Holiday like a rock star


Blog by Darren Cooper

Blog by Darren Cooper

Hard Rock all-inclusive resorts are capitalising on government promotions to LGBT travellers to Mexico, by ensuring their product delivers on the promise that they make to every traveller.

All-Inclusive now includes – us!

There was a time when taking a ‘gay’ holiday meant heading for one of a handful of destinations that were known as safe and friendly ‘gay resorts’. Many of these resorts are still thriving of course, and there is much to be said for taking a holiday where you know there will be plenty of ‘family’ around to socialise with.

Times have changed however, and LGBT travellers have become much more adventurous not only in our choices of destinations, but also our choice of property that we are comfortable staying in when we do go away. The gay owned and run establishments in many of the traditional ‘gay’ destinations are not available everywhere, and they tend to be smaller one-off situations – so where should you stay if you want to experience the kind of all-inclusive vacation experience that has, until recently, been largely the exclusive preserve of heterosexuals?

All-inclusive resorts, which I have experienced myself in a few destinations around the world, are quite something. Typically for me these holidays are about relaxing and recharging my batteries – which is something we all need to do. While I love to experience the culture and atmosphere of a destination, I can also just as easily spend all day curled up with a book (and a cocktail!) on the beach or by the pool, and the only stress point in my day is when to deliver myself to the restaurant for meals when I’m hungry.

Getting it right

I have some criteria that I like to follow of course. Good weather, great facilities, quality and variety of dining options, and interesting options to get out and explore if I do want to.

The other ‘must-have’ for me, and one that I put great store in, is will I feel genuinely welcomed?

This last point is critical – for what use are the others if when I arrive at my destination, the welcome doesn’t quite add up to my expectation of feeling truly welcomed as an out gay traveller.

One country that is making a real effort to talk to LGBT consumers is Mexico, which has recently produced several high-profile initiatives highlighting destinations to international LGBT travellers. One hotel chain that is taking advantage of this growing visibility to global LGBT communities is Hard Rock Hotels HRH All-Inclusive resorts, which has three of its flagship properties in Mexico that are now training their staff to offer great service and product to LGBT visitors.

Hard_Rock_Hotel_logo_wikipedia_duran_duranThe three Hard Rock Hotel properties in Cancun, Riviera Maya, and Puerto Vallarta

are now undertaking training for their resort staff to become certified, and a fourth HRH property in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic has also become part of this training initiative.

Commitment places

This kind of commitment from hotels is great news for LGBT tourists, who are looking to travel to a region that is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations for LGBT tourists in the world.

Hard Rock Hotel Cancun is located right in the heart of Cancun’s hotel zone and so is right at the heart of the action. The resort’s facilities include five international themed restaurants, and there is also direct access to the beach and the pristine waters of the Caribbean right in front of the hotel.

Outside the resort the Playa Delfines beach is the most popular with the local gay community and also visitors. At night Karamba nightclub is the place to head after midnight when it really starts to heat up.


Local colour and culture are also available for visitors to Cancun, with Mayan sites such as Chichen-Itza, a must-see, competing for the attention of visitors with the beautiful Isla Mujeres just off-shore, and swims in the crystal clear springs called cenote (se-no-te) that are another natural wonder of the area.

The adult-only Hard Rock Riviera Maya is located 30 kilometres south of Cancun, in an area that is well known for it’s relaxed and tranquil environment. Occupying it’s own privileged beachfront location this hotel’s excellent facilities mean that visitors can play as hard as you like, or pamper yourself in the luxurious surroundings.


The Riviera Maya’s unspoiled surroundings offer breathtaking days-out for visitors, such as swimming with sea turtles, trips to the Caribbean island of Cozumel, a renowned scuba diving centre and old pirate haunt, and visiting the famous Mayan ruins perched above the beach at Tulum.

Situated on Mexico’s Pacific coast, the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta is the perfect LGBT friendly hotel base from which to explore the equally LGBT friendly resort of Puerto Vallarta. This charming west coast town has been attracting tourists since the 1960s, and LGBT tourists from North America have been flocking here for years.

This resort is situated on the beautiful Banderas Bay, famous for whale and dolphin watching and backed by forest clad mountains of Jalisco state. The resort itself has a variety of bars and restaurants to relax and watch the sun as it dips into the sea. The Old Town is then the place to head for a great selection of gay bars and clubs which – in true Mexican style – rock out until the small hours of the morning.


The Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta also makes a perfect base from which to explore the unspoiled coast to the north of Puerto Vallarta, the Costa Najarit. This coastline is becoming one of the most cosmopolitan and talked about destinations in the world thanks to the small fishing villages that dot the coast, and now cater to people looking to relax and discover a true taste of Mexican hospitality and charm. This is the combination for those looking for an unparalleled party, and also the perfect place to recuperate.

A destination that has long been known for all-inclusive holidays is the Dominican Republic, which occupies roughly half of the island of Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean. The geography of this island makes it a perfect get-away for those looking for pristine beaches and plenty of water-based activities.

LGBT guests to the Hard Rock Punta Cana can now enjoy the amenities that makes this hotel one of the best all-inclusive experiences in the world. The resort covers 45,000 square feet of decadent luxury, with 15 swimming pools, and restaurants serving the freshest seafood cooked straight out of the ocean.

You can learn more about the many great places to stay in certified-welcoming hotels at – with more than 1400 locations now waiting to welcome you.

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