Monthly Archives: September 2009

South Florida Blade Review – Cabanas Guest House and Spa

Cabanas Saltwater Swimming PoolJohn Dorry and Bill Barnish faced a problem at their Cabanas Guesthouse and Spa that all property owners would love to have: they were totally sold out over the long Labor Day holiday. “We’re sold out now and the rest of September looks very good,” said Dorry. “It’s going to be a very busy month, and we are very pleased with that. I think our location has something to do with it — us being so close to the bars and the restaurants.”

It’s not just location that draws guests to the Cabanas.  Located along the Middle River, one of Fort Lauderdale’s major canals, the guesthouse includes 18 rooms within several buildings, two pools, and a full-service spa on property.

Located on N.E. 26 Street just west of North Federal Highway, the Cabanas entered the gay guesthouse scene eleven years ago: Dorry and Barnish bought two proprties that had rented rooms weekly to a transient population, combined them to create one complex, and remodeled and landscaped extensively.

The Cabanas is the only gay guesthouse on the water, and that allows them to have kayaks for the guests; the property is also the only gay guesthouse with a steam room, as well as a salt water pool, which was created last year.

“The salt water, which they say are minerals, is much better on the skin than chlorine and it’s much more economical to run,” said Dorry. “The guests love it because it leaves a good feeling on their skin and they don’t feel dried out.”

The property also has a full-service men’s spa, located in a back corner of the property. Owned by Norman La Chance, a professional skin esthetician and massage therapist, the Cabanas Spa uses top-of-the-line products for facials, manicures/pedicures, body scrubs and a variety of massages. “The spa helps tremendously having that extra something to offer the guests, and we’re going to keep upgrading,” he said.

All guests get complimentary continental breakfast and free wireless Internet. There is also a smaller chlorinated pool and whirlpool for guests.

The various rooms at the Cabanas range from a standard room to a two-bedroom grand suite that occupies the entire top floor which, Dorry said, is popular when four or more people are traveling together. Some of the rooms have kitchens; others are waterfront rooms are on Middle River. The property is also pet-friendly.

Recent upgrades to the rooms include new flat panel televisions and replacing the air conditioners with quieter units. “We are renovating wherever we can and fixing different things up.”

Dorry credits his location in Wilton Manors to their success—because, as he says, they “are so close to everything.” The Green Hopper, a green commuter service which started operating earlier this year within the city of Wilton Manors, has also helped. Many guests who check into The Cabanas don’t drive or rent cars and if a guest wishes to go to the beach and don’t want to use a taxi; the Cabanas has complimentary bicycles for guest use.

The Cabanas locally has been a popular spot for various fundraisers throughout the years and recently appeared on the cover of Passport magazine, an international gay travel publication. The whirlpool area is also popular with local photographers and the wall behind the whirlpool is almost as well known as the guesthouse itself.

Dorry and Barnish have worked hard to keep their award-winning guest house attracting new guests as well as welcoming back previous ones because, as Dorry puts it, “in this business, you want to stay as full as possible.”

To book a stay at the beautiful, private, clothing optional Cabanas Guesthouse & Spa – click here or visit

Fort Lauderdale Recieves Gay Travel Award!

Gay Fort Lauderdale

Known as one of the country’s top LGBT travel destinations, Greater Fort Lauderdale earned two honors from Logo’s first ever “TripOut Gay Travel Awards.” Richard Gray, gay liaison to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and owner of Richard Gray Consulting, received “The Gay+ Award for Achievement in Making Our World Gayer.” Fort Lauderdale was also nominated as the “Sexiest Place on Earth,” which will be voted on by the website’s readers.

Gray is the first -ever to receive “The Gay+ Award for Achievement in Making Our World Gayer,” which is given to a professional who has increased awareness of the GLBT consumer in the world of travel, tourism and hospitality. As the founder of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s first five-star gay guesthouse, The Royal Palms Resort, he is a pioneer and leader in the field of GLBT travel. He was influential in bringing the gay market to Greater Fort Lauderdale and his efforts to create the Rainbow Alliance, a marketing coalition to support the GLBT community in Broward have been recognized by the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association.

“Richard’s forward thinking has been instrumental in making our destination one of the top GLBT vacation destinations, with more than 1 million gay travelers visiting our beautiful beaches and the ‘gayborhood’ of Wilton Manors each year,” said Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“Gray is credited with being fundamental in inventing the GLBT travel market and his model of marketing has become a standard in other destinations around the world, which is why we are proud to recognize him as our first-ever “Gay+” winner,” said John Polly, editor,

TripOut also nominated Fort Lauderdale for the “Sexiest Place on Earth” reader’s choice award, along with other destinations including Mykonos, Buenos Aires, Paris and Madrid. Winners will be announced in early November.  For information about LGBT travel in Greater Fort Lauderdale visit

If you decide to visit the Fort Lauderdale/Wilton Manors area for your next gay vacation, be sure to check out  The Cabanas Guesthouse and Spa for the ultimate in Florida gay resort accomodations!  The Cabanas is an award winning  all male clothing optional resort located in the heart of Wilton Manors.  The Cabanas is the ONLY waterfront gay resort in Fort Lauderdale.  Clean luxurious rooms, a beautiful new saltwater swimming pool and a private yet ideal location make The Cabanas something to brag about. Visit the website today at to check it out or make reservations.