South Beach is one of those magical lands believed to be truly opulent and simultaneously ridiculous. Think people-smoking-cigars-while-throwing-dollar-bills-from-yachts ridiculous. So when planning a trip for six girlfriends and I for my best friend’s 30th birthday, I expected the worst. Hotels in Miami, depending on your level of bourgeoisie (we’re pretty up there), can cost upwards of $500/night and with the number of nights we were staying, it was simply out of our budget. I’d exhausted every avenue – I’d even resorted to house rentals – when I ran across Hotel Gaythering.
Hotel Gaythering is, you guessed it, a gay-friendly quirky hotel located on the west end of Miami South Beach. We’d originally wanted to be closer to Ocean Drive, but figured it couldn’t hurt to be closer to the shopping strip on Lincoln Road instead. The beauty of this location is that it’s technically South Beach, but it’s enough on the outskirts that it didn’t feel rowdy. Every time we walked outside, we were usually the only ones on the streets. It was a nice place to retreat back to at the end of our long days.
Uber and Lyft are also dirt cheap in Miami, so it cost us less than $5 to get to Ocean Drive if we didn’t want to walk (and less than $20 to go into downtown).
Speaking of a retreat, Hotel Gaythering is just that – quiet as all hell. From the photos, I’d imagined that this hotel was going to be a kinky sex show, to be quite honest. The masked men in dark rooms with big red doors and a first aid kit full of condoms in every room, I was pretty sure we’d be in for a wild ride. But our visit was SO tame, I was a bit surprised by it. At night, we seemed to be the loudest ones (and we were barely above murmurs) and during the day people were just sitting around the hotel chatting with friends. At night, a few folks just littered the bar lobby. When we’d gotten back to the hotel on Saturday night, there was a significant amount of people outside in the courtyard but no one was disruptive or belligerent. As I’ve been recounting the tales of this trip, I’ve mentioned “I could have walked around naked at Hotel Gaythering and I don’t think anyone would have bothered me”. We felt so safe.
…but that’s not to say the hotel wasn’t hilarious and riled up in it’s presentation. My favorite part of the room? Cum. Rags.
I mean seriously, this is brilliant. I’m always so weird about washing my makeup off when I stay at hotels because it looks like bloody murder on white towels. Providing black towels for guests, regardless of what you’re using them for, is so genius. We were sold.
Nothing I can say or show will do the rooms at Hotel Gaythering any justice. I glow just thinking about the place, really. Our rooms had TWO king beds. For seven adult women, we only needed two rooms and we were so comfortable. I shared a bed with a friend and we never, ever touched throughout the night. It was glorious. We also had a television with cable, a Keurig machine, a walk-in closet where we were able to hang up everything we packed, and a seating area with a table and four armchairs. This room was a serious living space. The bathroom (not shown) had a huge red lacquer door and a nice shower with eucalyptus and lavender soap dispensers mounted on the walls.
A couple of things I didn’t love:
- I will mention that by day three we’d noticed some tiny bugs on the bathroom ceiling but that’s the nature of tropical vacations. I’m pretty sure one of us left the door open, inviting our little friends in. They were super harmless though, and we were able to get rid of them with a few flicks of the wrist – ninja style.
2. Checking in and out was a bit of a hassle. We booked via booking.com, and when you checkout the total for the trip appears. When we arrived at the hotel, we were told that only one night was actually paid for and we had a substantial balance left. We’d booked on one credit card and that person wasn’t present, so I gave my card for incidentals. When the friend with the card arrived, she presented it and it was swiped. When we went to check out, we were told the substantial balance was still on our rooms! Most hotels would not let you leave until the balance is reconciled, but Hotel Gaythering took down all of the information and processed the balance by the end of the day. All was well, but not without breaking a little sweat.
3. Rooms aren’t serviced until late in the afternoon, which isn’t a deal breaker, I’m just used to that happening around noon or so at other hotels. After a long day of activities, we kept returning to a room that hadn’t been cleaned or was in the process of being so. Again, not a deal breaker, but we kept running into the cleaning ladies when we got back to our rooms!
All in all, I have nothing but praises to sing for Hotel Gaythering. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted with open arms and Angel (ask for him, he’s the best!) handed us beach towels and water at no charge and told us to skidaddle to la playa. This hotel is a nice, boutique oasis off the beaten path of the somewhat seedy side of South Beach. At a whopping $275 per person for five days and four nights, we couldn’t have asked for more!