The right of choice – Bellaugello: Luxury gay bed and breakfast near Perugia, Umbria, Italy
The right of choice

Scanning the news tonight I came across this article on the BBC website:  Gay couple say London hotel denied them double room – report by the BBC  do check the link out. I was more than a little shocked that this happens in today’s Britain.

It goes some way to explaining the policy here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House. here goes my convoluted mind again!

I am frequently asked ‘if Bellaugello is exclusively gay ?’

In the concept of establishing a ‘gay guest house’ one obviously thinks of goals and target market,  and just how to place the business in the marketplace.  There is also the nagging question of why is a gay guest house likely to appeal to the market and in consequence be a success and how to maximise on that and make it so.

As a gay guy, I for one, like the concept of being able to be on holiday in a relaxing place where I do not have to consider every unconscious gesture, every action, I can quite simply be me.  Stupid little things come to mind, the sharing of a desert, one spoon not two, the quick peck on a cheek of the guy you love, the reply to a question with ‘sure darling’, the casual brush of a hand over a shoulder, the instinctive reaction to a partner or loved one, and to be able to apply suncream without  disdainful sideways glances.  These are all things that heterosexuals can and do do freely without impediment, but because of society many gay guys are unable to do.  The aim of Bellaugello is to provide a place where guys can feel relaxed and be themselves in the company of other gay guys, and that is what we do.  We have a growing core of repeat customers, utterly delightful guys, many have whilst staying here, met other couples from all over the world and remain in touch, new friendships are formed, that is a real reward to me an added bonus of the business.

So what is my policy to straights?  I am real saddened to read of hotels still declining gay guys a double room, I myself have in the past been on the receiving end of an unwelcoming hotel receptionist who questioned my booking of a double room, it made me feel very uncomfortable, wishing the floor would swallow me up, I hate embarrassment, but why should I have been embarrassed?  No real reason, I am the way I was made, my sexuality is not my choice, but thoughtless hotel receptionists can intentionally or not, make one feel very second class.

The Bellaugello website is quite specific on the subject, deliberately so and I quote “Our vision is focused on the gay community. Our home is a free and tolerant environment, where diversity and respect are valued. At Bellaugello you will find peace and tranquility, a place where you can instinctively be yourself, a place to relax and recharge, a place to let your cares wash away…. Bellaugello is neither ‘gay friendly’ nor ‘hetero friendly’ rather Bellaugello, our home, is open to all respectful of the fact it is a gay guest house, and which we are delighted to share with you and your friends.”

Us gay guys have fought long and hard for acceptance by mainstream society, we are looking for equality in every sense of the word, justifiably so, and to me it would be hypocritical of me to close the doors of my business to all but gays.

As a gay guy running a gay guest house I am not prepared to let my business fall into the reverse trap of being the non-straight accepting hotel or bed and breakfast.   99% of our customers are gay guys, actually last year 100% were!  that is our target market, those are the clientele we aim for, but that does not mean that if a ‘straight’ couple or person wished to stay they would be refused, they would not, afterall even gay guys have straight friends and straight people have gay friends!

Whilst not actively courting ‘straight’ business, I reaffirm that have no desire to be the gay equivalent of the hotels that give gay guys such a hard time and to give straights a hard time…  “Are you sure you really want a double bed, I honestly think two singles would be better, it is against my beliefs for a man and a woman to share a bed“.  If a straight wishes to stay here they are welcome to, from our advertising and website they should know what they are coming to and so be comfortable with it.  Our publicity is targeted at the gay guy market, all our literature, advertising and promotion the same, we hide nothing, no secret agenda, our neighbours and the local townsfolk know what Bellaugello is about, which is certainly not a ghetto.

Post reviewed and part previously omitted because of internet connection outage when posting now reinstated. 28 Feb 2013 – Thanks Michael for drawing my attention to that!