When you think of Miami's Brickell neighborhood, you think upscale, you think preppy professional. One thinks of a location that is moments away from world-class shopping like Brickell City Centre and the Miami Design District. Many people don't necessarily equate Brickell, however, as a gay destination. The W Miami is looking to change that.
W Miami, located at 485 Brickell Ave., has "an unbeatable location," said Marthica Galvis, its marketing manager. The hotel offers 146 luxurious guest rooms and suites and has a WET Deck, a rooftop pool located 50 stories high. Located right next door is the Whisper Cocktail Lounge, which offers daily happy hours, specialty programming, late-night vibes and cocktails.
"We’re at the pulse of electric cultural experiences and encourage guests to meet new people," Galvis said. "We’re always looking to engage with locals and facilitate partnerships, build community events and ensure that we’re upholding the key pillars of the W brand: fashion, fitness, music and design. The W brand is known for its leadership and commitment to the LGBTQ community. We have a strong track record of providing an environment where everyone is invited, embraced, valued and respected.”
In an effort to build its gay clientele, W Miami recently hosted "Whisper OUT Loud," a networking party for LGBT professionals. The hotel held two "Whisper OUT Loud" events in October and November and is looking into hosting more events for the LGBT community in 2018.
Local drag queen Athena Dion, the hostess of the R House Wynwood Sunday drag brunch, served as emcee at the last gathering and performed alongside fellow drag entertainers Noel Leon, Sasha Lords and Tiffany Fantasia, named Best Drag Queen in the SFGN Best Of 2017 contest and Favorite Drag Queen at the fifth annual Pink Flamingo Awards.
Dion said the W Miami approached her because the venue wanted to do a monthly party for LGBT professionals.
"They invited all the fabulous queens of Miami to start it up last month. It was a really great turnout," Dion said. "We have a pretty cute crowd. Come check us out."
DJ Daniel Hottpants Blair said the W called him to provide the musical entertainment. He said attendees of future mixers can expect to see "a bunch of queens, hopefully nobody tripping in either sense of the word," he laughed. "Aside from that, I really hope that people just drink a lot and then do a little hand waving in the air. That's what I want."
Attendees like Daniel Luque had a blast. He said the party on Brickell was "something convenient on this side of town, something new and fresh. It's just perfect."
David Galindo, who identifies as gay, said he actually found out about the LGBT mixer through a few of his friends that live in Brickell and he decided to come check it out.
"It's really nice to finally have some type of venue for us on Brickell and not have to go all the way to the beach," Galindo said. "The view is amazing. The ambiance is pretty nice; the mixture of the music, the drag queen show. Tiffany Fantasia is one of my favorites...The fact that it's on a Friday at a time that [gay professionals] are finishing work. We can have a drink, relax, maybe go to a restaurant in the area. Everything is great. I'd enjoy coming here again."
For more information on future events, visit WMiamiHotel.com.