Island House Key West Leads the Gay Lodging Industry as the Best Gay Clothing-Optional Resort in the World.
Closer to Cuba than Miami, Key West is tucked away at the very end of an old island chain. Anyone ever accused of being an old soul will find solace here, with miles of endless turquoise waters and mangrove islands to let your imagination soar. A 2×4 mile island with a huge personality, funky and quirky residents, and a live-and-let-live mindset, Key West really makes you never want to leave. In the middle of all that, in the heart of Old Town, you can find the longest owned and operated gay resort in the world — Island House.
Comprising five historical buildings, Island House is very much the epicenter of Gay Key West. In the late 1970s the property was made into a gay men’s hotel, and, once purchased in 1999, the Island House breathed new life. With over $3M in renovations, rebuilding, expansion, and upgrades, the Island House is quite obviously designed by gay men, for gay men. Every nuance of this special place required methodical planning, from the amenities in the rooms and the shared spaces to the 24-hour menu served at the poolside café and bar.
What’s obvious about Island House is that it caters to every kind of gay man. Whether you’re the shy and quiet type who likes to relax and lose himself in a book, or maybe you’re the life of the party who wants to meet everyone over copious cocktails. This is a sanctuary, which caters beautifully to the mix of each personality that is within each of us. Not only are we diverse as people, Island House celebrates being diverse in body types. Have no fear that being a clothing-optional resort does not mean that only one kind of body type is accepted here. Big, tall, black, white, or small, Island House is a community of real people, all here to enjoy a fabulous Key West vacation. Some choose to stay clothed, and other disrobe as soon as they set foot in the front lobby. There’s no judgment here—you’re free to be who you want to be.
Both locals and tourists are welcome to visit the Island House, and, in fact, the locals add much of the creative and outrageous energy that goes into Gay Key West. Both young and “young at heart” guests can co-mingle here comfortably, with no pressure to act a certain way, and without any pomp or circumstance. Island House isn’t just another hotel option—it’s literally the place to stay in Key West. For those who have yet to visit, you’ll quickly understand why it has become such a rite-of-passage for gay men.
Since Island House is all-male, gay-only, and clothing optional, this welcoming environment is protected by a gated entrance 24 hours a day, and you can be sure that people are clamoring to get in, especially during pool parties that bring all the boys to the yard. Guests can enjoy 24/7 room service, complimentary (yes, FREE!) poolside happy hour (5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Wednesdays until 8 p.m.) including top-shelf spirits. Hot Naked Sundays Pool Party and Hot Naked Hump Day Pool Party (Wednesdays) are a local festivus that can only be explained by those who have attended. And the café food offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an overnight selection. Not only is this one of the best all-gay cafés, it rivals the best of Key West restaurants for a relaxed, fun, and delicious experience.
Whether you opt for a party-filled weekend of frolic and debauchery or a relaxed getaway with leisurely days by the pool, Island House is a Caribbean dream come true. And what’s even better? No passport required.
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