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The ocean-wrapped Vancouver is all about jaw-dropping vistas, delicious cuisine, and a multi-hued culture. It’s not only home to Canada’s most ethnically diverse population but also Western Canada’s largest LGBTQ+ population. Every year, thousands of gay tourists visit Vancouver to explore a city where LGBTQ folks are woven into its very fabric. In fact, Tourism Vancouver even launched a ‘meet the locals’ campaign to highlight its diverse and vibrant LGBTQ community. The city’s gay friendliness extends to accommodations, and we were spoilt for choice when looking for gay hotels in Vancouver. We had no dearth of options between boutique hotels, luxury places, B&Bs, and hostels while we holidayed in Vancouver.
Just like Toronto, Vancouver is a gay-friendly city striving to be an inclusive place where everyone can be themselves. Like Montreal and Toronto, Vancouver’s gayborhood is Davie Village in West End which is peppered with gay bars and nightclubs. It’s also home to the LGBT newspaper “Xtra! Vancouver” and one of the continent’s longest-running LGBTQ bookstores ‘Little Sisters.’ In fact, many garbage cans and covered bus stop benches along this boulevard are painted bright pink. With Vancouver Pride transforming the aura of this neighborhood, it’s no wonder that it’s also one of the world’s happiest cities.
Vancouver’s gay-friendliness also extends to its businesses, like the extremely LGBTQ-friendly “Cycle City Vancouver.” After all, it is also one of the most bike-friendly cities on the planet. That’s why we hopped on to this 5-hour bicycling tour with Cycle City on our very first day here. It was the best way to get ourselves oriented with the very best that the city has to offer.
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Most luxurious. We had the urge to splurge, so we looked no further than the Fairmont Vancouver. This is one of the best gay-friendly hotels in Vancouver, BC, and puts its pink dollar where its mouth is. The historic hotel brand promotes and supports multiple LGBTQ events and organizations, including the Queer Film Festival. In fact, the head of its float in the 2019 Vancouver Pride Parade was local drag talent Kendall Gender.
‘The Castle in the City,’ as the hotel is known, boasts of classic château-style architecture. Interiors are peppered with a slew of old-fashioned comforts, gold and cream walls, wide corridors, mahogany furniture, and chandeliers. We had access to everything from show tickets to babysitting. In fact, the Absolute Spa is one of the best in the city for its array of beauty and relaxing treatments. A hi-tech gym is fabulous, but it’s the indoor pool that we were truly enamored by. The hotel is also home to the only standalone Dior and Dior Homme boutique in Canada, so naturally, we went crazy with shopping.
The rooms here are reminiscent of an English country-house hotel with muted colors and dark wood furniture. We loved the blend of the old-fashioned feel and the mod-cons, which make our stay here as unique as comfortable. What’s more, Fairmont is one of the few hotels in Vancouver whose windows can open, which was a blessing for us as some of us run hot. If all this wasn’t enough, the hotel is a hop, skip, and jump from Davie Village as well as the waterfront.
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Intrepid travelers like us will love the Loden Hotel. The LGBTQ-friendly hotel, which lies just two streets from the waterfront, emanates an innately Pacific Northwest vibe. In fact, it’s one of the best hotels in Vancouver.
In true west-coast fashion, the Loden leans towards a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. So, we found everything from yoga props in the rooms to a bunch of eco-initiatives at the hotel. The Loden even has the activity program WanderFIT which connected us to local trekking and cycling guides. Heck, there were even cruiser bikes which we used to explore the city, and Pinarello road bikes for heading into the great outdoors. After fueling ourselves with the free espresso in the lobby, we went to work out in the well-equipped gym. When we were finally ready to relax, the spa suite with an infrared sauna and a verdant space with a mini-waterfall and reflecting pool beckoned to us. But the rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows are particularly spectacular and offer unparalleled views of the city, the harbor, and the mountains. We were able to snag a corner room; they legit offer the best views in all of Vancouver.
The subway station, the waterfront, and Davie Village are all within walking distance. In fact, right down the street from our hotel was the starting point for this amazing 2.5-hour walking food tour of the historic Gastown neighborhood. This tour gave us a taste of everything Vancouver, right from local craft beer and wine to gastronomic delights. So, Loden Hotel is one of the best eco- and gay-friendly bases for LGBTQ travelers to have a 360-degree experience of exploring Vancouver.
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West End Guesthouse
LGBTQ fans of bed and breakfasts will be hard-pressed to find a more romantic sojourn in Vancouver than the West End Guesthouse. The genteel B&B is nestled in a restored 1906 home three blocks from Davie Village, Stanley Park, and the waterfront. With its lovely blue steps and bubblegum-pink exterior, this quaint B&B is pretty hard to miss.
A cozy lobby with an intimate seating area greets you as you walk in. A gamut of art pieces is displayed everywhere. A funky Queen Elizabeth I painting takes pride of place on the mantelpiece. The lovely fireplace is perfect for sitting down with a cuppa. Do dig into homemade muffins and scones that are much raved about here. Rooms radiate vintage charm with antique-inspired accessories, curios, decor, art, and furnishings. The communal breakfast is a grand affair in true homely style and shouldn’t be missed. All-in-all, West End Guesthouse makes for one of the most romantic gay hotels in Vancouver, BC.
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Best hostel. On the border of downtown and Gastown lies the Cambie Hostel, which is the perfect place for LGBTQ travelers on a budget and who want to party the night away. Housed in a building dating back to the 1800s, this no-curfew gay-friendly hostel is great for partying the night away at fabulous gay bars like PumpJack Pub. Since Robson Street and the top Vancouver attractions are just 10-15 minutes away, we chose this hostel as the ideal base for exploring Vancouver.
What makes Cambie so perfect for a party hostel is that it’s one of the few Vancouver hostels to have its own buzzing bar. With great music, great drinks, and delicious finger food, the crew here sure knew how to show us a good time. The Cambie Bar is also a favorite with the local crowd, so we were able to meet some very interesting people over a beer or two. What’s more, the communal spaces with plush sofas and chairs are perfect for mixing and mingling. There’s even a small kitchen for whipping up quick meals.
Rooms at the HI hostel are a mix of dorms and private rooms, all of which are bright and spacious. We chose a dorm, and we also got clean linens.
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Barclay House B&B
Best B&B. We stayed in the home-away-from-home Barclay House B&B right in the heart of all the action in Vancouver. The charming B&B is one of the best gay guest houses in Vancouver, with its wonderful quaintness and innate sense of tranquility. Housed in a 1904 heritage house, this quiet gay-friendly B&B was perfect as we were looking for a romantic retreat near Davie Village. Do you love heritage homes? You’ll also love the Roedde House Museum, which is just down the street.
Six impeccably done-up rooms with vintage furnishings certainly lend intimacy to the entire place. Albeit small, most rooms even have separate sitting areas that were perfect for enjoying a glass of wine with our partners. In fact, the ensuite bathrooms even feature clawfoot tubs for romantic baths. We began our days with generous breakfasts, sometimes even in the garden. What’s more, the cozy common area with comfy seating and a fireplace was perfect for curling up with a book or striking conversations with fellow guests.
If romance in Vancouver is on your mind, you will love the English Bay Beach fringed with palm trees. This extremely romantic spot is perfect for enjoying the sunset with a cocktail and the company of your significant other.
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Samesun Vancouver is easily one of the best LGBTQ-friendly guest houses in Vancouver for those who don’t have sleep on their mind. Samesun Vancouver was love at first sight for us Instagram-crazy peeps with lovely potted plants and exposed brick walls. The hostel sits within a heritage property painted in an eclectic array of vibrant colors. If you’re a part monster or a social butterfly, you’ll love Samesun too, as there are tons of daily events for you to sink your teeth into. We also loved the outdoor terrace and huge bar, which were perfect for mingling, meet-cutes with good-looking people from all over, and striking up interesting conversations.
We could choose, of course, between dorm rooms with pod beds or private rooms with a TV and Netflix. For a different experience, we went for the private room this time. A tasty free breakfast plus a kitchen takes care of all and any hunger pangs that we had. But the best bit is Samesun’s proximity to Davie Village, which makes it one of the best party gay hotels in Vancouver, BC. What’s more, it’s also close to Robson Street, Chinatown, and Granville Island as well.
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Times Square Suites Hotel
Gay travelers fancying living like locals san the usual bells and whistles of a full-service hotel will find the Times Square Suites Hotel perfect. Located right in the heart of the exuberant West End, it’s a stone’s throw from Stanley Park, making it one of the best gay-friendly hotels in Vancouver, BC. What’s more, it’s just a short stroll to Davie Village’s posse of gay bars and saunas, including the famous F212 and 1181. That’s what makes it one of the best gay hotels in Vancouver, BC.
We loved the full-size suites at Times Square, which feature everything from full kitchens, dining, and living areas to fireplaces and lounges. Neutral hues with bright pops of colors like lemon and aubergine lend style to the place at the same time. The spotlessly clean and bright bedrooms radiate a homey feel, and many have small Juliet balconies. One of our favorite things to do was enjoy a spot of morning coffee on the balcony.
For a no-frills, no-restaurant place, we found the amenities at Times Square nothing short of top-notch. The spacious roof terrace with barbeque grills and sweeping views of the parks and mountains is where we spent cool evenings. Are you bibliophiles like us? They even have a small library on the property. What’s more, we even had access to the fitness center nearby, which also has a sauna, hot tub, and pool. Cheery and helpful staff and a bike rental shop downstairs seal the deal.
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The Burrard looks like a slice of the retro Californian vibe and landed smack dab in the heart of the gay area of Vancouver, Davie Village. In fact, some of the city’s best gay bars, like Celebrities and Fountainhead Pub, are right across the street.
We wanted to stay at a place that was completely OTT and different from where we’d stayed before. And that is why we chose this funky, retro-chic hotel, which is reminiscent of 50s Hollywood. So much so that it even has glitzy decor and furnishings to palm trees in the courtyard. We were greeted by a snazzy lobby with wood-paneled furniture, marble floors, and bright-accented teal walls. Here’s where we also found complimentary – yes, complimentary – bikes to explore the city. However, they’re available on a first-come, first-served basis. While there’s no gym, the Burrard offered us passes to the Steve Nash fitness center nearby. So, if you do feel like working out on your vacation, you do have a great place to go. The Elysian coffee bar is great for a quick snack or a coffee, and we got a wide selection of rare meads at its restaurant Burgoo.
Rooms are well-decorated and feature kitschy curios and decor, midcentury-modern plastic chairs, and bright pops of color. For those with a taste for all funky and retro, the Burrard should be your destination of choice.
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Best boutique hotel. All art-loving gays who’ve wanted to stay in an art gallery will love the Listel Hotel. The gay-friendly hotel blends environmentally sustainable features and curated art to create a cultural experience like no other. The Listel Hotel is on shopping-central Robson Street and a short stroll from Stanley Park, which is one of the top things to do in Vancouver. Since it’s also within walking distance from Davie Village, we found the Listel ideal for culture buffs like us.
The hotel boasts of a plethora of eco-initiatives that we appreciated, such as solar roof panels, recycled paper in the bathrooms, and refillable carafes at water stations. Even its farm-to-table restaurant, Forage, operates on eco-friendly principles. That being said, there’s a nightly wine reception as well as a compact gym for fitness addicts. We found the decor to be truly dazzling, featuring in-room art from UBC’s Anthropological Museum complemented by solid wood furniture. Floors at the hotel are divided into museum floors and gallery floors. The former features work by modern Aboriginal artists, while the latter has original art by global artists. So, we actually got to choose.
Rooms and suites have excellent views of the vibrant West End, while higher ones, like the one we got, even offer a peek of the North Shore mountains. Moreover, all the rooms are lavishly furnished with bespoke furniture and all mod-cons.
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Crystal’s View Bed & Breakfast
LGBTQ fans of offbeat hotel experiences should definitely consider Crystal’s View Bed & Breakfast in North Vancouver. Run by the charming Crystal Davis, this B&B combines five-star luxury with the homey atmosphere of a family-run bed & breakfast. Situated in North Vancouver, it’s close to many of the area’s natural sights, including Lynn Canyon and Capilano Suspension Bridge. So, we were able to explore the area as well.
“We wanted to stay close to the good areas for exploration, and away from the bustle. We fell in love with Crystal’s the minute we saw the gorgeous place, complete with greenery. Of course, it’s gorgeous on the inside too and Crystal is one of the best hosts we’ve met in a while!”WOW Travel
All rooms are elegantly decorated and come with soaking tubs and inviting views, so we splurged a bit and chose the Luxury Rossini Suite, which boasts stunning views of the ocean. What’s more, the room had a double spa bath, plush robes, a flat-screen TV with Netflix, and even a dressing room. The host is known for their attention to detail, from plush robes to gourmet breakfasts, and they are always on hand with advice about where to go and what to do. They even helped us out with in-room spa packages! After a long day of exploring the city, we rested with complimentary freshly baked cookies, tea, and coffee while gazing at the gorgeous views. We woke up to multi-course home-cooked breakfasts every day, which were served in the dining room with breathtaking views of downtown Vancouver and the Pacific Ocean.
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Granville House B&B
A 15-minute ride away from the hustle-bustle of Davie Village and Downtown lies the tranquil, charming retreat of Granville House B&B. This gay-friendly B&B was the perfect place to stay for us as we wanted to explore other interesting areas of Vancouver as well. In fact, places like VanDusen Botanical Garden and the sprawling Queen Elizabeth Park are a 15-minute walk. At the same time, it’s away from the bustle, so we were able to enjoy a good night’s sleep as well.
Choose from five rooms here, each of which is a sleep sanctuary, complete with blackout curtains and comfy beds and duvets. For a B&B, the bathrooms here are reasonably large. In fact, our Executive Suite had tons of space in the room and even came with a spa tub in the bathroom. After we were done exploring for the day, we’d unwind on the comfy seating in the super cozy common area in front of the fireplace. Along with a grand staircase and a large foyer, it was the perfect place for curling up with a cuppa, a book, and our partners. Apart from the fabulous breakfast buffet on offer, we loved the chef’s special for the day.
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While we love all of the LGBTQ-friendly hotels, hostels, and B&Bs we’ve listed above, you might prefer some hotels over others due to some of the features. That’s why we’ve made this specialized list for you.
- Most luxurious: The Fairmont
- Best hostel: Cambie Hostel
- Best B&B: Barclay House B&B
- Best boutique hotel: Listel Hotel
Just So You Know:
- Vancouver’s West End neighborhood reportedly houses the largest gay community in the West. The city also has the largest gay population in Western Canada.
- Vancouver might not have a ‘gay beach,’ but it does have the famed, clothing-optional Wreck Beach. Lying just west of the city, it’s very popular with queer beachgoers along the end of Trail 7.
Get Some Culture in:
- Vancouver Pride: Vancouver’s Pride Festival is the largest of its kind in Western Canada. The week-long festival is all about crazy costumes, music, art, and celebrations involving the long and rich history of the city’s LGBTQ+ community.
- Vancouver LGBTQ2+ History Tour with Guide: Hop on to this 2-hour adventure through the streets of Davie Village and discover the landmarks, stories, and icons of Vancouver’s LGBTQ2+ community. This walking tour is 2 hours of the knowledgeable guide telling you remarkable and unforgettable stories of queer history.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in:
- Fountainhead Pub: This gem of a gastropub with a gorgeous outdoor patio is perfect for eating, drinking, and people-watching. It’s been around since 2000 and is a favorite with the local community in Davie Village.
- 1181 Bar + Lounge: This low-key gay bar is home to some hilarious drag shows. It’s iconic, award-winning, and is one small space with a big personality.
- Pumpjack Pub: Gays with a serious leather fetish will love this bar. It also hosts numerous weekend fetish parties.
- Celebrities Nightclub: Celebrities is Vancouver’s most popular gay club, which also houses Davie Village’s largest dance floor. Today, it’s the mainstay of entertainment in the community.
- Numbers Cabaret Entertainment Centre: This club is Vancouver’s longest-running gay club with three levels of darts, a pool, a dance floor, live DJs, and karaoke.
- The Junction: This bar is perfect for starting your evening with cocktails. Post that, it’s a pulsating place with live DJs and drag shows.
Best Gay Saunas in:
- F212 Steam: F212 is undoubtedly Vancouver’s most popular gay bathhouse and is open 24/7.
- Steamworks Baths Vancouver: This 18+ men-only gay sauna is open 24/7. It also has an option for anonymous check-in.