Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Caribe Colonial Hotel

Several weeks ago I receive a frantic call from the general manager of the Caribe Colonial Hotel in Santo Domingo. She told me that I would have to remove the listing of her hotel from my website at once or potentially face legal action. I was stunned, to say the least. I had been working with the hotel since it opened several years ago. Since we have listed it on our site and recommended it highly, I could not understand what the problem was.

After meeting with the management and representatives of the owners, all was fine.

It seems that someone contacted them saying I was promoting them as a "gay" hotel, which we have never done. I say they are "gay-friendly." Which they are. I brought them to the site, and showed them the listing and after a few phone calls, apologies were extended and I was assured that our business was greatly appreciated.

Since listing them on our site gay tourists have started staying there in droves. This is a fact that the hotel readily acknowledges. And like some businesses that get a large amount of gay customers, when they are not catering exclusively to that market, they were happy, but very nervous. When a "straight" business starts getting a lot of gay clients, the downside is that they start losing some of their straight clients.

They don't really have a problem with it, just with a few of the unfortunate queens that stay there. You know the type, they want to sit in the lobby with a young boy on their lap, cuddling, while a group of French tourists are checking-in, horrified. This particular person should've known better. He is a senior professional at a major Fortune 500 corporation. I would guarantee that he would NEVER sit in the lobby of any hotel in the United States and do such a thing. I mean NEVER!

Unfortunately, he thinks it is nothing wrong with doing here in the Dominican Republic. (See Ugly American post below) Fuck everybody else and what they think, at least while he is on vacation. Inevitably, if these things keep up, the hotel will change their policies to discourage gay travelers from staying there. And that would be a shame.

I have worked with the hotel extensively to try and make sure all guests feel comfortable and safe, especially gay tourists. I had them start asking for ID, and not releasing it until they called the room to be sure everything was okay. This was after several queens had their money stolen, and thought it was the hotel's fault because they brought home a prostitute and went to sleep drunk with their safe open.

Now, the majority that stay there are fine, but for those who don't travel much and are not quite sure what behavior is appropiate in a hotel setting, let me enlighten you: 1 - You want to makeout with your boyfriend/acquaintance/prostitute? GO TO YOUR ROOM. 2 - It is not the hotel's responsibility to allow prostitutes to congregate in the lobby. They are not in the pimping business. 3 - The hotel's staff is not there to handle your prostitute negotiations. Get it together BEFORE you get to the hotel. 4 - Act like you have some kind of class and decorum, even if you don't, fake it.

Lastly, I get a call last week from the hotel. They were in a quandry. There was a queen staying at the hotel who is having up to 8 guys a day. They didn't know how to approach him about his behavior. It wouldn't be a problem, save for the 4 or 5 boys who are always waiting downstairs for their turn. Of course they are being loud, sitting in chairs reserved for clients, talking shit, etc. Fortunately, he left the next day and they wanted to know what I thought they should've done. I told them to ask to speak with him privately and explain that you appreciate his business, yada, yada, yada, but he had to get his act together. If that didn't work, call the cops and have his ass forcibly removed. That usually gets your point across very quickly. So, the next time you are staying at the Caribe Colonial Hotel, and you see some ignorant, stupid queen acting out. Just go right up to him and slap the shit out of him.

Okay, okay, that wouldn't be classy, I know. But it would sure get his attention!

Ugly American indeed.


Anonymous said...

Was it me? naw I never stayed at the Caribe Colonial Hotel but I know a few. This one person I did not know but seen in the states had the YOUNG BOYS! (14-16)trailing in after each other. I found out and pulled him to the side and told him what will happen if he get caught. A VERY VERY LONG TIME IN JAIL! I also told him the keep his YOUNG BOY (14-16) problem in the States.


John K said...

Anthony, thanks for this post! My partner and I enjoy staying at this hotel, and appreciate the fact that you pointed us to it. I'm glad you were able to smooth things over with them, and that both on this blog and on your site you provide visitors with some general guidelines for how to behave. As you say, people head down there and "lose their minds"....

Anonymous said...

Anthony.....This post is RIGHT ON! Thanks for making it clear to those who don't seem to know better.

There's another aspect to this that you might want to comment about. My Mother humorously but seriously put it best when I left home for college years ago....."Don't mess with the staff!"

The Caribe Colonial staff are some of the nicest, friendliest, hardest-working folks I've met in the hospitality industry. On several occasions during my stay there in May, I felt embarrassed for some of them, watching them gamely trying to deal with guests blatantly hitting on them.

Most if not all of these fine people are not gay and don't appreciate others assuming that they are. And I know of NO hotel - straight or gay - that will tolerate its staff messing with the guests, so not only do you embarrass the staff, you put their livelihood at risk.

Thanks for all the great blogs, and I’ll see you in November at the new apartments.


eddwarm said...

Anthony, might I suggest that you create a list of at least "10" guidelines to gay visitors who are staying at hotels recommended by you that are considered gay friendly and are listed at your site? That way it is hoped that those nondiscreet visitors to the DR will not abuse their priviledges or modicum of "freedom."

It is also hoped that they will heed what you've cited.

Anonymous said...

what get's me is the fact that most of these american visitors are mostly career driven upwardly mobile professionals that would never behave this way in the states.but for some reason find it neccessary to act out in dr simply because that feel they can.and all you pedaphiles who have a problem relating to grown men over the age of 21 please seek professional help asap please. because what I have been told DR is not the place for incarceration.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anthony on this as I saw a 50+ y/o african american from San Francisco do the same thing when I was there in Feb 2005. The employees in the restaurant/bar were outraged that he was bringing all the young boys to his room. This guy rented one of the most expensive honeymoon suites and went in and out all day long. As a gay person, I was embarrassed and seething at this bitch. She tried once to speak to me on the elevator but I pretended I didn't speak english. The last thing I wanted to do was to have that pedophile queen talking to me in front of the hotel employees or other guests. I kept my distance but now I think I should of done as Anthony said and bitch slapped her and told her to wake up.