Jazz blaring out of pubs, numerous gushing fountains that’ll have Rome thinking, and fiery barbeques make up kaleidoscopic Kansas City. One of the most thriving cities in America’s Great Plains region, Kansas City is home to art-filled neighborhoods, museums, and more and is a top-rated vacation destination. It might come as a surprise to many, given Missouri’s god-fearing persona, but Kansas City is very LGBTQ-friendly. In fact, there are many gay hotels in Kansas City with an amicable and welcoming staff. If that wasn’t enough, the town even has a gay scene, even if it’s smaller than many other state capitals. Just south of the city center, KC’s Midtown-Westport district has a particularly thriving LGBTQ+ community. Whether it’s a gay bar or club you’re looking for or just a quiet place for a nice date night, you’re sure to be satisfied by Kc’s small but exuberant gay scene.
That said, Kansas City is a veritable hub of midwestern style and is home to so many amazing sights and attractions. Culture vultures will appreciate the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the National World War I Museum. Are you here with the kids? Legoland is the one place both your children and you will thoroughly enjoy. And, of course, who can forget the iconic Union Station and its amazing architecture? So, head to Kansas City for an equally intrepid and laidback gay-friendly vacation. To that end, here are the top 11 gay friendly hotels in Kansas City.
21c Museum Hotel
Tucked right in the heart of downtown is 21c Museum Hotel, which is one of the most design-centric gay hotels in Kansas City. A Kansas City landmark, this small albeit very gay-friendly hotel and the chain embrace the LGBT community, especially in cities that aren’t exactly known for being LGBT-friendly. This one retains remnants of its past as the Savoy and boasts a warm, friendly, and cheerful staff. What’s interesting is that they wear what they’d wear on a first date! The only addition is the hotel’s emblem – a small blue penguin lapel pin.
The hotel brims with amenities, and you’ll especially like the fitness center that has the feeling of a glass-roofed patio. What’s more, the restaurant serves modern takes on American classics, including an impressive breakfast. Think locally baked bread with strawberry-basil jam, ricotta or goat cheese, Proscuitto and avocado spreads, fresh-pressed juice, egg dishes, home-smoked salmon, and porridge. Finally, don’t miss the hotel curator-led tour of its artwork every Wednesday and Friday at 5 pm.
Choose from 120 rooms, including 19 grand suites, all of which feature champagne and soft gold hues with bright pops of fuchsia and purple. Huge striking photos of Antarctica, blackout curtains, and large windows aside, you’ll also find outstanding bathrooms. Think plush towels, huge walk-in showers (with yellow rubber ducks!), and great mirrors.
The Raphael Hotel
One of the most characterful gay friendly hotels in Kansas City is The Raphael Hotel. Not only is it an architectural landmark, but it’s also listed on the National Register of Historic Places! Tucked right on the southern banks of Brush Creek, it’s just a five-minute drive to the gay scene in the city. This nine-storied brick structure dates back to 1928 and is one of the city’s best examples of Italian Renaissance Revival architecture.
The hotel impresses the minute you step onto the marble floors of the intimate lobby, complete with a decorative metallic gold-leaf ceiling. What’s more, you’ll also find comfy sofas, shimmering chandeliers, and romantic French canopy chairs. A pair of French doors open onto a gorgeous courtyard terrace that has fire pits too. If you love jazz, don’t miss a night at Chaz Lounge, where live rock, blues, classical, and jazz music is played. It also serves all meals, including breakfast with favorites such as banana foster French toast and lobster Benedict. Every afternoon, you’ll even find apples and freshly baked cookies in the lobby! Free Wi-fi, a well-equipped fitness center, and a small business center round up the offerings here.
All 126 rooms and suites channel a “European elegance” vibe with marble-floored bathrooms with carved granite vanities. Swish mod-cons aside, the rooms also come with plush robes and linens and mahogany-finished writing desks. Looking for some romantic time? In-room massages can be arranged too. If you want views, go for the rooms with “Plaza views.”
The super-comfy and modern Fontaine on the northern banks of Brush Creek is one of the most popular gay hotels in Kansas City. Perhaps the Fontaine’s most defining image lies in the two-storeyed lobby – a huge portrait of a Renaissance-era noblewoman.
Bronze, grey, and brown seating echo the hues of this dramatic artwork, which has long been a part of the hotel. The hotel’s top-floor restaurant is a particular foodie favorite. What’s more, it offers breathtaking views and drinks on the poolside terrace during warm weather. The pool is a divine place for a refreshing dip, after which you can work out in the basement fitness room. If you love the outdoors, grab a bike from the local sharing scheme next door. Moreover, there’s even a small grab-and-go bar in the lobby. The best bit? The hotel offers 24-hour free taxi vouchers for trips up to five miles. And what do you know, the hotel is a two-mile drive from the gay scene at Midtown-Westport!
132 rooms and suites are all decked out in cream and charcoal complemented by broad blue accents. A beautiful design addition is the swirling subtly Spanish designs on headboards, which nod to KC’s sister city Seville. Furthermore, bathrooms are particularly decadent with marble counters and bathtubs, and jacuzzi tubs!
Lying right in the heart of the gay scene in KC is 816 Hotel, one of the best gay friendly hotels in Kansas City for exploration. LGBTQ travelers who want to explore the city by day and delve into its gay nightlife later will love this spot, which is a mere street away from Missie B’s. Plus, it’s close to all of the tourist and historical spots of Kansas City. There’s a lot to love about this hotel, such as the free nightly cocktails and 20 themed rooms. It’s a long way from the hotel’s lowly origins as a former three-star Holiday Inn Express. The complimentary breakfast with pancakes, made-to-order eggs, and signature coffee is a huge plus. In fact, the coffee is from the specialty brand Roasterie.
Choose from over 100 rooms, of which the 20 themed rooms are the best. These unique rooms range from the barbeque, KC mob, and local newspaper themes to sports teams. What’ll catch your eye is the TWA room, which comes with a “TWA welcome package” of TWA coasters, a dual-themed TAW/816 coffee cup, and two complimentary tickets to the TWA Museum. Plush beds, chic bathrooms, and swish mod-cons such as fridges and coffeemakers complete the rooms.
Hotel Indigo is not just one of the best gay hotels in Kansas City but also amongst the overall Best Hotels in Kansas City, Missouri. Located in the heart of downtown KC, this place draws design inspiration from the neighborhood, thus eschewing the generic hotel experience. In fact, it’s a huge draw with the design-loving LGBTQ population, especially since where it sits. It occupies the Brookfield Building, where the former offices of many railroads and the local airport companies lay. So, the entire place has a transportation theme, right from the large murals to the interesting train route map on the ceiling.
The hotel has a ton of amenities for a middle-of-the-road hotel in downtown KC. These include an on-site bar and restaurants that serve all meals, including a delicious à la carte breakfast. Free WiFi aside, the hotel also features a concierge service, a fitness center, and a business center. Finally, 118 rooms all boast blown-up versions of vintage postcards of Kansas City, and that too all different ones! Modern comforts, including spa-like bathrooms and huge windows, make up the rest of the rooms.
Do you like characterful stays? LGBTQ travelers with a taste for history will love Hotel Philips, one of the most stunning gay friendly hotels in Kansas City and something of a historic asset. With origins dating back to 1930, this 20-storeyed luxury hotel wows the minute you set foot in the grand Art-Deco lobby. A huge gilded statue of the goddess Dawn takes center stage, with other things simply seeming to diminish in front of it. In fact, the hotel even has an annual artist as a resident, whose work is displayed all over. There are a ton of amenities, too, such as the in-house restaurant that hosts 1930s-themed weddings. An Italian restaurant serves all meals, while Kilo Charlie is the best place in town for a brew. In the evening, wind down at one of the best bars in town, PS Speakeasy. Plus, it’s very gay-popular!
Boasting over 200 rooms, the hotel has been stunning guests since 1931 and even skilfully retains its period details and historic charm. Think elegant light fixtures, polished walnut paneling, and blaming nickel and bronze metalwork. At the same time, you’ll find all modern amenities such as coffeemakers, flatscreen TVs, and chic bathrooms. Finally, they even offer in-room massages so you can relax with your partner in comfort.
Home2 Suites by Hilton
LGBTQ travelers on a budget will love Home2 Suites by Hilton, one of the most affordable gay hotels in Kansas City. This extended-stay hotel also suits gay travelers who’ll be sticking around in the city for a long while. Choose from 114 spacious one-bedroom suites here, all of which either come with king or queen beds. What’s more, the suites also have separate living rooms with flat-screen TVs and cushy sleeper sofas for additional comfort, especially if you’re a group of travelers. The best bit? It comes with fully-equipped kitchens, allowing you to cook meals whenever you want, especially when you don’t feel like eating out.
Despite kitchens in the suits, Home2 Suites offers free complimentary continental breakfast, so you don’t have to worry about cooking early in the morning. A heated indoor saltwater pool overlooks Main Street and is a great place for a swim. Laundry facilities and a fitness center complete the amenities here.
Yet another historic gay friendly hotel in Kansas City is the Ambassador Hotel, which sits in a 1920s Neoclassical-built structure right in the very heart of Kansas City. The gay scene at Westport is 3.5 miles away, which is perfect since the hotel offers a free shuttle within a 5-mile radius! So, there’s no roughing it or using Uber to explore the city or its gay nightlife. The 43-room boutique hotel retains many of its historical elements, including the bathroom with the original windows and decorative corbels and the original marble floors.
At the same time, the hotel has 21st-century amenities in its large and spacious rooms, such as coffeemakers, mini-fridges, and flatscreen TVs. Historic touches include the walk-in marble shower rooms, paired with Gilchrist & Soames Hair toiletries, of course. The hotel has a slew of other modern amenities as well, such as the on-site restaurant, Reserve, which makes for an ideal romantic dining place before a night out on the town. A fitness center, business center, and laundry services are some of the other amenities here.
Secret Place Bed and Breakfast
Tired of living in typical hotel-like atmospheres? Welcome to Secret Place Bed and Breakfast, one of the best gay hotels in Kansas City that’s actually an incredibly charming New England-style B&B! This five-star B&B is one of the city’s top bed and breakfasts and offers home-like comforts with a five-star twist. It’s a slight 10-minute drive to the gay scene, but it’s just 5 minutes from downtown, making for a nicely balanced place to stay for a discerning LGBTQ couple.
With just two rooms, staying here feels more like you’re staying with family than at a hotel. Both guestrooms feature full-sized kitchens for cooking romantic meals on nights in. Enjoy them on the private patio, which overlooks the lush green lawns and the pretty neighborhood. When it’s cold, plop in front of the huge flatscreen TV and watch a romantic movie. Other conveniences include free Wi-Fi, housekeeping, and complimentary bottled water. The lobby is another great place to relax, especially with the fireplace. Begin your day with a superb American breakfast in the sunroom.
Younger LGBTQ travelers will love the Crossroads Hotel, one of the best gay friendly hotels in Kansas City. Cool and quirky to the hilt, the hotel offers modern rustic suites in the heart of downtown. All 131 rooms are decorated with the work of local artists, whether it’s the paintings, the ceramics, or the showpieces. Together, they all make for a cozy and warm ambiance. Moreover, all rooms also have flatscreen TVs, minibars, free Wi-Fi, pillowtop beds, and swish bathrooms with designer toiletries and bathtubs. If that isn’t modern digs, we don’t know what is!
Going further, the hotel even has an artist-in-residence studio where you can peek at the work-in-progress of every piece of artwork that’s being commissioned for the hotel. Moreover, the on-site Italian restaurant serves all meals, while the rooftop bar is a great place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail before heading out to KC’s gay scene. Finally, the hotel even offers a running club and yoga classes.
The Westin Crown Center
If you love chain hotels’ then you’ll do well to choose The Westin Crown Center, one of the best gay hotels in Kansas City. It might be your typical large chain hotel, but there’s nothing “typical” about this Westin outpost. For one, it has all the possible amenities you’d want – along with excellent service. We begin with the huge outdoor pool, which sits in a private enclave on the property. That, along with the large deck peppered with sun chairs and poolside service, is also what makes it one of the Best Hotel Pools In Kansas City. What’s more, it even allows small dogs to stay for free and even gives them free treats and dog beds. There’s also free breakfast, tennis courts, as well as a whirlpool, a steam room, and a sauna.
Rooms at the Westin are huge, with lots of space to walk around and separate seating areas next to floor-to-ceiling windows. Flatscreen TVs and work desks aside, you’ll also find chic bathrooms with huge shower areas.
Just So You Know:
- The Greater Kansas City area is amongst the American Midwest’s most popular urban LGBTQ travel destinations.
- Hyde’s, a private men-only guesthouse and gym used to be very popular for gays to mingle in the city. Unfortunately, it’s been permanently closed.
Get Some Culture in Kansas City:
- KC PrideFest: Kansas City Pride is one of the most robust and largest Pride celebrations in the middle states. Berkley Riverfront is the setting for this vibrant festival, which goes on for days at end. Headliners including Grammy-winning celebrities as well as local drag queensm and the idea is to transform it into more of an indie Pride fest and less of what Pride traditionally means.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Kansas City:
- Missie B’s: You can’t find a gay bar better than Missie B’s in Kansas City. This can’t-miss venue two-storied club has a dance floor and a sex and leather boutique on the upper floor. What’s more, it also has a show stage and a back patio, and hosts live cabaret, beer busts, and karaoke evenings.
- Sidestreet Bar: A cozy neighborhood dive tucked into a quiet side street. It’s a favorite hangout with the leather/bearish set.
- Michael Forbes Bar & Grille: A very popular gay-owned and operated eatery that’s a favorite with locals and travelers.
Best Gay Saunas in Kansas City:
Unfortunately, Kansas City doesn’t seem to have any gay bathhouses or saunas. We’re hoping to see more gay saunas come up in this gorgeous LGBTQ-friendly city soon!