By Anna Jaffray
The Out NYC, the first gay urban resort of its kind, recently celebrated its official opening in New York City. The premises include a wellness center, three courtyards, hot tubs, a nightclub and the hotel’s restaurant Kitchin, which is due to open in May. The Out NYC was opened by developers Ian Resiner, Mati Weiderpass, and designer Paul Dominguez in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.
Although many hotels currently boast a gay-friendly environment, the founders of The Out NYC felt that the community needed a “home base.” The hotel remains inclusive of straight guests as well.
The resort exhibits a high design profile, complete with waterfalls, rolling grass courtyards and modern rooms to fit the needs of NYC travelers looking to stay in style. Of these 105 rooms, two come with separate queen beds.
The founders were fortunate enough to find, “…an existing structure at 42nd street and 10th avenue - a central point between two thriving gay neighborhoods,” says Reisner.
One of the first things one notices when visiting the hotel is the design. Created by co-founder Paul Dominguez, the hotel is modern, with bean bag chairs on grassy lawns, open balconies and European style closets. According to Reisner, they tried to create a space that “..serves as a ‘functional art gallery’ where architecture is art.”
Both XL Nightclub and the resort’s 24/7 dining areas are open to the public, creating a hybrid hotel and local hang-out. “For New York, we wanted to create something that would serve both as an ‘urban resort’ and a central entertainment destination in the city," said Reisner. "For the gay community, we would like to be seen as a home base.”
Given that a hotel catering to the LGBT community isn't common, the developers were sure to teach their staff cultural awareness through extensive employee training. When discussing the staff of The Out NYC, Reisner said that “every professional will be the very best in the industry with emphasis on tolerance and hospitality…equipped to live and breathe the culture.”
While Reisner sees homosexuality becoming more and more mainstream, he acknowledges that there are some cultural stigmas that create the need for a gay-centered environment.
A woman walks past bean bag chairs in a courtyard at The Out
The front of New York City's The Out NYC
A room at The Out NYC