Not as well known in the UK as Key West or Palm Springs, Provincetown on the
Massachusetts coast is actually America's
premier gay resort, and has more than 60 gay-owned
and B&Bs and many others with a strong "family" following. You can easily get there
from the UK by flying into Boston and then it's a short hop by Cape Air to Provincetown, or P-town as it's known.|
can be tough to score a room in high season (anytime during July and
plus weekends in May, June, and September), and because of the huge
selection, it can be difficult choosing the perfect room. Quite a
places look similar from their brochures and Websites, and even their
exteriors, they differ considerably in style, clientele, and
In recent years, numerous upmarket properties have opened, many of them
exceptionally attractive and well-run, but Provincetown still abounds
affordable gay resorts that retain the feel of the old boarding houses
dominated the town's art colony days of the early 20th century. Many
P-town share baths; most places do not have air conditioning (although that's rarely
needed), private phones, extensive off-street parking, or substantial
space; and quite a few are without TVs and radios. Only a smattering
pools, though several have hot tubs. Many places require four- to
minimums in summer, especially around holidays.|
What follows are detailed recommendations of some exceptional
lodgings, but keep in mind that this list is a cross-section of
representing different prices, styles, and locations. There are many
outstanding guest houses and resorts to consider, and the Provincetown
Business Guild Website and Fodor's Gay Guide to the USA
has the details on dozens of others.
Bar-hopper's Delight - The Crown and Anchor (mixed gay/straight).
rebuilt after a fire leveled this historic hotel and entertainment
in 1998, the Crown and Anchor is much improved in its present
Rooms come in both standard (with pleasant, modern hotel decor) and
(with whirlpool baths, fireplaces, and private decks). Of course, a big
advantage is staying in the heart of the Commercial Street action, with
several rollicking bars on-site.
Cheap and Cheerful - Heritage House (mostly mixed gay male/lesbian).
Sarah - who operate this top-notch, affordable accommodation - strive
create the sort of friendly atmosphere in which both sexes can mingle
have fun. There's lots of common space - the living room is large and
with a VCR, sofas, and antiques; a second-floor veranda has Adirondack
and wicker. One drawback: though rooms are simply but smartly
of them share only four baths.
Classic Elegance - The Brass Key (mixed gay male/lesbian). While
outstanding new or refurbished inns now compare favourably with the
this splendid resort still sets the standard for top-notch service and
amenities in Provincetown. Rooms are in a few Victorian and newer
set around a central pool as well as inside the original 1828 inn:
conceivable detail has been considered; furnishings are subtle and
New England-style, and the craftsmanship in the bedrooms and bathrooms
stunning. All units have VCRs, goose-down pillows, 250-thread-count
and many have whirlpool tubs and fireplaces. The pool, hot tub, and
patio are among the prettiest in town.
(c) P-town Office of Tourism
Lazing by the Pool - Benchmark Inn and Central (mostly gay male). This
beautifully restored property comprises two buildings. The 1840s Greek
Revival has rooms with fireplaces, separate entrances, refrigerators,
VCRs; some have whirlpool tubs, and many have bay views. Rooms next
the Benchmark Central (the inn's former annexe that was completely and
dramatically rebuilt in 2000) are ultra-plush with the same amenities
the inn but with an airier and more contemporary feel. Over here you'll
the pool (and spa and sauna), one of the few at any gay resort in
whole complex is lovely, with great furnishings and sun-filled rooms.|
Private and Convenient - The Gaslamp Bed & Breakfast (gay male) is a true Victorian era gem nestled
in the very centre of P-Town with five major clubs within a 1/2 block. There's a
secluded private deck which is clothing optional festooned with flowers and
a very sociable hot tub. You're not far from antique shops, clothing stores, galleries,
ocean beaches and P-Town's historical points of interest. All rooms have cable TV
and VCRs, air-conditioning and most have small refrigerators.
Town History - The Crowne Point (mixed gay male/lesbian). The 33-room
Point is one of the top accommodations in Provincetown, comprising
historic buildings (including the former Dusty Miller inn, previously a
women's establishment) that have been magnificently renovated
Everything from period wallpaper and colors to original moldings now
this upscale establishment, whose guest rooms all have period antiques,
elegant pine floors, TVs with VCRs, refrigerators, AC, and fine bath
amenities. The staff is highly courteous and professional - this place
Old-world Ambience - Carpe Diem (mostly gay male). A couple of charming
German guys, Rainer and Jurgen, run this sophisticated yet social guest
where rooms are named for famous poets and writers - Rilke, Proust,
Dorothy Parker, and so on. All have a mix of European antiques, down
eiderdowns, and such modern touches as VCRs, phones with voice mail,
of a laptop with high-speed Internet service. The Thoreau garden
cottage is a
favorite, with a fireplace, stereo, and two-person whirlpool tub. An
authentic German breakfast is included.
Revellers' Retreat - Crew's Quarters (mostly gay male). One of the most social
houses in town, Crew's Quarters draws a frisky bunch of younger guys seeking
but very clean rooms and bathrooms and plenty of camaraderie. It's down
street from the Gifford House, which draws a similar bunch. It's very
run, and it offers some of the lowest rates around.
Victorian Splendour - Tucker Inn (mixed gay male/lesbian). This
restored former sea captain's home in the Second Empire style is
east of the center of town. The light and spacious rooms are warmly
with elegant antiques, and the handsome bathrooms have tile floors. Run
congenial host Howard Burchman, this alluring yet reasonably priced
house is less publicized than some and a real find.
On the Waterfront - BayShore and Chandler House (mixed gay/straight).
attractive women-owned and pet-friendly complex is one of the best
town for long-term visitors - (during high season, only weekly rates
offered). Each unit has a fully (and impressively) equipped kitchen,
furnishings, and plenty of space; most have decks or patios, and many
direct bay views. Best of all, guests have use of a private beach and
lawn that extend down to the bay. A few doors away is the fully
Chandler House, with its own waterfront sundeck and several more
furnished full apartments.
(c) P-town Office of Tourism
Where the Girls Are - The Provincetown Hotel at Gabriel's (mostly lesbian). Chiefly a women's
house for many years, Gabriel's increasingly welcomes a mixed crowd.
the 20 rooms and apartments (which have full kitchens) are still named
themed after famous women: the Georgia O'Keeffe Room has Southwestern
furnishings; the Diane Fosse Room has a loft filled with stuffed
and many units have fireplaces. For general use, there's a large
whirlpools, a gym and sauna, and a women's lending library and workshop
center. All in all, an excellent, professionally run guest house.|
Year-round Romance - Beaconlight (mixed gay male/lesbian). One of the
inns in P-town that keeps the light burning year-round (and
be unbelievably enchanting during the brooding, windy winter months),
Beaconlight has long ranked among the region's most sumptuous
building, part of which dates to the 1850s, is surrounded by lushly
landscaped grounds; inside, a piano is often heard from the living
an octagonal roof deck affords panoramic views. The thoroughly plush
rooms are beautifully furnished and have refrigerators and private
several have fireplaces. The same guys run the smaller and similarly
Oxford Guesthouse, nearby.
THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK
BayShore and Chandler House (493 Commercial
Beaconlight (12 Winthrop St.,
508-487-9603 or 800-696-9603, Website).
and Central (8 Dyer St., 508-487-7440 or 888-487-7440).
Brass Key (67 Bradford St.,
or 800-842-9858, Website).
Carpe Diem (12 Johnson St.,
or 800-487-0132, Website).
The Crown and Anchor
Commercial St., 508-487-1430).
(82 Bradford St., 508-487-6767).
The Provincetown Hotel at Gabriel's (104
St., 508-487-3234, Website).
(7 Center St., 508-487-3692, Website).
Provincetown Business Guild (Gay/lesbian business and tourism association; 3 Freeman St # 2; 508-487-2313 or
Provincetown Chamber of Commerce (307 Commercial St #5; 508-487-3424,
The Gaslamp Bed & Breakfast (97 Bradford St., 508-487-6636).
Crew's Quarters (198 Commercial St., 508-487-5900).
Tucker Inn (12 Center St.,
508-487-0381 or 800-477-1867).
Andrew Collins authored Fodor's Gay Guide to the USA, the Connecticut
Handbook, and six regional gay guides for Fodor's.
Nightlife in P-town