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The ocean-wrapped Vancouver is all about jaw-dropping vistas, a delish cuisine, and a multi-hued culture. It is 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 travelers are spoilt for choice when looking for gay hotels in Vancouver. Gay travelers have no dearth of options between boutique hotels, luxury places, B&Bs, and hostels while they holiday in Vancouver.
Just like Toronto, Vancouver is a gay-friendly city striving to be an inclusive place where everyone can be themselves. Just 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! West 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. Vancouver Pride transforms the aura of this neighborhood, which pulsates with amazing excitement and energy. It’s no wonder that Vancouver is also one of the happiest cities in the world.
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. In fact, we’d highly recommend this 5-hour bicycling tour with Cycle City on your first day here. It’s the best way to get yourself oriented with the very best that Vancouver has to offer.
Gays with the urge to splurge should look no further than the gay-friendly Fairmont, which 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 as, 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. Guests have 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 you will be truly enamored by. The hotel is also home to the only standalone Dior and Dior Homme boutique in Canada.
Rooms are reminiscent of an English country-house hotel with muted colors and dark wood furniture. The old-fashioned feel and the mod-cons make staying here the epitome of comfort. What’s more, Fairmont is one of the few hotels in Vancouver whose windows open. If all this wasn’t enough, the hotel is a hop, skip, and jump from Davie Village as well as the waterfront.
Intrepid gay travelers to Vancouver will love the Loden Hotel. The gay-friendly hotel, which lies just two streets from the waterfront, emanates an innately Pacific Northwest vibe.
In true west-coast fashion, the Loden leans towards a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Rooms have yoga props and it has a bunch of eco-initiatives. The Loden even has the activity program WanderFIT which connects guests to local trekking and cycling guides too. Heck, there are even cruiser bikes for exploring the city and Pinarello road bikes for heading into the great outdoors. Guests can fuel themselves with the free espresso in the lobby and work out in the well-equipped gym. When you’re finally ready to relax, there’s a spa suite with an infrared sauna and a verdant space with a mini-waterfall and reflecting pool to cool it off. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the rooms let in tons of natural light and offer unparalleled views of the city, the harbor, and the mountains. See if you’re able to snag a corner room – they legit offer the best views in Vancouver.
The subway station, the waterfront, and Davie Village are all within walking distance. In fact, right down the street from the hotel is the starting point for this 2.5-hour walking food tour of the historic Gastown neighborhood. This tour gives tour-takers 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.
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.
HI Vancouver Downtown
On a quiet residential West End side street, the HI Vancouver hostel is the perfect place for gay travelers on a budget. Housed in a converted nunnery, this no-curfew gay-friendly hostel is great for partying the night away at fabulous gay bars like PumpJack Pub. With Robson Street and top Vancouver attractions 10-15 minutes away, HI hostel is also ideal for exploring Vancouver.
Rooms at HI hostel are a mix of dorms and private rooms, all of which are bright and spacious. Those who love socializing will love the rooftop patio, which is great for catching up with fellow travelers. While there’s a continental breakfast served every day, a cutesy shared kitchen is perfect for whipping up meals and impressing people you’ve found cute. Bibliophiles can curl up in the library, while the guest lounge is perfect for relaxing. What’s more, there’s even a game room to help break the ice and get to know fellow travelers.
Barclay House B&B
Stay 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 is perfect for gay couples looking for a romantic retreat near Davie Village. In fact, gay travelers who love heritage homes will also love the Roedde House Museum, which is just down the street.
Six impeccably done-up rooms with vintage furnishings certainly lend an intimacy to the entire place. Albeit small, most rooms even have separate sitting areas perfect for enjoying a glass of wine with your partner. Ensuite bathrooms even feature clawfoot tubs. A generous breakfast is served every day; sometimes even in the garden. What’s more, the cozy common area with comfy seating and fireplace is 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.
Samesun is easily one of the best gay guest houses in Vancouver for those who don’t have sleep on their mind. Samesun Vancouver is love at first sight for Instagrammers with lovely potted plants and exposed brick walls. The hostel sits in a heritage property painted in an eclectic array of vibrant colors. Social butterflies and party monsters will love Samesun too, as there are tons of daily events for them to sink their teeth into. The outdoor terrace and huge bar are perfect for mingling, meet-cutes, and striking up interesting conversations.
Guests can choose, of course, between dorm rooms with pod beds or private rooms with a TV and Netflix. A tasty free breakfast plus a kitchen takes care of all and any hunger pangs that one might have.
Samesun’s proximity to Davie Village makes it one of the best party gay hotels in Vancouver. What’s more, it’s also close to Robson Street, Chinatown, and Granville Island as well.
Times Square Suites
Gay travelers fancying living like a local sans the usual bells and whistles of a full-service hotel will find the Times Square Suites perfect. Located right in the heart of the exuberant West End, the gay-friendly suites-hotel is a stone’s throw from Stanley Park. 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.
Full-size suites at Times Square feature everything from full kitchens, dining and living areas to fireplaces and lounges. The spotlessly clean and bright bedrooms radiate a homey feel, and many have small Juliet balconies. Neutral hues with bright pops of colors like lemon and aubergine lend style to the place at the same time.
For a no-frills, no-restaurant place, the amenities at Times Square are nothing short of top-notch. The spacious roof terrace with barbeque grills and sweeping views of the parks and mountains is a great place to spend cool evenings. Bibliophiles have a small library at their disposal. Guests also have access to the fitness center nearby which also has a sauna, hot tub, and a pool. Cheery and helpful staff and a bike rental shop downstairs seal the deal.
The Burrard looks like a slice of the retro Californian vibe 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.
The funky, retro-chic hotel is reminiscent of 50s Hollywood, complete with glitzy decor and furnishings to palm trees in the courtyard. The guests are greeted by a snazzy lobby with wood-paneled furniture, marble floors, and bright-accented teal walls. Here’s where you’ll also find 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 offers passes to the Steve Nash fitness center nearby. The Elysian coffee bar is great for a quick snack or a coffee and you’ll get 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.
All art-loving gays who’ve wanted to stay in an art gallery will love the Listel. 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 Stanley Park, which are some of the top things to do in Vancouver. Since it’s also walking distance from Davie Village, the Listel is the ideal for LGBTQ culture buffs visiting Vancouver.
The hotel boasts of a plethora of eco-initiatives including solar roof panels, recycled paper in the bathrooms, and refillable carafes at water stations. Even the hotel’s 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. The decor is 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 feature works by modern Aboriginal artists, while the latter has original art by global artists. Rooms and suites have excellent views of the vibrant West End, while higher ones even offer a peek of the North Shore mountains. What’s more, all the rooms are lavishly furnished with bespoke furniture and all mod-cons.
LGBTQ fans of offbeat hotel experiences should definitely consider the Corkscrew Inn in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighborhood. Housed in restored Craftsman-style home from 1912, the plush yet intimate inn is an homage to corkscrews. Stained-glass corkscrew windows grace each room, and there’s even a small wine museum dedicated to corkscrews features on the property. The top-notch service and antique furnishings just stop short of everything feeling kitschy.
The Corkscrew Inn has just five rooms and all feature free Wi-Fi, heated floors, cable TV, and vintage furnishings. What’s more, all but one even have patios or balconies, and some rooms also have fireplaces and microwaves. Apart from free, delectable breakfast, there’s beverages, fruit, and cold and hot cereals on the offer 24/7. The lounge with the fireplace and the lush patio are ideal places to enjoy a glass of wine with your partner. All-in-all, Corkscrew Inn is one of the more unique gay hotels in Vancouver.
Vancouver Maritime Museum and the Museum of Vancouver are a 20-minute walk. What’s more, the fabulous clothing-optional gay-friendly Wreck Beach is a 10-minute cab ride from Corkscrew Inn.
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 is the perfect place to stay for exploring 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.
Each of the five rooms here is a sleep sanctuary, complete with blackout curtains and comfy beds and duvets. For a B&B, bathrooms here are reasonably large. What’s more, a super cozy common area with comfy seating, a fireplace, a grand staircase, and a large foyer is perfect for curling up with a cuppa, a book, and your significant other. Apart from the fabulous breakfast buffet on the offer, look out for the chef’s special for the day.
Just So You Know:
- Vancouver’s West End neighborhood reportedly houses the largest gay community in the west.
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.
- Gay History Tour of Vancouver: Hop on to this 2-hour adventure through the streets of West End and Downtown. Watch the life of the LGBTQ+ community unfold before your eyes as you hear the untold history and stories of unity, struggle, and celebrations.
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.
- 1181 Bar + Lounge: This low-key gay bar is home to some hilarious drag shows.
- PumpJack Pub: Gays with a serious leather fetish will love this bar. It also hosts numerous weekend fetish parties.
- Celebrities Nightclub: Vancouver’s most popular gay club which also houses Davie Village’s largest dance floor.
- Numbers Cabaret Entertainment Centre: Vancouver’s longest-running gay club with three levels of darts, pool, 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.