Swedish hotel accused of refusing access to gay couples

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A hotel in Sweden has been accused of refusing access to gay couples, and lying to say they were “closed for refurbishment”, when same-sex couples enquired.

The Local reports that Swedish Radio station P3 news featured the story of a man named Mikael, who attempted to book a spa visit to the Elite Stadshotell at Västerås, but that when he said he was visiting with his boyfriend, he was told the hotel was being refurbished.

The following day, he booked the same weekend, using a fake name and saying he was attending with a girlfriend.

“When we tried to book as a gay couple we couldn’t complete a booking, but for a heterosexual couple the same date could be reserved without any problems,” Mikael said.

He said he would report the incident to the Swedish Equality Ombudsman.

Speaking to the Local, the hotel’s director Cem Gurler denied that they had intentionally discriminated.

“I understand that the couple have felt discriminated, but that was certainly never our intention. It was a misunderstanding about the closure dates for the spa during a massive refurbishment we’re undertaking. We have made a mistake and we’re very sorry. But it’s not about discrimination, rather poor service and communication,” he said.