Thursday, June 26, 2014

Women-only hotel floors in Denmark

Bella Skye Hotel
Women-only hotel floors

Location: Denmark

Opened: Spring 2011

Closed: Spring 2014

Well, it seems that men's rights advocates and their allies are even opposed to something as innocuous as pink hotel rooms for women travelers. The whole matter may seem rather silly on the surface, but they took it seriously enough to file a lawsuit. Which just goes to show you, even with all the problems in this world, how deeply intimidated and threatened they are about womyn's space.
Any womyn's space.

Even if it's just a bunch of corporate women travelers temporarily congregating on the same hotel floor. Even if the same men don't want or don't need large hairdryers. Even if the hotel offers "ladies style" rooms for men elsewhere. Even if up until now, no men had expressed any interest whatsoever in staying on the ladies floor.

Doesn't matter. It still must be stopped! (By the way, last time I checked, there were NO lesbian bars remaining in Denmark. But there were plenty of bars and events that continued to cater to gay men exclusively.) But never mind all that.

And never mind that this has nothing to do with the objections that 2nd-wave feminists initially raised about men-only spaces. The only reason they had any concern at all is that many of these spaces were important centers of power, where important business and political decisions were made, and women were being locked out. Otherwise, I don't know any feminists who insist of crashing all-male hunting parties or other meaningless male gatherings. But notice that the attitudes do NOT go the other way.

From CNBC:

Women-only hotel floor ruled illegal, discriminatory
Harriet Baskas, Special to CNBC

An anti-discrimination ruling by a Danish court may put a crimp in a trend toward women-only hotel floors that offer extra security along with amenities such as large hair driers, complimentary nylons and extra dress hangers.

"We had no idea this product could be remotely illegal," Allan Agerholm, CEO of the company that owns Bella Sky Hotel, told CNBC. "It is a business product we created to differentiate our hotel from others. This is a petty case that should have never been brought. It detracts from real discrimination issues happening in our society."

On Friday, a court ruled that even though the hotel had two ladies-style rooms elsewhere in the hotel bookable by men, the women's-only floor was indeed discriminatory. The hotel has opted to keep the room setups, but open them to anyone. (my emphasis)

Bella Donna room, Bella Sky Hotel
"If for some reason a male guest should find it interesting to stay there in the pink environment, they are welcome to do so," said Agerholm. (my emphasis)

When the 812-room, two-tower hotel opened in spring 2011, the 20 upgraded rooms on the secure-access "Bella Donna" floor were set aside for women only, with feminine touches and amenities ranging from large dressing mirrors to a minibar stocked with smoothies, wine and high quality chocolate.

Rooms on the Bella Donna floor have an upgrade fee of about $28, with occupancy there running slighter higher than the rest of the hotel, said Agerholm.

Shortly after the hotel opened, two men complained about the women-only floor to the Danish Board of Equal Treatment, which ruled the floor was gender discriminatory and illegal. Because the board had no authority to sanction, Bella Sky kept the Bella Donna floor intact and appealed to the Eastern High Court in Copenhagen.

While not very common, some hotels in the United States and elsewhere continue to offer women-only floors, including the Hamilton Crowne Plaza in Washington, D.C., and the Crowne Plaza in Bloomington, Minn.

"Our ladies floor, where we charge a $20 premium, is usually 85 percent occupied or sold out Monday through Thursday and is very popular with female corporate travelers," Charlie LaMont, general manager of the Crowne Plaza Bloomington, told CNBC. "Some like the amenities, but for most, it's the security of the secure-access floor," he said.

The 10 rooms on the 10th floor of the 127-room Ellis Hotel in downtown Atlanta are set aside for women. In addition to private-access entry, the rooms include upgraded amenities, slippers and use of curling iron and a flat iron.

The hotel charges an added fee of $20 for the rooms, "which are most popular with the female corporate traveler," said Tom LaVaccare, director of sales and marketing. "It's a privacy issue, not necessarily a security issue," he said, "but we're working on adding more amenities."

LaVacarre said no male customer has ever complained about being excluded but "if they wanted to be on a floor just for men, we could accommodate that." (my emphasis)

For several years, the Georgian Court Hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia, has offered 18 Orchid Rooms on a "women-preferred" floor with amenities such as curling irons, flat irons, high-powered hair driers, upgraded Aveda products, satin-padded hangers, nylons and other items at no extra charge.
The rooms were so popular that the hotel recently added a second floor of rooms with the same amenities, and men aren't excluded from those floors, they rarely book there, General Manager Lisa Jackson said. (my emphasis)


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