Danish hotel flouts the law, reserves floor for women
A Copenhagen hotel will continue reserving a whole floor for women, despite a recent ruling that doing so is discriminatory and illegal, the hotel director said Tuesday.travel Updated: Nov 24, 2011 17:15 IST
A Copenhagen hotel will continue reserving a whole floor for women, despite a recent ruling that doing so is discriminatory and illegal, the hotel director said Tuesday.
Last May, the Bella Sky Hotel in central Copenhagen opened a floor dubbed the Bella Donna with 20 specially decorated rooms for women, and no men allowed.
"The only man who can access this floor will be a fireman in the case of fire," hotel chief Anders Dueland told AFP.
"The rooms are scented and there are flowers. The bathrooms have spacious showers, lots of mirrors and large hair-dryers," he said, adding that the concept so far had been a huge success.
But on November 11, the Danish Gender Equality Board found in favour of a man who had filed a complaint against the hotel, ruling that the initiative was illegal.
Since men are not allowed access to all the rooms, you would have to "presume that there is a difference in treatment based on sex" at the hotel, the board said in its ruling.
Susanne Fischer, an attorney with the board, told AFP that the Bella Sky Hotel would not face "financial sanctions at the moment, because the board does not have the authority to sanction."
Nonetheless, the hotel has been ordered to lift the ban on male access to the Bella Donna floor, and if it fails to do so, the plaintiff could take the case to civil court and demand damages, Fischer said.
"We decide for ourselves who gets to stay at our hotel," Dueland insisted.
"We have 814 other rooms, and there are 20 reserved for women. That means there are 794 rooms for everyone," he added.
First Published: Nov 24, 2011 17:15 IST