LGBT Travel: Gay Eilat

Gay pride parade Israel

Gay Pride Parade Israel

Tel-Aviv is the reigning Queen of gay cities in Israel having hosted world gay pride events several times and having been nominated for two TripOut Gay Awards. However Eilat is a come-as-you-are, welcoming, live-in-your-sandals-and-shorts type of city for all tourists. Eilat on the whole is extremely gay friendly.

Gay Minded Eilat Hotels

Although there is no such thing as a “gay” hotel in Eilat there are what have been called gay “minded” Eilat hotels or gay “friendly” Eilat hotels. I cringe as I write this as the notion that there may be such a thing as a non-gay-friendly hotel is unacceptable…but the following hotels are considered “gay-friendly”:

Caesar Premier Eilat Hotel (4*) This hotel is on the list as it hosts the annual Eilat Pride Festival and the Pride Village.

King Solomon Hotel (5*) Although I know a lot of religious and conservative people stay here it makes the list as they have the most popular gay nightclub party here every Friday night.

Princess Hotel (5*) Makes the list as it hosts some of the Eilat Pride Festival events in their Conference Center and in 2011 was the primary host of the Pride Village.

Magic Sunrise Club Hotel (5*) Makes it on the list as it hosts events during the Solar Eilat Gay Festival.

La Playa Hotel (4*) – Makes it on the list because it hosts events during the Solar Eilat Gay Festival.

Dan Panorama (4*)

Orchid Hotel (4*)

Dan Eilat (5*)

Prima Music Hotel (3*)

Blue Hotel (3*)

Eilat LGBT Festival

The Gay Pride Festival in Eilat is held annually in May and celebrations are spread over the course of a weekend. The festival centers around what is called Pride Village. It is possible to buy special Pride Packages which include flights from Europe or the US, accommodation in Eilat and entrance to the Eilat Pride events. You can get more details from the Eilat Pride Facebook page or on the Gay Red Sea website.

The Eilat Gay Pride events will be celebrated for the 12th time on 23rd-26th May 2013 and involve serious partying, entertainment and activities. Here is a rough schedule of what is planned for 2013.

Thursday

  • Events kick off with a guest reception at 2pm.
  • In the evening there are three clubbing events – MenZone, MixZone and Women only Zone which in the past has been held in the Princess Hotel Congress Center.
  • The Pride Ball opening party is held on Thursday evening and lasts from 11:30pm to 5am.

Friday

  • Eilat Pride Parade takes place at 1pm and goes through the city ending at Eilat’s North Beach close to Pride Village where the beach party begins and lasts until dawn.Entrance is free.
  • Temptation Party on Dekel Beach lasts from 11:30pm to 7am.

Saturday

  • At the Pride Village a pool party ends off the weekend’s events lasting from 12 noon until 6pm.

Solar Eilat Festival

Eilat’s second annual gay event is held at the end of August or beginning of September. As with the Pride Festival there are non-stop parties and events over the course of a few days. The events are held at the La Playa Hotel and on Dekel Beach as well as in several Eilat clubs.

Eilat Gay Clubs, Bars and Venues

The information online about gay venues in Eilat is extremely vague and confusing (especially as half of it is in Hebrew) so the following listings may not be current or 100% accurate.

Platinum Club – King Solomon Hotel hosts a gay party in their nightclub on Friday nights. This is probably because on a Friday night the religious won’t be anywhere near the club (or other clubs for that matter). The party lasts from 11pm to 6am and entrance is 60-100NIS. This is perhaps the most popular gay club night in the city.

New Platinum Club – (It is unsure whether this is one and the same as the King Solomon Hotel club or a “new” venue) In the Tourist Center above the Beatles Bar. (972-050-3666632)

Helena Bar (Hash’mu’a – The Rumor)(Again this one may or may not exist!) This bar is on the corner of Arava Road and Yotam Boulevard.

Freedom line parties – As far as I can gather these are parties or events put on at various venues and featuring guest DJs. The Freedom parties may be held in the New Platinum Club. (972-050-3666632)

Cotton Club – This is not exclusively a gay club but may host gay parties and events. It is located in the Tourist Center.

If you can correct the above listings please leave a comment below and I’ll update the post.

Gay Cruising in Eilat

I’m not talking about cruising in a boat on the Red Sea! Gay cruising in Eilat is non-existent if compared to other countries and even to Tel-Aviv but there are a few places where gay cruising occurs in Eilat. Casual hook-ups may be found in Jubilee Park, behind the IMAX theatre, Umm Rash Rash Park or along the seafront between the Red Rock Hotel and the Sea Mall. Be careful not to be arrested for loitering.

Gay Eilat Beaches

There are no official gay beaches in Eilat nor are there nude beaches. Head for the beaches with a younger crowd like Village Beach and avoid the religious separate sex beaches on the northern shore (Derech Peamei Hashalom).

I hope this information is helpful and I look forward to reading any updates or addition info you may have about gay life in Eilat.

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