Usually it’s women who face discrimination when traveling, so here’s one case where straight men are being discriminated against (and gay men, but discrimination for gay men isn’t that unusual).
Lujo Hotel Bodrum doesn’t allow men without women
Long story short, there are dozens of hotels in Turkey that won’t allow men to check into a hotel room without women. More specifically, these hotels don’t allow solo male travelers to stay at the hotel, and also don’t allow two men to stay in a room. I’ve collectively spent thousands of nights in hotels in 100+ countries, yet somehow this is the first time I’ve heard of a policy like this.
This was brought to my attention by reader Denis, who had booked the Lujo Hotel in Bodrum for two clients. This is a pricey all-inclusive property in the (usually pretty liberal) Turkish resort town of Bodrum. During the booking process, there’s a message stating the following:
“Reserving a room for an individual male guest is not possible. In case of reservation, the hotel reserves the right to cancel unconditionally.”
The reader was looking to book a stay for two men in one room, and he was informed in communications with the hotel that this wasn’t allowed either. When Denis asked about the reason for the policy, he was told that it’s because men allegedly party too hard and cause problems.
This hotel sure is sending mixed signals to guests. Looking at the hotel’s website:
- It’s stated that after clubbing you can “continue partying at your own terrace and bathtub”
- There are pictures of poles, and then it states “what happens in Indigo, stays in Indigo”
- It’s stated that “you still have a lot to discover” after the party is over, and “the Tantra Sofa at your rooms enables you to try sensual positions to take your love life to a whole new level”
The hotel doesn’t want guests to party too much, but does want people to try new sensual positions on their in-room tantra sofa?
I wanted to verify this policy firsthand, so I emailed the hotel, noting that I saw the website stated single men couldn’t check into the hotel, but what about a couple? Here’s the answer:
Warm greetings from Lujo.
Thank you for your interest in Lujo Hotel Bodrum. We would love the opportunity to welcome you to your personal journey into the world of art & joy.
Lujo offers an exclusive a la carte ultra all inclusive concept to make your holiday an unforgettable experience. Accommodations have been designed to meet your every need and offer you comfort and value during your stay. Lujo stands for unparalleled vacations surrounded by beautiful nature with contemporary design and exceptional luxury, business, and lifestyle services.
Unfortunately, we don’t accept two men staying in the same room.
Stay safe and take care!
Well there goes my “personal journey into the world of art & joy.” I guess I’ll be staying safe and taking care elsewhere.
This isn’t the only hotel with such a policy
You might think that this is just an isolated policy, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Denis found a list being updated by a travel agency targeted at Russians that keeps tabs on all the hotels that don’t allow rooms to be occupied by just men.
There are dozens and dozens of hotels on the list, including some belonging to major global hotel groups. Two Hilton properties stand out:
- DoubleTree by Hilton Kemer
- DoubleTree by Hilton Bodrum Işıl Club Resort
Denis called both hotels, and they both stated that they wouldn’t allow one or two men to check into a hotel room alone. I can’t imagine that’s within Hilton’s corporate policy, so I’ll flag that with the hotel group.
Another issue is the lack of disclosure of this on hotel websites. In many cases they don’t even list these policies online, so how often do people show up at check-in, only to be turned away?
Is this policy anti-party, anti-gay, or both?
One certainly has to wonder what the true motivation here is:
- Are single men banned because they’re more likely to party harder? Are they causing problems with women?
- Are two men banned from the same room because it’s assumed that there will be twice as much partying, or is there an element of homophobia there?
Regardless of what the motivation is, in my opinion this policy crosses the line. Now, for the independent hotels on the list, I suppose that they have the right to have their policies, and we can take our business elsewhere. However, I do think it’s worth objecting to this policy for properties belonging to Hilton — the brand promotes how it’s “diverse by nature and inclusive by choice,” and this doesn’t really fit into that.
There are a significant number of hotels in Turkey that won’t allow a room to be occupied if there isn’t a woman staying in it. Like I said, I’ve stayed in hotels in a lot of countries, and I’ve never heard of anything like this before. Perhaps most surprising is that some hotels engaging in this practice belong to major global hotel groups.
Is this a common practice in any other countries? What do you make of this policy?