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Court ruling makes women-only floors illegal in hotels

May 19, 2014 Headline News, Hotel News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The concept of “women-only floors” in hotels, levels where only women may stay, has been dealt a potentially fatal blow on gender discrimination grounds.

The idea behind reserving floors just for women was that female travellers might feel happier and safer on floors from which men are barred. Although the concept was picked up by various hotels around the world, few properties offer such floors, perhaps because screening off 50% of the population isn’t exactly likely to encourage maximum occupancy.

Women-only floors tended to offer glossy fashion magazines, free hair straighteners, cosmetics and yoga mats, according to those allowed to enter them.unnamed (3)

Now, a court in Denmark has found the four-star Bella Sky Comwell Hotel in Copenhagen guilty of gender discrimination and of violating the Equality Act, after the property reserved 20 rooms on its 17th floor for women only.

The court’s ruling means that the hotel must now allow men to book into all rooms hitherto reserved exclusively for women.

“The case is a trivial matter and it should never have been conducted,” Allan Agerholm, the head of Bella Sky, told Berlingske in Denmark.

“We never discriminated against anyone. It’s too bad that we can’t aim our products at a certain target group simply because of some rigid interpretation of the Danish Equality Act. It’s sad and borderline ridiculous.”

Agerholm said the hotel’s ‘Bella Donna’ floor was created in 2011 to provide female travellers with added security.

Two men, who had apparently not visited the hotel, decided to sue the property on the grounds that it was discriminating against men.

Women have launched similar lawsuits in other countries against men-only clubs and establishments.

Now, it seems political correctness cuts both ways. The hotel’s website stated yesterday, diplomatically: “The 17th floor of Tower 2 has, in collaboration with a number of notable women, been specially designed for women, but also welcomes men. The floor has been named ‘Bella Donna’.”

The Copenhagen Post reported that secure and private women-only floors have been gaining popularity in Britain, Canada, the US and Singapore. As examples it named Dukes Hotel in London, Georgian Court Hotel in Vancouver and Crowne Placa in Minneapolis (USA).

Written by : Peter Needham

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