Don’t go by Tampa’s tawdry moniker ‘Trampa;’ the gritty city has transformed into one of the most stylish cities on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Excellent restaurants, parks, and museums now define ‘America’s Next Greatest City,’ as Tampa is often called. It might not have a huge gay scene like Key West or Fort Lauderdale, but there are not just bars but also many gay hotels in Tampa Florida that are very welcoming towards LGBTQ travelers. That said, the city does have a thriving rainbow flag-flying ‘gayborhood’ that’s based in the heart of the city’s historic district Ybor City. And, of course, it also has a buzzing and interesting name ‘GaYbor,’ which is also the name for the LGBT Chamber of Commerce group of the gay businesses in the area! Good ole’ GaYbor is chock-full of gay bars, clubs, and bathhouses, as well as a number of boutique shops and hotels.
That said, the gay scene isn’t limited to just Tampa. Right across the bridge that crosses Old Tampa Bay sits the Top Gay-Friendly Hotels In St. Petersburg and its equally amazing gay scene. What’s more, the exciting world of Universal Orlando, one of the Top Tourist Attractions In The USA, lies just over an hour northeast. Even nature lovers have something to do here – the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, one of the Best US Winter Vacation spots lies just over an hour north along the Gulf Coast.
Clearly, Tampa should be your next go-to gay destination in Florida. To that end, here are the top 11 gay hotels in Tampa, Florida.
Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay
The Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay is undoubtedly one of the gay hotels in Tampa for those travelers who want nothing less than a top-notch luxury. While it’s a 15-minute drive to the gayborhood at Ybor City, the Tampa Bay location is as excellent as it gets. Rooms are divided between the main tower and the Casita area and are spacious and modern to boot. Swanky mod-cons aside, you’ll find huge windows, some of which enjoy sweeping and unobstructed views of Tampa Bay, seating areas, coffeemakers, and swish bathrooms.
When it comes to amenities, Tampa Grand Hyatt doesn’t disappoint. Choose from two outdoor pools, one of which is a heated pool and offers spectacular views of the water. Its deck is peppered with palm trees and sunbeds perfect for a lounge after a swim and a soak in the adjacent outdoor whirlpool. Those who want to work out will love the well-equipped fitness center. If you don’t fancy an indoor workout, we’d suggest you hit the walking trails or the basketball court, or the tennis court. Two on-site restaurants ensure that you never have to step out for meals either. the best of them all is the rooftop patio restaurant and bar, where a sundowner is the best way to begin the evening’s revelries before heading to GaYbor.
Aloft Tampa Downtown
If swimming pools are your thing, then Aloft Tampa Downtown is one of the best gay hotels in Tampa Florida with a sensational pool. The phenomenal pool area overlooks the Hillsborough River and the Riverwalk in one pretty setting around a lovely and cool plunge pool. People-watch to the hilt as you relax on the sun loungers on the side, as it’s mostly a younger crowd that frequents the poolside at Aloft. Sip cocktails as you unwind with the pulsating glass-cubed WXYZ Lounge located right next door. Post a swim, enjoy small bites from the 24-hour Re:fuel snack bar, or head to the hotel’s restaurant for a nice long lunch. Or, you could head down to the fitness center for a spot of workout or sip on drinks at the shared lounge before hitting the streets of Tampa for a rollicking evening.
Contemporarily designed rooms boast incredible views of the river, the bay, and the city from floor-to-ceiling windows, something of a rarity for a city center hotel. Furthermore, Aloft is a mere 15-minute light rail ride from the gay neighborhood at Ybor City. So, if you plan to enjoy a long night of partying, heading back to the hotel with a friend in tow isn’t going to be a problem at all.
Phenomenal cuisine, style, and luxury make the Epicurean Hotel one of the most luxurious gay hotels in Tampa. Epicurean in name and epicurean in nature, the hotel’s philosophy is to eat, drink and make merry – and the hotel certainly lives up to the motto. This epicurean objective even extends to the rooms, which feature ‘artisan pantries!’ The rooms and suites are sophisticated and chic, complete with gourmet snacks, well-stocked minibars, and plush beds. For an indulgent experience, go for one of the rooms with balconies that open onto the restaurant’s herb garden. Bliss! It’s no wonder that this hotel is very popular with discerning LGBTQ travelers.
The hedonistic vibe begins right from the wine-cellar-like reception to the on-site restaurant that serves excellent international dare. After a long day of exploring the town, nothing feels better than a dip in the decadent outdoor pool or a massage at the Evangeline Spa. Enjoy a cocktail in the Lobby Bar or a sundowner on the rooftop lounge before heading out to the gay scene at Ybor City. If you and your partner love bespoke experiences, do indulge in the Epicurean Theater which offers wine-making and culinary classes!
Renaissance Tampa Plaza International Hotel
If you’re looking for great gay hotels in Tampa Florida near the airport, then Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel is perfect. What’s more, it’s just a 15-minute ride to downtown and the gayborhood at Ybor City. Thus, it’s a great base for LGBTQ travelers who want to stay near the airport. You’ll love the courtyard design with fire pits that are perfect to gather around during colder months. The highlight is the lobby bar and restaurant that serves everything from a hearty buffet breakfast to Mediterranean fare to barrel-aged craft cocktails. Begin your pre-boozing session with the weekdays “Cocktail Ritual” with complimentary drinks and snacks. And, of course, everyone will love the heated outdoor pool and whirlpool. You can unwind here even during winters.
The rooms and suites are not only spacious but also boast plush bedding and bathrooms with bathtubs and Aveda toiletries. If you want to splurge, go for the club-level rooms. They not only offer exclusive lounge access but also perks such as free dessert and breakfast.
Tampa Marriott Water Street
In many ways, the Tampa Marriott Water Street is perhaps one of the best-located gay hotels in Tampa. It’s perfect for LGBTQ travelers who want to put their finger on the pulse of the city. Firstly, it lies right on the Garrison Channel in the heart of downtown. Hence, it’s close to all the best things to do and see in Tampa. However, the best bit is that it lies right opposite a light rail station which will take you to the rocking gay scene at Ybor City in less than 15 minutes! A gay-friendly location doesn’t get any better than this.
That being said, the beautifully designed hotel is a delight and has one of the best views in the city. Rooms are sophisticated and sensuous spaces with modern decor and updated mod-cons. In fact, some even with sweeping waterfront views from private balconies. You even have the choice of Stay Well rooms with vitamin-infused showers and air humidifiers and concierge-level rooms that come with complimentary breakfast.
The rest of the hotel is equally impressive. Of the many dining venues, perhaps the poolside bar and grill are the most romantic. The most popular spot on the property, without a doubt, is the third-floor heated rooftop pool. Rounding up the features here are the 24-hour fitness center and the hotel’s marina.
Le Méridien Tampa
Le Méridien Tampa is one of the grandest gay hotels in Tampa Florida. Set in a 100-year-old Historic Federal Courthouse, stepping into the hotel is like stepping back in time. Not only is it within walking distance of the Riverwalk, but also it’s a 15-minute light rail ride to Ybor City. The entire hotel is peppered with whimsical remnants of the past such as the original signage on the doors and the witness stand. In fact, the lobby’s business center desk was once the judge’s bench! Even the luxurious guestrooms are historic, having served as courtroom houses. Today, they’re spacious havens of opulence with plush beds, swish granite and marble bathrooms, and floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping Tampa views.
The decadence extends to the rest of the hotel too. Begin your day with a full American or Continental breakfast that’s available for a fee. Enjoy a romantic dinner with that cutie you met on your Tampa tour at the French-American on-site restaurant. Besides the modern fitness center, the best part of the property is the ground-level heated outdoor pool. With sunloungers under umbrellas and palm trees, it’s as perfect as it gets.
Tahitian Boutique Inn
If you’re fans of rustic luxury, then Tahitian Boutique Inn is one of the best gay hotels in Tampa. The centerpiece of all gay-friendly fun here is the stunning pool that’s surrounded by couches and lounge chairs underneath thatched-roof seating areas. Sip on cocktails from the poolside bar while perched on your perfect spot by the pool. During pride weekends, there’s even live music, making for the perfect beach-like atmosphere with all beautiful people. The rest of the hotel is equally decadent, especially the fitness center and the saunas, which are also great for relaxation. In fact, the hotel’s location is great – it sits midway between the gorgeous Pacific Ocean beaches of Tampa and the gayborhood at Ybor City.
You’ll love the rooms at this hotel too, which feature flat-screen TVs, fridges, and microwaves in all of them. That said, we’d recommend upgrading to the Executive Room, which even has minibars to get the party atmosphere started in your rooms itself.
Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel
Gay hotels in Tampa Florida just don’t get any better than Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel, which sits right on the waterfront of the Hillsborough River in Tampa. From here, it’s a mere five-minute drive to the gay neighborhood in Ybor City. You’ll love the spacious rooms at this hotel, which come with flatscreen TVs, Wi-Fi, and superb views of the waterfront. That said, you’ll love the amenities at this riverside hotel, especially the pool.
The freeform pool enjoys stellar views of the Riverwalk and is one picturesque place to cool down. Lie on the daybed and enjoy drinks from the poolside bar. After a swim, head to the poolside restaurant for a nice and cozy meal. When the weather is nice, you can enjoy an alfresco meal under umbrellas. A modern gym allows you to not miss your workout regimen, while the free area shuttle will not only get you to attractions but even Ybor City in the evening
The Westin Tampa Bay
LGBTQ travelers who want to splurge won’t find a better gay hotel in Tampa than the Westin Tampa Bay. The hotel sits in the most envious location on Rocky Point Island overlooking the glorious waters of Tampa Bay. In fact, it enjoys the advantage of having a private sandy beach as well, which is a rarity for a Tampa hotel. Ybor City and its gay bars might be a drive, but they’re all just 10 minutes away. There’s a lot to love about this hotel, such as the swanky fitness center and the Starbucks coffee shop which is a blessing. What’s more, you can even rent jet skis or boats and take off into the bay from right beneath the hotel!
However, the best feature of them all is the rooftop seafood restaurant, which is very popular in the city. With breathtaking views of the bay and the ocean, it’s one of the best places in the city for a romantic meal before you head out to the revelry of Ybor City. Even rooms at the hotel are great and come with plush beds and mod-cons for a comfortable stay. The best feature is the huge windows which offer jaw-dropping views across Tampa Bay.
One of the best-located gay hotels in Tampa Florida is Hotel Haya – it lies smack dab in the heart of the gayborhood at Ybor City! In fact, it sits right opposite Southern Nights Tampa, a buzzing LGBTQ dance club. Plus, the famous Bradley’s on 7th gay bar is one block down the street, making Haya the best base for LGBTQ travelers looking to have fun in Tampa. After a fun night out in the city, relax on the sun terrace with stellar views of Ybor City. After you’ve got your game on, head to the incredible outdoor swimming pool. The divine-looking turquoise pool is lined with languorous-looking sunbeds, making it a great place to relax and spy cute people. Work up a sweat at the fitness center and grab a meal at the restaurant.
Begin a wanton evening at the hotel’s bar with cocktails before stepping out for oodles of gay fun right outside the hotel. Even the rooms are designed for sensuous fun, with a royal blue hue dominating the color palette. Flatscreen TVs, cloud-like beds, and granite bathrooms with huge showers make up the rest of the place.
Hilton Garden Inn Tampa Ybor District
Topping the list of best gay hotels in Tampa is the Hilton Garden Inn which is another Ybor District staple and the perfect base for a gay-friendly Tampa holiday. In fact, it lies merely two blocks from the cluster of fabulous gay bars in Ybor City. So, whether you’re single, a couple, or a group of gay travelers, you’ll find every bit of fun things to do and people to meet right around your hotel itself! The hub of all fun at the hotel is the outdoor pool and adjacent whirlpool. Lined with palm trees, Tampa foliage, sunbeds, it’s a great place to sunbathe, relax, and people-watch to your heart’s content. Post swim, you can enjoy a steaming soak in the hot tub.
The rest of the hotel is similarly impressive. A modern gym will appeal immensely to fitness freaks, while the free shuttle service is a great way of exploring Tampa and its sights. That said, the rooms are what you’ll love the most about this hotel – think pay-per-view movies, coffeemakers, fridges and microwaves, and excellent views out of the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Just So You Know:
- The most gay-friendly accommodation in the city is Casa Puente Guesthouse guesthouse which’s owned by a cute gay couple Eric and Martin.
Get Some Culture in Tampa:
- Tampa Pride: The week-long Pride is the biggest event on the Gay Tampa calendar. Held annually in March, the massive street festival includes a string of club parties that culminate into a giant and vibrant parade. It also hosts a ton of other cultural events that are all about celebrating everything queer.
- Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival: One of the country’s biggest and longest-running LGBTQ+ film festivals, the Tampa Bay film festival showcases a selection of compelling cinema about, for, or by LGBTQ+ communities.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Tampa:
- Bradley’s on 7th: This popular gay bar that’s open all days throughout the year has no cover charge and has lots of dirty dancing, drinks, and divas. Long happy hours and sexy go-go boys make the atmosphere all the more exciting. In fact, it’s one of the oldest bars in GaYbor.
- Honey Pot: If you’re into dancing, then Honey Pot is where you should be. This absolute favorite gay club boasts a young and beautiful crowd, a steamy and hot atmosphere, great drink specials, and a large dance floor. Of all the events it hosts, its best event is “Tease Saturdays,” Tampa’s most popular lesbian night, complete with a rainfall shower!
Best Gay Saunas in Tampa:
- Tampa Men’s Club: Fun hookups are rife at the gay Tampa Men’s Club. You’ll find a hot tub, mirrored showers, outdoor tanning area, jail, steam room, and a full gym. Don’t miss Sunday breakfasts, boy nights, and bear night.