No country for women: Hyderabad hotel refuses pre-booked room to ‘single lady’
A 23-year-old woman from Bengaluru was denied a pre-booked accommodation at a Hyderabad hotel on Saturday morning because she was a “single lady traveller”.
“So, I am standing outside a hotel in Hyderabad that didn’t let me stay because they realised I was a ‘single lady’ even after confirming the online booking.... Somehow they decided I was safer on the streets than in the hotel,” wrote Nupur Saraswat, an environmental engineer and a performance poet, in a Facebook post that has received over 2,000 likes and 1,300 shares.
The hotel’s policy, a screenshot of which was shared by Saraswat, states that “locals, single ladies and unmarried couples are not allowed”. Following this, Saraswat tweeted hotel aggregator Goibibo to ask why her booking was approved when the hotel was so rigid about its policies.
Saraswat said Goibibo’s PR team offered her a verbal apology soon after her Facebook post was widely shared on the social media. The company explained to her that they are trying hard to “filter out such hotels either by not partnering with them or by alerting customer at the time of the booking”.
Throwing some light on the inconvenience faced by women while travelling solo in India, the artist wrote: “I am making a fuss because I am not ready to settle. I am not ready to live in fear of my safety anymore. I am not ready to have an entire system push me around until I ‘find a man to travel with’. I AM NOT READY TO BE CHAPERONED.”
Goibibo’s Twitter handle stated that they have refunded the booking amount to Saraswat, and offered her free accommodation at another hotel for the duration of the Hyderabad trip. They also claimed to have delisted the hotel from the Goibibo platform, and were reportedly enquiring about the rationale behind such policies from the hotel management and the local police.
Responding to Goibibo’s statement, the Hyderabad hotel said they weren’t against single women. They had only turned down Saraswat response for accommodation because “it was not the right place (area) for women to be staying single in a hotel”.
You can read Saraswat’s Facebook posts here: