This unbearable heat can mean only one thing – Southern Decadence in New Orleans, the best gay party anywhere, is just around the corner! This year, the Labor Day extravaganza celebrates turning 40, but there’s not a bit of gray around the edges here.
Besides, where else can you sit at a bar with a beer in one hand, a male stripper’s junk in the other, all while carrying on a conversation with your best friend seated next to you doing the same thing? Or how about a pool party filled with naked men, alligators and crawfish? Drag queens passed out in the gutter? Or Golden Girls playing on the TVs at the bath house?
OK, most of these things happen regularly at our place, but the party in New Orleans is much more organized. There’s also a Big D*ck contest, plenty of bar-hopping, dancing in the streets and the ubiquitous performance by Deborah Cox on Saturday night. If you’ve never been to New Orleans, this is the gayest time to go and something that has to be groped to be believed.
So where’s the best place to stay? Hotels on Bourbon are too close to the noise and stench of expelled bodily fluids, but staying in the French Quarter is still our recommendation for Decadence. (Because stumbling back to your room in the Garden District could take days.)
One of our favorite properties is Hotel Monteleone, a fabulous, 125-year-old, gay-friendly landmark. It’s got a stunning rooftop pool, a nice river-view workout center and wonderfully comfortable rooms that are uniquely New Orleans. You don’t stay here if you want sleek, soulless, minimalist décor. You stay here if you want opulent, French-style charm to impress your tricks.
Hotel Monteleone is also home to the world-famous rotating Carousel Bar (a must-visit for sure) and just around the corner from all the gay action on Bourbon Street. Or Club New Orleans if you’re behind on the shenanigans of Rose, Blanche, Dorothy and Sophia.
Rates starting at $169