A woman visiting Hyderabad was denied a room at a city hotel on Saturday for being a “single lady”, she wrote in a now viral Facebook post. On arriving at Hotel Deccan Erragadda on Saturday morning, Nupur Saraswat, a 22-year-old from Singapore, was allegedly told by the hotel staff that single women travellers were not allowed to stay at the hotel. Her post describing the incident has since got 1,500 shares and 2,500 reactions.
“So, I am standing outside a hotel in Hyderabad which didn’t let me stay because they realised I was a “single lady” even after confirming the online booking,” Saraswat’s post says. “Yup, massive bag in hand, gross from the journey - just standing outside the hotel. Somehow they decided I was safer on the streets than in the hotel. Funny huh, how patriarchy works? #HyderabadSaga.”
Saraswat had booked the hotel room through the travel website Goibibo. When she questioned the hotel’s policy of not allowing single women, all the hotel manager had to say, according to her, was “Sorry Ma’am, this is hotel policy, you talk to Goibibo.”
Saraswat later uploaded a screenshot on Facebook, showing the hotel’s official policy which appears to state ‘Single lady not allowed’. Following this, in a series of tweets, she questioned Goibibo on how her booking went through if the hotel in question did not allow single women.
“Here’s my question - why do you ask my gender and number of people if not to have a filter to avoid this,” Saraswat posted on her Twitter handle.
Saraswat later said that Goibibo had apologised to her and assured her that they would make a change in their filters so that such a confusion does not happen again. The company also checked her into another hotel in Hyderabad.
GoIbibo Chief Executive Officer Ashish Kashyap later issued a statement on their website. The company said they had given Saraswat an ‘upgrade’ and a higher rated hotel free of cost. Goibibo also refunded the full amount for her booking at hotel Hotel Deccan Erragadda. The company said they have de-listed the hotel from their platform pending an investigation. Goibibo said they are taking up the matter with the local authorities/police and hotel management for the rationale behind such policies.
The hotel, however, said they had been issued instructions of not allowing single women by the local police as the area in which the hotel is located is not considered safe.