Holiday Inn denies refusing graduate because staff thought she was Romanian prostitute

Holiday Inn Express has claimed that a guest was denied entry due to suspicious booking patterns, and not because staff mistook her for a Romanian prostitute.

Holiday Inn Express: Says the incident was due to a "suspicious booking pattern"
Holiday Inn Express: Says the incident was due to a "suspicious booking pattern"

Alecsandra Puflea, a 22-year-old criminology and forensic science graduate from the University of Hull, had booked the room online and planned to stay at the hotel with her boyfriend.

Upon arriving on 6 July, Puflea claimed a receptionist checked her ID and she was told that Romanians are "not accepted".

The incident was investigated by the Humberside Police and has since been resolved.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the police force said: "Officers have spoken to the general manager of the hotel and its policy is to be reviewed. It is reassuring to hear the victim has accepted the hotel's apology and the hotel is reviewing its local policy in order to prevent potential discrimination occurring in the future."

Despite reports that Holiday Inn Express has a policy in place to screen guests after incidents involving Romanian prostitutes, the hotel has vehemently denied the student was turned away solely because of her nationality.

A spokesperson for the company told PRWeek: "Holiday Inn Express doesn't tolerate racial discrimination and the booking was absolutely not refused on racial grounds. Very unfortunately, Ms Puflea's booking – by pure coincidence – shared several booking patterns with suspicious bookings that hotels in the area had previously encountered.

"Hotels were advised by police to put in place a policy that recognises the same patterns in booking behaviour. Reception staff made a judgement call to refuse the booking based on those booking patterns and not racial grounds. We acknowledge that this judgement was in hindsight an error and have since tried to reach out to Ms Puflea to apologise and make amends."

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