Palm Springs, Key West and the South of France are well-known for their gay resorts and guest houses, but there are pampering havens all around the world from California to Cambodia by way of Umbria. Here is a selection (in no particular order) that package amenities like saunas, hot tubs, pools, massages, warm hospitality and good company to help men relax, reinvigorate and recharge.
North Beach Village, Fort Lauderdale, United States
The adults-only Royal Palms Resort and Spa is a three-building property just a block from the beach that prides itself on delivering tropical sensuality made for guests who like to play hard and rest well. The 66 minimalist rooms are decorated with stylish white furnishings, grey tiles and king, queen or double beds with decadently plush linens. The courtyard area has three pools with a poolside café, and the spa delivers relaxing and revitalizing treatments.
Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
Open and exclusively gay since 1996, Villas Blancas has 30 recently updated, self-catering villas and bungalows surrounded by tropical gardens. The property, attended to by a friendly staff, includes two large pools, sun terraces, a popular 14-man Jacuzzi, restaurant and bar. The Yumbo Centre and the gay beach at Maspalomas are within easy reach.
West End, Provincetown, United States
The Brass Key Guesthouse is one of the poshest hotels in town, complete with infinity pool, cocktail lounge, wine-and-cheese reception and whirlpool tubs. The complex is comprised of nine historic buildings, including a main house dating back to the 1790s and centers around a large in-ground pool. Rooms come in a range of architectural styles and decor. All have been designed with maximum comfort in mind, including high-end bedding and toiletries. Open year-round; adult-only.
Housed in an Italianate mansion built in the 1800s by one of Napoleon's generals, this gay and men-only bed and breakfast offers six self-catering, luxury suite - preserving the original colorful tile, wooden beams, exposed stonework and adding rain showers, Nespresso machines and satellite television, as well as Ayurvedic, in-pool, hot hamman and tantric massage. The lavender-filled terraces and pergola-covered lounge provide ample space and amenities for attentively hosted pool parties and garden dinners.
Old Town, Key West, United States
The Island House is a clothing optional, award-winning gay resort in a relaxed - and relaxing - tropical setting. Within the compound is a spa, sauna, heated pool, Jacuzzi, erotic video lounge, fitness center - all focused on profound relaxation. Nightly happy hour is free and free-flowing, and food is conveniently served poolside from a breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight menu. Rates vary drastically according to season and the room. Day passes are available to non-hotel guests.
Bellaugello, a gay country house, faces south with sweeping views over the Umbrian hills and valleys. Owner Alex is a Scotsman and former hotelier who found the 400-year old stone farmhouse, down a worn country road between the towns of Gubbio, Perugia and Assisi, and converted it with five individually decorated suites, an infinity pool and a large outdoor table for communal dinners. It is a place for people to be themselves - instinctive, natural and free.
School of Fine Arts, Mykonos, Greece
Gay-owned and managed, Elysium Hotel has long been a gay man's destination, overlooking Mykonos town and the Aegean Sea, a location that makes for spectacular sunset views accompanied by drag shows and DJ sets. Although the property first opened in 1989, rooms have since been updated and enlarged, and all are stylishly appointed. Amenities include an outdoor pool, an indoor hot tub, a dry sauna, a health spa and a busy pool bar. Nude poolside bathing is optional. Rates vary by season.
Talamanca, Ibiza, Spain
Casa Alexio is one of a few men-only hotels on the island. Open year-round, the property is a welcoming retreat with 13 designer rooms dotted around the garden that can accommodate up to three people. Common amenities include a central villa, a pool, hot tub, chill out area and a terrace with beautiful island and old city views. Clothing optional.
Zona Romantica, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The gay-owned and -operated Casa Cúpula started in 2002 as a luxury guesthouse for gay men and their friends and has grown into a complete, self-contained resort tucked into a hillside overlooking Puerto Vallarta. Just a 10-minute walk from town, it has sprawling grounds, a gourmet restaurant, multiple pools and weekly brunches and parties. The 15 rooms and 6 suites (including a two-story penthouse) are decorated in a variety of styles with many having large terraces. Its gym Pump is a good place to keep up workouts while on vacation.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
The New York Times called the MEN's Resort & Spa "the newest and arguably most flamboyant gay hotel" in Siem Reap not long after the 10-room property opened in 2010. Guests have also described MEN's as the "garden of eden", "heaven on earth" and "peaceful haven", noting the sleek decor accented by nude male paintings, large outdoor pool and black-and-gold tiled sauna and a hot tub. Day passes are also available to non-hotel guests and provide access to all spa facilities including swimming pool and gym.