You'll find a great variety of accommodations options in the Mid-Atlantic's favorite GLBT getaway, Rehoboth, including a number of gay- and lesbian-owned guest houses, several independent resorts close to the ocean, a number of chain properties located mostly out on Route 1 (a couple of miles inland), some notable lodgings in the charming and historic neighbor community of Lewes, and lots and lots of vacation rentals. If you're interested in the latter, know that Jack Lingo Realtor has a huge inventory of cottages and vacation rentals, and GLBT-supportive Harold Marmon is another excellent rentals source. And a terrific overall LGBT travel resource in town is Camp Rehoboth, which has a handy online gay guide to Rehoboth. As for the best lodging options in town, here are some highly recommended choices in all price ranges.
For some fun ideas on where to eat and socialize, be sure to check out our Rehoboth Gay Nightlife and Dining Guide.
At Melissa's (36 Delaware Ave., 302-227-7504) is the very charming, comfortable, and conveniently located B&B of friendly innkeeper Melissa Clink. Just 1.5 blocks from the beach and boardwalk, and about the same distance from a number of notable bars, shops, and restaurants, this six-room inn exudes warmth, its wide verandah outfitted with inviting wicker chairs, and its accommodations decorated tastefully with simple beachy colors and furnishings. Gluten-free expanded Continental breakfast is included in the rates, as is off-street parking, beach towels, coolers, chairs, and umbrellas for strolls to the beach. If you'd rather hang out on-site, there's a peaceful yard and garden in back with a gas grill and refrigerator.
Innkeeper Inez Conover has created a whimsical, campy, yet elegant inn with Bewitched & BeDazzled B&B (67 Lake Ave., 302-226-3900), which comprises a pair of neighboring houses about three blocks from the Rehoboth beachfront and just a block from Rehoboth Avenue's fun shops, bars, and eateries. Throughout this pet-welcoming, eco-conscious inn, you'll find all sorts of Hollywood memorabilia - the Bewitched house is dedicated to the '60s sitcom for which it's named, and each room is a visual tribute to one of the show's stars (including Uncle Arthur and Dr. Bombay, among other memorable characters). In the neighboring BeDazzled house, rooms are named for and themed after the stars of vintage movies, from Judy Garland to Clark Gable. If this sounds like a recipe for over-the-top kitsch, fear not - rooms are warmly and attractively appointed, and the "tributes" are fairly subtle (such as framed photos, or the pair of binoculars in the Abner & Gladys Kravitz Room - perfect for spying on neighbors). This is a highly dog-friendly house, with amenities tailored to four-legged friends (there's even a lighted dog run). Breakfasts are a big to-do here - a delicious full breakfast is included in the rates.
A popular, long-running, gay-owned guesthouse that's three blocks from the ocean and just steps from the retail and dining action along Baltimore Avenue, Cabana Gardens (20 Lake Ave., 302-227-5429) is a favorite for its extensive sundecks and balconies, which can be accessed directly from most rooms. This modern, sun-filled inn was built in the mid-'90s, and the airy rooms, several indoor and outdoor common areas, and cheerful decor are a good fit for travelers who prefer contemporary over historic. Rates include free off-street parking and Continental breakfast.
As the name suggests, the Canalside Inn (34 6th St., 302-226-2006) is situated along the historic and scenic Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, on the west side of downtown - guests here can walk easily to several nearby restaurants and bars on Rehoboth Avenue, and it's about a 1-mile stroll to beach (a pleasant one, though, as downtown is very pedestrian-friendly). As long as you're okay with the location, there's lots to love about this bright, contemporary 12-room boutique inn where every room has its own private exterior entrance (rooms open either onto a common deck or the parking area, so the upper units are more picturesque, but the lower ones are nice if you like the convenience of pulling right up close to your room). Accommodations are well-priced considering the attractive decor and nice amenities (large flat-screen TVs, terry robes, coffeemakers, refrigerators, a/c and ceiling fans, and so on - the rooms feel more like what you'd find in a larger hotel than a small inn, so they're a good fit if you seek the privacy that's sometimes hard to come by at a guesthouse. A few rooms with large sitting areas are a good bet if you want a little more room to spread out and kick around.
Although this lesbian-owned guesthouse a couple of the blocks from the beach dates to 1937, the Delaware Inn (55 Delaware Ave., 302-227-6031) has a fresh, airy, and contemporary look and feel throughout its eight attractive rooms. Tasteful armoires, couches, framed black-and-white photos, and fresh flowers lend a warm and inviting appearance to the rooms, which have plush linens and towels. Among the LGBT guesthouses in town, this is one of the cushier options, making it a nice choice for a romantic retreat. The shopping, dining, and nightlife of Rehoboth Avenue is a short walk away.
As mid-price chain properties go, the Hampton Inn Rehoboth Beach (18826 Coastal Hwy., 302-645-8003) is a solid choice, typical of others in the brand with clean, comfortable, mid-size rooms. There's not much curb appeal - it's on busy Route 1, near the intersection with Route 24, and it's a 4-mile drive to downtown Rehoboth and a 3.5-mile drive to historic Lewes. Perfect if you have Hilton Honors points to spare, and you're looking for an economical base camp.
Like the Hampton Inn (see above), the Rehoboth Beach Holiday Inn Express (19953 Shuttle Rd., 302-227-4030) is another cookie-cutter chain option located out on Route 1, although this one is relatively close in - just under 2 miles from the beachfront, and within walking distance of some of the town's gay bars, such as the Double L and Big Sissies. It's a clean, contemporary hotel - a solid representation of the popular and reasonably priced chain.
This smaller, lesbian-owned guesthouse in a peaceful neighborhood 3 miles inland from the beachfront and downtown is well-liked for its beautifully decorated (and dog-friendly) rooms, four of which are in the historic main building, an attractive yellow farmhouse with blue trim; there's also a similarly dog-friendly cottage with two bedrooms, kitchenette, private patio with gas grill, and lots of room to spread out. Rates at the Homestead B&B (35060 Warrington Rd., 302-226-7625) are pretty reasonable considering the attractive decor and high caliber of service (including a delicious full breakfast), and if you're a pet-owner, this adult-only hideaway is a perfect choice, especially given that many guesthouses in town can't accommodate overnight four-legged friends. As with any of the Rehoboth properties set away from the beachfront, you do trade off proximity to the sand for tranquility away from the crowds - here, with the well-tended gardens and ancient shade trees, it's easy to see why nature and pet lovers appreciate the Homestead.
Helpful innkeeper Deborah Estes runs this extremely dog-friendly, wonderfully secluded guesthouse on a quiet lane just off of Route 1, in the neighboring town of Lewes. The lesbian-owned Lazy L at Willow Creek (16061 Willow Creek Rd., Lewes, 302-644-7220) is a departure from many other area guest houses in one very obvious way: it's not a beach property. Downtown Rehoboth Beach is a 15- to 20-minute drive, as are the beaches in historic downtown Lewes and nearby Cape Henlopen State Park. However, what you gain here is a peaceful 8-acre spread overlooking a marshy wildlife sanctuary that abounds with migratory birds and other creatures. There are five lovely, artfully decorated rooms and a spacious two-room cottage (which has a kitchenette), and a full hot breakfast is included. In summer, you can swim in a heated pool, and there's a hot tub available year-round. It's a pretty perfect roost if you want to be near enough to the beach for regular day trips, but you like falling asleep at night to the sound of crickets and pond frogs.
In terms of value and location, it's hard to beat the gay-owned Rehoboth Guest House (40 Maryland Ave., 302-227-4117) - from the backyard of this classic three-story beach house you can slip down a small alleyway to find yourself smack in the middle of the courtyard of the terrific, LGBT-owned Lori's Cafe, on the same block as the Blue Moon, Aqua Grill, and several other noted gay hangouts. Yet, this inn is on relatively quiet Maryland Avenue, less than two blocks from the beach, but well away from traffic and noise. The 14 rooms here are clean, unfussy, and economical, and guests often take the opportunity to get to know each other by mingling on the large front verandah, in the side room where Continental breakfast is served, are on the big back porch overlooking a leafy, tree-shaded lawn. The abundant common spaces make this a favorite lodging of social butterflies, but if you'd rather keep to yourself, the third-floor units are the most private and also get plenty of sunlight.
Set slightly away from but just a 10- to 15-minute walk from the bustle of downtown, the 15-room Silver Lake Guesthouse (20388 Silver Lake Dr., 302-226-2115) enjoys an enviable location across the street from the scenic lake for which it's named, and just a quick stroll from the gay-popular "Poodle Beach" section of the oceanfront (making it the closest gay-owned accommodation to that area). This is a rather dramatic-looking, upscale inn with a particularly popular row of top-floor rooms that have their own balconies with lake and distant sea views, plus vaulted ceilings and big windows - these units are the spendiest among the standard rooms, but they're not a whole lot more expensive than the rooms without the balconies, so consider splurging when the "deluxe" rooms with balconies are available. There are also two full two-bedroom apartments that are great for pairs of friends traveling together (they're also dog-friendly) - each of these has an equipped kitchen, deck, patio with barbecue, and a sleeper sofa in the living room, where you could easily sleep another guest or two. Other perks include off-street parking (which can be hard to find in Rehoboth), free Wi-Fi, and Continental breakfast.