According to a review by VaidNeil from Mumbai, on Trip Advisor:
“Generally, hotels in India assume that you are a couple, until you don’t explicitly disclose it. My sissie and I stayed in a hotel and the management had no objection to let us stay in the same room. The hotel staff generally requires just one ID proof and they are mostly fine with a couple staying in, if you come together while checking in. Yes, they might object if you check in alone and females visit you at odd times. Even the hotels which exercise extreme caution to safeguard their reputation will allow couples to stay in the same room, if they check in together.”
So, the big question is whether a couple can stay in the same hotel room in India or not? According to hospitality industry the answer is “no”. We are talking strictly in terms of the accepted norms and practices and not in terms of its legal aspects.
Last year, a few students from Delhi including both boys and girls decided to go for a trip to Bangalore. They hadn’t planned the trip previously. Since the trip was planned in a hurry, they approached a few hotels in Bangalore on phone and tried instant booking.
To their dismay and amazement they were told that the hotel in question did not allow unmarried couple to stay together.The News Minute, an Indian digital newspaper, published from Bangalore, actually conducted a survey across India to check whether unmarried couplesare welcome inthe hotels or not. They called on phone different hotels across India pretending to be male and female students and asked for a hotel room on shared basis for unmarried couples.
Some hotels outrightly rejected their request saying that they do not allow unmarried couples to share rooms in the hotel, while others didn’t provide a clear response.
Some of the phone representatives said, “Let me check it with my supervisor,” and never got back. While the other responses were like, “What do you mean by a male friend?Is he a family member? Is he a cousin?”
Some responded in a very professional manner: “So if I heard you correctly, you are two individuals with different ID cards but are not married and want to share the same room in the hotel? Please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
However, only a few hotels for unmarried couples in Bangaloreturned up in a positive manner and said something like, “Yes we will allow this provided both of you have their ID proofs.”
So the question arises as to whether it is legal to say “no” to unmarried couples, if they are looking for a shared room in hotel. According to the Hotel Association of India (HAI) and some law practitioners that there is no law in India that prohibits unmarried couples from booking a room together on a shared basis in a hotel. It is their personal choice and the law allows it under the clause of “freedom of movement” and you can’t restrict it according to a senior lawyer,SudhaRamalingam.
According to the Hotel Association of India which represents more than 300 hotels and resorts in India, “There is no such stipulation and the unmarried couples are welcome to the hotels in India provided they have their ID proof with them.”
The Hotel Association of India was found to be in denial of the current accepted norm in most of the hotels. So why is thisanorm and an accepted practice in India?
In order to know the truth the news website,The News Minute tried to contact ClearTrip, a leading online travel portal, which is quite popular in India. First the website went to check the fine print related to the booking conditions as rolled out by the portal in which the portal clearly states that the hotel reserves the right of admission and that the hotel can deny accommodation to people, even if they might be posing as a couple, if theycheck in without their ID proofs.
This was supposedly the first step to safeguard their interests as they didn’t want to indulge in unnecessary disputes and having to deal with police if something goes wrong. So they safely say that the hotel reserves the right of admission and Cleartrip as a portal is not responsible for any such denial or refusal by the hotel.
In response to the query from The News Minute, Cleartripofficially sent an email to confirm that they do not interfere with the standard hotel policies and these policies are directly passed on to all the portals the hotels deal with. These policies are clearly published for the awareness of customers, who are booking through the portal.
The same policy was confirmed by MakeMyTrip, another major travel portal and they added that if the hotel denies accommodation to an unmarried couple, it can be the case of moral policing and there are no official guidelines available about such polices.
Livein relationships are socially not acceptable in India and are considered taboo. However, in 2013 Supreme Court has legalized live in relationships and relationships outside matrimony. The court termed it as a perfectly acceptable practice, which is not a crime although in a country like India it is socially not acceptable.
To safeguard their interests, some hotels in India ask the couples to sign in as “Mr and Mrs.” in the booking register. However, this can be a case of playing safe in case something goes wrong.
However, according to some resident of the city, Bangalore is a liberal cosmopolitan city and there is no such restriction here. There is no dearth of couple friendly hotels in Bangalore and OYO Rooms is an example. Book hotels in Bangalore on OYO Room’s website and you will not face any such problem.