Surfing in Miami Alex Shutin

Gay Miami Miami City Guide

Curation by Nacho López, words by Casey Siemasko

Think of Miami and the first images to come to mind are probably of famed South Beach: pastel-coloured Art-Deco buildings, aquamarine water, glitzy nightclubs full of glamorous, sun-kissed beauties. There’s no denying the allure of Miami Beach—or that the city lives up to its reputation as a haven of good-looking, party-loving people. But the Miami Beach stereotypes barely crack the surface of all Miami has to offer. Head across the causeway, and you’ll find an up-and-coming foodie movement, a buzzing art scene and vibrant Hispanic culture. Miami is considered one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world, and it shows. No visit is complete without a day of lounging at 12th Street Beach, a proudly gay gathering spot on South Beach that’s marked by the lifeguard station’s billowing rainbow flags. Looking for the ultimate Miami gay guide? Mr Hudson has got you covered.

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The best hotels in Miami

Let’s start this gay Miami travel guide with a roundup of the best hotels in Miami. Many of Miami’s most stylish and luxurious hotels are located in the heart of Miami Beach, where you’ll have easy access to white sand beaches, iconic nightlife, and top-rated restaurants. One of our favourites is Hotel Gaythering, Miami’s “hetero-friendly” hotel with the catchy motto: “Why stay at a gay-friendly hotel when you can stay at a friendly gay hotel?” Hotel Gaythering is sexy, masculine, and adults-only. The rooms are chic and comfortable, but what truly sets the hotel apart is its buzzing communal spaces, ideal for meeting and mingling with other gay travellers. After a long day of sightseeing, don’t forgo Gaythering’s on-site, clothing optional, self-service sauna. For another adults-only hotel ideally located in South Beach, try Blanc Kara. The luxury boutique hotel offers 25 well-equipped and elegant studios, ideal for those who want to forgo paying for extra amenities in favour of a personal kitchen and spacious suite just a block from the beach.

Go green without sacrificing any luxury at 1 Hotel South Beach, a hotel seamlessly merging wellness, eco-consciousness and sophisticated style. The decor takes clear inspiration from Mother Nature, with lots of reclaimed, upcycled wood, and in-room filtered tap water means you can ditch the plastic bottles. Detox from a night on the town with a private yoga session or a meal at the on-site restaurant Plnthouse, featuring plant-based, organic cuisine. There’s even complimentary Tesla car service available within a 10-mile radius of Miami Beach.

Hotel Gaythering

Hotel Gaythering

Of course, South Beach isn’t the only place to stay. Brickell Neighborhood is often dubbed Miami’s best-kept-secret, and at EAST, you’ll be right in the centre of it. This luxurious lifestyle hotel is North America’s first iteration for the famous Hong Kong-based Swire Hotel. Here, East-meets-West design nods to the brand’s Chinese roots—without forgoing a bit of Latino flair. The on-site Quinto La Huella Uruguayan restaurant is of particular note. The restaurant is rustic but stylish, with a leafy patio ideal for sipping on one of La Huella’s signature craft cocktails. The true highlight though is the grill room, which features the restaurant’s signature wood fire parilla; request a seat here to watch the grillmaster in action.

Finally, the storied history behind the ultra-luxurious Villa Casa Casuarina makes it a must-visit in its own right. The building dates back to 1930 when it was commissioned by Alden Freeman, Mayflower descendent and heir to the Standard Oil company. It then served a stint as a run-down three-story apartment building before famed Italian designer Gianni Versace purchased the villa and transformed it into his personal mansion in the 90s. He spared no detail or dollar in the renovations. (The iconic pool boasts thousands of glimmering 24-karat gold tiles.) Versace was tragically murdered on the steps of his mansion five years later. Today, Villa Casa Casuarina is a luxury boutique hotel, restaurant, and bar that retains its original opulence, while offering a glimpse into Versace’s fascinating life and home.

1 Hotel South Beach

1 Hotel South Beach

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