In recent years, Baltimore has developed a personality all its own that’s equal parts eye-popping and enthralling. It’s quickly transformed into one of the east coast’s coolest cities, and it’s easy to see why. Right from world-class sports teams and gorgeous architecture to a buzzing nightlife, there’s nothing that Baltimore doesn’t have. What’s more, the LGBTQ+ community is also very active in the city, but that’s not surprising, given that it gave us the inimitable John Waters. Besides a rollicking gay scene and even a gayborhood, there are many gay friendly hotels in Baltimore that more than welcome the LGBTQ set. Moreover, they range from top brand names such as Kimpton to smaller boutique hotels preferred by discerning travelers. No matter your traveling style, Baltimore has a gay friendly hotel for you.
It’s not surprising that Baltimore’s gay scene has everything from two local LGBTQ papers to cultural events, a gay bookstore, and even an all-male performance group! No wonder Nerdwallet ranked Baltimore as the country’s fifth friendliest city for LGBTQ people. There are many things to do in Baltimore, including Fell Hill, Oriole Park, Baltimore Museum of Art, and the George Peabody Library, one of the world’s most spectacular libraries. So, what are you waiting for? Here are the 11 most gay friendly hotels in Baltimore, Maryland.
Table of contents
- Lord Baltimore Hotel
- Admiral Fell Inn
- Four Seasons
- Hotel Indigo Baltimore Downtown
- Hotel Revival
- Hotel Ivy
- The Inn at Henderson’s Wharf
- Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore
- Royal Sonesta
- Sagamore Pendry
- Gramercy Mansion
- Best Gay Neighborhoods in Baltimore
- Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Baltimore
- Best Gay Saunas in Baltimore
- Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Baltimore
Lord Baltimore Hotel
The historic gem of Lord Baltimore Hotel is one of the best gay friendly hotels in Baltimore. The 23-storied hotel was built way back in 1928 in the French Renaissance style. So, you’ll see remnants of its earlier grande dame status, such as the revolving brass entryway doors with a brass clock atop. The crown of the red-brick hotel is a copper roof, with a pleasing green patina resulting from oxidation over the years. Today, you can choose from 440 rooms designed by interior designer Scott Sanders. Think vintage artwork, sleek black and charcoal-gray color schemes, black leather armchairs, and in-room coffeemakers. Downstairs, there’s no shortage of eating options, including a tavern, a coffeehouse, and a French bistro that serves a delicious breakfast. But the crowning glory is the LB SkyBar rooftop bar, which offers mesmerizing city views. The best bit? It sits just south of Mount Vernon.
Admiral Fell Inn
Seven historic structures on the cobblestoned streets of Fell’s Point make up the Admiral Fell Inn. The neighborhood’s salty history comes alive in the hotel’s architectural mish-mash of uneven floors, narrow halls, and nautical décor. In fact, the hotel had former lives as a bottling factory, a YMCA, and even a rooming house for sailors during the neighborhood’s bawdy days. Today, none of the rooms are cookie-cutter, and each has its quirky decor layout and décor. What’s more, they’re all dedicated to famous figures in Baltimore’s history. Even hallways have plaques beside every room door that describe their connections to the city.
There’s no shortage of eating and drinking avenues at the inn, especially the basement Admiral Pub tavern, where you can order classic cocktails. Try the Preakness, a 1930s-created cocktail with bitters, Benedictine, Carpano Antica Vermouth, and Sagamore rye. It was concocted for the local Preakness Stakes horse races. Enjoy them with bar bites from the hotel’s Rec Pier Chophouse, which also serves meals.
Do you want to enjoy an all-out and luxurious holiday in Baltimore? Then the Four Seasons is one of the best gay friendly hotels in Baltimore. For one, the hotel has already achieved iconic status, both artistic and architectural. The 22-storied glass-and-steel skyscraper is the most formidable structure along the Inner Harbor waterfront and is home to the largest art collection amongst the city’s hotels. Discerning gay travelers will surely love the amenities here, the crown jewel of which is the rooftop pool. The place features a pool bar and grill private cabanas and offers mesmerizing views of the harbor. Moreover, the 10,000-square-feet huge wellness spa is no less indulgent, complete with a Finnish rock sauna and a vitality pool. And when it comes to food, the harbor-front restaurant with a live-fire grill and patio seating is helmed by celebrity chef Michael Mina.
The rooms and suites are no less impressive, with the best rooms being the corner ones that have wraparound windows and mesmerizing Baltimore views. Finally, Mount Vernon is a 5-minute drive or a 15-minute train ride.
Hotel Indigo Baltimore Downtown
Do you want to stay right in the heart of Mount Vernon? Hotel Indigo is where you should be, as it lies just three streets away from all of Baltimore’s rocking gay bars such as Drinkery et al. It’s hard to believe that this stylish hotel was formerly Baltimore’s first YMCA in 1907. The hotel especially draws bibliophiles due to the fun literary theme. Also, gay travelers who love pets will love the vibe at this pet-friendly hotel, including residential puppy Xander!
The boutique-style hotel has 162 rooms and suites decked with stylish furnishings, custom-designed murals, and spa-like baths with Aveda toiletries. Extra touches such as mini-fridges and Keurig coffeemakers certainly make your stay comfortable. But, what you’ll love the most is the restaurant and bar, which serves everything from breakfast bowls and paninis to regional dishes and artisanal cocktails.
Art-loving gays should head straight to Hotel Revival, one of the chicest gay friendly hotels in Baltimore. The Renaissance front might be from the 1920s, but the interiors are utterly 21st century. The former mansion has some of the city’s most Instagram-worthy rooms, and suites decked out in modern and upscale styles. It also has huge windows that offer wonderful downtown views. You can expect original artwork, mid-20th century textiles, and a carefully curated blend of antiques. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll even find all kinds of throwbacks to the region’s rich history. Relax with a craft beer or a craft cocktail at the incredible rooftop restaurant and wind the day up with a seafood dinner at the end of the day. Do you want to take things up a notch? It even has a karaoke bar with three private rooms!
The 1889-built Hotel Ivy is perfect for gay travelers who love places with characterful backstories. This hotel, which sits in a stately and gorgeous turreted red-brick mansion, was once the home of a bottle-cap magnate. Today, the two adjacent Federal-style townhouses house well-worn architectural elements of the Gilded Age. Think carved wood wainscoting, parquet floors, stained-glass windows, and 23 fireplaces! The hotel impresses right off the bat, with the lobby featuring colorful murals, antique books, and a grand piano. You’re greeted by a glass of bubbly and taken straight to one of the 18 rooms, each with unique and eye-catching decor. Nevertheless, they all have spa bathrooms with deep soaking tubs, gas fireplaces, and cozy four-poster beds. And with 24/7 room service, you can order anything that you want from the comfort of your rooms!
The Ivy might have one restaurant, but it has five different and characterful dining areas. These include an intimate “Treasury” where house valuables were once locked away and a romantic walled courtyard. When you want to turn to libations, the Mansion Bar allows you to make your drinks from a handy recipe book. And finally, when you want to unwind, head to the decadent second-floor Spa at the Ivy.
The Inn at Henderson’s Wharf
The charming little Inn at Henderson’s Wharf is one of the most alluring gay friendly hotels in Baltimore. It’s one of the many historic Fells Point waterfront buildings. Choose from a host of rooms and suites, all of which ooze charm with their old-world decor and exposed brick walls. However, one of the coolest aspects of staying here is the butler service in each room! All you need to do is dial a number, and you’ll have freshly-brewed Wolfgang Puck tea/coffee delivered right to your room.
Begin your day with the complimentary European-style buffet breakfast, despite no onsite restaurant. However, the hotel is surrounded by some of Baltimore’s best restaurants in town. Don’t worry; you can still mingle with fellow guests at the socials, the evening sangria, wine, and cheese reception. What about a unique nightcap? There’s free dark chocolate, Grand Mariner, and Baileys in the lobby.
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore comes from the extremely gay-friendly Kimpton brand. The hotel lies in a 1906 Beaux-Arts building, formerly the B&O Railroad Headquarters. You’re instantly wowed by the three-story lobby, the shimmering crystal chandeliers, and the marble staircase. Choose from many stylish rooms, all of which come with Frette linen beds, luxe bathrooms with Atelier Bloem bath products, and gourmet honor bars with organic goodies.
You’ll absolutely love all the thoughtful freebies, such as evening wine hours, morning coffees, and the PUBLIC bike rentals. Plus, there are many other amenities, such as the living room area with plush seating and a fireplace where you can hang out before you have to leave to explore the town. And, of course, there’s the B&O American Brasserie with its cavernous feel and delicious craft cocktails and American fare.
Royal Sonesta is one of the best-located gay friendly hotels in Baltimore. It sits on the Patapsco River in the heart of the Downtown action, with Mount Vernon being a straight-line 10-minute train ride. When you’re not exploring the town, swim laps in the heated rooftop indoor pool before laying on the sunbeds beside. Later, unwind in the relaxing sauna or play a round of tennis at the rooftop courts. Begin your mornings with a cup of joe and grab-and-go breakfast at the lobby cafe. The American gastropub restaurant is excellent for locally sourced meals, but it serves them only on the weekend. After a long day, retire to your spacious rooms, each of which has plush beds and luxe bathrooms. Do you want to splurge a little? Upgrade to the Harborview room for panoramic Inner Harbor views.
Who could have imagined that a posh hotel with an infinity pool, poolside bar, cabanas, et al. would one day occupy pride of place on Baltimore’s once-seedy Fell’s Point waterfront? That’s the Sagamore Pendry for you. The hotel sits in a century-old Beaux-Arts building that was once known as Rec Pier and was the country’s second-largest immigration gateway! A grand brick arch and a metal sculpture of white sails welcome you within, which is now part of the Rec Pier Chophouse restaurant.
The entire place is full of antique decor and remnants of an era, such as antique cannons on display in the American Whiskey bar. Moreover, the entrance hall has a modern metal wall outline sculpture of native son Edgar Allan Poe’s face. As you walk forward, the airy and foliage-filled courtyard features comfy around-the-fireplace seats and a huge metal sculpture of a horse. Whew. If you can manage to tear yourself away from all the dreamy decor, enjoy a swim in the seasonal outdoor pool, one of Baltimore’s best hotel pools. Or, get pampered head-to-toe at the spa.
The 1914-built hotel has just 128 rooms in mid-century-style designs, floor-to-ceiling windows, beautiful hardwood floors, and plush beds. Do you want to make the most of the waterfront setting? Upgrade to one of the lavish Pier Suites with furnished balconies and scenic views of the water.
If romance is what you’re looking for, then the Gramercy Mansion is one of the most romantic gay friendly hotels in Baltimore. The picture-perfect bed and breakfast sits on 45 acres of lush gardens in a historic, Tudor-style mansion in the suburb of Stevenson, around 20 minutes from Mount Vernon. Choose from just 11 rooms and suites, all opulent down to the last brick. Think beautiful artwork, unique antiques, vintage decor, and traditional Victoria-era furniture. You’ll love enjoying movie nights on the cloud-like beds, cozying up in front of the fireplaces, luxuriating in the whirlpool tubs.
Begin your day with a hearty and complimentary gourmet breakfast, which includes cold items and made-to-order mains such as avocado toast and feta and spinach omelets. The veggies and herbs are plucked right from the B&B’s own Koinonia Organic Farm, the oldest certified organic farm in Maryland! If that wasn’t enough, the hosts even assist in arranging wine dinners, private high tea parties, and garden and house tours.
Best Gay Neighborhoods in Baltimore
The powerhouse of the East Coast’s gay nightlife might be Washington, D.C., but its quirky and unassuming neighbor Baltimore is no less. It’s, most famously, home to iconic gay filmmaker John Waters and his drag queen muse, Divine. What’s more, the gayborhood of Mount Vernon is one of the country’s longest-established gay districts. It’s where Baltimore’s first Pride Celebration took place in 1975 and was also home to the GCCB (Gay Community Center of Baltimore) for as long as 34 years. If all that wasn’t enough, the city was one of the top 20 places for LGBT-friendly retirement in SeniorAdvice.com’s 2018 list.
Mount Vernon is the epitome of queerness in the city and is one dream of a gayborhood. It’s home to historic and architecturally amazing structures and is equal parts stunning and cool. Aside from being home to many of Baltimore’s most popular LGBTQ bars, restaurants, and clubs, it’s also the place that many LGBTQ people call home.
Another gayborhood in Baltimore is Charles Village, which is famed for its vibrant Victorian rowhomes that are famously called “painted ladies.” In fact, it was home to many important locations and people during the 1970s-1980s Baltimore LGBTQ movement. Even today, many gay people live in Charles Village.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Baltimore
- Factory 17: The former Club 1722 is one of Baltimore’s most popular after-hours gay dance clubs. When the rest of the city winds down, Factory 17 opens its doors. DJs play trance, electronic, and house tracks through the night until the wee hours of the morning.
- Leon’s of Baltimore: This old-timer of a leather bar has been around since 1957! During its early years, customers were asked if they were a “friend of Dorothy” before entering. This is both, a reference to Judy Garland’s character in “The Wizard of Oz” as well as common old-time lingo to furtively ask if one is gay. In fact, the owners originally purchased the adjacent restaurant, Leon’s Backroom, so patrons could come in and head out without having to use the main entrance!
- The Drinkery: This laidback pub is one of Baltimore’s oldest gay bars, and features weekend drag shows and daily drink specials. Since it opens early during the day, it’s a great place to spend time on a date during the day too!
Best Gay Saunas in Baltimore
As gay-friendly as it is, Baltimore doesn’t have a gay sauna – yet! As the years go by, we expect gay saunas to be popping in this wonderfully LGBTQ+ friendly city soon!
Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Baltimore
- Baltimore Pride: Baltimore Pride is one of the United States oldest gay pride celebrations, having been going on for more than 45 years. In fact, the city will celebrate its 47th Pride parade this year! It’s also the largest Pride celebration in all of Maryland This June weekender event involves everything from a Charles Village Pride Parade to a slew of events at Druid Hill Park.