Story and photo by Paul VanDeCarr
Even when South Beach gets what passes for “chilly” weather there (60-degree lows in January), the European Guest House has a warm atmosphere to make up for it.
Owner Carlos Mejias tells of how he opened the place in 1987, well before the area was a gay mecca. Carlos, who is gay, says the house “caters to lesbians and gays, but welcomes people from all walks of life.” It has a homey feel, and easy-going guests and enough space so that you don’t feel crowded. Its 12 uniquely-designed rooms have fine wood beds in queen and king size, and one newly-outfitted room has bunk-beds for groups of up to four budget-minded travelers.The rooms are situated on two floors around a pleasant, leafy patio. That’s where guests can get their free breakfast, sit and relax, socialize, surf the web, or enjoy the hot tub (as several lovely guests from Brazil were doing one afternoon as Carlos and I chatted). Located in a residential area on Michigan Street, the house is a lazy, 15-minute stroll to the beach (less if you’re power-walking), and is also convenient to local restaurants, shops, and LGBT nightlife.
EUROPEAN GUEST HOUSE: www.europeanguesthouse.com
LGBT NIGHTLIFE: www.sobegayinfo.com/nightlife.asp