Britain’s second-largest city Birmingham brims with exciting possibilities. The city boasts of beautifully restored Victorian buildings, picturesque canals, glitzy, futuristic real estate, and a fantastic heritage in the form of the Jewelry Quarter. Birmingham is also home to a diverse and vibrant LGBTQ+ population and hosts the UK’s biggest two-day Pride festival. The rising numbers of gay travelers bound for the city will find no dearth of choices for gay hotels in Birmingham to stay at.
The origins of Birmingham’s gay scene go back to the 1980s with the rise of Birmingham Gay Village, one of the liveliest gayborhoods in England. Centered around Hurst Street next to the Chinese Quarter, Gay Brum, as it is also known, is the epicenter of the inclusive gay life in the city. Along with Oriental-influenced architecture, Hurst Street also has some fabulous gay street art. The city celebrates the spectacular Birmingham Pride, which is the UK’s second-biggest Pride event after the London Pride. here is also a gamut of other LGBTQ-centered festivals. These include SHOUT which celebrates queer culture and arts, the Gay and Lesbian Pride Ball, and the Christmas Ball.
The Fountain Inn
The Fountain Inn is a longstanding Birmingham Gay Village institution. This gays-only bar-cum-hotel is where you should crash if you’re looking to dive headfirst into Birmingham’s gay scene.
Guests can choose between standard and suite rooms. They are simple and elegant with wooden floors, wet rooms, comfy beds, and tea-coffee facilities. Suites boast of more foot space with living areas. The inn even offers a complimentary coffee station with hot drinks, biscuits, and fresh fruit. However, all the exciting action here lies outside the rooms. The fabulous, traditional Fountain Inn bar is right below and even has a beer garden. It also has a separate, men-only lounge with gaming machines and pool tables. Apart from being a relaxing area, it also makes for an amazing place to socialize and meet new people.
What’s more, the fabulous posse of Gay Village bars and cruising clubs is right in the next street. Begin your jaunt at the Fountain Inn before moving on to Missing Bar or the Village Inn. If you’re interested in something steamier, then check out the Boltz Club.
Hatters Hostel Birmingham
The bustling backpacker Hatters Hostel is one of the most unique hotels in Birmingham. The gay-friendly hostel is housed in a gothic-like terracotta building with oodles of history. This former silver and medal-making place is the actual spot where the FA Cup was crafted. Today, the hostel is thoroughly British in character and retains original elements like metalwork and exposed brick walls. These are complemented with Chesterfield sofas, reclaimed industrial curios, and hugely popular Peaky Blinders wall art. Guests have options between the smaller sleeping ‘pods’, dormitories, and hotel-style private rooms. Pods and dorms have everything from safes to privacy curtains. What’s more, guests in the higher-priced private rooms even get a slice of cake on arrival.
The hostel has some great socials as well. Entertainment programs include a book exchange, a free cinema night, and even a bar crawl. They’re all great for catching up with fellow travelers and meet-cutes. Also, the reception is staffed 24/7 and the staff possesses excellent knowledge about the neighborhood and the city.
The hostel is a 20-minute easy metro ride from Gay Brum. City attractions like St. Philip’s Cathedral and the Library of Birmingham are a 10-minute walk. The hostel’s location right on the edge of the Jewelry Quarter, where 40% of all the jewelry in the United Kingdom is made. Explore this fascinating neighborhood on this interesting 2-hour walking tour.
Gay travelers wishing to explore Birmingham from a central location will love Jurys Inn, one of the largest hotels in the city. Don’t be fooled by the 1970s Brutalist monolithic concrete exterior, for the interiors are contemporary and plush to the hilt. A sprawling, open-plan foyer all done up in blacks and light greys is what greets you. Social spaces have a wonderful relaxing vibe to them. The lounge and bar areas, for instance, have lots of private spots and sultry low lighting and are done up in greys, lime greens, and purples.
The rooms are the epitome of comfort, complete with all mod-cons and super-snug beds. If you want terrific views of the skyline, ask for rooms on higher floors if they’re available. While there’s a hearty paid breakfast waiting, the room-only packages are helpful for those who wish to dig into the city’s culinary scene right in the morning.
What makes Jurys Inn particularly great is its location. The hotel is a 20-minute walk from Hurst Street. The hotel is also just five minutes from the city’s top attractions, such as the Library of Birmingham. We’d recommend that you indulge in this excellent walking tour delving into the city’s iconic history.
The sleek and chic Clayton Hotel is one of Birmingham’s only non-hotel-chain luxury stay options. While the gay-friendly Clayton is a bit removed from the city center, it is close enough to the main attractions and far enough from all the bustle. The Bullring Shopping Center is a five-minute walk, while the cathedrals, museums are a 10-15-minute walk. Even Gay Village is a mere 15-minute walk.
The hotel impresses you right as you walk in. Floor-to-ceiling windows, high-backed plush velvet chairs, and large black lamps are extremely pleasing to the eye. However, it’s the giant ceiling-hung circular lights and circular orbs within a circular glass staircase that is hard to tear the eyes away from.
Rooms at the Clayton are peppered with rich, muted colors, dark wood, and leather, apart from featuring super-comfy beds. The larger ones even have mini-fridges and separate sitting rooms. All of them, however, have hi-tech mod-cons and a touch-control system and a media hub, allowing guests to connect personal devices to the surround sound system. The lovely lounge bar is great for grabbing a bite.
Staying Cool at the rotunda
The Brummie beauty that is the Staying Cool Hotel is extremely hard to beat when it comes to location, comfort, and pizzazz. The ultra-cool hotel is undoubtedly one of the grooviest gay hotels in Birmingham.
The design hotel is located within the 24-story cylindrical Rotunda building which housed an office in the 1960s. The decor is distinctly space-age, complete with glowing drop-lights that change colors. Rooms blend swinging 60s and contemporary chic designs and range from mini-studios to penthouses. The apartments are peppered with splashes of vibrant colors complemented by glass tables, wool-fabric sofas, large photographs. Bose speaker docks and Sky TV ensure ready entertainment. What’s more, the apartments use renewable energy and energy/water conservation is right on point. If that wasn’t enough, all apartments have a selection of coffees and teas, fresh milk, and cereals.
Staying Cool is extremely well-connected too. The Grand Central metro station is a four-minute walk, while the dazzling gay scene at Hurst Street is a mere 10-minute walk. Also, most of Birmingham’s attractions are a 10-15-minute walk.
Radisson Blu Hotel
Gay travelers looking for a modern, comfortable stay in Gay Brum will do well to choose the sleek Radisson Blu. One of the best Gay Village Birmingham hotels, Radisson is perfect for the on-foot LGBTQ explorers to the city.
A bold glass exterior holds within its folds a relaxing foyer with an urban-chic vibe. Statement designer furniture, elegant oversized drop lights, and warm woods dot the hotel, along with a bright wall collage of 20th-century cultural icons. A small gym works perfectly well for the workout crowd. The restaurant serves up a delish menu and a hearty paid breakfast in the morning as well.
Rooms at the Radisson boast of tons of natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Creams/whites and greys are complemented by vibrant carmine reds, complete with comfy beds and lots of space. Business rooms even have a work desk, which is perfect for those in the city for work.
Birmingham’s fabulous gay life literally begins steps from the hotel in the form of Hurst Street bars like Bar Jester and Glamorous right in the next street. Explorers to the city will love the fact that Birmingham’s attractions including the museums, cathedrals, and galleries are a mere 10-minute walk from the hotel.
Gays looking for a splashy hedonistic staying experience in Birmingham should look no further than the edgy Malmaison. The buzzing, gay-friendly designer retreat was once Birmingham’s Royal Mail sorting office. The sultry vibe begins right from the low-lit lobby with vibrant modern art, wood paneling, and stone floors. A grand movie-esque staircase leads to the plush brasserie-bar. There are tons of public areas designed for both intimacy and entertaining, depending on what you’re looking for. The spa offers a host of pamper packages, while the aptly-named ‘Work + Play’ zone is ideal for both business and stumble-upon meet-cutes. Fitness freaks will love the comfort of the small gym on-site.
It’s the rooms at the Malmaison that really up the sexy quotient. Guests can choose between bedrooms and suites, complete with velvet-upholstered beds and pop-art posters. If you’re looking to splurge, choose one of the four open-plan luxury suites which have alluring ensuite bathrooms and roomy sitting areas.
If you get out of this foxy space to explore the streets of Birmingham, most of its best attractions are within walking distance. All Centenary Square attractions, Grand Central Metro Station, the Chinese Quarter, and Gay Village are all 5-10 minutes away.
The Hotel Indigo sits on the top two floors of the dazzling bronze and gold geometric forms of The Cube building. The gay-friendly hotel is an oasis of urban cool and is infused with beautiful Scandi interiors and decor.
Indulgence is the highlight at Hotel Indigo, which offers a choice of complimentary chocolates, fruit, and water on check-in/check-out. The Cube’s spa has a sauna, pool, and steam room and is wonderful for soaking away all tiredness. Gay couples will particularly love the Heavenly treatment which features a facial and a massage. What’s even better is that there’s a couple’s suite for the same, allowing you to indulge in an hour of relaxation with your partner.
The alfresco rooftop lounge at Hotel Indigo is the perfect place to grab a cocktail before heading out to the city’s gay scene. What’s more, you could even do a bit of celebrity spotting at Marco Pierre White rooftop restaurant which is a hotspot for footballers’ wives. Rooms done up in creams and greens are refreshing and soothing, and feature fantastic views of Birmingham’s skyline from floor-to-ceiling windows.
Perfectly positioned between Gay Village and the Jewelry Quarter, Hotel Indigo is the perfect indulgent base for an all-round exploration of Birmingham.
StayCity Aparthotels City center
Budget-conscious gay travelers looking to explore historic Birmingham will love the convenience and prices at StayCity Aparthotels. In fact, you can begin your exploration of the city right across from the accommodation where lie Birmingham’s iconic Back to Backs. Intrepid explorers and culture buffs are better off taking this immersive 2-hour walking tour of discovering Birmingham. This tour takes you through secret canals and to the place where the Industrial Revolution began, the historic Jewelry Quarter.
Apartments at StayCity feature comfy rooms, kitchens, living rooms with sofa beds, and even balconies. There’s even space to spread out with sitting and dining areas, and free Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV. Furthermore, the accommodation even has weekly housekeeping, making this budget stay an amazing option for travelers. With Hurst Street and its gay bars like Eden and The Fox a stone’s throw away, gay guests at StayCity even have entertainment right at their doorstep.
ibis Styles Birmingham center
One of the best gay hotels in Birmingham city center is the Ibis Styles, which is a comfy, budget chain accommodation in a central location. Interesting color schemes and bold artwork celebrating local Brutalist architecture lend a nice touch to the chain hotel experience.
The design might be French, but the feel is innately British since murals of Birmingham’s most prominent attractions are hung all over. Rooms at the Ibis feature all mod-cons and are extremely spacious, considering it’s a budget accommodation. A vibrant lounge with a dizzying array of yellow and bright green patterns makes for a great place to relax and have a cuppa. The gaming area is an interesting space where you can strike conversations with the other hotel guests. The Ibis even lays out a hearty and delectable continental breakfast.
The Library of Birmingham, the City Gardens, and the Birmingham Museum are all right across from the hotel. Moreover, the Jewelry Quarter and the Gay Village are both within walking distance.
Hampton by Hilton Broad Street
For young, budget-conscious gay travelers who want to stay in the city center, Hampton by Hilton is one of Birmingham’s best options. Located on the bustling Broad Street, the gay-friendly hotel has a stellar central location which also has some of Birmingham’s liveliest bars and fast-food outlets. The hotel’s vibrant interiors of the hotel clash beautifully with the 1960s concrete exterior. The hotel boasts of a bright ambiance with local photographs, plants, recessed lamps and spotlights, groovy carpets, and stained wood floors.
For a budget hotel, guests have everything they need. There’s a cleverly used breakout area that features an array of modern, comfy furniture. It’s great for catching up with people. There’s even a compact fitness center and a quiet, good-sized business center. There’s even a very American ‘hydration point,’ and Birmingham’s water is very, very good. Rooms are spacious with tea/coffee-making facilities, large mirrors, bright-patterned carpets, and fresh egg-white walls. If you want great views of the city, do ask for a higher floor room if they have one.
Young gay travelers will love the fact that Hampton by Hilton is a mere 20-minute walk from Birmingham’s fabulous gay bars at Hurst Street. Also, the city center attractions at Centenary Square are just five minutes away.
Just So You Know:
- Apart from gay bars and clubs, Birmingham’s Gay Village even has sex shops, an adult cinema, and even a sexual health clinic.
Get Some Culture in:
- Birmingham Pride: The weekend-long LGBTQ+ festival is the largest two-day pride festival celebrated in the United Kingdom. Held in the Gay Village on Hurst Street, the festivities usually include a carnival parade, street entertainment, music, and dance events.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in:
- The Village Inn – One of the most popular and longest-running bars in Gay Brum. Weekends see live cabaret shows.
- Nightingale Club – This ‘gay superclub’ has one of Birmingham’s largest outdoor spaces. It has drag shows, DJs, and even a weekend street food market.
- The Loft Lounge – This long-running, laidback Gay Brum mainstay has fantastic cocktails and a steamy after-dark dancing scene.
- Eden – This relaxed, trendy gay bar has a gorgeous outdoor garden, great beers and spirits, and an exciting, upscale crowd.
- Missing Bar – The Victorian-style ‘party bar’ is known for its DJ nights and Go-Go dancers.
- The Fox – Gay Brum’s only dedicated lesbian bar which attracts a great crowd of women of all ages. Karaoke nights turn into a fun-filled singalong scene where men are also welcome.
- The Fountain Inn – This boys-popular bar has a men-only cruising area and is extremely popular with locals and tourists.
- Boltz Club: This members-only men-only cruising club has darkrooms, theme nights, and even ‘watersports’ for members.
Best Gay Saunas in:
Birmingham doesn’t have an extensive gay sauna scene right now. However, for those looking for one, the Spartan gay sauna is a 15-minute drive from Birmingham.