Is Expedia really offering the best hotel options for gay and lesbian travelers?

Expedia has just launched a lesbian and gay travel section on its site, claiming to provide ‘the skinny on gay travel’, and stating that if a hotel is out, then it’s in their gay travel store.

We decided to take a look at their offerings, starting with Palm Springs. We found the choice was limited to four mainstream hotels, a Red Roof Inn, a Holiday Inn and two Hyatt hotels! What makes these hotels the best options for gay or lesbian travelers wanting a fun time in Palm Springs? It certainly has nothing to do with their sexual temperature.

The real issue is that Expedia only lists hotels that have signed up to use its booking service. Most of the truly gay and lesbian resorts in Palm Springs use their own marketing strategies to reach their target market, and reservations are made directly with them rather than through a booking company.

Pink Choice provides user reviews and recommendations of gay and gay-friendly hotels, inns and guesthouses worldwide, and is one of several on-line resources available that give gay and lesbian travelers the ‘real skinny’ on where to stay. Pink Choice lists 35 gay and lesbian hotels in Palm Springs, which are ranked according to members’ ratings. For gay resorts their current recommendations include the Hacienda at Warm Sands, East Canyon Hotel and Spa, and the Triangle Inn. For women’s resorts, Casitas Laquita or the Queen of Hearts Resort score well.

Interestingly, one of our members sent us a review of the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort, one of Expedia’s recommended hotels for Palm Springs, so we added the hotel to our listings. The review was not good!

Expedia is a great place to find competitive rates for mainstream hotels but we believe it should not set itself up as the one stop shop for gay and lesbian travel. LGBT travelers are brighter than that.

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