Calgary lies just east of the Canadian Rockies and is the ultimate basecamp for outdoor adventures in the country. At the same time, the city is full of excellent restaurants and boutiques that radiate small-town urban charm. No matter what you’re here for, Calgary cherishes its diversity in the usual warm-hearted Canadian fashion. What’s more, it flaunts and loud and proud gay scene despite being in Canada’s most conservative state. There is no dearth of gay hotels in Calgary, where the staff is so welcoming and friendly that you’ll feel like you’re home. But, that’s not all. Firstly, the city is home to the largest gay nightclub west of Montreal! Secondly, it’s also home to the world’s largest gay rodeo association!
In fact, Calgary is so gay-friendly that it doesn’t have a gayborhood. Instead, you’ll find to find vibrant pockets of gay culture all around the town. Most of them lie around booming downtown around the Beltline area. That’s where all the best and most raging gay parties get going! What’s more, Calgary is one of the Cleanest Cities In The World and is an absolute pleasure to explore as it is. Additionally, the city lies just over an hour from Banff National Park. It’s not only one of Canada’s Most Beautiful National Parks, but it is also one of the Most Amazing National Parks On Earth! To that end, here are the top 11 gay friendly hotels in Calgary.
One of the chicest gay hotels in Calgary is Hyatt Regency. This 21-storeyed luxury hotel in the heart of downtown melds state-of-the-art modernity in turn-of-the-19th-century structures. Culture loving gay travelers will love the hotel’s collection of sculptures, paintings, and other artwork that showcases the work of 50 western Canadian artists! Even the lobby is design-centric, with a handsome mahogany canoe hanging from the ceiling. Plus, the place is peppered with historical displays and photographs that showcase the West’s pioneer spirit. Rooms and suites are comfy here, with flatscreen Smart TVs with Google Chromecast streaming. Private bathrooms, fridges, and Keurig coffee machines complete the place.
The on-site restaurant serves Canadian dishes with a modern twist as well as delicious drinks. Plus, there;s even a cafe that doles out lighter fare such as pastries, sandwiches, and coffee. The best feature is the gorgeous rooftop indoor pool with plants and sun loungers perfect for a swim and a lounge. Rounding up the facilities is the fitness center and free Wi-Fi.
Wicked Hostels Calgary
One of the cheapest gay friendly hotels in Calgary would be the Wicked Hostels Calgary. Tucked in the heart of Calgary Core, this hostel offers a unique living experience for solo LGBTQ travelers in the city. For one, there’s a shared kitchen where you can cook quick meals and enjoy hostel meet-cutes with other travelers. Despite there being a kitchen, the place provides a hearty free breakfast every morning. Think Vegemite, Nutella, jam, peanut butter, juice, fruit, porridge, cereal, toast, syrup, ice cream, and waffles – phew! Aside from free Wi-Fi across the property, the hostel even has an impressive roster of daily social events for guests.
But, that’s not all. The place has a host of communal spaces for travelers to swap stories, such as the games area, the cinema room, library, and two shared lounges. Not only is self-check-in available, but the front desk is even open for 16 hours every day. If that wasn’t enough, your staying fee even includes free laundry and free international calling to 120 countries! Just like other hostels, choose from shared dormitory rooms and private rooms, both of which are immaculate and come with seating areas.
HI Calgary City Center
One of the best-located gay hotels in Calgary is Hi Calgary City Center. Since it lies right in the heart of the city, it’s the perfect base to explore the Top Things To Do In Calgary. What’s great about this hostel is that it not only has dorms but also private rooms. Dorms range from female-only to mixed ones, and there are even family rooms with huge flatscreen TVs and ensuite bathrooms for large gay groups who want to stay here.
Begin your day with an excellent complimentary breakfast every day so that you can fill up on your energy before exploring Calgary. What’s more, the hostel offers free tea and coffee all day long. The guest kitchen is perfect for whipping up quick meals and the evening barbeques are a great way to meet people. The best part is that the hostel is a mere 10-minute walk to the best gay bars in town.
Delta Hotels by Marriott Downtown
Just north of Calgary’s gay scene lies Delta Hotels by Marriot Downtown, one of the best gay friendly hotels in Calgary. With views of the green hills on one side and the charming city on the other, this hotel offers the best base for checking out Calgary’s sights as well as its gay scene. Gay travelers will love the urban vibe of this place, including the rooms and suites decked out in monochromatic hues. Spacious desks and mid-century furnishings add to the chicness, as do the mod-cons such as coffeemakers and flatscreen TVs. Bathrooms are also chic to boot and stocked with complimentary toiletries and bath products.
The rest of the hotel is impressive too, such as the heated indoor pool where you can take a refreshing dip in any weather. Post a swim, soak up a few sun rays on the sun terrace. The on-site restaurant is known for its pork ribs and burgers, which are best downed with local craft beer. Wrapping up the facilities are a business and a fitness center.
Alt Hotel Calgary East Village
LGBTQ travelers who want to stay away from the bustle will love Alt Hotel in Calgary East Village. Located on the southern banks of the Bow River close to George C. King Bridge, it’s one of the most charming gay hotels in Calgary. In fact, nearly all north-facing rooms in the hotel boast views of the gushing river and the bridge. A visually appealing monochromatic theme aside, the rooms are stocked to hilt with swanky mod-cons such as Nespresso machines. You’ll even find Chromecast devices and yoga mats in the rooms, which will appeal immensely to lifestyle-focused gay travelers.
A 24/7 gym aside, the real appeal of this hotel is its communal spaces. For instance, its open-plan co-working style lobby is always buzzing with MacBook-clutching professionals. Choose to dine at two lauded on-site restaurants. Nupo, the Japanese outpost, is famed for its excellent sake, while CHIX Eggshop is much-loved for its egg-and-bacon breakfast buns. The best bit is that both serve cocktails; now what more could you want?
Le Germain Hotel
Le Germain Hotel is actually a sister hotel to the previous Alt Hotel in East Village. What’s more, it’s also one of the best gay friendly hotels in Calgary. Lying at the foot of the Calgary Tower smack dab in the city’s beating heart, the hotel is surrounded by some of the best things to see and do in the city. The modern and bold boutique hotel is a particular hit with discerning gay travelers who especially love the glass, wood, and concrete mixed interiors. Rooms are modern, but the best feature is the 10-feet-high ceilings that lend them a sense of spaciousness. iPod docking stations, free Wi-Fi, and minibars are standard across all rooms, as are swish bathrooms with plush robes and bespoke bath products. In fact, some rooms even come with deep-soaking bathtubs for two for romantic times; think roses, candles, bubbly, and your significant other.
The hotel boasts a long list of amenities that travelers will love, such as a free continental breakfast to start off your day. Fitness freaks will love the ultra-modern fitness center that also offers spectacular views of the city. After a workout session, head to the Santé Spa and enjoy a pampering massage or body treatment. Don’t miss happy hour at Lounge Central 899, which is also a great place for a nightcap before retiring to your room.
For those gay travelers who want to stay away from the bustle, Hotel Blackfoot is where they should be. Tucked in the serene neighborhood close to verdant Golfuture and Bow River south of downtown, it’s one of the best gay hotels in Calgary. This chic and modern hotel boasts some of the most stylish rooms on this list, with striped carpeted floors, plush beds, and free high-speed Wi-Fi. What’s more, rooms are spacious and come with excellent views of the pool, the city, or the gorgeous Banff mountains in the distance. Coffee-making facilities aside, the rooms even have bathtubs in the bathrooms. Gay travelers looking for romance will surely love the room that has an in-room jacuzzi, so go for it!
The rest of the hotel is exceptional too, right from the live entertainment at the comedy club to the four separate dining options. The seasonal outdoor pool is perfect for cooling off when the weather is warm, after which you can soak up some sun on the patio. What’s more, the hotel even offers in-room massages and other spa services for those who want to unwind after a long day of exploring.
The Westin Calgary
The Westin Calgary is one of the best located gay friendly hotels in Calgary. 525 rooms are split between two towers, making the Westin feel like it’s two discrete hotels. What’s more, the hotel is extremely pet-friendly too, with gay travelers not being charged a fee. If that wasn’t enough, pups even get their own in-room signature Westin “Heavenly” dog beds and cute Stetson-shaped treats! The hotel is great for humans too, especially the “Heavenly” beds for humans in the rooms. Moreover, all rooms come with mini bottles of water, cotton robes, and coffee machines. Did we mention the huge floor-to-ceiling windows with million-dollar views and bathtubs in the bathrooms? Yep.
You have the choice of four dining options, including a Starbucks and their main restaurant that serves a hearty and heart-healthy breakfast. The 20th-floor pool overlooking the city and the mountains in the distance is a great place for a swim and lounge. Plus, it’s indoors, which means it’s open throughout the year. A fitness center aside, the place even has a dry sauna.
Novel Bed and Breakfast
Located just east of Downtown core, Novel Bed and Breakfast is one of the most charming gay hotels in Calgary. With just four rooms, staying at this B&B is as intimate and exclusive as it gets. This classic and handsome clapboard structure near Calgary Zoo has a long list of positives. The owners built it with a touch of literary theming, si the place is stuffed with good reads. In fact, you’re encouraged to devour as many books as you can while you’re staying here. The cherry on top is that you can even take a book away with you!
The literary theme extends to the bright rooms done up in neutral hues. Think bookcases stuffed with sci-fi and classic reads and tome-print shower curtains. You can even leave novels behind for other guests, making this the perfect nest for the book-loving gay traveler. Rooms have views of the gardens and even come with chic private bathrooms, some with bathtubs even. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast that includes both continental and à la carte options.
Fairmont Palliser is easily one of the grandest gay friendly hotels in Calgary. This centenarian Grande Dame of a hotel is palatial, magnificent, and exudes timeless elegance. Having thrown open its doors in 1914, the hotel has hosted everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to Brad Pitt. You’re wowed the minute you step in by the lavish and scintillating marble chandelier-lit lobby. The rooms have the same retro edge, but sparkle with modernity. Think warm hues of buttery cream, honey, and chocolate accented with wooden furnishings and blaming marble bathrooms. You’ll find swanky mod-cons such as Keurig coffeemakers as well as the hotel’s own brand of Rose 31 toiletries and bath products in the bathrooms. Oh, and they have the softest four-poster beds too. Sigh.
Even if you aren’t a Club Accord member, you’re treated like royalty at Fairmont. There’s not just a steam and room and a whirlpool, but also a heavenly swimming pool and a well-equipped 24-hour fitness center. The icing on the cake is the decadent Wellness Spa which offers spa services of an entire day’s worth. And of course, the main dining room with original details such as a fireplace is one of the most romantic places in the city for a meal.
Sitting smack dab in the heart of Calgary’s gay scene is Hotel Arts, one of the most whimsical and coolest gay hotels in Calgary. In fact, it happens to be one of the overall Best Hotels in Calgary Canada too! True to its name, the hotel is a visual treat at every turn, right from the carpets and chairs in the room to the opulent equine triptych in the lobby.
Boring hotel beige is done away with here; think bright citrus colors for carpets and shimmering silver for walls. The result? Even the smallest studio room seems utterly spacious. Design-loving gays will love details such as Batik print padded headboards and the sound-muffling and blackout blinds. The best bit? All rooms come with coffeemakers, robes, wet bars, and SKOAH products. If there was any doubt whether you could get a private party going in a Calgary hotel room, the ones at Hotel Arts dispense them.
The rest of the hotel has a party vibe too, especially the outdoor pool deck that’s the hottest spot in town. Think beautiful beachwear-clad locals and guests, endless cocktails, and music. A well-equipped fitness center aside, the hotel even has complimentary bikes that you can borrow to explore the neighborhood. Finally, the hotel is also home to not one but two of Calgary’s most popular and buzzing restaurants, which take care of all meals.
Just So You Know:
- Calgary is where the world’s largest gay rodeo, the Canadian Rockies International Rodeo, takes place in June every year. Amidst other wild events, it even has a competition where participants need to dress up a goat – yes, you read that right.
Get Some Culture in Calgary:
- Calgary Pride Festival & Parade: This is Calgary’s most significant annual LGBTQ event that claims queer rights for all and aims to bring the queer community together. While many gay events and parties take place, the Parade is very much a political event aimed at visibility to the LGBTQ set.
- Bearachuss: This is the largest Bear weekend in Western Canada! Otters, cubs, bears, and their admirers converge on Calgary for a weekend of parties, events, and local culture. The organizers are The Fellowship of Alberta Bears, who provide a safe gathering space for bears and those who appreciate them.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Calgary:
- Twisted Elements Nightclub: The largest gay nightclub west of Montreal lies in Calgary, and has been going strong since 2004. Hang out, sing, dance, and drink at this amazing place, which also hosts drag shows and boasts a beautiful crowd.
- Backlot: This 1996-established fabulous gay bar has a 20-year long legacy of offering an excellent space for the LGBTQ set to hang out. Happy Hour specials aside, the bar even has a lovely patio out back and a warming fireplace at the front. The best bit is that they host a plethora of events, including fetish nights and lesbian dance parties!
Best Gay Saunas in Calgary:
- Goliaths: Calgary’s only gay bathhouse is open round-the-clock for gay men who’re looking for a hot encounter. While membership is mandatory, the place has a steam room, adult video rooms, showers, and a hot tub. Conveniently, it lies right next to the gay bar of Texas Lounge.