Gay Times Magazine

Where to Stay..

If you’re doing Miami, you’re going to want to stay somewhere totes appropes. Luckily, its hotel game is strong. Here are four of our favourites...


COMO Metropolit­an

There’s a man in the lift with a Gucci cap and so many tattoos, it looks like he’s wearing Paisley pyjamas. That’s part of the group you can expect at this offshoot of the London Metropolit­an (the one where the famous Met Bar once was) and the one in Turks and Caicos where Donna Karan has her own unit. But it’s not the whole story. For all of Miami Beach’s famed partying this is more the ‘gin and jazz’ crowd, much more fitting for a 1939 deco building that was lovingly restored in 2014 by Italian designer Paola Navone. The trick with proper deco Miami Beach hotels is you keep the deco loveliness – in this case huge pillars and pastel floors – and slick it up. Rooms are eau de nil (that’s light green to you) and grey with padded white leather headboards and cupboards while the restaurant is all sofas and plants and, out in the lobby, huge spider-like wall lights. Add a celebrity chef in the form of Michael Schwartz, a pocket-sized gym, a spa up on the roof with a fancy hydrothera­py pool (like a big Jacuzzi) and a modestly-sized pool with a bar just over by the beach and you have it. Small, lovely, quiet with none of the shouting you’ll get elsewhere.

Life House

If you’re going to stay in Little Havana, congratula­tions. It’s a bold move. You’re away from the beach, and even if there’s nothing official to do, you’re down with the real people. Besides, there’s always Calle 8, with its Cuban restaurant­s and bars and music joints. Real Cuban. More Cuban than Gloria Estefan. And come February, that same Calle 8 hosts the bi“est LGBT Festival of Latin culture in the whole of the United States... but you’ve missed that for this year. If you’re staying in Little Havana, there really is nowhere else to pick than Life House, a new concept in hotels (even though the very concept of a new concept in hotels has eyes rolling so far up in our heads that they come round the other side). But no, this has been made easy. Check-in on the app and you get your key to your phone so you don’t have to make nice to the lady on the desk – even though she is so lovely you won’t mind. Then up in the lift to one of just two floors. Rooms are small and mould-breaking in that some of them have four almostbunk bed situations with curtains going on, perfect for groups of friends. Nice white bathrooms with all the right brass taps, reclaimed-looking desks, no cable just a TV screen that they’ll teach you how to Chromecast from your iPhone on and then downstairs somewhere that looks like a young persons’ co-working space and Parcela, a dinky little restaurant with a nice line in creative vegan foods (though they were heavily pushing the Venezuelan beef patty when were there). Up on the roof is a bamboo furniture and tropical plants set-up of a bar with views of the sparkly skyscraper­s of Downtown.



Basically an old-school 60s resort hotel that has been Ian Schragered up to its earrings, Ian Schrager being the man behind Studio 54 who single-handedly invented the cool hotel we know and love and stay in to this day. On the outside, this is all 60s concrete tile-bricks, which do look great in sunshine especially with the shadow of palm trees strewn over them. Walk into the lobby and it’s a cavern of white with just some gold pillars, a marble reception and plants plants plants. Simple, lovely, Schrager. Rooms are big, simple, immaculate white on white on more white affairs that you really can’t go wrong with, even if you try. Throw in a chaise long – white please! – some mid-century-modern-esque lighting concepts and you’re onto something that is so stylish and yet so Miami. Two pools – one straight up and down with a flight of stone steps at one end leading to the bar (handy!), the other wi†ly and in vegetation by the outdoor café, which is strictly adults-only (thank goodness, right?) The old concrete diving boards have been made into a plant feature, while the whole thing is overlooked by hotel rooms and apartments, making the whole thing seem like a very glamorous home pool party. And don’t get us started on everything else: the restaurant, The Matador Room, is one of Miami Beach’s hottest tickets while downstairs in The Basement they have a club, an ice rink and a bowling alley. Why not! It is Miami Beach after all.



You either stay in gay hotels or you don’t. But if you do, this is a fun spot and no mistake. Downstairs it’s one of Miami’s most popular gay bars, popular with the fun, clever set that is. Happy hour doesn’t hurt that at all. Nor does the little outfront bit where on a warm evening gays are ga†ling and you could even take a dog. Of the canine variety. But upstairs are rooms. Handy, you’re thinking. And it would be handy. They even include a mini First Aid box where you’ll find your... let’s just call them gentlemen’s necessitie­s, shall we? The rooms are what’s known as mid-gay style. Lots of black, lots of red, a flash of leather, humorous homoerotic art... but you’re on holiday for christssak­e! No, it’s not Elle Decotastef­ul but it’s fun and you can’t say that about anything Anouska Hempel has been involved in. Our room – thank you for asking – is a really rather huge quarter-circle kind of set up with space to dance and dress up and entertain. It may not have the pizzazz of the big white beachfront hotels but there’s a lot to be said for friendly and cute and bijou with a buffet breakfast thrown in.

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