5 Easy Steps To Not Alienating LGBT Hotel Guests

Screen Shot 2013-02-26 at 12.57.26 PMIn the wake of another same-sex couple getting short-shrift at a UK accommodation, the Gay European Tourism Association (GETA) has released a list of five steps hotels, inns and other venues should follow to make LGBT guests feel welcome.

1. Give all your guests the same warm welcome, whoever they are.

2. Be professional, not judgmental, particularly when checking in.  You don’t need to question whether two people of the same sex really do want a double bed. Just ensure that all the reservation details are correct. “So, that’s one double room for three nights?”  You should not suggest that they might have made a mistake by booking a double bed. They will soon tell you if it’s a mistake.

3. Make sure your in-room greeting, such as a welcome letter or TV message, does not welcome Mr and Mrs when it is clearly Mr and Mr or Ms and Ms.

4.Extend to same-sex couples all the benefits you extend to others.  Same-sex couples should, for example, be eligible to the same Valentine and newly-wed packages.

5. Receptionists and concierges should be able to answer the question “do you know where the nearest gay bar is?”  A quick check on the Internet will give you an overview of the gay life in your town or city.

We might’ve put in something about having 800-thread-count sheets and a decent fitness center, but these are good, too.

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  • Jazpyy

    And perhaps not book them into the disabled suite like what happened to me and my partner and then have a receptionist say “you both gay aren’t you”

  • stvrsnbrgr

    There’s a reason it’s called the “hospitality” industry.
    And why federal anti-discrimination laws are needed.

  • bmwblonde

    Well the good ol’ USA IS making slog, interminable progress. Yet I remember my husband and me (M/M) sleeping in “un grand lit” (one big bed) in a lovely small hotel in rural France – back in the early 1990?s. At about 8:30am, we were au naturel in bed, there was a crisp knock on the door – and two hotel service gals breezed in, bearing two bed-trays (a delicious petit dejeuner – breakfast).

    I (more French-savvy – and more secure) thought this was TERRIFIC (especially compared to our ridiculous, Puritan, 3rd-world country, Amurika), but my hubby was tense.

    THAT too went away when one of the gals, a big sensuous smile on her face, said: “Ah, L’amour!” and then
    they both waltzed out.

    Or, as Henry Higgins said long ago: “In France it doesn’t matter WHAT you do, as long as you PRONOUNCE it properly.” (Oh, and if you are comfortable with YOURSELF, nearly always, the French couldn’t give a crap).

    Maybe the U.S. WILL get there in another decade or two, but then — this country drips with self-hatred,
    fear and RELIGION. (In France, only 3% are still practicing Catholics; they’re replaced THAT silly cult with the “religion” of family, food and wine.) I’m just staying!
    Au revoir.

  • RiBrad

    The book which is in every hotel nightstand that condemns homosexual men to death isn’t the most welcoming inclusion either. The first thing I do when I arrive at a hotel room is put the bible in the bin.

  • Harley

    Or they could just reject them based on their “religious” right and show them to the stable with the manger. Oh, wait! That already happened. My bad.

  • Sukhrajah

    I have a retort;

    Here are things that LGBT guests can do to not alienate themselves at hotels;

    1). Be kind, and treat all members of staff well, whoever they are. Treat people like a jerk and expect that service right back. Tip your housekeepers. Be nice to the front desk staff. Smile (and tip) breakfast staff. Though we serve you, we are not your servants.

    2). Be professional, not judgmental, particularly when checking in. You don’t need to assume that two people of the same sex really do want a double bed, or one king bed, or whatever your heart envisioned. List the name of your partner, or guests on the reservation. Call the hotel after making your reservation to confirm the details, add appropriate details. Keep in mind, alot of the times, the first time that you are meeting this person (and bringing your details into their life) is at check-in, and in a lot of cases, by that time it’s too late to expect changes to happen well if the hotel is sold out. Don’t jump to conclusions if things do not go your way. Screaming at the front desk is not going to change it. If you are upset, or if you are dissatisfied, by all means, discuss it with a member of management. Most hotels will offer compensation. If not, use your purchasing power, and tell your friends, go to tripadvisor and instead of ‘making that hotel pay’ or ‘bringing the wrath of God’, just be professional, not judgmental. By no means should you be upset, but also don’t be a jerk.

    3). Explain the ‘unsaid’. Don’t assume because you arrive with your partner, your husband, your boyfriend, or your insignificant other, that we all know this person. We, as members of the LGBT community are still (and understandably so) trepidatious about stating the truth of who we are, and so will use subtlety (especially in foreign situations/surroundings). If you don’t think that the message was received the first time, say it the next time. Bring it to our attention. Oh, and as always, be professional about it. Don’t scream it, don’t assume that we have the time to come up with the conspiracy of keeping you two unhappy. We certainly don’t have the time, my boss doesn’t have the brains, and I don’t have the pay, to be that involved in your life.

    4). Lower your expectations a little, and realize that sometimes, what we want and what we book are very different things. You want a romantic getaway with your significant other, great. Live in London, oh bless. Yet, you go online and book a hotel room in Reading, uh oh. You arrive and want to know where the nearest gay bar is, ouch. Well, what should that
    ‘concierge’ tell you? Truth be told, he should tell you the truth – sir, the most romantic place to be, where there are tonnes of gay bars, is London. What would he tell you? A listing of stuff from google. I will admit, after having served hundreds of LGBT guests, in a small town in Florida, there are not that many gay bars in the area (and the ones that are here are shitty), but if you are pleasant with me, I can make it up to you. I know of a great gay owned coffee shop nearby that has great vibe, and does a mean Friday night. Sadly, it’s all that we have, but it feels like home when you need it to be.

    5). Smile, and exercise patience. Use your brain. Be resourceful. Be kind.

    6). If you are unhappy, be diplomatic about it. Do not ‘just take it’. Say something about your unhappiness, but be intelligent about it. Don’t curse, cut the screaming, stop the dramatics, and if you are a money hungry jerk, just come out with it. Don’t be coy, don’t be upset and let it just fester, and don’t be a child about it either. Tell the hotel what is upsetting you, and give them a chance to fix it. I mean this above all else. I’ll do anything to a mean guest, but I’ll do anything for a kind one.

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