Every family, including same sex families, looks for vacations where everyone feels welcomed. Gay couples with kids, however, have an added dilemma. Same sex parents must choose between gay-friendly destinations and more traditional family resorts to determine where children will be most comfortable.
Today, there are many options for same sex couples and gay travelers as the travel industry strives to be more inclusive. But which of the so-called “family-friendly resorts” is right for same sex families?
Fortunately, the team at GayTravel.com is on the case. They have provided travel recommendations for LGBTQ+ friendly destinations, hotels, tours, cruises, events and more for the past 20 years. In 2021, the Gay Travel Awards sought nominations from readers for the top resorts welcoming same sex families and same sex couples with kids.
“Family Travel Forum readers will appreciate these inclusive hotels as each has its own special charm and appeal for families,” says Victoria Prisco, International Liaison for the 2021 Gay Travel Awards. Here is more information about the eight finalists, listed alphabetically, in the category.
Andaz Maui At Wailea Resort, Maui, Hawaii
Andaz Maui is popular for its 15 acres on the beautiful Wailea beach. Same sex families who prefer the pool have three pools to choose from: with waterfalls, a lagoon style pool and a more tranquil, adults-only pool. In addition to 321 guestrooms and suites, there are 11 private villas to accommodate multigenerational groups. Good-for-family perks include free non-alcoholic beverages on property and a choice of foodie dining venues. Families like the Bumbye Beach Bar by the lagoon pool and the Mokapu Market for snacks and drinks. In addition to the Mokapu Luau featuring Hawaiian specialties and a cultural program, there is terrific Japanese fare at Morimoto Maui. This resort is convenient to golf, snorkeling and Haleakala National Park for volcano hikes.
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Florida
This very comfortable Hyatt Regency has spacious rooms and suites for same sex families and their pets. In Lake Buena Vista, it is convenient to the theme parks and other Orlando attractions. Spend the day at this very large property to enjoy rock climbing, golf, swimming and kayaking. The many activities make it a good place to take a day off from the theme parks. Relax at day’s end at the big pools and the several dining venues. Note that there’s a Marilyn Monroe-themed spa your teens will enjoy.
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, California
Surf’s always up at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach because there are many local instructors and equipment rental places nearby. And, since Huntington Beach is the self-proclaimed “Surf City” on the Pacific, surf shops and a small museum make it a fun destination for guests interested in learning the sport. The resort’s appealing laidback SoCal style extends to the pools and casual dining venues. Because this is a larger resort, there’s also a spa with a variety of wellness treatments. Families like the big sunny rooms stocked with bathrobes and extra amenities. Check out the active Hyatt Kids Club, offered for a fee.
Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, New Mexico
Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, a past winner of FTF’s Top Resorts for Family Togetherness award, is owned by the people of the Pueblo of Santa Ana and managed by the Hyatt Corporation. The property’s rich cultural heritage makes it a great choice with school-age children. This luxury resort has combined the pueblo’s Native American traditions, décor and style with 550 acres of rustic New Mexico landscape. The result is a quiet place that encourages families to hot air balloon, horseback ride and learn about Native American culture together.
JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa, Mexico
The JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa is a great international choice for West coast same sex families because of the easy access to the Los Cabos Airport 16 miles away. A large and luxurious facility, it has rooms and suites in four-story wings with their own private balconies. Chic modern guestrooms overlook the extensive swimming pools and lounging areas. On arrival, adults should head straight to the spa’s pre-Hispanic Temazcal, a traditional Mayan sweat lodge used to promote health and overall well-being. The next day, tour Cabo’s desert terrain, find more gentle surf at Santa Maria Beach, or tee off on the award-wining golf course nearby.
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, California
The Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina is a top GayTravel.com nominee because it’s LGBTQ+ friendly as well as a good choice for families wanting to sample all that San Diego offers. The four-star resort is on a marina with a waterfront walkway. Spacious rooms with city views allow you to easily orient the kids to the city. Explore Balboa Park on a family outing to the San Diego Zoo. With older kids, do a drive-through at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. At dusk, roam the Gaslamp Quarter and select one of the city’s many fine restaurants for dinner. This Marriott Marquis also has a firepit and tequila bar for those chilly San Diego winter nights.
Orlando World Center Marriott, Florida
The Orlando World Center Marriott is spread across 200 lushly landscaped acres, making a stroll through the grounds of this central Orlando resort an activity by itself. Take advantage of the resort’s extensive recreation facilities and programs to save a day on theme park tickets. All families and same sex families really enjoy their swimming pools and waterpark features. The new River Falls Water Park and its nearly 600-foot-long lazy river open March 16, 2022. There’s space for sandcastle building, volleyball and scheduled activities like hula hoop contests. At night, the resort does a poolside laser show, BBQs, movie nights and fireworks over the holidays.
Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa, Florida
Feel right at home in the one and two-bedroom residential style suites at the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa. This condo complex is well located for families, no matter the interest. If your children are into horses, the town of Wellington and its famous Palm Beach International Equestrian Center are nearby. Swimmers will like the pristine beach outside the pool area. Try the two swimming pools, borrow loaner bikes to sightsee and recover at the quiet, casual Tiki Bar. Another plus; the on-site SiSpa staff are trained in cancer-care wellness in addition to a wide range of treatment modalities.
Which One is the Best Same Sex Family Resort of 2021?
We researched the Gay Travel Award nominees in the family-friendly category for this story. All have a lot to offer families, whatever their makeup.
The Gay Travel Award Winners were recently announced, judged according to the site, on criteria “surrounding the acceptance and inclusiveness of LGBTQ+ travelers, as well as service levels, amenities, and overall guest experience.” The 2021 winner in the Destination, Family category is Oahu, Hawaii. The winner in this category, Hotel, Family, is the Orlando World Center Marriott in Florida. Perhaps their hotly anticipated water park and myriad facilities gave them an edge.
For any parent, the choice of best family resort still depends on location, budget and vacation preferences. We are confident your family will feel welcomed at all of the nominated choices above.
For a complete list of the 2021 Gay Travel Award winners in every category, and more commentary about each of these properties, please visit the Gay Travel Awards site.
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