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 2022.
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.
♥ 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.
Citadines Apart’hotel offers the perfect blend of hotel and apartment. On one hand, you get all the conveniences of a hotel, including breakfast, 24-hour reception, and a business suite on the ground floor for those who need a quiet space to do some work. On the other, you get all the comfort of an apartment, with a fully-equipped kitchenette for you to prepare your own meals and living space to relax in.
There are three types of apartment available: Studio, Studio Deluxe, and 1-Bedroom. The main difference between the first two is that the Deluxe option has a dishwasher in the kitchen, so stick to Studio if you don’t mind some manual washing up. The 1-bedroom has room for four and is so perfect for groups of friends traveling together.
All of the apartments are comfortable, nicely decorated, and quite spacious, with good WiFi throughout and weekly housekeeping. This is a perfect choice if you like feeling at home when you travel, and is particularly suited to longer stays. The location next to Covent Garden is excellent for sightseeing and dining, with the gay nightlife in Soho only a 15-minute walk away.
Made up of twelve Georgian townhouses, this hotel’s focus is allowing you to enjoy London like a real Londoner. This means they offer compact rooms for people who want a practical, comfortable option in the heart of the city, without paying extravagant prices. Each room is perfectly designed to make the most of the space, without feeling cramped or too small.
The location is great for shopping, entertainment, dining, and sightseeing, but gay visitors have an extra bonus: G-A-Y is a minute’s walk away. This is quite literally the closest you can stay to London’s gay nightlife, and you can party all night safe in the knowledge that you can’t possibly get lost on your way to your room. Also, if you are planning on catching a performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, this is one of the closest hotels to the Palace Theatre where it runs.
Overall, this is a pared-down hotel experience, designed to maximize convenience and space for good value for money. It’s not for those who like loads of fancy facilities or enough space to throw a party in their room, but it’s just perfect for visitors who just need an affordable, comfortable place to sleep while they enjoy everything London has to offer.
This is a 5-star hotel in the very heart of West London, sitting within a 5-minute radius of Leicester Square, Chinatown, Piccadilly Circus, various theatres, and – last but very much not least – the gay nightlife of Soho. It is an equally ideal location for gay partying, shopping, and cultural sightseeing.
The hotel is stylish and high-end, but it is also independent and relatively small – 67 rooms in total – so you feel extra taken care of. The rooms are designer with touches of gold and dark wood that give a luxurious feel while remaining tasteful and understated. They also come in a variety of sizes, from more budget-friendly compact rooms to larger Premier and Club rooms, spacious suites, and even a very useful quadruple room, ideal for friends or two couples.
The service is exceptional, and there are sophisticated touches throughout, such as luxury toiletries from brands like Elemis and Hermes, Nespresso machines in every room, and a complimentary smartphone with high-speed 3G internet and free long-distance calls with every stay. Their bar and restaurant, Hankies, serves delicious Indian food with a British twist, while their wellness center offers a full range of spa and beauty treatments.
St Giles London has a great location, a 5-minute walk from the British Museum, Tottenham Court Road, and Oxford Street. Most of the gay bars in Soho are about 10 minutes away, except for G-A-Y Late, which is just a 4-minute walk (which is especially handy since this is where you’re likely to end up on a big night out).
The hotel itself is a straightforward 3-star. The rooms are dated in their decor but they are also very comfortable, with good beds and pillows, and cleanliness standards are very high. The basic (free) WiFi is good enough to cover most uses, and there is a premium paid option if you need to download or stream. There is a bar, restaurant, breakfast room, and even a 24-hour cafe diner (a relative rarity in London).
The Central YMCA Club, the largest health and fitness facility in central London, is just underneath the hotel, which is great news for gym addicts. Since it is not part of the hotel itself, you will have to pay £5 for access, but this is a fair price for access to extensive range of machines and weights, a cycle studio, a Badminton court, a swimming pool, sauna and steam room, and several classes.
This 5-star gay-friendly hotel in London is located in the heart of Soho, across the street from the world-famous Liberty of London department store and London’s iconic Carnaby Street. Some of the city’s best (and gayest) nightlife surrounds the hotel, so you will never have to walk very far for a great night out. The hotel is on the affordable side for a five-star, which is especially welcome in uber-expensive London.
Courthouse Hotel London does a great job of blending the historical charm of its listed building with a modern approach to design. The rooms are spacious and decorated in a simple, classic style with luxury accents, such as Italian marble bathroom interiors and fine leather furniture. The selection of TV channels is particularly good, with plenty of international options.
There is a private cinema – one of the largest in London – with a weekly Cinema Club on Saturdays featuring international classic films. Two dining options offer authentic Indian specialties, one with a more high-end ambiance and the other focusing on casual street food. The Toy Roof bar, overlooking Carnaby Street, is a great place to unwind with a drink on a pleasant day.
With its Victorian townhouse facade, Stylotel looks quite old-fashioned from the outside. However, once you step inside you are greeted with fun, ultra-modern decor filled with glass, metal, and bright colors. This is the vibe throughout the entire hotel, which contains a large variety of room styles and sizes for every type of traveler.
The rooms range from single to family plus, which can comfortably house five people. This makes Stylotel particularly good for large groups of friends traveling together, as well as for solo travelers. The suites come in both studio and 1-bedroom layouts, and allow for even more space. All the rooms are quite spacious, with good showers, comfortable beds, and toiletries.
Breakfast is particularly delicious, with both cooked English breakfast plates and continental options, and is usually included in the room rate. There is also a communal lounge, which is a good place to meet fellow guests, and a pub in the same building as the suites. This friendly, communal feel is one of the reasons this hotel is a big gay favorite in London.
Stylotel is located 5 minutes from Hyde Park. You can reach the museums of South Kensington just by crossing the length of the park – a half-hour walk, but a particularly lovely one. Soho and the West End attractions are further away, but can easily be reached through the Underground in about 20 minutes.
Clermont Hotels pride themselves on taking customer feedback into consideration when designing their hotels. This means you can expect some great small details that other hotels sometimes miss out on, such as plug sockets near the mirrors, blackout curtains, and super-fast, super-reliable WiFi.
Every room also comes with a Nespresso machine, Smart TV, tablet, and complimentary minibar – not to mention a super-comfy Hypnos bed. The rain showers are so good you’ll struggle to get out of one, and the toiletries are big enough to actually use. Furthermore. the staff are all incredibly attentive and go out of their way to ensure you have a good time, which always sets a hotel apart.
The hotel is located next to Charing Cross railway station, very close to the Thames Embankment and to Trafalgar Square. A 10-minute walk in any direction is guaranteed to land you somewhere exciting, whether it be a world-class museum, a crowded gay bar, an authentic Chinatown eatery, or Buckingham Palace itself.