India’s capital New Delhi, or just Delhi, is like an assault on the senses – but the good kind. Whether it’s the winding, vibrant lanes of Old Delhi, the delectable street food, or its eons-old architecture, Delhi is one enthralling destination. It’s also considered a forthright “pink” destination in a deeply conservative country where LGBTQ laws are slowly changing. It’s evident by the rise in the number of friendly gay hotels in Delhi, whether it’s a luxury brand or a boutique hotel. Despite Delhi’s futuristic attitude, it largely remains conservative. But it does have a budding gay scene and hosts the country’s largest gay pride parade. Besides an underground gay scene, even straight clubs here hold gay nights. And, of course, there’s a small but rising number of gay-friendly bars and clubs too. And get this – it’s perhaps India’s only city to have a gay spa!
Of course, there’s so much to see and do in Delhi besides its gay scene. Culture-loving gays will especially love this city since it’s home to Lotus Temple, one of the world’s most Amazing Modern Architectural Wonders. What’s more, the Indian Parliament building is touted as one of the World’s Most Impressive Parliament Buildings. If that wasn’t enough, the city also has one of the World’s Largest Zoos, the National Zoological Park. So, clearly, Delhi is one vibrant destination on the gay Indian sojourn. To that end, here are the top 11 gay friendly hotels in Delhi.
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New Delhi’s first design hotel, The Manor, has the sophistication and intimacy of a boutique hotel but the panache and style of a hotel twice its size. One of the best gay hotels in Delhi lies in the smart Friend’s Colony West gated colony. It’s a world away from Old Delhi’s frenetic streets, allowing you to have some much-needed peace and tranquility. Choose from Executive rooms and the larger Signature suites, which have private bamboo-screened patios. Nevertheless, all rooms have a snug and muted-hued throws, stylish interior accents, comfy beds, and Nespresso machines. The sleek and monochrome marble bathrooms are especially amazing, especially since they have separate baths and rain showers.
Enjoy the large lawned areas where the hotel sits, which also has one of Delhi’s best gyms. There’s also a spa that dishes out decadent Ayurvedic-inspired treatments. Two on-site restaurants serve delectable Indian fare and Western comfort food for lunches and dinners.
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The gay-favorite Claridges is one affordable yet upscale gay friendly hotel in Delhi. It’s one of the city’s top four-star hotels, this mid-20th-century retreat in the heart of Lutyens. The first impression is excellent; white gazebos and umbrellas are spread across lush green lawns. Choose from a bevy of rooms, of which the Premier Rooms are worth upgrading for the additional living space. Nevertheless, all the rooms boast classic décor with interiors reminiscent of the British Raj era. Think polished mahogany double beds, silk upholstery, and historical artwork depicting battle scenes and long-lost monarchs. While all chic bathrooms have bathtubs, the higher-category rooms have separate deep-soaking bathtubs and rain shower areas.
The rest of the hotel is equally impressive, especially the all-marble lobby with red sofas, a small pâtisserie, and a pianist playing dulcet tunes in the afternoon. There’s even a small gym and spa beside the inviting pool. With day beds and swaying palms, it’s a very nice spot to unwind under the sun. A whopping six dining options serve every cuisine under the sun, including Indian, Mediterranean, Chinese, Spanish, and International fare.
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Discerning gay travelers who love nostalgic, old-fashioned elegance will love The Imperial. One of the most luxurious gay hotels in Delhi, this elegant, colonial-era cocoon offers tranquility in the heart of the city. With origins going back to 1931, this colonial-era hotel has a real sense of history with 20th-century Delhi artwork and photos and vintage rattan furniture. Rooms and suites are huge and spread across a whopping eight categories. Nevertheless, they all feature coffee and tea-making facilities, framed wall prints, marble floors, French linen, minibars, and TVs. The best thing is to bypass the entry-level Deco rooms and go for the Imperial rooms, which come with huge beds and face the gardens. And, of course, the Heritage and Grand Heritage suites are the biggest.
A palm-lined entrance leads you to this huge lush property, which boasts an enormous pool that’s an absolute joy to cool off in. There’s even a fitness center and a spa that offers both Western and Ayurvedic treatments. Four restaurants serve every cuisine under the sun but don’t miss eating southeastern Asian fare at The Spice Route. Begin your evening with drinks on the colonnaded veranda and end it with a nightcap in plush leather chairs at 1911.
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Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel
Surrounded by lush greenery, Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel is one plush gay friendly hotel in Delhi. Besides a central location, the 20-storeyed hotel boasts some of the best views in central Delhi. There’s an underlying Asian-inspired accent in the theme and décor, as it is with all of the brand’s hotels. However, it blends with Indian flourishes at the Delhi outpost – for instance, Chinese motifs meld with Mughal lattice work. Choose from a whopping 320 rooms and suites that are decked out in muted blues and greys. Modern amenities, comfy beds, and dark marble bathrooms with separate baths lend an air of luxury. But, the little extras such as L’Occitane toiletries, well-stocked minibars, and fruit bowls are a lovely touch. The best rooms and suites look out across the city.
For such a large hotel, Shangri-La does boast intimate service. The inviting pool is a heavenly spot to cool off in the city’s heat and is well-shaded by afternoon. The leafy terraced gardens are perfect for taking romantic walks, and you’ll hardly believe that you’re in the middle of Delhi. After a day of exploring, pamper yourselves with a massage at the Chi Spa. That said, it’s the dining options that set the hotel apart. Breakfast is particularly excellent with many Indian, Asian, and European favorites, juices, granola, and even a waffle counter.
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Hyatt Regency Delhi
The flagship of the Hyatt Group in India is Hyatt Regency Delhi, one of the best overall gay hotels in Delhi. Located centrally in the capital’s business district, it’s close to some of Delhi’s best attractions, markets, and entertainment. The bustling hotel is decked out in marble interiors, with its impressive huge domed lobby and floral displays. Even entry-level rooms are spacious, but they feature large marble bathrooms with separate bathtubs and shower areas. Cloud-like beds, anglepoise lamps, cushy armchairs, and complimentary coffee/tea-making facilities and water are great perks. Feel like splurging? The Club rooms have access to the private Regency Club lounge with light snacks, happy hour drinks, all-day hot beverages, and breakfast.
Since this is a business hotel, it’s always buzzing and bustling round-the-clock. Nevertheless, it has a long list of amenities, with the epicenter being the large pool with sun loungers set in the lush gardens. After a refreshing swim and lounge, head to the spa or the whirlpool bath for a relaxing soak or a body treatment. Six restaurants serve everything from Indian to European cuisines, with a 24/7 cafe serving breakfast.
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The Lodhi, a superb gay friendly hotel in Delhi, is a modernist stone-built sanctuary set on acres of lush grounds in the heart of New Delhi. After all, where can you find hotel rooms in the cacophony that is Delhi with plunge pools in their rooms? It’s true! Some of the best rooms in the hotel have a plunge pool right outside, overlooking the lush greenery and Delhi beyond. Nevertheless, all rooms and suites are like luxurious havens in hues of pale yellow and duck-egg blues. Floor-to-ceiling windows grace all of them, as do minibars, black marble bathrooms, in-room fitness hampers, and the cherry on top terraces.
The hotel boasts a long list of amenities, with the piece de resistant being the long, heated swimming pool. The bright yellow sunbeds by the side are ideal for wallowing after a long day of exploring the city. There are also spinning classes, a pilates studio, complimentary yoga classes, squash and tennis courts, and a sprawling gym. The wellness complex offers a combination of Western and Eastern are superb. The enormous à la carte breakfast is legendary all over the city and includes superb fusion fare such as Bombay Bhurji (spiced scrambled eggs) served on a croissant. Lunches and dinners are extravagant buffets as well.
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The Lalit New Delhi
The LaLiT is the friendliest of all gay hotels in Delhi. Located in the prime spot of Connaught Place, this hotel is close to some of the Top 10 Things To Do In New Delhi. What’s more, it boasts the largest rooms in all of Delhi! Even the entry-level rooms are amongst the largest In Delhi and are elegant and simply styled. What’s more, they come with a bevy of mod-cons such as comfortable and cloud-like king beds, coffee and tea-making facilities, and complimentary water. The three Legacy rooms are the best of the lot, as each of them has been individually designed by an Indian artist and showcases their work. Art is a huge part of the hotel, with a private gallery, striking displays, an art curator, and even tours to public art galleries.
The rest of the hotel is equally impressive, especially the outdoor pool with ‘floating pod sunbeds, which is a novelty in the city. Later on, work out in the swanky fitness center or pamper yourselves with a relaxing body treatment at the spa. Moreover, the hotel is famously home to the gay-friendly nightclub Kitty Su, which regularly hosts LGBTQ parties and where the gay community is always welcome. In fact, it’s very popular with gay men in the city. Four other restaurants, including a 24/7 one offering breakfast, wrap up the place.
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Taj Palace, New Delhi
The grande dame of hotels in the city is the Taj Palace, an opulent gay friendly hotel in Delhi. With origins going back to 1983, the hotel has hosted the Who’s Who of the last century, right from the King of Bhutan to Justin Trudeau. The interiors are as glamorous as it gets, with winged armchairs, high ceilings, white marble everywhere, and carpeted staircases. You’ll even find Indian motifs and artworks scattered everywhere, including a line of large traditional lanterns. Choose from 403 rooms and suites, all of which have views of the gardens, the pool, or the city. All of them also have heavy drapes and marble bathrooms with Ayurvedic bath products and huge bathtubs large enough for two. Are you feeling indulgent? The Taj Club rooms come with breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening cocktails in the executive lounge and butler service.
The state-of-the-art filtration system sets the hotel apart, elevating the inner atmosphere to Himalayan-fresh levels. Excellent facilities include a 24-hour state-of-the-art gym and a 9-hole mini-golf course. Unwind by the large outdoor swimming pool before retreating to the subterranean Jiva Spa for some well-deserved pampering Ayurvedic treatments. Just like everything else, the food here is superb and top-notch. However, the Orient Express is the most memorable, where white-gloved servers bring you fancy European fare inside an actual train carriage.
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Not everyone wants to stay at a hotel; sometimes, LGBTQ travelers prefer the serenity of a friendly guesthouse. What’s what makes the Colonel’s Retreat one of the best gay hotels in Delhi. Tucked in a peaceful yet upmarket neighborhood in the city, every floor at this place has four rooms set around a spacious sofa lounge. Besides the pink marble stairs being decorated with tree motifs, the place also has contemporary art, photos, and books. The rooms are comfy and slightly different from each other. For instance, one has photographs, while the other has Indian military prints. Nevertheless, they all have chic ensuite bathrooms, coffee and tea-making facilities, and TVs.
Chatty gay travelers will have a lovely time talking to the owners, who’re usually present at breakfast time and are extremely knowledgeable. Meals are served in the lounge or on the roof terrace, with breakfast mixed English and Indian. Afternoon ‘chai’ (tea) with banana bread and biscuits is a treat, but don’t miss digging into the delights of the traditional Indian thali at dinner.
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For gay travelers who want to stay near the airport, The Roseate is one of the Best Hotels Near New Delhi Airport. This gay friendly Delhi hotel is akin to a stylish and modern fortress, like it’s straight out of a James Bond film. All rooms and suites are spacious and modern, with lots of light, cloud-like beds and walk-in dressing rooms. The spacious modern bathrooms are like expansive dens of luxury, complete with powerful walk-in showers and freestanding tubs large enough for two. The cheeky feature is that the bathroom can be open-plan as well! What’s more, the places are swanky as well, as everything from the lights to the shutters can be controlled from the bed panel or the iPad.
The iPad is helpful in calling up everything from spa appointments to food services. Do allow yourself to be pampered at the stylish Aheli Spa, which has an extensive menu of treatments, including signature massages. The massive gardens hold a heavenly swimming pool within their folds, surrounded by soft sunbeds. Two elegant restaurants serve Indian, Chinese, and Thai cuisines for all meals, including a decadent breakfast.
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One of the topmost best gay hotels in Delhi is Andaz, Hyatt’s triumphant foray into the Indian hospitality scene. Located just minutes from Delhi Airport, the hotel is unashamedly modern, with glass walls and lots of natural light. You’ll find Indian art everywhere, including the rooms with minibars, complimentary tea and coffee, pod machines, and automated blackout blinds. Bathrooms are indulgent with bespoke bath products and toiletries. Travelers will also love the rest of the hotel, especially the library area with coffee table books and the kitchen with coffee and tea on tap, as well as fruit, sweets, and cookies.
The outdoor area with a heavenly pool, terraces, palm trees, and lush lawns is the best place to spend time on the property. You’ll even find a 24-hour fitness center as well as a spa that employs Ma Earth natural products. Two restaurants, including the very popular Hong Kong Club, serve all meals. AnnaMaya, with vibrant stained-glass windows, is where breakfast takes place.
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Best Gay Neighborhoods in Delhi
Since the country’s culture is so conservative, Delhi doesn’t exactly have a gay neighborhood. But that doesn’t mean that Delhi’s gay scene doesn’t exist. Most of the elite gay scene flies under the radar and can be accessed only via word of mouth or private Whatsapp groups. Also, you might look up the Facebook pages of Delhi Gay Events & Parties and Delhi Gay Party for gay parties, which are often held at inclusive spaces such as Kitty Su. In fact, the Mr. Gay World India pageant took place at Kitty Su in the LaLiT hotel! In fact, Delhi’s first LGBTQ cafe, Q Cafe, and its most famous gay spa, Mykonos spa, lie in the same building in Lado Sarai in the heart of the city.
One place that needs to be mentioned while discussing Delhi’s gay scene is Mister and Art House, India’s first (and only) luxury guesthouse exclusively for gay men. This bold and unique concept is the brainchild of well-known fashion designer and proud gay man Sanjay Malhotra. He’s also the founder of Indjapink, India’s first-ever travel company exclusively for gay men.
Recommended Gay Bars / Clubs in Delhi
- Kitty Su: Kitty Su is perhaps one of the foremost gay-friendly nightclubs in Delhi. The “C.U.Next Thursday” party openly invites the LGBTQ community to enjoy a night of dancing. It’s very popular with gay men in the city and often has drag shows and exotic dancers.
- Summer House: This is the perfect place for date night, with good food, live music, and cocktails. The vibe is eclectic to boot, with wooden benches and chairs and a bevy of colors. In fact, the bar looks like a minibus, and the place even has an open-air balcony seating area. Finally, Summer House even hosts LGBTQ+ galas to make it welcoming for the LGBTQ community.
- Q Cafe: Welcome to what is Delhi’s first LGBTQ cafe, which offers the community a safe and non-judgmental space to hang out. The pretty roof-top cafe features canopy sheds with views of the city. It hosts drag queen shows, open mics, and sometimes even screens gay love stories.
Best Gay Saunas in Delhi
- Mykonos Spa: For an Indian city, it’s quite revolutionary for Delhi to have a gay spa, and that too out in the open! Delhi’s most famous and out-and-about gay spa, the Mykonos Spa, has a terrace gay cafe. The five-storeyed space has a relaxation room, a gym, glory holes, massage rooms, a jacuzzi, a dry sauna, a steam bath, and lockers.
Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Delhi
- Queer Pride Parade: India’s largest and most well-known Pride parade, Delhi’s Queer Pride Parade, is also India’s very first parade! It honors and celebrates the LGBTQ community and begins at Central Park in Connaught Place. It ends at Nehru Park, which has lots of public gardens to relax after the celebrations.