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“Hotel Sharia”? Getting to the truth.

by Chris Glithero on November 24, 2014

bermondsey square

One of the biggest stories in the world of London hotels this past week has been the announcement that the Bermondsey Square Hotel will no longer be serving alcohol in its GB Bar & Grill. The news follows the hotel’s take over by an unspecified new owner, who it has been said is a Middle Eastern investor.

Since the story broke there have been all sorts of rumours emerging across the mainstream media and hotel industry news portals alike, but most of these seem more geared towards selling a story than telling the truth. To set the record straight, here we present both the rumours and the verifiable facts.

The rumours

  • Bermondsey Square Hotel will also stop serving pork to guests – Daily Mail
  • The hotel might no longer accept same sex couples – all over social media
  • The hotel is to operate under full Sharia law – Daily Mail, again

Check rates at The Bermondsey Square Hotel

gb bar and grill

The facts (as of today)

  • The Bermondsey Square Hotel is no longer serving alcoholic beverages, and is encouraging guests to ‘take a look at our comprehensive selection of soft drinks!’ – Bermondsey Square Hotel’s official website 
  • This new stance on alcohol is said to be down to the new owner not wanting to profit from selling alcohol – The Drinks Business . Apparently it will still be OK to purchase alcohol elsewhere to consume in one’s room
  • Pork is still served at the hotel restaurant, as seen in this menu, which features a bacon bap and a full English breakfast with streaky bacon
  • Same-sex couples are still more than welcome at the hotel – Pink News and Huffington Post.

At the end of the day, whether an establishment sells alcohol or not, and what food it serves in its restaurant, is up to the owner. And based on what we can verify so far, the term “Hotel Sharia” looks like an exaggeration.

But the Bermondsey Square Hotel could perhaps have been more vocal with regard to the facts and its actual position during this mini media storm.

We’ll keep you posted as the story evolves.

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Photo credits: Bermondsey Square Hotel.

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