Thistle Hotels said that it will not tolerate any form of homophobia or other discrimination after a gay couple were made to feel awkward regarding their booking for a double room at one of its central London properties.
Nick Hurley and Gavin Maclean, from Manchester arrived at the three-star, 463-bedroom Thistle City Barbican hotel at 11.30pm, on Saturday night, to check into the room they had booked via an online travel agent (OTA).
However, due to a glitch in the computer system, the hotel had no record of any booking, despite the couple having a receipt from the OTA.
Chris King, head of PR for Thistle Hotels said that the couple were then offered a twin room as there were no double rooms available. "It appears that the receptionist didn't offer an explanation as to why the couple were being offered the twin room, which led them to feel very uncomfortable," he explained.
The first time Thistle Hotels discovered that they had caused offence was yesterday when Hurley, a freelance web designer, tweeted: "Homophobic receptionist @ThistleHotels refused me and my bf our pre-booked double room. Insisted we take a "family" room w/ separate beds."
King said that the company has apologised to Hurley and his partner and had offered them a free weekend at any of the group's 32 hotels across the UK, which they had refused.
"Today we have re-iterated to all of our hotels that any form of homophobia or discrimination will not be tolerated. We have also communicated this to the specific hotel concerned.
"Whether the result of what happened was intentional or not, we do not want to make our guests feel uncomfortable in any way."