A gay couple looking forward to a romantic weekend in London were shocked when the clerk at their hotel insisted they take twin beds instead of the double room they booked.
Manchester couple Nick Hurley, 22, and Gavin Maclean, 28, had made reservations at the Thistle City Barbican hotel in East London, but when they arrived Saturday night, the receptionist couldn’t seem to wrap his head around the fact that the men were more than traveling companions.
Hurley claimed the clerk’s behavior was homophobic, and referred to the encounter as “bullying.” He recounted the incident to the BBC:
He said: “When we got there, we tried to check in, and the receptionist looked at us and said ‘are you sure you want a double room or do you want single beds?’”
“He had obviously seen it was two guys. We said ‘we’ve booked a double and we’d quite like one’.
“He then looked at us and said ‘are you sure you don’t want single beds?’
“He insisted on repeating that question,” Mr Hurley said.
“He said we’ll have to put you in a family room, with single beds. There were no doubles left in the hotel.
This isn’t the first time LGBT guests have had trouble at British accommodations: In 2010, a gay-male couple sued owners of a B&B in Cookham, Berkshire, for refusing their reservation. And in 2011, owners of the Chymorvah Private Hotel in Cornwall appealed the $5,700 fine they were slapped with for turning away a gay couple.
A representative for Thistle Hotels said a simple mix-up was to blame this time—there were indeed no double rooms available for Saturday—and offered Hurley and Maclean two nights free at any Thistle hotel in the country.
Of course, he used the age-old non-apology, “We apologize for the way they feel.”