The Ultimate Gay Travel Guide
The Gay Passport is your complete Gay Travel Guide. Looking to Drink, Play or Sleep we have reviews to help. Award-winning & Updated 2023.
From true 5 star luxury to backpacker hostels Beijing has it all and for a world capital city hotel rates are very low offering great value.
Hotels vary widely in terms of quality, so carefully consider anything suspiciously cheap. Besides, good accommodation in China is not prohibitively expensive, with some great modern gay-friendly hotels available for about $100 a night. If you prefer something more picturesque, there are some wonderful hutong (signature narrow streets and alleyways of Beijing) and courtyard hotels that allow you to truly immerse yourself in the city’s more traditional side.
Despite the fact that China still has a long way to go in terms of homosexuality acceptance, a cultural focus on the respect of privacy means that most hotels in Beijing are gay-friendly.
You shouldn’t have any trouble booking and checking into any hotel in Beijing, but there are a few that are more popular with gay visitors. These include hotels close to Destination Club in Sanlitun such as A Hotel and The Opposite House Hotel, the latter of which has a gay-frequented lounge bar.
Where you choose to stay will depend on what you plan to do in Beijing. The city is huge, so it pays off to stay close to the main attractions. This makes Dongchen a good option for sightseeing, especially Gulou and Dongzhimen. Nearby, Sanlitun is great if you want to enjoy the city’s nightlife, while CBD is perfect for shopping and fine dining.
Asia Hotel is very well located near the Worker’s Stadium, less than a 10-minute walk from Destination Club and a 5-minute walk from Dongsishitiao metro station (Line 2). It is an independent Chinese hotel with a 5-star rating, although it is simpler than other newer, more modern 5-star hotels. However, it is also very reasonably priced, making it a good intermediate hotel if you want to save some money.
The decor is a bit dated in some rooms, but is otherwise pleasantly neutral and understated. The secluded garden is a particularly pleasant addition, with a small pond, birds in cages, and places to sit. There is an indoor pool for swimmers, a small gym, and basic spa facilities. The food in the hotel’s four restaurants is delicious and authentic Chinese, including an excellent breakfast buffet.
Overall, Asia Hotel is lacking in some 5-star aspects, but has very good rates, a great location, and comfortable enough facilities. As long as you consider it as more of a mid-range choice, it is a very good option. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that the Asia Hotel is one of the most booked gay-friendly hotels in Beijing.
InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun sits at the very top of Sanlitun Road, one of China’s trendiest streets and a Beijing nightlife hotspot. Here, you will find the biggest concentration of bars and clubs in the city, as well as a generous selection of international brand stores. The walk to Destination Club may be a bit too long – over half an hour – but you definitely won’t get bored in this location.
The rooms are all sleek, modern, and high-tech, with the cheapest category (“Classic”) still offering first-rate accommodation and amenities. The Executive rooms and Suites, however, do come with Club InterContinental privileges, including access to the excellent Club Lounge and its complimentary food and drinks throughout the day.
Food options are varied and all delicious, including separate Chinese and Japanese restaurants, a tapas bar, and a Western-style dining room. Meanwhile, the bars offer a selection of innovative cocktails with high-end contemporary surroundings.
Part of the Hilton’s Conrad chain of luxury hotels, Conrad Beijing has all the usual features of a 5-star hotel. Lovely, carefully designed rooms with huge windows and sweeping city vistas? Check. State-of-the-art fitness and swimming facilities? Check. A generous selection of dining and drinking options? Check.
This hotel ticks all the boxes for a luxurious 5-star stay in Beijing, and comes with the reliability that accompanies a brand like Hilton, but there is little in the way of innovation or special extras. It is worth spending a little more for an executive room, giving you access to the Executive Lounge and its stunning city view. This also includes complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, and happy hour drinks.
Destination Club is half an hour away on foot, which is just far enough that many people would prefer a taxi. However, there is plenty to do, see, eat, and drink in Chaoyang District, making this a great location in general. There is a nearby metro station (Hujialou, Lines 6 and 10) and Tuanjuehu Park next door is a wonderful local spot for strolling and people-watching. It even has a small (but clean and fun) water park for those hot summer days.
Destination club dominates the gay nightlife of Beijing, and this 5-star hotel is perfectly placed for those who want to party every night of their stay. CHAO is under 20 minutes away on foot – essentially just on the other side of the sprawling Beijing Sports Worker’s Stadium. There is also a shopping mall next door, as well as some of Beijing’s best nightlife throughout Sanlitun.
CHAO radiates modern luxury in every detail. The rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, solid wood, and leather furniture, as well as espresso coffee, artisanal teas, and an honest-to-god bar for you to make your own cocktails. The decor is subtle, tasteful, and impeccably designed for comfort and relaxation.
Every hotel booking comes with access to the Clubhouse, which is where CHAO truly shines. Facilities at this exclusive “Club” include – to name a few – a restaurant, bar, wine cellar, private cinema, cigar veranda, tea house, gym, library, and drawing-room.
The last two are particularly useful for digital nomads, remote workers, or simply those who know they will need to do a bit of work during their time in Beijing. There is also an exciting calendar of workshops and events on a variety of subjects.
The Opposite House is a 20-minute walk from Destination Club, making it an excellent option if you are looking to enjoy the Beijing Gay nightlife. If 20 minutes seems too long for you (or Destination Club too big and pricey), perennial gay favorite Kai Bar is a mere 3 minutes away, ready to tempt you with its ultra-cheap drinks and casual atmosphere.
However, it’s not all about the location. The hotel itself is exceptional, with striking, minimalist design transforming every room and common area into an oasis of understated luxury within the city. The hotel was designed by famous Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who has brought together contemporary style and Chinese tradition for an overall effect that is equal parts totally unique and deceptively simple.
There are two restaurants, one offering high-quality Chinese cuisine and the other more low-key, cafe-style offerings. The bar, MESH, has a great selection of wines and cocktails and occasionally hosts gay nights. There is also a stunning indoor pool, a steam room, and a state-of-the-art gym.
Sofitel Hotels have long been a gay-favorite brand, standing out thanks to their young, fresh approach to hotel design and their first-rate amenities. Sofitel Beijing is no different, and this alone will be enough to convince many gay travelers to the city.
As usual with Sofitel, you can expect colorful, contemporary decor that ranges from luxury to extravagant. Think huge beds, mood lights, giant sumptuous rugs, gold accents, and huge jacuzzi-style tubs. Several rooms also have huge wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows, making them exceptionally airy and impressive.
There is a luxury spa and beautiful fitness facilities with majestic city views. Two restaurants cater to all your Chinese and Western food needs, and the two lounge bars are the perfect place to start out a night of classy cocktail-sipping.
The only downside for gay visitors is the location. As it is based in Chang’an, the nightlife of Sanlitun is just slightly outside of comfortable walking distance. However, a short 15-minute taxi ride is enough to get you to Destination Club and Sanlitun Bar Street. Besides, the location has other benefits: there is a metro station nearby, and Beijing Railway Station is just 20 minutes away on foot.