Tucked on the banks of the Detroit River, Lake Erie, and Lake St. Clair is ‘Motor City’ Detroit. The free-wheeling city is undergoing a new wave of creativity, extraordinary architecture, and edgy street art. Did you know that Detroit is one of the friendliest gay cities in the American Midwest? In fact, the city gained top scores on the Municipal Equality Index, an annual ranking of support and treatment for LGBTQ people by the Human Rights Campaign. What’s more, there are many gay hotels in Detroit with a warm and friendly staff that gay travelers absolutely love. Of all its neighborhoods, Ferndale is the most well-known LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood in metro Detroit. It’s home to many hotels and many LGBTQ residents, bars, clubs, and more as well. In fact, Detroit’s first Pride March was way back in 1972! If that wasn’t enough, Ferndale’s former and current mayors are openly gay men!
But that’s not all that Detroit is famous for. For one, it’s home to the famed Detroit Zoo, one of the Largest Zoos In The World. What’s more, the 1928-opened Fox Theater is not only the largest of the original Fox Theaters but also one of the World’s Most Amazing Cinemas. If that wasn’t enough, Detroit is home to Point Pelee National Park, which might be in Canada, but is also one of the Best National Parks In Canada! With Detroit lying right on the Canadian border, it’s worth making a day trip here. So, pack your bags and head on a gay-cation to the Motor City and stay at one of these top 11 gay friendly hotels in Detroit.
The Inn at 97 Winder
Right in the heart of Detroit’s gay scene sits The Inn at 97 Winder, one of the loveliest gay hotels in Detroit. Looking like it’s straight out of Victorian England, the hotel boasts huge bay windows, Mansard roof, and Queen Anne stylings. The 1876-built 10-room estate melds old-world luxury with a whimsical boutique coolness. Think kitsch such as classic leather Winchesters, Renaissance-style canvases, and gilded Hindu statues juxtaposed against chandeliers, satin fabric, and vibrant Persian rugs. On the inside, you’ll find a lounge and three parlors to relax. It’s where you’re served British-style afternoon tea with six different tea kinds, finger sandwiches, and desserts from a local bakery. Oh, and there’s a limo service to get you around too.
The rooms at this beautifully restored Victorian property are full of plush beds, artwork from across the globe, and tons of antiques. What’s more, some of the rooms even have jacuzzi tubs, making this the perfect base for a romantic getaway for LGBTQ travelers in Detroit.
Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center
Staying at Marriott can never go wrong, and the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center is no exception. One of the best gay friendly hotels in Detroit, it sits in one of the seven interconnected skyscraper towers in the riverside “Ren Cen” complex, thus boating unparalleled views. In fact, this eye-popping highrise is a city icon and landmark, complete with a sleek metal-and-glass exterior and modern yet soft interiors. Even though the spectacular view is the mainstay here, the hotel also has a superb 40th-floor fitness center, a restaurant, a lobby bar, and even a Starbucks. In fact, the restaurant is the perfect place for pre-dinner drinks with views across the Canadian border (yes!) before hitting the city’s gay scene.
All rooms are decked out in soft earth hues, swish mod-cons, and a massive workspace. However, what will catch your eye are the views from the floor-to-ceiling windows, which are particularly appealing and romantic at night. Even bathrooms are primed for romance, complete with bathtubs and granite countertops. If you want a premium experience, go for rooms above floor 57 or above with unobstructed river views.
Trumbull & Porter
Trendy, cool, and funky in every bit, Trumbull & Porter is one of the most stylish gay hotels in Detroit. LGBTQ travelers looking for a boutique stay at an affordable price, this is the one. With Detroit’s gay scene hardly five minutes away and the neighborhood being a hot and upcoming one, you won’t find a better location to explore the city. As you step inside, the lobby has an entire wall dedicated to a love poem to Detroit. What’s more, local artisans have crafted every detail, right from the handmade furniture to the huge mural on the outside. Furthermore, the distressed concrete floors and exposed pipework with quirky feature pieces and splashes of color sum up the hotel’s vibe.
Despite being a boutique hotel, this one overflows with amenities. A concierge service and a 24-hour front desk help you plan tours around Detroit. After a day of exploring, you can relax at the artisan espresso bar or work out at the fitness center. What’s more, the restaurant and bar are very popular and serve all meals. Don’t miss the scrumptious à la carte breakfast of pastries, pancakes, Benedicts, breakfast sandwiches, giant scrambles, and delicious crab artichoke potato hash.
Detroit Foundation Hotel
How would you like to live in a place that was once a fire station during the 1920s? Welcome to the Detroit Foundation Hotel, one of the most historic and characterful gay friendly hotels in Detroit. Armed with oodles of gritty hipster edge, this hotel lies a street away from the Detroit River and a stone’s throw from its gay scene, which is what makes it so gay-popular.
But, that’s not all. The hotel fuses modern and historical elements in the design to tell Detroit’s story. In fact, it’s preserved many of the original firehouse features. These include the actual fire poles, the huge arched fire engine doorways, and even the classic red-brick façade. What’s more, modern design elements such as funky crafted furniture complements the historical touches. To sum up, it all feels innately Detroit. Furthermore, the on-site restaurant serves all meals, along with cocktails a the gorgeous lounge/bar area. Aside from a 24-hour fitness center, the hotel also has complimentary hipster Detroit Bike bicycles and free local shuttles for exploring the city. From the menu of à la carte breakfast, go for the Belgian-style waffles and sourdough pancakes.
Every room in this 100-room hotel is opulent and modern; think repurposed wood walls and original distressed brick floors. Furthermore, they’re offset by pops of color, modern lighting, and slick artisan sofas. While just three rooms have bathtubs, all bathrooms are modern and airy.
Located in the beating heart of downtown Detroit’s historic shopping district is the majestic Shinola Hotel. One of the most lavish gay hotels in Detroit, this one is for discerning gay travelers looking for a bespoke experience in the heart of it all. You’ll experience luxury in every form the minute you set foot into the hotel, such as early 20th-century detailing and handcrafted woodwork. The two-storied ‘Living Room’ next to the reception is a serene haven with a marble fireplace, modern furnishings, and lofty ceilings. In fact, the artwork in the room is curated by the Detroit Gallery Library Street Collective, with the huge ‘Tondo’ being the piece de resistance.
With many food and beverage options, you won’t even have to leave the hotel for meals. Sip delicious craft cocktails at the Evening Bar and guzzle beer at The Brakeman. Even breakfast is a decadent affair with ricotta pancakes, egg dishes, pastries, fruits, and cold-pressed juices. Other amenities include a fitness center and even a Shinola boutique shop. Rooms aren’t cookie-cutter either, complete with lots of light from the huge windows and spacious baths. A slew of mod-cons, minibars stocked with local items, custom bathrobes, and Italian cotton sheets make up the rest of the place.
Aloft Detroit at the David Whitney
One of the chicest gay friendly hotels in Detroit is Aloft Detroit at the David Whitney. Tucked right in the heart of downtown, it’s within a short drive of the gay scene as well as all the Top Things To Do In Detroit. So, explore Detroit by day and delve into its gay scene at night – and have an amazing gaycation in Motor City! Just like other Aloft outposts, this one boasts swish rooms with flat-screen TVs, pillowtop mattresses on plush beds, and even fridges and coffeemakers for your convenience. What you’ll also like are the huge windows that allow light to pour in, complete with seating areas by the side.
Aloft is perfect for younger LGBTQ travelers who want to enjoy mingling with other travelers. The hotel’s amenities certainly go a long way in fuelling interesting conversations. For instance, the billiards table is a great spot to make new friends, as is the re:fuel snack bar where you can simply grab breakfast and head out to explore the city. The best of them all is the famed W XYZ bar, which is very gay-popular. It offers not only snacks but also wine and cocktails late into the night.
The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit
The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit is not just one of the best gay hotels in Detroit, but it’s also one of the overall Best Hotels in Detroit. Located right in the heart of downtown, the hotel lies a street away from the Detroit River and is just a five-minute drive from the city’s gay scene as well. The hotel is steeped in history and sits in a 1924-built Renaissance-inspired building that was once the world’s tallest hotel. Rooms and suites are typically Westin, complete with the brand’s “Heavenly” beds with a whopping ten layers of bedding! Aside from being spacious, rooms also have room service, plasma TVs, huge windows, and even jacuzzi tubs in some.
The Westin, just like any other outpost, features a plethora of amenities for guests. The best of them all is the indoor pool where you can enjoy a languorous swim. Even though there are spa facilities on the property, you can even opt for a romantic in-room massage or body treatment for you and your partner. Do enjoy drinks such as bourbon carrot mule at the Motor Bar, which celebrates Detroit’s automotive heritage. There’s also a steakhouse and a Starbucks on-site, as well as a 24-hour concierge service.
The Dearborn Inn
Gay travelers who want to stay away from the bustle of Detroit will love the charming and quaint Dearborn Inn. Located just 15 minutes from downtown Detroit, this is one of the most quietly luxurious gay friendly hotels in Detroit. The inn sits in a stately 1931-built home at the site of the former Ford Motor Company in the suburban town of Dearborn. What’s more, it’s surrounded by lush and landscaped grounds, which makes this place very popular for weddings. Aside from rooms and suites, there’s also an option to stay in an old freestanding home. Nevertheless, they’re all decked out in colonial decor and have an ornate fireplace, plush beds, and bathtubs in the bathrooms.
What’s more, the hotel also has a ton of amenities, the most inviting being the outdoor pool. It lies in a lovely fenced-in area overlooking the grounds, complete with loungers to the side. The place also has an excellent restaurant and tavern that serve cocktails, light and regular meals overlooking the lush lawns.
MGM Grand Detroit
One of the glitziest gay hotels in Detroit is definitely the MGM Grand Detroit. Housed in a Vegas-style casino resort, the MGM Grand is for those LGBTQ travelers who’re partiers and social butterflies and don’t want any quiet until they get back to their rooms! The hotel is actually a gargantuan entertainment complex and has seven restaurants, a frozen cocktail bar, a virtual golf suite, an event center, and a sports lounge! When you enter, a super-attentive concierge service takes over. What’s more, the lobby ceilings are so high that they practically give you vertigo! The huge indoor pool, one of the few in Detroit’s hotels, makes for a great escape, as does the on-site spa. Moreover, you’ll also find a fitness center, a sauna, a steam room, and a hot tub here for the ultimate in unwinding.
No two of the 400 rooms at this hotel are the same. Nevertheless, they’re all spacious and come with huge flat-screen HDTVs, complimentary bottled water, and spa-like marble showers with rainfall showerheads in the bathrooms. Dripping with decadence, this hotel is the place to stay if you’re in Detroit to party.
Atheneum Suite Hotel
One of the chicest gay friendly hotels in Detroit is the Atheneum Suite Hotel. This Greektown staple is set in a 19th-century seed warehouse and features Greek-palace themes and columns that totally live up to its name. Even the rooms are no less at this all-suite hotel and come with marble deep-soaking tubs in the bathrooms! Swanky modern additions include minibars, MP3 docking stations, and flat-screen TVs. Greek columns make an appearance here too, while light streams in through the huge windows. The sitting areas right next to them are the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning.
Aside from a fitness center, the hotel also offers concierge services and a free shuttle as well. So, book tours during the day and use the shuttle to get to the gayborhood in the evening, which is less than 10 minutes away. The on-site restaurant and bar are also one of the most popular places around.
Sitting atop the list of the best gay hotels in Detroit is the Siren Hotel, a hip boutique hotel that delves deep into Detroit’s history. Set in the once-abandoned Wurlitzer building from 1926, the utterly charming property is right in the thick of things. In fact, the gay scene is no more than a five-minute drive.
A gorgeous Italian Renaissance exterior aside, the hotel’s design and ethos are modeled after The Siren, a Greek mythology creature that stands for the rebirth of the city of Detroit. The glamorous lobby is like stepping back in time to a 1940s or ’50s film set. For instance, the seating areas have sheer balloon shades, fringed table lamps, and funky antique furniture. At the same time, original features such as plaster ceilings, terracotta signs, and shining travertine floors remain. Amenities include a trendy cocktail lounge, coffee bar, and a small upscale restaurant that serves all meals. The cocktail lounge, Candy Bar, is a gay favorite, complete with a pink ceiling, a sleek, curved bar, a glittery chandelier, and a glitzy Parisian disco ball.
Rooms range from ‘Hideouts’ or bunks to suites, with the pinnacle being the lofty penthouse. Nevertheless, they all have terrazzo-tiled baths, comfy beds with Italian linens, and non-alcoholic minibars full of gourmet snacks and soft drinks.
Just So You Know:
- Detroit’s Pride event is the largest LGBTQ event in Michigan.
- Detroit’s “Hotter Than July” is the world’s longest-running and second oldest “Black Pride” celebration.
Get Some Culture in Detroit:
- Motor City Pride: What started as a march downtown has turned into Detroit’s annual LGBTQ pride street festival. The vibrant festival features a colorful Pride parade that celebrates the diversity, love, and lives of the LGBTQ communities in Michigan. Also part of this festival is the Riverside Festival, which is the official two-day pride party held on the riverfront at Hart Plaza. Think live entertainment, a pride picnic, and a beer garden.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Detroit:
- Woodward Bar & Grill: This is Detroit’s oldest LGBTQ establishment, which has been around since the 1960s. Tucked in the heart of Midtown, this restaurant serves delicious and simple food and transforms into an LGBTQ space after 5 p.m. Also, it’s especially known for its black LGBTQ crowd.
- Gigis Gay Bar: This is one of Detroit’s best gay and drag bars and is the perfect place for drinks and a show. Dance the night away at the upstairs bar or enjoy the lively cabaret performances on the lower level.
Best Gay Saunas in Detroit:
- Body Zone: Detroit’s premier gay sauna features a labyrinth of hallways with an open shower room, a steam room, private rooms that can be rented, and lounge areas showing porn.