Multiculturalism is meeting reality once again as Afghan refugees are making their presence known in the countries that welcomed them, and the fun is just beginning. One place that has experienced the richness and vibrance of diversity is Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England, which is a popular vacation spot. It’s easy to see why: It’s on the Yorkshire Coast in a beautiful area, and when its architecturally stunning Grand Hotel was built in 1867, it was the largest hotel in Europe. The hotel still boasts numerous attractions. It is described on Tripadvisor as “one of the town’s landmark features and instantly recognisable on the skyline,” taking “pride of place overlooking the town’s harbour and South Bay.” The description continues: “Our location is ideal in Scarborough from which to enjoy beautiful sandy beaches, promenade walks and all that Scarborough has to offer, all within a short stroll away. LIVE entertainment is available every night with our dazzling cabaret shows featuring professional dancers and entertainers dressed in stunning costumes.” A newer feature of the hotel, however, 200 Afghan evacuees, has quickly changed perceptions of the hotel. The staff, when confronted with complaints, called the complainers “racist.” But that’s an all-purpose objection nowadays, so frequently employed as to be emptied of all meaning. It’s clear that hotel guests at the Grand Hotel had plenty to complain about.
One of the hotel’s recent guests wrote:
Stayed in the hotel while working away contracting in East Yorkshire
I caught scabies and can only presume it was from this filthy hell hole
Also caught a man deficating [sic] into a carrier bag !
What the hell is going on in this hotel.
I would not stay ever again!!
What a shame that the government would do this to a seaside town
As revolting as it is, that bit about the carrier bag shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Wall Street Journal recently noted that new Afghan arrivals at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin were “confused and upset by hygiene practices. Every toilet on base was Western style, with a seat and toilet paper. But a number of Afghans are accustomed to restrooms that allow them to squat so they don’t have to physically touch the toilet. It led to some cases of Afghans relieving themselves outside.” And into carrier bags at the Grand Hotel Scarborough.
Another Grand Hotel guest had no better experiences to report:
Decided to treat my partner and myself to a 3day break as my partner is disabled and been through the mill lately. We were told check in was after 4pm. We got there at 6.30pm expecting this to be a quick and easy process. Not to be! The queue was long, after about 15mins I decided to get my partner a drink from the bar. No cider! I returned to the queue and waited. After approx an hour I’d checked in and up to the room we went. On the way I realised there were a lot of people just stood about while hundreds (or seemed like) of children raced around screaming and shouting, after plenty of “excuse me” etc we found the room. After squeezing past folk in we went. P**s up the walls and no quilt on the bed and these said children running in and out of the room! We decided we didn’t want to stay there and headed back downstairs (same carry on as going up!) I overheard people talking angrily about the kids and people just stood about, they were refugees and more buses were just parking up. I didn’t have a problem with this, I just felt we should have been made aware that the hotel would be this ‘hectic’ then we could decide if the noise would be a problem for us. I spoke to the man on the desk and asked for a refund and explained why.. He then started shouting at me calling me a racist! I am no racist I booked the break when the school holidays had ended so it would be quieter! He flatly refused me a refund so we left. We went on to pay £150 to get a room for 1 night then left and went home a day early as we were both worn out. As I was at the desk getting insulted at least 3others were demanding a refund for the same reasons! The next day the Grand Hotel were trying to get more money off my credit card! God knows what for!Glad I took pictures!! I’ve sent an email. Awaiting response.. Still! Never stay there!!
The “racist” ploy is tireder than the “journalists” covering for Old Joe Biden, but apparently it keeps working. Now it’s the all-purpose excuse even for abominable hotel service. A third review, however, gave the impression that the arrival of the refugees had stretched the staff to the breaking point:
We have just come back from the grand hotel Scarborough it is one of the worst hotels I have ever been in the lock on door was very lose so we didn’t feel safe . The bathroom was very dirty and we had to buy bleach to clean it the Windows were very dirty, there was only one lift working so there was always a queue there was thick dust under the beds we ask for toilet roll as we didn’t have any in our room and the room was not cleaned the hole week we were there the bins were not emptied. There were a lot of Afghanistan in the hotel as well we paid 800 pounds for this room we thought we were getting a twin room but in fact it was a single room with a another bed pushed in skills must. have know about this very disappointed
Inundated with bad reviews, Tripadvisor added a note to the Grand Hotel’s page: “Due to a recent event that has attracted media attention and has caused an influx of review submissions that do not describe a first-hand experience, we have temporarily suspended publishing new reviews for this listing.” That’s one way to solve the problem. And it’s a great deal easier than confronting the false assumptions and foolish, short-sighted policies that led to the mess at the Grand Hotel in the first place.