reinterpreted for the modern age. With their lounge access for all, stylish uniforms and great inflight magazine, Porter Airlines is reminder that the journey doesn’t have to be just a means to an end.


Gay & Lesbian Vienna 
An incredibly useful resource, including gay city walking tours.


Brazil Ecojourneys 
Founded a decade ago by IGLTA Board Member and gay rights activist Marta Dalla Chiesa, Brazil Ecojourneys is very well connected to the Brazilian travel scene, and understands the needs and priorities of international gay visitors.


Many of its former red light district street-front brothels have been converted into small ateliers for young designers, making Amsterdam a capital for quirky, fashionable and unique fashion, set in particularly scenic neighborhoods.

ADVENTURE of the Year

Arctic Norway
Few destinations have stayed with us like unspoiled and un-globalized Arctic Norway. Seeing the Northern Lights is worthy of anyone’s bucket list. and spending time with Trine’s dogs at Birk Husky will warm the heart of any animal lover.


north america

Atlantic City, New Jersey USA
Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa 
“The best run, most luxurious, resort in town and sincere outreach to LGBT travelers”

Austin, Texas USA
Kimber Modern
“This ultra-modern hotel in the funkiest part of town is one of the best small hotels anywhere”

“This über-mod 7-room hotel is a dream of a place to stay”

Baltimore, Maryland USA
Hotel Monaco 
“chic, hip, charming, and incredibly supportive of the LGBT community”

Boston, Massachusetts USA
Clarendon Square Inn 
“This gay-owned 1867 townhouse is the kind of place you’ll feel a bit envious you don’t live in”

XV Beacon 
“Sleek and arty yet friendly and inviting”

Chicago, Illinois USA
The Public Hotel 
“Fusing great design, customer service and value”

The Dana Hotel and Spa 
“Super sleek and modern”

Dallas, Texas USA
Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek 
“Elegant yet contemporary and surprisingly unfussy”

The Warwick 
“Distinctly classic luxury in proximity to the gayborhood”

Hotel Zaza 
“Chic, contemporary and sophisticated lodgings for young and hip travelers”

Door County, Wisconsin USA
Holiday Music Motel
“Big city flair meets farmland dreams”

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida USA
The Worthington
“The friendly and frisky Worthington has no equal” (3 Palms)

The Grand Resort 
“Does a masterful job of balancing the sexual temperature” (3.5 Palms)

Pineapple Point 
“Remains the standard of gay guesthouses after more than a decade on top” (4 Palms)

Hawaii USA
Ko’a Kea Hotel (Kauai)
“Sophisticated, luxurious design and the friendly intimacy of only 121 rooms”

Travaasa Hana (Maui)
“Immerse yourself in a restful environment of great natural beauty and spiritual depth”

Key West, Florida USA
Island House
“Sets the bar for all-male gay guesthouses”

“Elegant, affordable, intimate”

Casa Marina 
“Elegant and stylish for nearly 100 years”

Las Vegas, Nevada USA
The Cosmopolitan 
“Swank and naught”

The Aria Resort & Casino 
“Contemporary and sleek”

Los Angeles, California USA
The London West Hollywood 
“For style and value, it’s hard to beat the London”

L’Ermitage Beverly Hills
“A discrete oasis of Asian-inspired luxury”

The Charlie
“Charming bungalow accommodations set amidst lush gardens”

JW Marriott
“A luxurious option in the heart of the new downtown”

El Tres Inn 
“A chic boutique mini-hotel with apartment-style suites”

The Ambrose
“A distinctly local perspective”

Shutters on the Beach
“The best option directly on the beach”

Miami Beach, Florida USA
Hotel Victor 
“It doesn’t get more Miami”

The Townhouse Hotel
“A throwback to South Beach’s gay heyday”

The James
“Our favorite of the Collins Avenue high-rise properties”

The Freehand Hostel 
“An affordable place with a swank design”

Milford, Pennsylvania USA
Hotel Fauchère 
“This sophisticated gay-owned inn screams Architectural Digest at at every turn”

Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
The Grand Hotel 
“Tour star luxury in the heart of downtown, with access to the city’s best fitness center”

Le Meridien Chambers 
“Sleek, modern and cheerful, with a fantastic contemporary art collection”

Montreal, Québec Canada
Hotel Gault 
“Our first choice in the city; industrial-minimalist decor and very gay-popular”

Maison des Jardins
“Super friendly, and crawling distance to the nightlife of the Gay Village.”

La Conciergerie 
“Quality accommodations and personal service to gay travelers for more than 25 years”

New Orleans, Louisiana USA
Hotel Le Marais
“A comfortable mix of modern and classic in a heart-of-it-all location”

The International House
“A perfect update of a Beaux Arts heritage with minimalist modern design at surprisingly affordable rates.”

Ritz-Carlton New Orleans 
“An architectural stunner with genteel charm and one of the best spas in the country”

New Hope, Pennsylvania USA
Inn at Bowman’s Hill
“A standout, with beautiful grounds”

New York, New York USA
Chelsea Pines Inn
“Impeccably managed and friendly”

The Eventi 
“The nicest rooms and best service of Chelsea’s mid-range hotels”

The Wythe Hotel (hotel)
“Rave reviews for this 72-room three-story glass and alumninum Brooklyn boutique hotel”

The Crosby Street Hotel 
“Charming, with a refined British sense of service”

The NoMad Hotel 
“A heavy dose of European chic with beautifully designed public spaces and interiors”

Ogunquit, Maine USA
Admiral’s Inn
“The perfect combination of local charm and full-service amenities”

Orlando, Florida USA
Waldorf-Astoria Orlando
“An oasis of style, sophistication and luxury”

Holiday Inn Lake Buena Vista Downtown
“Surprisingly chic for a Holiday Inn”

Palm Beach, Florida USA
Grandview Gardens
“Spacious, traditionally-furnished rooms set amidst lovely gardens”

The Breakers
“A sprawling resort at the top of its game”

Palm Springs, California USA
The Ace Hotel and Swim Club
“So darn cool, this is the only mainstream resort in Palm Springs showing a big interest in the gay market”

The Hacienda  (5 Palms)
No property has received more accolades from us than The Hacienda. From our very first Editor’s Choice awards at OUT&ABOUT, the Hacienda has stood the test of time.

Pura Vida  (5 Palms)
“Sleek modern design, and luxury amenities.”

East Canyon Hotel & Spa  (4.5 Palms)
“a spectacular hotel and spa”

Santiago  (4 Palms)
“Comfortable and sexy, without being sex-focused, Santiago charmed us with attention to detail”

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Hotel Palomar 
“Stylish decor and professional, friendly service”

Phoenix, Arizona USA
Arizona Biltmore
“this stunning luxury resort has spared no detail”

Hotel Palomar
“a sophisticated and cosmopolitan choice in the heart of downtown”

Portland, Oregon USA
The Ace Hotel
“bohemian-chic Ace was founded here by three gay men, with fresh thinking about what a modern hotel should be”

The Heathman Hotel
“a National Historic Landmark oozing with sophistication, luxury and sustainability”

Provincetown, Massachusetts USA
Land’s End
“a gothic-chic masterpiece” (5 Palms)

Brass Key
“set the standard for gay guesthouse resorts” (5 Palms)

Salt House Inn
“Martha Stewart meets André Balazs”, “loaded with Cape Cod charm filtered through an urban sensibility” (4.5 Palms)

8 Dyer Hotel
“Classic beachy chic” (4.5 Palms)

Carpe Diem
“A modern, sexy and sophisticated stand-out” (4.5 Palms)

White Wind Inn
“a great guesthouse and a solid value with a stellar location” (4 Palms)

Prince Albert Guest House
“Provincetown’s best gay location” (3.5 Palms)

Rehoboth, Delaware USA
Bellmore Inn & Spa
“the go-to for upscale accommodations”
Silver Lake Guest House
“lakefront elegance and comfort”

Québec City, Québec Canada
The Auberge Place d’Armes
“the design and location make this quirky and charming small hotel a top choice”

Hotel Le Germain-Dominion
“a gem in the Old Port area, with modern, cozy-chic accommodations”

San Diego, California USA
ANDAZ San Diego
“downtown’s most upscale design hotel”

Tower 23
“a fabulous choice in Pacific Beach”

San Francisco, California USA
The Parker Guest House
“This gay-owned Victorian on the Castro-Mission border has long been a favorite”

St. Regis San Francisco
“Everything you could want in a modern luxury hotel”

The Intercontinental San Francisco
“Sleek and modern, it’s the nicest hotel closest to the gay action in SoMa”

Best Western Americania
“Our top mid-range recommendation in town”

Hotel Vitale
“Understated elegance with spacious, stylish rooms — it’s the best hotel in the Embarcadero”

Santa Fe, New Mexico USA
Inn of the Five Graces 
“One of the most romantic places we’ve ever stayed”

Inn of the Turquoise Bear
This lovingly-restored gay-owned historic inn remains one of our favorite places to stay”

Seattle, Washington USA
Hotel 1000 
“One of Seattle’s most stylish luxury properties”

Gaslight Inn
“A very comfortable and well-appointed gay-owned B&B”

Ace Hotel Seattle
“As hip as they come; very central and convenient with an unbeatable price”

Toronto, Ontario Canada
The Drake
“Fabulous artist-designed rooms”

The Thompson Hotel
“Its rooftop pool and lounge is one of the nicest places”

Vancouver, British Columbia Canada
Shangri-La Vancouver
“Nothing surpasses the pampering of the Shangri-La’s first North American outpost”

The Opus Hotel 
“A best-bet, with stylish, generously sized rooms”

Vermont, USA
Moose Meadow Lodge
“Combines rustic charm with creature comforts”


Hotel Fasano (Rio)
“Swanky, modernist style evoking Rio’s ‘50s and ‘60s Bossa Nova heyday”

Ipanema Plaza (Rio)
“Moderately-priced rooms just steps from the gay beach”

Pousada Casas Brancas (Buzios)
“Airy and modern, with top-notch service”

Pousada Estrela D’Agua (Trancoso)
“Sophisticated rustic-chic”

Pousada Casa Turquesa (Parati)
“Sophisticated, stylish and quite exclusive”

Costa Rica
La Mansion Inn
“Stunning in every way”

Nayara Hotel Spa & Gardens
“A favorite among gay visitors, it just keeps getting better and better”

Hotel Banana Azul 
“A beloved 14-room B&B on the beach”

Monte Azul
“Four casitas adorned with contemporary art, set along a gorgeous riverside”

Mexico City
Hotel Habita
“It doesn’t get cooler than the starkly minimalist chic of the Hotel Habita”

The St. Regis Mexico City
“Luxury at a fraction of the usual St. R price”

Room Mate Valentina
“Budget boutique in the heart of the Zona Rosa”

Condesa DF 
“Personal attention that can make all the difference”

Puerto Vallarta
Casa Cupula 
“This stylish boutique hotel is one of the best gay-owned and gay-marketed properties around”

CasaMagna Marriott Resort and Spa 
“A favorite of the LGBT community for its reasonable rates and large resort amenities”


The Dylan
“Our first choice for its artful decor and best location in the city”

Van Ostade
“The best B&B in Amsterdam, and one of the most charming in all of Europe”

The Conservatorium 
“Modern luxury with a gorgeous spa”

Hotel de Rome 
“undeniably posh, the hotel never feels pretentious”

Hotel Adlon Kempinski
“The first choice of rock stars and royalty”

The Amsterdam
“with seafront rooms, a sexy sauna and a gay-central location, we’d love to book a room for the whole summer”

Hotel Pelirocco
“Sexy, funky, eccentric and unforgettable”

The Dominican
“Our top choice in town is a gorgeous 150-room design property right next to the opera house”

Aloft Schuman 
“A superbly stylish stay on the cheap”

Stern am Rathaus 
“Sophisticated design, great value and location”

“Top-choice for old-world luxury”

St. Pancras Renaissance 
“Blending Victorian and contemporary in a compelling 5-star way”

The Soho Hotel 
“Glamour in the thick of iconic London”

The Boundary 
“The best of Shoreditch, semi-retro and totally stylish”

Hoxton Hotel
“Loaded with flavor, smart design and thoughtful amenities at a great price”

The Goring
“London’s ritziest hotel, fit for royalty”

Cour des Loges
“The crème de la crème of lodging; sumptuous and romantic”

Velvet Manchester 
“Stunning boutique style in the heart of the gay village”

Radisson Blu Edwardian
“Low-key luxury and sophisticated, contemporary style”

Radisson Blu
“Chic and stylish rooms with breathtaking views”

Au Vieux Panier
“Six small but charming affordable rooms decorated by local artists”

The Bulgari Hotel & Spa
“The pinnacle of Milano luxury”

Hotel Spadari al Duono
“Centrally located and modern, with some of the friendliest staff in Europe”

Deutsche Eiche 
“Gay-owned, modern, convivial and reasonably priced, we love the rooftop terrace and location”

Sofitel Munich
“Graceful, modern and sleek”

The Charles
“Inviting, luxurious and lush”

Elysium Hotel
“The most exclusive gay hotel in Mykonos”

Myconian Imperial Hotel 
“Like staying with friends who happen to be super rich with exquisite taste”

Semeli Hotel 
“The best budget luxury option in Mykonos town”

The Geranium Hotel 
“Very gay popular friendly and fun place to stay”

Four Seasons George V 
“In a city full of luxury, this is our first choice, and one of the best in the world”

Jules & Jim
“Funky, minimalist decor in the heart of the Marais”

W Paris Opera
“One of W Hotels’ most glam outposts, with a 9th Arr. location we love”

One By The Five
“An unusual, dreamy escape”

Hotel Esmeralda
“Funky charm and affordable rates in a great location”

Porto, Portugal
The Yeatman
“A cocoon of wine-deepend serenity overlooking the River Douro”

Ravello, Italy
Palazzo Avino
“the best way to experience one of the most beautiful and romantic places on earth”

JK Place Roma 
“Contemporary luxury and personalized service in the heart of Rome”

Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel
“A heavenly stay at affordable rates”

Palazzo Manfredi 
“Opulent and modern, with spacious rooms, a great art collection, and drop-dead views of the Colosseum”

Kolbe Hotel
“Mid-range luxury with reasonable prices, a great location and a copious breakfast”

Hotel Calipolis 
“Contemporary and modern, located right on the gay beach”

Hotel Subtur
“A charming and convenient budget option”

The Nobis Hotel 
“A marvel of sophisticated Swedish design”

The Ring
“With a great location and consistently good service, its huge rooms at inexpensive prices are a great option between the luxe choices and bare bones options”


Elbow Beach Resort 
“Gorgeous, relaxed elegance”


Hilton Hotel Princess Wharf 
“Gleaming, with spectacular harbor views”

Mollies Boutique Hotel Ponsonby
“Luxurious and eclectic, with great views and a day spa”

Hong Kong
Upper House
“A zen haven with the best of modern east-meets-west sensibilities”

The Intercontinental Hong Kong
“The best unobstructed views of Hong Kong harbor”

The Four Seasons Hong Kong
“Luxury and convenience, with a choice of rooms in contemporary Chinese or Western decor”

Conrad Tokyo Hotel (Tokyo)
“An appealing vibrancy and energy convenient to public transportation and the famous Tsukiji fish market”

Capitol Hotel Tokyu (Tokyo)
“The best luxury value in town”

Hotel Granvia Kyoto (Kyoto)
“The very first hotel in Japan to court LGBT travelers, the Granvia is strategically located atop the Kyoto rail station”

Hoshinoya (Kyoto)
“The ultimate Japanese resort experience”

Melbourne, Australia
Art Series Hotels
“Modern and laid-back, with open-plan studio suites, and decor styled around the artwork of notable Australian artists”

Grand Hyatt Melbourne
“Fashion-forward luxury”


South Africa
Ellerman House (Cape Town)
“One of our favorite small hotels of all time”

Derwint House (Cape Town)
“Exceptional hospitality at this 10-room lesbian-owned guest house at the foot of Table Mountain”

Twelve Apostles (Cape Town)
“The epitome of waterfront luxury”

Sandton Boutique Hotel (Johannesburg)
“Five-star, gay-owned luxury B&B in Sandton, with impeccable service”

Mala Mala (Sabi Sand Game Reserve)
“Legendary, family-owned safari lodge with the best game viewing”

Singita (Sabi Sand Game Reserve)
“The most stylish and luxurious safari experience”

Special Mention: Restaurants, Nightlife, Shopping

Barnes Foundation (Philadelphia)
“A remarkable $25 billion collection in a brand new home”

Elmo (New York)
“The best looking stream of patrons and staff in Chelsea”

Gramercy Tavern (New York)
“Still our #1 go-to choice for fine dining without pretension”

lab.oratory (Berlin)
“This popular bar/sex club is the best example of the free-wheeling German attitude towards sex”

Le Depot (Paris)
“The ne plus ultra of gay sex venues in Paris, and the biggest cruising bar in all of Europe”

Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (New York)
“The first and only gay/lesbian art museum in the world”

Mälarpaviljongen (Stockholm)
“The crowd gets gayer as the night gets later at this chic floating restaurant bar and lounge”

MAP (Provincetown)
“Always a step or two ahead of the trends”

The Neon Museum (Las Vegas)
“This outdoor museum is our favorite nostalgia piece in town”

Pink Pub Crawl (Philadelphia)
“This monthly bar crawl is wildly popular and super fun”

The Week (Rio/Florianopolis/Sao Paulo)
“Beautiful decor, excellent sound and lighting and the hottest crowd in town”

Starbelly (San Francisco)
“A hip lively atmosphere and great food make this quintessential San Francisco dining in the Castro”

Ten Thousand Waves (Santa Fe)
“This Japanese-inspired bathing-focused spa is zen perfection in a beautiful setting” Viva

Viva (New York)
“The partnership of John Blair (the Roxy) and Ric Sena (Alegria) has given gay New York its Saturday night back”

Red Door Café (San Francisco)
“an exquisitely tasteful bistro whose gracious host/chef/owner Ahmed is a “a one-man cabaret of hilarity and inappropriate humor”

Bottega Prelibato (London)
“A picture perfect Italian restaurant….so romantic and charming, we come back every time…there’s no better space to retreat to than his lovely Italian bottega.”

Dabbous (London)
“This ultra-chic post-industrial-style loft space may be the best restaurant in London; it is certainly one of our favorites.”

Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails (Phoenix)
“The best restaurant to come along in some time.. big city dining at its finest.”

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