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The gays may have “discovered” South Beach, but what once was a queer-led renaissance has devolved into a major hetero Situation. But fret not, there's glamour still beneath the Ed Hardy and hair gel, and the soon-to-open Lords South Beach (LordsSouthBeach.com; soft opening November 21) is primed to tease it out in the heart of the Art Deco District with Miami Beach's first proper gay hotel.
Paying tribute to the trailblazing spirit of Versace – the Villa by Barton G, née the Versace Mansion, is just a block away as is the 12th street gay beach and debauch central Twist (TwistSoBe.com) – and channeling the high-class joie de vivre of St. Tropez cabanas, the Nash Hotel gets a spirited and eclectic (polar bear mascot, anyone?), yellow-striped makeover just in time for the White Party (WhiteParty.org; November 24-29). And early bookers will save a bundle: 10 percent off one night, 15 percent off two-three nights and 20 percent off stays of four or more nights on any stays between November 21-30 applied automatically at checkout. After November 30, code SOBE will get you 10 percent off your stay anytime until January 1.
As the country's first boutique gay hotel brand with expansion plans in Manhattan and West Hollywood, Lords is very much a by the community, for the community endeavor. Select “Rooms that Matter” will benefit LGBT non-profits such as the Hetrick-Martin Institute and the Point Foundation, plus Out magazine (OutTraveler.com) is producing a digital concierge system and a social networking initiative will help guests connect before, during and after. KiptonART will be displayed and available for purchase.
Other resort highlights include: custom Absolut cocktails at the bar, staff decked out in uniforms by Levi's, an ivy-splashed pool deck with two wading pools and giant jacuzzi, plus the signature Cha Cha Rooster restaurant/bar/poolside lounge. The 54 pop-designed rooms will be stocked with a top-shelf minibar, luxe Frette linens and bath amenities, beach towels and chairs, and of course all the digitali (free Wi-Fi, flat-screens, iPod docks) us discerning gays have come to expect. Us entertaining gays can choose a penthouse suite with expansive terrace. Us party-hardy ones can choose twin rooms off the pool. Us sporty ones get free passes to nearby Crunch Gym. And us horny ones can take advantage of passes to select adult web sites – or just hit the bar. Unlike most gay hotels, the vibe isn't sexual but it is primed to be sociable. According to founder Brian Gorman, the emphasis is on no-attitude fun in an “Appropriately Oriented” atmosphere. “Conceptualized by gays, and geared for gays,” he says, the hotel will provide “a liberal, proud, playful experience and a sense of community for guests who want to mix and mingle with peers.”
Soft opening November 21. Official opening December 29. Reservations available now.