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.