The Jersey Economic and Development Minister opened the 63rd meeting of the IWC with an eye to illustrating the attraction of Jersey to tourists and as a venue for hosting international conferences. Now, there is no doubt that Jersey is an attractive place for tourism. The scenery is awesome, the weather is fair and pleasant, and the people are exceptionally friendly EXCEPT for this one rather strange establishment that caters to whale killers and discriminates against marine conservationists.
This establishment is the Hotel de France, where the IWC meeting is being held. Anyone wearing a shirt, hat, or otherwise with a Sea Shepherd, Surfers for Cetaceans, or Women Against Whaling logo has been denied entry to the property.
There are more non-governmental organization representatives in Jersey to speak on behalf of the whales than there are actual delegates from the 89 IWC member nations, but anti-whaling sentiments are not welcome at the Hotel de France.
With the Brigitte Bardot departing Jersey today for Operation Ferocious Isles in the Faeroe Islands, Captain Watson had booked a room a week in advance for two nights at the Hotel de France under his name. The room was paid for in advance and he received a confirmation number from a hotel reservationist. The confirmation message read:
From: Hotel de France
Sent: Friday, July 08, 2011 3:05 AM
Subject: RE: Room availability
Thank you for your booking! I have booked a balcony double room for sole use for Mr. Paul Watson for 2 nights, 12th & 13th July 2011,
Cancellation policy: 2pm one day prior to arrival Confirmation number: 1742651
Hotel de France
Captain Watson’s experience at check-in:
On the morning of July 12th, I arrived at the Hotel de France to register for my room when I found my entry blocked by security guards who refused to allow me into the lobby. I told them I had a confirmed reservation under my own name. They made me wait for 15 minutes until the manager came out with the IWC head of security. The manager told me I would not be allowed in. I showed him the confirmation letter from his hotel. He said that he did not care if I had a confirmation or not, I was not entering his hotel.
I began to write down his name when he whipped off his nametag and said that IWC security had advised him not to let me enter the hotel. I responded that the head of IWC security had just told me that it was the manager that did not want me to enter the hotel.
“So, whose decision is this?” I asked. The head of the IWC security said, “I don’t have to explain anything to you.” Then he walked away. The hotel manager told me to leave or he would have the police remove me.
“I booked a room, you confirmed the room, you took payment for the room, and now you are openly discriminating against me because I am opposed to illegal whaling and you are refusing to allow me to enter the hotel to check into the room I paid for. This is blatant discrimination.”
He sneered, “Call it whatever you wish, you will not be allowed in.”
The manager then told reporters that he turned me away because I made the booking under another name and false pretenses. I showed the reporters the booking in writing under my full name with a confirmation number. In addition to that, the hotel had also been made aware of my organization and who I was. The manager was exposed as a liar.
So, for anyone considering staying at the Hotel de France in Saint Helier, Jersey, you should be aware that the management of this hotel is rude, the treatment of customers is unethical and discriminatory, and your confirmation number means absolutely nothing because it confirms nothing.
But most importantly, an international message needs to be sent to this hotel that their discriminatory attitude towards whale and dolphin conservationists will not be tolerated and this property should be boycotted for their inexcusable behavior. People must explain to the hotel management that our oceans are in trouble and the slaughter of whales will not be condoned by any business that depends upon a healthy marine environment. If the Hotel de France is going to exploit their view of the sea as a selling point, they should contribute towards the protection of marine life and habitats instead of catering to sadistic killers intent upon the extermination of the world’s whales.
Write a letter to the hotel management, e-mail, or call with your complaints:
Hotel de France Jersey
St. Saviour's Road
St. Helier, Jersey
Tel: +44 (0) 1534 614000
Advertised endorsement on the hotel’s website:
"From start to finish we were very impressed with the efficiency and professionalism of everyone involved in the organization of our conference at Hotel de France. I would have no hesitation in recommending the Hotel de France to anyone planning an event in Jersey."
Royal College of Nursing
Sea Shepherd’s planned endorsement of Hotel de France:
“From the beginning of the International Whaling Commission, the management of the Hotel de France have made it very clear whose side they are on – the whale killers! I would not recommend the Hotel de France to anyone who is compassionate towards animals or who cares about our environment. The management of this hotel are rude, unprofessional, and unethical”
Captain Paul Watson
President and Founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society