Gay-friendly hotels have made the effort to get TAG approved, an endorsement by Travel Alternatives Group, or to become a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA). The gold standard for gay-friendly hotels is to be a member of both. LGBT travelers know that not all TAG approved hotels are created equal, with some being more welcoming and knowledgeable about neighborhood gay culture and entertainment than others. Expect hotel concierge services to be up on notable annual LGBT events, and local gay-friendly cultural and entertainment opportunities, dining, shopping, and nightlife. Independent hotels may be networked with the LGBT community they serve and offer discounts to gay-owned venues.
San Diego Gay-friendly Hotels
San Diego offers a number of branded gay-friendly hotels, in particular Hyatt and Hilton hotels. The luxurious Manchester Grand Hyatt, a Marina district resort hotel, and Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina in Point Loma are both TAG approved and IGLTA endorsed. The DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown shares those endorsements. Andaz, a swanky boutique-style hotel in East Village with a happening rooftop club, is operated under the Hyatt brand and is equally gay-friendly.
San Diego independent hotels that take top honors for their gay-friendly accommodations are Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn & Suites on Shelter Island in Point Loma, and luxury beachfront Pacific Terrace Hotel in Pacific Beach. The Handlery Hotel and Resort in Mission Valley is minutes from Hillcrest, San Diego’s most happening gay neighborhood, and offers guests upscale resort amenities. Inn at the Park, next to Balboa Park, is a vintage-style hotel with a fresh, modern décor.
Best San Diego Neighborhoods for Gay-Friendly Hotels
San Diego is one of the most progressively robust gay-friendly cities in the United States thanks to annual events like San Diego LGBT Pride Parade, Pride Music Festival in Balboa Park, Gay Bowl by the National Gay Flag Football League, Gay Agenda by Prism Comics at Comic-Con, and LGBT Film Festival at Birch North Park Theater. Of course, the annual San Diego Beer Week should be thrown in for good measure.
The Downtown neighborhoods of East Village, Marina district, and Core-Columbia, and Point Loma’s Shelter Island are home to some of the top branded and independent gay-friendly hotels in San Diego. They’re close to sizzling rooftop nightlife venues, intimate wine bars, award-winning restaurants, and hip events like Comic-Con. These upscale hotels are also minutes from the lively Gaslamp Quarter with fun eateries like Dick’s Last Resort, or upscale music venues like Croce’s Jazz Bar and House of Blues.
Mission Valley, Mission Hills, and Hillcrest have gay-friendly luxury resort accommodations, vintage-modern rooms and suites, and intimate neighborhood bed & breakfasts. Guests will appreciate the close proximity to the nightlife on University Avenue like Rich’s – the largest gay club in San Diego with weekend lines out the door. Urban Mo’s, a casual eatery with drag shows and Sunday brunch, and Pec’s a gritty, old school gay bar with cheap drinks and an outdoor patio are other neighborhood favorites. Culture and Cocktail nights are at the San Diego Museum of Art in nearby Balboa Park, and Diversionary Theater in North Park features top-of-the-line plays with LGBT themes and characters.