New addition to peculiar Indian hotel rules: Hyderabad hotel won't take single ladies as customers

Indian hotels want you to believe that they care for their customers. Which is great to the extent that they make your bed and keep the room clean. But some hotels really care. They care for your moral well-being and will ensure that your sanskaars (moral values) are intact. To this end they won't entertain unmarried couples (even though there is no law against it). Or they won't let local residents check in (again, no laws against this). This has led to the rise of companies like StayUncle and Oyo which have created a niche for themselves by allowing consenting adults to stay on their properties without asking too many questions.

One such caring hotel is the Hotel Deccan Erragadda in Hyderabad. While it does have the now-almost-standard policy of not allowing locals and unmarried couples it also goes further and refuses to accept single ladies too. Spoken-word artist Nupur Saraswat found that out the hard way as when she showed up at the hotel with a confirmed online reservation, they were all too happy to turn her away.

Only Saraswat, who describes herself as "a liberal, environmentalist, opinionated party head" refused to take it lying down. She called out the hotel and the booking site (Ibibo) on social media and questioned the policy and why it wasn't made clear to her while she was making the booking.

Saraswat was also wondrous of the fact that the hotel was happy to leave her on the streets in a city where she presumably doesn't have a house (remember they have the no-locals rule in place).

She further notes that she was lucky as she had arrived in the morning and was able to find a place to stay. She urged people to share her post to get Ibibo to listen. It has worked as the post has over a thousand shares at the time of publication of this article.

Saraswat also recounted the episode in a series of tweets on her Twitter account where she tagged Ibibo brand ambassador Deepika Padukone and asked the company why they asked for her gender if not to filter out hotels like the Deccan Erragadda.

In another Facebook post, Saraswat said that Ibibo had offered her a verbal apology and said that they are working on their policies to ensure this sort of incident doesn't happen again. They also offered her complimentary stay at another hotel.

This case sadly is yet another reminder that our country is not ready to embrace equality for women. When hotels are allowed to take up the mantle of the upholders of our morals, it makes for a grim reading. Interestingly, Saraswat's current spoken-word performance is called Two Sanskari Girls. It is surely ironic then that her sanskaars were indirectly called into question. Perhaps the hotel should listen to the song which partially shares its name with their policy and let women do their "own little thing" for they "need no permission".


Published Date: Jun 25, 2017 02:00 pm | Updated Date: Jun 25, 2017 02:00 pm


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