Often it is extremely difficult to find gay or gay-friendly accommodations when traveling around the United States or even in other parts of the world. Although there are quite a few guides you can buy, we have found that by the time they are published places have either closed or gone straight.
Now, thanks to J. Scott Coatsworth and Mark D. Guzman in California, finding a place is as simple as clicking onto their website, www.purpleroofs.com. They have been in business since 1998. The website is extremely easy to navigate: Just click on the map and the entire world will appear. Then, click on the state or country you’re looking for and it will take you directly there. In most states, you can navigate different regions. There is a very large selection of accommodations to choose from. They also list whether they are gay-owned or straight-owned and gay-friendly. In many areas of the country there are no gay-owned accommodations, but many straight-owned accommodations, hotels, motels, resorts and B and Bs are opening their doors to gays and lesbians in a big way! They fully realize that we have travel money to spend and most all of the major hotel and motel chains have their doors wide open for us.
Once you go to purpleroofs.com, you can check out lodging specials, monthly travel newsletters and articles, gay home links, travel links, and contests. They have about 3,500 accommodation listings all over the world. You can link to each individual accommodation’s website to see for yourself the rooms and facilities. It states how many rooms are available, rates, amenities, whether breakfast is included, handicap accessibility, Internet access, swimming pool, sauna, hot tub, river/ocean/mountain views, and just a general idea of what the accommodation has to offer guests. They also list whether the accommodations are basically for gay men or lesbians or if they also have straight guests.
You can contact the accommodations by phone or email directly to see if they have an open reservation for the time you want to go. And, the great thing about this website is that it is FREE ! We just cannot recommend it enough. It has been a lifesaver for us many times over. Scott and Mark have done the gay and lesbian community a huge favor by providing this website. Each accommodation listed applies to purpleroofs.com and they know how they will be listed. They simply don’t list everyone. It is amazing how many straight-owned B and Bs want to be listed as being gay-friendly.
There are basically three kinds of gay accommodations. Small bed and breakfasts are usually in a large house and offer very friendly service. Most have six rooms or less. Many offers hot tubs, a sit-down breakfast, complimentary cocktail, VCR with videos, etc. The hosts are very accommodating and can help you with all the details about the city in which you are staying.
The medium size accommodations are either small hotels, or as is often the case in Florida and California a motel compound, which is usually gated. Most of these have between six and twenty rooms, efficiencies, and one-bedroom apartments. Almost all have continental breakfast, swimming pools, hot tub, and Internet access and most of them are “clothing optional” by the pool. Most of these medium-size accommodations offer special parties and activities for their guests. And since all the guests are from out of town, there is a great friendliness all around.
The larger gay accommodations are the mega-resorts, many of which have over 100 rooms. They offer everything from on-site restaurants to bars and non-stop partying day and night. They are strictly gay. One needs never to leave these mega-resorts as everything is right there! This saves auto rentals and cab rides in major cities. And if you drink too much, you merely stumble back to your room! Often mega-resorts bring in special entertainment on weekends. And because weekends are when it is happening, the room prices go up. Monday through Thursday you can find a lot better room deals.
Traveling is supposed to be fun and if you do your homework before you take off, it should save you a lot of headaches. Just remember to start at www.purpleroofs.com. Scott and Mark also list “last minute” specials on their website.
Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone! TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast. You can email them at: gaytravelers@aol.com or visit their webpage at: http://www.hometown.aol.com/gaytravelers.

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