With 325 days of sunshine a year, over 50,000 pools and lots of old-Hollywood charm, it’s no wonder that Palm Springs has the highest per capita gay population in the US. This daring desert town is home to numerous LGBT+ events including gay pride, White Party and the infamous Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Known as “Hollywood’s Waiting Room for Heaven,” Palm Springs has been a destination for closeted queer folks in the entertainment industry since the early 1930’s. Besides a few other destinations in the US like Fort Lauderdale, Provincetown and Key West, Palm Springs is among these top cities with the most gay and clothing optional resorts in the country.
With its warm desert climate and abundant sunshine, this is the perfect place to do absolutely nothing at all. Sipping cocktails by the pool while working on your tan is Palm Springs’ official past time (or at least it could be). But if you can’t sit still, there is an infinite assortment of boutique shops, art galleries, fine dining, golf courses and adventurous hikes to keep you entertained. While out and about, you may even sight a celebrity as Palm Springs is the second home to some of Tinseltown’s biggest stars and gay icons. Although you’d be hard pressed to find a place to stay that isn’t LGBT-friendly, we’re excited to share our top picks for gay properties and clothing optional resorts. Here’s the list to our top 7 gay hotels and resorts in Palm Springs.
Why Stay at a Gay Resort in Palm Springs?
If you’ve never stayed at a gay resort but you’re thinking about booking one, you should definitely consider some of these benefits below.
Easy to meet new people – most gay resorts offer social activities where you can meet other travelers. This is common in many of the gay resorts in Palm Springs. Most properties host a complimentary evening happy hour offering beer, cocktails and snacks. You can spend the afternoon meeting other guests and easily connect with other guys during your visit.
Location – you’ll find that many gay hotels in Palm Springs are well located near popular gay bars and nightlife. All the properties are in great locations where you can easily visit the destination’s most popular attractions and activities.
Parties and events – some gay resorts in Palm Springs host events or other parties and social gatherings at their properties. These activities might be offered to just guests or in some cases even to the local LGBT+ community.
Be yourself – probably one of the most attractive parts about a gay hotel is the comfort zone. The entire hotel is full of LGBT+ guests and the staff has been extensively trained to provide you with a welcoming and gay-friendly experience. It’s a very open environment and one where you can relax and be yourself.
Clothing Optional – nearly all the gay resorts in Palm Springs are clothing optional. This means that many of the guests will swim and sunbathe nude. Many gay men enjoy the freedom and exhibitionism that comes with nudism and gay resorts are the perfect place to enjoy it in a private setting.
Clothing Optional Gay Hotels and Resorts in Palm Springs
InnDulge – Retro Oasis in the Desert
This clothing optional resort is a clean and welcoming place to stay with a great pool and friendly staff. They offer a 12-person jacuzzi and heated/chilled saltwater pool, both open 24 hours a day and complimentary local gym access. Choose from a variety of guest rooms and suites with full kitchens and sitting areas. Additional amenities include free wifi, air conditioning, on-site guest laundry and outdoor misters. Enjoy the daily continental breakfast and evening social hours, Thursday pizza and weekend pool parties. They’ll even help you book restaurants and local activities during your visit.
Santiago Resort – Luxury Escape into Paradise
A men-only, 4-star property at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains that offers a year-round heated saline outdoor pool and spa in a tranquil atmosphere. Santiago Resort is located in south Palm Springs near downtown and is one of the nicest clothing-optional resorts boasting casual extravagance and attentive staff. Here you’ll find 23 spacious rooms and 4 room types with king-sized beds, flat screen TVs, refrigerator, iron, electric safe, and luxury bath products. Some suites even have a fireplace, private patio and are pet friendly.
All Worlds Resorts – Near the Gay Nightlife
Only a few blocks walk to the ‘Arenas Road Entertainment District’ for enjoying great bars, parties, karaoke and dining. Guests at this clothing optional resort can enjoy a daily complimentary breakfast and restful amenities including a heated pool, soothing hot tub, outdoor showers, complimentary wifi and free parking. Choose from a selection of guest rooms and suites all of which are non-smoking. It’s best known for a 5,000 square foot indoor maze play space as well as an outdoor maze for clean, safe fun. Day and night passes are also available.
Canyon Club Hotel – 1950’s Palm Springs Style
Built in 1957, this gay men’s, clothing optional hotel has been beautifully restored and is walking distance to local gay bars, shops and dining. There are 32 comfortable guest rooms and suites, some of which have private patios, full kitchens and are pet friendly. The property features a 52 foot swimming pool and 16 man spa, cooling misters, steam room, dry sauna and garden with a hedge maze. The hotel provides access to a golf course, bicycle rental and a business center. A fitness center can also be accessed by guests who want to stay active while travelling.
Vista Grande Resort – Lush Gardens and Waterfalls
Located in the Warm Sands district, this clothing optional gay men’s resort features two pools, cooling misters, multi-level gardens, blue lagoon, waterfalls, dry sauna and a lively steam room all surrounded by the beauty of the desert. Accommodations range from poolside studios to luxury villas suitable for both short and long-term stays. All guest rooms have refrigerators and microwaves and some even have full kitchens. Guests can also enjoy breakfast and lunch that's included with your stay.
Twin Palms Resort – Luxurious Indoor Spaces and Modern Outdoor Environments
This paradisical gay man's resort offers pretty much anything you could want from a holiday retreat in Palm Springs by comfortably blending indoor and outdoor living. Includes spacious air-conditioned rooms, access to a large swimsuit optional outdoor pool – to work on those tan lines – and either a continental or à la carte breakfast worth waking up for.
Trixie Motel – Fun and Flirty with a Big Splash of Pink
For fans of RuPaul's Drag Race or simply the color pink, this is a fantastically kitschy place to stay. Season 7's Trixie Mattel opened it up with her boyfriend after renovating an old motel. Its decor is inspired by her very pink and very camp drag style making it a fun, over-the-top place to stay in Palm Springs. You can even catch the whole renovation process on her docuseries on Discovery Plus and HGTV.
Gay Apartment and Vacation Rentals in Palm Springs
There are many sites for apartment rentals including Airbnb, Vrbo and Booking.com. All three companies have inclusive policies and support the LGBT+ community. Prices are generally comparable to budget hotels, especially if you’re willing to get a room in a shared apartment. Book VRBO →
There are even a few LGBT-oriented booking sites like misterb&b where you can rent a room from a local gay host. Founded in 2014, misterb&b is not a hotel or chain, but rather a booking site for rooms, apartments and homes. Similar to AirBnB, Vrbo and Booking.com, misterb&b is an online service, but it allows you to book from gay and gay-friendly hosts around the world. They have hosts in more than 200 countries and territories with more than 1 million total listings.
Understanding Palm Springs’ gay scene is much more easily done with the help of a local and apartment sharing is one of the best ways to meet someone living in the city who knows how things work, where and when are the best nights to go out, and what places to eat at and which to avoid. If you're visiting Palm Springs, why not extend your trip for an extra couple of nights and visit the beautiful Joshua Tree National Forest. You can find some great Airbnb's near Joshua Tree during your stay.
Special Offer! Sign up with misterb&b and you will receive a free $10 credit to use on your first booking!
Featured image credit: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism