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 2021.
London is home to the largest LGBT population in the world, so of course the gay scene is among the best in the world. Soho is the best place to stay if you want to be at the heart of the gay nightlife, but it is also a trendy upmarket area in central London, so prices are high.
Other popular areas for gay travelers include Shoreditch & East London or Vauxhall & South Bank. These are spread around less central areas of London, so are likely to be slightly cheaper, but don’t expect budget prices either. Thanks to London’s exceptional public transport system, all the gay nightlife in the city is easily accessible, no matter where you’re staying.
London is one of the world’s most expensive cities. Space comes at a premium and is often reflected in hotel room size. It’s worth paying attention to room size as it’s common for entry-level rooms to range from 9 sqm to 30 sqm.
All hotels in the UK can be classed as gay-friendly. The UK is a progressive and tolerant country with strong anti-discrimination laws. Gay travelers should encounter no issues in the city, and public displays of affection like holding hands and quick kisses will barely attract attention.
In addition to being gay-friendly, the hotels listed below are all located in popular parts of the city for gay travelers and excel at providing value for money and quality experiences.
Most gay visitors book hotels in London’s main gayborhoods to make the most of London’s epic gay scene. Soho being the original and most famous gayborhood is the most booked but also the most expensive.
Soho is the city’s most long-standing gayborhood with venues like G-A-Y, KU Bar, and The Duke of Wellington being gay London institutions. Soho is also in the heart of the city’s cultural center, meaning you are close to museums, landmarks, and world-class shopping.
Shoreditch is located in East London, traditionally one of the city’s gritter areas. In the past few decades, however, Shoreditch has become one of the hipster meccas of the world. Here, you will find an abundance of vintage shops, vegan cafes, designer hotels, and concept cocktail bars, but you will also find a fun and vibrant gay nightlife. The area is a short walk away from the City of London, but you will still have to spend 20-30 minutes on public transport to reach Soho.
The City of London is the name given to the city’s financial district. A busy hub for business, lunchtime bites, and after-work drinks during the week, it becomes essentially deserted on weekends. Separating the East and West ends, it is a great place to stay with good value options.
Vauxhall is located across the Thames from London’s West End. It is home to one of London’s best gay scenes, which surrounds Vauxhall Station. Staying in Vauxhall keeps you close to several gay bars and clubs (not to mention the largest gay sauna in the UK), but it is also convenient for sightseeing. Sights like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Soho, and the South Kensington museums are all only a few Underground stops away.
The South Bank refers to the area just south of the Thames. Because the vast majority of London’s attractions lie north of the river, it is a generally more affordable area to stay. Depending on where you are on the South Bank, you may be within walking distance to Soho, Vauxhall, or Shoreditch.
Overall, it doesn’t matter too much where you stay in London, as the city’s extensive public transport network makes it quite easy to get anywhere. However, choosing a more central location means that you can spend more time doing the activities you came here for, and less time navigating the sometimes confusing connections of the London underground.
♥ You know exactly what you’re getting with your room (and they are all excellent)
♥ Great central location: just next to Leicester Square, but facing away from the noise
♥ You get to help a person in need with every booking
This brand new London gay hotel knows what today’s travelers want. Stylish, modern rooms, in a variety of sizes and price points, with comfort as the priority. A central location that puts you in the middle of city life. Exciting drinking and dining options. Pink plastic bunny statues.
Let’s start with the rooms. They come in four sizes: Snug, Nest, Pad, and Den. Snug is perfect for budget-conscious travelers, while still being large and airy enough to be pleasant. Nest and Pad are more similar to a standard hotel room size, while Den is especially large and roomy, with plenty of extra floor space. You pay for what you need, and you know what you’re getting.
The location is exceptional, just behind ODEON Leicester Square (London’s home of movie premieres). Most of London’s theatres are only a short walk away, as are several museums, countless bars and restaurants, and enough shops to bankrupt you entirely. Most of Soho’s gay nightlife is less than 10 minutes away, and the prestigious location means there will always be signs pointing you back to the hotel after you’ve had one too many drinks.
Finally, the rooftop bar and restaurant is the icing on the cake. B&H Garden Room is a sunny, airy rooftop space with incredible views over the city, serving tasty food, coffee, and cocktails at all hours of the day.
One more thing: thanks to their “Bed For A Bed” initiative, for every room you book, Assembly Hotel makes a donation to homelessness charity Crisis. This means you can enjoy your temporary home in London while helping someone else settle into a new home of their own.
♥ Budget-friendly with a range of room options to fit you
♥ Compact smart room design
♥ Large lobby and all day café
Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you have to stay somewhere boring. Point A bring fresh designs to budget travelers. Rooms at Point A Shoreditch start from 10 sqm (no window) up to 17 sqm with your own window.
In-house facilities are limited to the spacious lobby cafe where breakfast is served. Fitness and gym facilities are offered free of charge for all guests at the hotel’s partner DW Fitness First Spitalfields Tower.
The hotel is located in Shoreditch, London’s creative hub. To get about the city it’s only 500 meters to Old St Underground Station on the Northern line or 800 meters to Liverpool Street Station giving you access to four more underground lines.
♥ Social and stylish front lounge
♥ Exceptionally comfy beds
♥ Perfect location for Shoreditch nightlife and sightseeing
This hotel is located in Aldgate, a short walk away from Tower Hill and, by extension, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Shoreditch is only about 15 minutes away, and several Underground stations provide ample connections to everywhere in the city.
Motel One London Tower Hill features beautifully stylish interiors, from the multi-purpose reception/lobby/bar/breakfast One Lounge out front to each individual room. The rooms are, as usual in London, on the smaller side, but well laid out for privacy and comfort. In particular, the beds are incredible. Some of them have great City views from the large windows.
♥ A true one of a kind hotel
♥ Incredible Indian and fusion food within the hotel
♥ Choice of English or Indian in-room breakfast
The building began life in 1835 as a Grammar school for boys and was completely renovated in 2017. Today the hotel blends Victorian architecture with the charm of an Indian Palace. LaLiT is one of India’s leading luxury hotel groups with the London property the first outside of India.
The 70 unique bedrooms have been draped in Indian fabrics and former school assembly hall has been transformed into one of London’s best Indian restaurants called Baluchi. Entry level rooms like the Junior Classroom start from 23 sqm and include a complimentary minibar, WiFi, safe, coffee making machine and air conditioning.
Technically not an east end hotel, as LaLiT sits just opposite the City and Tower Bridge on the south side of the Thames in Southwark. But don’t let that put you off, within 10 minutes on foot, you can reach Tower Bridge, London Dungeons, HMS Belfast, Shakespeare’s Globe and The Shard.
It’s 600 meters from the hotel to London Bridge Station on the Jubilee and Northern lines.
♥ Walking distance to several iconic gay venues
♥ Super attentive staff, happy to help with anything you need
♥ Mini-kitchen in every room is a really useful feature
The Resident Soho (formerly The Nadler Soho) is located just off Oxford Street, London’s premier location for big brand shops. Soho’s gay nightlife surrounds the hotel – The King’s Arms, one of London’s oldest and best-established gay bars, is 5 minutes away, as is G-A-Y Late. For those craving some culture, the British Museum is only a 10-minute walk away, while most of the city’s theatres are even closer.
The standard rooms are compact, but you want more space, the King, Superior, and Deluxe rooms are all good sizes. The suites are perfect for larger groups of friends, and you even have the option of booking an entire floor if you have enough people staying with you. That said, even the smaller rooms are optimally designed for comfort and convenience – the inclusion of a mini-kitchen space in every room is an example of this.
This is a hotel that does things simply but well. There are no extravagant add-ons, but the rooms are cozy, the decor tasteful, the facilities high-quality, and the staff exceptionally helpful and welcoming. For these reasons, this London gay-friendly hotel is ranked 32nd of all hotels in London on TripAdvisor.
♥ Excellent location for both historical sights and gay nightlife
♥ Gorgeous British-French decor throughout the hotel
♥ The prestigious Grade II listed building
Sofitel specializes in luxury hotels that blend local influence with French style, something which this location in St James epitomizes. At first, the overall impression of the place is classic London – the grandiose listed building on Pall Mall, the plush sitting-room style of the Rose Lounge, the simple and pared-down design of the rooms. However, looking closer, the French influence becomes obvious, from the French brasserie to the flaky pastries served at breakfast.
The location is excellent for sightseeing. The hotel is just on the corner of Trafalgar Square, with St James’ Park, Buckingham Palace, Westminster, and Big Ben all within walking distance. However, you are also extremely close to Soho and its famous gay bars – the walk from your hotel room to G-A-Y, one of London’s most popular gay bars, is just over 10 minutes.
Sofitel London St James is consistently ranked as one of the best 5-star hotels in London. Everything from the comfort of the rooms to the standard of service, not to mention the quality of the dining, spa, and fitness facilities, is of an internationally excellent standard. You simply can’t wrong staying here.
♥ Stunning design
♥ Nobu dining on-site (or in your room!)
♥ Unique and modern concept
Shoreditch is the heart of ultra-trendy London, which explains why ultra-trendy Nobu has chosen to open its first London location here. Much like the original restaurants behind the brand, this hotel branch blends high-end modern influences with traditional Japanese elements.
The hotel is brand-new and completely purpose-built. Industrial materials like concrete, glass, and metal are transformed into relaxing and peaceful interiors, inspired by the simplicity of traditional Japanese design. Every room comes with large floor-to-ceiling windows, a 55-inch smart TV with Bluetooth and Apple TV, and a traditional Japanese tea set. The suites offer an even more luxurious experience, with custom-made Japanese robes, freestanding tubs, and private balconies.
The hotel restaurant is, of course, London’s latest branch of Nobu and so is, of course, fantastic. Don’t miss out on a restaurant reservation for Nobu’s iconic Japanese-Peruvian fusion or, for a special treat, order Nobu dishes straight to your hotel room. You can also enjoy treatments at the Nobu Spa, which offers a range of luxury treatments and packages. The on-site gym is 24-hour and is extremely well equipped.
♥ The overall design of the hotel is outstanding
♥ Great onsite facilities with gym, spa and even a cocktail garden
♥ Enjoy Michelin star dining without leaving the hotel
This colorful 5-star hotel delivers an oasis of chic into the corporate City. Picture spacious rooms, impressive facilities, and world-class food.
South Place offers excellent onsite facilities including the Michelin star rooftop restaurant Angler, cocktail bar, spa, and a 24-hour gym. Rooms start from 26 sqm and feature Bang & Olufsen TV, delicate mood lighting and large windows. Each of the 80 rooms has a contemporary en suite bathroom with vast rain showers, a media hub, and a minibar. Room service is available throughout the day.
The hotel is located in the City just over 150 meters to Liverpool Street Station with four underground train lines, making it easy to get around London quickly.
♥ Some excellent room deals, especially if you are traveling solo or in a group
♥ Cheaper than a West End location, but still walking distance to West End attractions
♥ Closer to the East End, meaning easier transport links to gay scenes in Dalston and Hoxton
All the Z Hotel branches in Central London are gay favourites, and are based on two main facts: firstly, that space is limited in the heart of one of the most crowded cities in Europe, and secondly that most visitors spend their time in a city actually visiting. The rooms are small, ranging from 8m2 to 14m2, but they are also cheap and impeccably designed.
The single room, ideal for solo travelers who are sick of paying for more space than they need, can cost as little as £50 per night. The larger rooms are perfect for practical couples, and this Z Hotel branch even has something the others on this list do not: a Family Room, with two double or queen beds in a bunk bed arrangement. Four friends traveling together could pay as little as £28 a night to stay in the City, which is a great deal.
The City location is only marginally further away from the West End than the other two Z Hotel branches on this list, with Soho’s gayborhood (and the area’s many famous landmarks) only 20 minutes away. Meanwhile, you are closer to other great London highlights, such as the Tate Modern, Borough Market, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the Tower of London. It is also easier to reach the East End’s gay nightlife, which is gaining popularity as London’s cooler and more local alternative to Soho.
♥ Best location for museums and department stores
♥ Easy Underground connection with Soho and the West End
♥ Very tasty Asian, Indian, and British food in the bar and brasseries
This hotel is located in chic Kensington, London’s most affluent and prestigious borough. This location is ideal for culture buffs, just a short walk from the Natural History, V&A, and Science Museums. Other London attractions like Hyde Park and Harrod’s are also within walking distance.
It is not the best location for nightlife, as there are no gay bars in the area, and even the regular bars can be prohibitively expensive. That said, a quick 20-minute Underground ride will get you to the Soho gayborhood very easily, and the line connecting both areas (Jubilee) is open 24h on weekends.
The hotel itself is comfortable and well-maintained. The lobby and dining areas are all classically grand and high-end, with the food in the latter being particularly tasty. The decor in the rooms is a bit dated in places and the atmosphere can be slightly corporate. However, you can’t do better for location if you intend to be hitting the South Kensington museums, and the prices are very reasonable for the area.