The dynamic Dominican Republic in the Caribbean is a captivating confluence of European, Spanish, and African native cultures. This wonderful fusion is evident in its mouthwatering cuisines, merengue music, and eye-popping natural wonders. Cobblestone streets and pristine white-sand beaches sit right beside upscale resorts, catapulting Dominican Republic’s popularity as a luxury travel destination. What’s more, it’s also one of the best LGBTQ-friendly countries in the Caribbean. Attitudes towards sexuality here are loosening, even if it’s happening slowly. This is evident in the profusion of gay friendly hotels in Dominican Republic today. Right from the luxurious beach resorts to boutique heritage boltholes, you’ll find many choices here.
The rainbow flag flies high here when the sun sets, especially in Zona Colonial. It’s the historic center of the capital Santo Domingo on the southern coast. Moreover, the place is steeped in history and is the oldest European settlement in the Americas! In fact, it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Top 10 Places You Must Visit In The Dominican Republic. You’ll also find a wildly vibrant gay scene in the tourist resort hub of Punta Cana. It lies on the country’s eastern coast and is where the annual Caribbean Pride Parade takes place.
Tropical surroundings, beautiful, friendly people, lovely beaches, and a fabulous gay scene makes Dominican Republic a paradise for every LGBTQ person. To that end, here are the top 11 gay-friendly and gay hotels in the Dominican Republic.
Table of contents
- Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa
- Tortuga Bay Hotel at Punta Cana Resort & Club
- Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana
- Casas del XVI
- Eden Roc at Cap Cana
- CHIC Punta Cana
- Billini Hotel
- Sublime Samana
- Sunscape Puerto Plata
- Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando
- Hotel Villa Colonial
- Our Verdict!
- Just So You Know:
- Get Some Culture in the Dominican Republic:
- Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Dominican Republic:
- Best Gay Saunas in Dominican Republic:
Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Best adults-only. The Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa is the perfect adult-only escape and one of the most gay-friendly resorts in Punta Cana. It lies half an hour north of Punta Cana but is a world within a world. The outstanding beachfront setting, drop-dead gorgeous people, and thorough adult vibes make it a hallowed LGBTQ playground of sorts. And since the property is massive, you won’t even feel overwhelmed by the crowds.
The sprawling resort explodes in a rainbow of vibrant colors – flamingo pink, orange, orchid- embodying the gay-friendly vibe. Retro-styled furniture, dangling sculptures, and gorgeous lighting fixtures will indeed leave you breathless. The playful vibe is further demonstrated in the clever names of its restaurants – Silk City (Asian), Coquette (French), and so on. The Plaza is the video concert-streaming social hub, after which you can move to Wink for cocktails. Furthermore, there are midday parties held at the gorgeous beach. To sum up, the resort is the perfect place to meet all sorts of gorgeous people – you won’t even have to leave. Finally, take a break from all the cavorting and unwind at the spa.
You can the choice of more than 700 stylish rooms and suites. Undoubtedly, the rooms were designed keeping couples in mind, with comfy beds, large showers in bathrooms, and private whirlpools in terraces/balconies. So if you’re traveling with your partner, then this resort is perfect. Moreover, it also hands out passes if you want to bring a guest.
Check Rates on:
Tortuga Bay Hotel at Punta Cana Resort & Club
Best for LGBTQ events. Tortuga Bay Hotel at the Punta Cana Resort Club is more than just one of the best gay-friendly hotels in the Dominican Republic – it’s an LGBT paradise. Designed by world-famous Dominican fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, it’s also one of the best gay wedding venues on the island. This elegant, all-suite hotel lies on its own idyllic beach, around 10 minutes south of Punta Cana. It’s the perfect getaway for LGBTQ couples looking to get away from the world.
The resort radiates classical tropical style, and its small size belies its high levels of impeccable service. For instance, the canary-yellow two-story villas have full-height French windows and blinding-white Bermuda-style roofs. On the inside, they’re simple and elegant and yet very comfortable. If you like space, then you’ll like the massive suites with breezy living rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Plus, they have wonderful outdoor spaces overlooking the ocean through the palms. It’s like your very own slice of paradise.
The rest of the hotel is equally charming. The long-ish pool is peppered with comfy chaise lounges. Hang around and drink cocktails the entire day before heading to the adjacent restaurant for lunch. You have three more options for dinner – a grill, Mediterranean, and even seafood. It also has a fitness center and an Oscar de la Renta boutique, which fashionable gays will absolutely love. Also, you can grab kayaks and head to the pristine beach. Since this hotel is integrated with the Punta Cana Resort Club right behind it, you have access to a superb spa, water sports, and multiple other restaurants.
Check Rates on:
Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana
Best guest-friendly. If you’re looking for a fabulous gay and guest-friendly property in picturesque Punta Cana, then look no further than the Hard Rock Hotel. If you’re here to have an exciting time and bring guests back to your room, then the resort has no problem at all. What’s more, this popular gay property even performs same-sex marriages! Hard Rock sits on the ethereal white sands of Arena Gorda Beach in Bavaro, around 20 minutes north of Punta Cana.
This luxury, all-inclusive resort sports a rock-n-roll theme and a litany of top-notch amenities and facilities. You choose from a whopping 13 pools to lounge at, of which many are adults-only. Or you can sprawl on daybeds at what is one of the most stunning beaches in the Dominican Republic. Indulge in a relaxing massage at the indulgent spa before heading to one of the 9 restaurants and 23 lounges and bars for a drink or a bite. All-in-all, the resort is so sprawling that you and your partner can do your own thing without running into anybody else.
Despite the hotel’s size, some of its rooms, particularly the sensual suites, feature an extremely romantic ambiance. Nevertheless, all rooms feature two-person whirlpool tubs in the bedrooms, which can make for steamy sessions before moving the action elsewhere. Bathrooms are equally decadent, and all rooms feature a slew of high-tech mod-cons to make your stay as comfy as it gets.
Check Rates on:
Casas del XVI
Smack dab in the heart of Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo, Casas del XVI leaves a lasting impression on you. This collection of gorgeous, restored colonial houses is one of the most beautiful gay-friendly hotels in the Dominican Republic. Not only is the hotel surrounded by some of the best gay nightlife in the Dominican Republic, but is an oasis of comfort and style once you step inside it. In addition, it’s within walking distance of some of the oldest structures of the New World!
The 18th/19th-century Casas are townhouses with lovely interior courtyards restored in traditional Dominican style. Think delicate local tiles, hefty wooden floors, and beamed roofs. An eclectic mix of curios features everywhere, like antique maps, Haitian art, and even contemporary sculptures. Service is superb, and you’re given a phone on arrival and assigned an incredibly attentive concierge. They can arrange for everything from dinner reservations and massages to forward bookings. Since there’s no central dining room yet, every ‘casa’ has a kitchen with a chef who’ll whip up literally anything you want. Last but not least, some of them even have pools or plunge pools in the interior courtyard.
The rooms, or rather Casas, combine modern and traditional designs. Think high-tech mod-cons and equally contemporary bathrooms sitting amidst antiques and vintage items. All-in-all, it makes for one of the most unique stays in the city and the country.
Check Rates on:
Eden Roc at Cap Cana
Sitting 10 minutes south of Punta Cana, the crowd-free and gay-friendly Eden Roc at Cap Cana is a world of its own. The luxurious beach resort is one of the most indulgent digs on the Punta Cana coastline. This is the perfect getaway if you’re a discerning gay traveler looking for something offbeat.
The resort lies on the sprawling lush grounds around a winding, manmade lagoon. Right from the lobby to the rooms, all areas feature lashings of sunlight, cool sea hues, and fun tropical prints. The Beach Club, with its restaurants, beach bar, and picture-perfect infinity pool, is the showstopper here. After a languorous swim and a lounge, you can head to the spa, where an hour-long massage on a beach palapa is just what the doctor ordered. Rounding up an incredible experience is the friendly and warm service, with the staff taking care of literally anything and everything you want.
With just 60 rooms on such a massive property, staying here feels intimate. The beachfront suites done up in Caribbean colors have floor-to-ceiling windows, outdoor bathrooms, and high-tech mod-cons. The real gems are the 34 private villas, each of which has a private garden, pool, and even a rechargeable golf cart.
Check Rates on:
CHIC Punta Cana
It won’t be a list of the best gay-friendly hotels in the Dominican Republic without mentioning the most fabulous of them all – the CHIC Punta Cana. This award-winning adults-only property on the northeastern coast boasts a beach party atmosphere for the wild and young-hearted. The resort is also the host of Caribbean Pride – it doesn’t get any gay friendlier than that!
CHIC Punta Cana is all about a luxurious and glamorous beach experience. Shades of white dominate the resort, with natural textures and warm neutral hues adding to the enchanting design. The beachfront areas are particularly immaculate and cozy and invite you to spend the entire day there. You can choose to lounge at poolside cabanas at two huge pools, complete with drinks from a swim-up bar. Plus, there’s even a glass-front mermaid pool that lets you see through the bottom – cheeky, isn’t it? Five restaurants keep you satiated, while the beach bars are perfect for romantic sundowners. After everything, a massage or a body treatment at the Royal Spa is a must-do, even for the energetic ones. What’s more, there are even yoga sessions offered on the beach by particularly good-looking instructors. Now, what more could you want?
Each artsy room and suite features terraces or balconies, while some suites even have infinity plunge pools with ocean views. Aside from a bevy of mod-cons, it’s the outdoor rain showers and glowing purple/pink LED mood lighting that keeps things sensuous.
Check Rates on:
LGBTQ culture buffs will love the stunning Billini Hotel in the heart of the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo. In an ironic twist, this exquisite gay-friendly hotel is set in a restored convent, one of the oldest structures in the colonial zone. With contemporary art adorning its ancient walls, the Billini is an urban sanctuary, Dominican-style.
Exposed 15th-century brick and coral-rock arches blend beautifully with the hotel’s minimalist-modern aesthetic. Everything has just a touch of shades of scarlet, while Dominican artwork and bohemian Haitian pieces are peppered everywhere. The rooftop is the serene hub, complete with a decadent turquoise pool, sun loungers, and a lovely bar. Moreover, the basement features a small gym, a treatment room, and – get this – a restored, ancient wine cellar! Finally, the on-site restaurant serves delicious local and international fare, besides a superb breakfast.
The 24 atmospheric suites will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time, complete with black-and-white prints of the city. While all have mod-cons, some have whirlpool tubs, while yet others have terraces. The best part is the handy tablets providing information of interest about the hotel as well as Santo Domingo.
Check Rates on:
Most luxurious. On the secluded, ethereal northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic lies one of its best gay-friendly hotels, the fabulous Sublime Samana. It’s a 10-minute shuttle ride to one of the most beloved beach towns in the country, Las Terrenas. Plus, some of the island’s most enchanting natural sights are located less than an hour away. The resort has the distinct feeling of a remote getaway and is perfect if you’re looking to delve into the less-explored realms of the Dominican Republic.
The hotel, with its whitewashed casitas and lush gardens, sits on a utopian stretch of a private beach, complete with loungers and a cocktail cafe bar. Marble and coral surfaces, pebbled-mosaic floors, shell artwork, and woven chandeliers infuse a palpable Caribbean aesthetic into the ambiance. The heart of the property is the pool area with dual plunge pool lanes and surreal overwater canopied lounge beds. If you’re here with your partner, head to the adults-only pool to soak up some Caribbean sea. Post a swim and a lounge, and indulge in a luxurious couples massage at the Coconut Whispers Spa. If you both are intrepid, then the resort even has a thrilling aquatic sports center and a gym. Two restaurants take care of all kinds of food cravings.
With just 20 spacious and immaculate ‘casitas,’ the resort never feels crowded, which is its best facet. Even the entry-level one-bedroom suites are rambling, complete with lavish bathrooms, high-tech mod-cons, and balconies. If you want to splash, check out the two-to-three-bedroom casitas with private whirlpools that have ocean views.
Check Rates on:
Sunscape Puerto Plata
There’s nothing better than staying at a fantastic gay-friendly resort on a pristine beach. And Sunscape Puerto Plata sits on one of the most fabulous gay beaches in the Dominican Republic, Playa Dorada. The beach is peppered with phallic-shaped mushroom trees (get the drift?). It has crystal-clear blue waters and handsome hunks who hang around all day. Since the beach is sprawling, you get private nooks of your own where you can lounge all day. So, whether you’re a solo LGBTQ traveler or a couple looking to have fun and then some, the Sunscape resort is perfect.
So, what’s so gay-friendly about this resort? For one, you have a bunch of good-looking male instructors who’ll begin your day on a high with aerobic exercises in the pool. You can either lounge at the huge main pool with the swim-up bar or the quieter second pool and catch some sun. Sip on drinks and enjoy the nightly entertainment shows with sexy dancers or enjoy a romantic dinner date with your partner at any of the five restaurants. Or, you can dance the night away with your sweetie at Club Eclipse. You have a bunch of dancers who’ll even teach you the basics of salsa merengue and bachata right there! When you want to take a break from all the action, head down to the spa and unwind with a massage.
As energetic as the resort is, the rooms are on the soothing, elegant side. Besides mod-cons, all rooms feature plush, super-comfy beds and expansive bathrooms with showers large enough for two. Finally, sliding glass doors lead out to lovely little terraces and balconies.
Check Rates on:
Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando
There’s nothing that says romance like an old-world heritage hotel updated with luxurious creature comforts. The Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando is just that and then some. One of the best hotels in Santo Domingo, it’s also one of the most unique gay-friendly hotels in the Dominican Republic. History fills this property’s very walls and interiors, which sit in the heart of Santo Domingo’s colonial quarter.
The UNESCO-listed property comprises three 1502-built stone houses, once Nicolás de Ovando’s home. He was the first Spanish governor of the Americas and the town’s founder. Vintage bric-a-brac-like bureaus and cabinets add to the atmosphere. The outdoor pool and bar is a lovely spot to lounge and spy views of the River Ozama. The property is full of cozy nooks to enjoy a drink or read. Besides a business center and gym, the hotel even has a love spa. If you go for a higher category room, you get free access to the Imperial Club with a lounge with afternoon tapas and a half-hour massage. Finally, the restaurant, Dos Mundos, is one of the city’s most renowned places to eat.
Even though the entry-level rooms are nice, we recommend you go for the atmospheric Colonial rooms. They boast hacienda-style shutters and ceramic floors and really do make you feel that you’re in the middle of the Caribbean. Fabulous river and port views, spacious bathrooms, flatscreen TVs, and comfy beds are mainstays everywhere.
Check Rates on:
Hotel Villa Colonial
Best boutique. If you’re looking for a gay-friendly boutique hotel in Santo Domingo, then the Hotel Villa Colonial is something of a hidden gem. It sits in a refurbished historic 1920s townhouse in the heart of Santo Domingo’s Zona Colonial and retains much of the original Spanish architecture. These include the old-time patterned tiled floors and the postcard-pretty second-floor veranda. What’s more, the hotel sits a stone’s throw from Santo Domingo’s gay scene. If that wasn’t enough, some of the top things to do in Santo Domingo are right at its doorstep.
The almost-100 year-old property is set around a lush outdoor garden courtyard, complete with its crown jewel in the center – a pool. On balmy Santo Domingo days, simply laze on the shaded sunbeds while reading a book or listening to music. The in-house restaurant sits next to it, which serves a superb continental breakfast that features everything from homemade jams to fresh fruit. Post noon, it transforms into a social space with wine, beer, and a whole liquor menu. Moreover, the hotel even hands out free bottled water, which is of particular importance in the country.
The 11 rooms, with their contemporary-meets-colonial vibe, are the highlight here. Original artwork, Moorish-Mediterranean tiles, free Wi-Fi, and standard mod-cons are mainstays. If you can splurge, go for the Junior Suites, which are larger and also come with free drinks, an espresso machine, and even a private terrace. With a great location, bucketloads of charm, and value-for-money prices, it’s no wonder that this is amongst the finest gay-friendly hotels in the Dominican Republic.
Check Rates on:
Here’s a specialized list of the best gay-friendly hotels of the lot according to their best features and attributes:
- Best boutique and value for money: Hotel Villa Colonial
- Best adults-only: Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa
- Best guest-friendly: Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana
- Best for LGBTQ events: Tortuga Bay Hotel at Punta Cana Resort & Club
Just So You Know:
- The first Gay Pride parade in the Dominican Republic was held in Santo Domingo on July 1st, 2001.
- The progress of the LGBTQ community in the country is partly attributed to Wally Brewster. He was the openly gay and vocal U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic during the Obama administration.
- Organizations such as the NGO Diversidad Dominicana work towards promoting the rights of the LGBTQ+ public in the Dominican Republic.
- The denizens of the Dominican Republic might be open-minded about LGBTQ+ social issues, but same-sex PDA still has a long way to go. So, travelers need to avoid holding hands or affectionately caressing their partner in public, as it’ll earn them funny stares and maybe even get them into trouble. Also, kissing in public is an absolute taboo outside the main areas of Santo Domingo, such as Zona Colonial, or resort towns like Punta Cana.
Get Some Culture in the Dominican Republic:
- Caribbean Pride – The LGBT-friendly CHIC Punta Cana resort hosts this fabulous pride festival every September. It’s the Caribbean’s hottest and most luxurious celebration of gay pride. All-in-all, it sees more than 50 pride events.
- Santo Domingo Pride – This annual July celebration fills the streets of Santo Domingo with the sheer strength of the LGBTQ public and rainbow flags. This is a very important movement in a country where the LGBTQ public is still discriminated against and stigmatized. It also sees many gay events and parties.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Dominican Republic:
- Imagine Punta Cana – This is Punta Cana’s best gay club which lies in a huge cave! This place has everything from drop-dead gorgeous people and video screens to DJ music and epic shows.
- Esedeku – One of Santo Domingo’s most popular gay bars. It’s unabashedly gay and brimming with hot guys.
- Coco Bongo: Part of the gay-friendly brand, Coco Bongo Punta Cana is one of the town’s hottest nightlife spots. Think classic party hits, a huge dance floor, and unlimited drinks – not to mention crazy live performances. The place is especially known for its cocktails, themed rooms, and night shows that draw huge crowds.
- Paradise Garage: Paradise Garage is the best gay establishment in Punta Cana. It’s named for and after its famous 1976-1987 namesake nightclub in NYC. In fact, it was the go-to place for NYC’s queer community, just like the Punta Cana establishment is for the queer and LGBTQ+ community here. It continues that tradition but with Dominican vibes. It offers a unique combination of go-go dancers, drag shows, and so much more.
Best Gay Saunas in Dominican Republic:
The gay sauna and bathhouse scene in the Dominican Republic is still fledgling. There is one sole sauna in Santo Domingo, Apolo Sauna. However, we’re sure that the scene is all set to change in the years to come!