The capital of the Lone Star State Houston effusively blends Southern and Western styles, sensibilities, and heritage. The lively Texan metropolis has been one of the greatest boomtowns of the decade in the country and is truly a melting pot of cultures. An innate part of Houston’s rich culture is the LGBTQ culture, which Houston has accepted and infused into its very fabric. In fact, Houston has the largest LGBT population in the state and the country’s fourth-largest Pride Parade. With tons of LGBTQ travelers intent on exploring the city, it is but natural for gay hotels in Houston TX to not only have sprung up but thrived as well.
The home of Houston’s vibrant gay counterculture scene is the attractive Montrose. It is home to some of the best gay bars and clubs sprinkled in between lovely 20th-century craftsman-style cottages and modern apartment buildings. Montrose housed around 30-40 gay bars even in the late 1970s and has been home to a significant LGBTQ population since the 1980s. In fact, the city’s first gay publication existed around the 1960s. The 1970s in Houston also saw the formation of the oldest LGBT civil rights organization in the South. In fact, in 2015, the Pride parade moved from Montrose to Downtown for the first time since it began, spreading the spirit of inclusivity across the city.
Clearly, gay Houston makes for a fantastic destination to explore. Here are the top 11 gay-friendly hotels in Houston to make your stay memorable.
La Colombe D’or
The exclusive, European-style gay-friendly La Colombe D’Or started out as the W. W. Fondren mansion. With just five rooms and nine villas, La Colombe D’or is one of the smallest boutique hotels in the country. This vintage hotel is hugely popular with the famous, the rich, and the discreet.
The hotel radiates old-world charm with its luxe brocades, dark wood furniture, and genuine antiques. The small library and quaint, warm and inviting bar are perfect spots for a cozy drink with your partner. Rooms at La Colombe are named after impressionist painters and feature a host of impressive art. They’re lavishly furnished, to say the least, and most rooms even feature a separate sitting and dining room. Rooms are peppered with thoughtful touches like cocktail nooks, writing tables, soft linens, rich silk drapes, and plush, marble bathrooms. However, the most impressive features of La Colombe are the 20-foot, ornate oak panels lining the grand ballroom. They were part of the chateau’s decor where the last European royal ball is said to have taken place before World War I broke out.
La Colombe is located smack dab in the heart of Montrose. So, LGBTQ guests looking to indulge in some revelry will amazing gay bars like JR’s and Eagle right down the street.
Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria
The LGBTQ set looking for a stylish stay near Houston’s high-end shopping district should consider the Royal Sonesta Galleria. The hotel is one of the trendiest gay hotels in Houston, TX and occupies prime real estate in Houston’s Uptown. The Royal Sonesta is also a five-minute drive to The Galleria, one of the city’s biggest attractions. Plus, the hotel has a complimentary shuttle for a two-mile radius. Hence, one can get to surrounding neighborhoods without burning a hole in their pockets.
A gorgeous water fountain, flowers, and palm trees dotting the entrance to the Royal Sonesta pack quite a punch. It opens to a sleek lobby with plush furniture with purple-colored velvet upholstery, patterned carpets, stylish sitting areas with gold-accented room dividers, and trendy ceiling lights. There’s a lovely restaurant allowing guests to reserve a private dining experience with the chef. The coffee shop is ideal for onto-the-go business travelers, while fitness fanatics will appreciate the large fitness center. Apart from a lovely spa, there’s also a small rooftop pool which is a nice relaxation spot.
Rooms at the Royal Sonesta are posh with classy headboards, modern geometric carpets, and super-comfy and fluffy bedding. Additional modern seating and a bevy of mod-cons will surely be appreciated by tech-savvy and younger-gen travelers. Deluxe Room bathrooms have Bulgari bath products and tub/shower combos, while suites have whirlpool tubs. If you really want to splurge, the Concierge Rooms boast of bathrobes and slippers, free breakfast and evening refreshments, loofahs, and fresh orchids.
HI Hostel, The Morty Rich Hostel
For the LGBTQ set that doesn’t have too much scratch to spare, the HI Morty Rich Hostel might be just the thing they need. The gay-friendly hostel is housed in a posh and historic 1917-built Montrose mansion in the heart of vibrant Montrose. It’s a great affordable base for those looking to dive headlong into the gay scene of Houston.
Travelers can choose between multiple dorm rooms as well as private ones. For a non-profit hostel, HI Morty Rich has a cornucopia of perks and freebies for travelers. There’s an inground swimming pool nestled in the hostel’s tree-shaded backyard, which is a fantastic amenity for its price point. There’s a communal kitchen perfect for whipping up meals when you want to save. An art-filled lounge area and a pool table are great for striking up conversations and socializing. The staff is super friendly and always more than ready to help travelers explore the city and discover its best attractions and hidden gems. Start your days with a hearty, free breakfast. End the day by lounging in the lovely and cozy hammocks beside the pool. Plus, the 24-hour reception essentially means that you can saunter in after a night of partying any time you want.
Hotel ZaZa Museum District
LGBTQ culture buffs will love the gay-friendly ZaZa which lies right in the heart of Houston’s iconic Museum District, which is one of the best places to see in the city. This neighborhood is home to some of Houston’s best cultural attractions, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Holocaust Museum, the Houston Zoo, and the Herman Park.
ZaZa not only has an eclectic repute but also a memorable ambiance. Unique artworks, bold-patterned carpets, crystal chandeliers, and animal-print chairs somehow fit beautifully together. The sleek restaurant emits a similar eclectic vibe, complete with avant-garde murals. The 24-hour fitness center is a haven for gym rats, and there’s even free coffee in the lobby every morning. If you’re exhausted exploring the Museum District, indulge in a bit of relaxation and recreation at the ZaSpa. The center of all action at ZaZa, however, is the superb outdoor pool with a patio bar. Emanating a glam European vibe, the deck has lots of lounge chairs to relax and people-watch.
Rooms at ZaZa, even the standard ones, are funky and unique in character, just like the rest of the hotel. Apart from a slew of mod-cons, there are clawfoot beds, red-patterned headboards, and spacious modern bathrooms. If you can, splurge on one of ZaZa’s ‘Concept Suites’ which range from regal English flats to upscale NYC lofts in charm and character. LGBTQ couples looking for some romance with love the ‘An Affair to Remember’ or ‘Geisha House’ suite, depending on what their kind of romance is.
Sara’s Bed & Breakfast Inn
Discerning gay travelers who like their place of stay to have a wee bit of history and character should look no further than Sara’s Bed and Breakfast Inn. Located on a tree-lined boulevard in the historic Heights neighborhood, the gay-friendly B&B is housed in a pristine Queen Anne mansion.
This quaint B&B features 11 rooms, each of which boasts of its own theme and is individually decked out with floral-patterned linens and antiques. The rooms also have mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs, and king/queen beds with lovely, soft linens. The property radiates a tranquil, relaxed, and warm ambiance, and even features a picture-perfect wraparound porch with rocking chairs. Breakfast is a hearty affair with homemade pastries, sweet potato pancakes, and made-to-order egg dishes, just like home.
Guests will love the charming Heights neighborhood, which mirrors the character and charm of the B&B and whose origins go back to the 1800s. The streets are gorgeous for jogging or simply walking around and exploring on foot. For the culture buffs, we’d highly recommend this interesting 3.5-hour food tour of this extremely walkable neighborhood. It’ll give them an opportunity to delve into popular foods, age-old traditions, and the unique diversity of the area.
Hotel Moran CITYCENTRE
LGBTQ travelers who love the contemporary glass-and-steel look will feel right at home at gay-friendly luxury Hotel Moran. Located in the heart of the CITYCENTRE, the hotel sits amidst Houston’s 21st-century architecture. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer expansive views of the glittering Houston skyline and the famed ‘Energy Corridor.’ Plus, a minute’s walk gets travelers to a host of enticing and upscale designer restaurants, lounges, boutiques, and shops.
Ultra-modern is the catchphrase at Hotel Moran. A spacious lobby with graphite-colored ceramic floors and a Murano glass chandelier ooze refined elegance. The lobby opens onto an airy, outdoor balcony. The hotel is said to house what is the city center’s signature restaurant, Radio Milano. Sip on seasonal cocktails at the plaza-side Milano Bar or the sleek, poolside Monnalisa Bar. The fitness room will appeal to those who want to indulge in light workouts. Apart from providing free shuttles between 6:30 am and 11 pm, Moran also offers 24-hour in-room dining. The highlight is the outdoor pool with three curtained cabanas that overlook the CITYCENTRE plaza.
Rooms at the Moran feature wide floor-to-ceiling windows with gorgeous sweeping views, comfy beds, and plush terry robes. If you’re looking to splurge, check out the high-ceilinged junior and penthouse suites.
Aloft Houston by The Galleria
Located right next to the famous Galleria Mall is the hip, gay-friendly Aloft Houston from the able stable of the Marriott brand. The hotel offers a bevy of services for a very reasonable price point, making it one of the best value gay hotels in Houston TX.
Aloft is a place where the outgoing and social LGBTQ set can meet like minded-travelers. There are tons of mingling avenues, including the trendy W XYZ bar or while lounging about in the re:mix lounge. The re:charge gym is perfect for gym rats for sweating all those delish Texan food calories off. An indoor pool, which is also heated, is great for swimming, relaxing, and even lounging about.
Rooms at Aloft guarantee a good night’s sleep, particularly if you’ve been partying at Montrose’s amazing gay clubs till the wee hours of dawn. The ultra-comfy signature bed is sleep-inducing, while the oversized shower is sure to wash all tiredness off. The younger traveling set will surely appreciate Aloft’s plug & play connectivity station, which not only charges all electronics but also links to the flatscreen LCD TV too. Plus, the hotel even has a nifty room service allowing travelers to order food from the fabulous Ruth’s Chris steakhouse right to the room.
Courtyard Houston Downtown
Old-style luxury comes to Downtown Houston in the form of the Courtyard Marriott. Discerning gay travelers who wish to explore Houston in a luxurious way will surely love the gay-friendly Marriott and all it has to offer.
The hotel is housed in a lovingly restored 1921 neo-classical building with original brass elevator doors and polished rose marble floors. The lovely lobby bar is perfect for unwinding and sipping on a cocktail before heading out for the evening. The fitness center is great for getting a bit of exercise on your holiday, especially if you’re a fitness fanatic. Rooms are modern and spacious with high ceilings to boot. The luxuriously comfy bedding, a host of mod-cons, chic, contemporary ensuite bathrooms, and coffee/tea facilities with room service from the bistro downstairs is the very epitome of luxury.
The Courtyard Mariott Houston Downtown allows travelers to explore Downtown and all its attractions like the aquarium, the Theater District, and Discovery Green. Plus, with the light rail station right outside, even the gay scene at Montrose is less than half-an-hour away. However, the best aspect is that the hotel is right next to the pickup for this extremely interesting 2-hour underground tunnel tour of Downtown Houston. It takes travelers through the subterranean world of Downtown Houston, which is home to more than 7.5 miles of underground tunnels.
Hotel Icon Autograph Collection
Anther Downtown Houston gem is the gay-friendly Hotel Icon. The hotel is housed in the historic 1911 structure of the former Union National Bank. The hotel emanates a baroque, ‘Old Texas’ vibe with the original vault next to the check-in, the large marble columns, and the eclectic animal-print bar stools. It goes without saying that its the sheer decadence of the hotel which the patrons love.
Make yourself at home in the modern yet comfortable rooms, which feature fluffy pillowtop beds, lounge chairs, ornate, patterned carpets, rich pastel hues, and spacious, designer bathrooms. Some bathrooms even have private whirlpools, adding to the luxurious vibe. Splurge on a corner room for more natural light. Not surprisingly, the hotel has some great amenities for its guests. There’s a well-equipped 24-hour fitness center as well as a restaurant and bar which also offers room service. Plus, the hotel even operates a complimentary area shuttle operates within a 3-mile radius.
Staying at the Hotel Icon Autograph Collection places travelers in the heart of Houston and within walking distance of Market Square Park and Christ Church Cathedral. Plus, the hotel’s location in Downtown makes it perfect for intrepid travelers to hop on to this 4-hour guided tour of Downtown Houston. The tour takes travelers to the best highlights and attractions that the ‘Space City’ has to offer.
LGBTQ travelers looking for a luxurious stay away from the bustle of the city center will fall in love with the sprawling Houstonian Hotel, Club, and Spa. Located on the other side of the verdant Memorial Park, the place is one of the most luxurious gay hotels in Houston TX.
Calling itself a wooded oasis, the hotel is the perfect example of Texan luxury and decadence. 18 acres of woodlands and an ivy-covered driveway greet guests as they make their way in. The Great Room is warm and welcoming with its tall stone fireplace, towering ceilings, wood-paneled walls, rich tapestries, and grand designs. Manicured and landscaped grounds with brick-lined pathways, gazebos, and lawns make it the ultimate romantic hideaway. Plus, there’s the state-of-the-art Houstonian Club, which offers everything from a gym and nine indoor/outdoor courts to yoga/pilates studios and rock-climbing walls. Guests can choose between three outdoor pools, while the Trellis spa is sure to leave you relaxed and reinvigorated. Three restaurants serve world cuisine, while The Bar is a cozy place for a drink.
Rooms at Houstonian are luxurious with classic writing desks, rich draperies, and wood-trimmed headboards. Plus, the floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views of the forested greens add extra elegance to the room. Mod-cons apart, rooms also have separate dining and seating areas, hardwood floors, and wood-paneled walls. Higher-level rooms also have a wet bar, a fireplace, antique-inspired touches, and whirlpool tubs. All-in-all, if you’re planning to have a romantic getaway in Houston with your partner, the Houstonian Hotel is where you should stay.
JW Marriott Houston Downtown
Located in one of the most buzzing districts in Houston, the regal and gay-friendly JW Marriott Downtown fits right in. The hotel lies right on the light rail line and is within walking distance of many Houston attractions like the Theater District, the Downtown tunnel system, and Market Square Park, among others.
The hotel offers a plethora of unpretentious and unfussy amenities and services for guests. A coffee shop, two restaurants, and a gym make for a comfortable stay. What adds to the comfort is the Spa by JW which offers a range of relaxing face, hand, and foot treatments.
Guests are offered complimentary shaved chocolate art treats when they retire to their rooms, which are spacious and sleek. Apart from comfy beds and polish ensuite bathrooms, the rooms also have a slew of mod-cons including an in-room iPad that controls literally everything. What’s more, guests can order in-room deliveries from restaurants outside the hotel, which makes for a nice perk.
Just So You Know:
- Houston is home to the largest LGBTQ community in Texas. It also happens to be one of the largest LGBTQ communities in the Southern United States.
Get Some Culture in Houston:
- Houston Pride: Houston’s Pride Parade is the largest gay pride event in Texas, as well as in the Southwestern United States. Plus, it’s also the city’s second-largest event. Some of the most popular Houston Pride events include the ‘Fear The Queer’, an LGBT+ fashion and dance party, the Salvation Pool Party, and Unleashed, which is a leather party hosted at the Eagle.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Houston:
- Anvil Bar & Refuge: A dark bar in Montrose that attracts everyone, including a lot of bearded dudes.
- Guava Lamp: This welcoming, lively lounge is great for a conversation with cute fellow travelers you’ve just met.
- JR’s Bar & Grill: This bar has been a gay scene mainstay for decades. Located in the heart of Montrose, this gay bar has fun themed events, a huge patio, and great karaoke nights.
- Pearl Lounge: This straight/lesbian/gay mixed bar boasts of a diverse crowd and promises a great time.
- RIPCORD: A gay leather bar for those into fetishwear, kink, leather-and-denim, otters, and bears.
- George Country Sports Bar: A gay bar with a classic country-western vibe, pool table, and beer.
- Crocker: A warm and friendly gay neighborhood bar.
- Eagle: A Montrose mainstay with amazing beers and liquors and home to the Mr. Texas Eagle annual competition.
- Blur Bar: Amateur pole dancing and wild dance parties at this bar are a great way to get wild.
Best Gay Saunas in Houston:
- The Club: This steamy gay bathhouse is extremely popular with gay locals and travelers. It has a patio, outdoor pool, steam/sauna rooms, and private rooms.