Hotel refuses to admit group of guests with Down syndrome

Management of Hotel CaboGata Plaza Suites has issued an apology citing “a misunderstanding”

A Down syndrome association has filed a complaint against a hotel in Almería for refusing to admit a group of youngsters on the grounds that “this kind of people could bother the other clients.” Management of Hotel CaboGata Plaza Suites has already issued an apology and claimed it was “a misunderstanding.”

The case is being investigated by the Almería public attorney’s office. Under the Penal Code, denying people a service they are entitled to because of their disability constitutes an offense that can lead to one to four years of professional disqualification. “We didn’t go public with this to show that we are being victimized, but for educational purposes,” explains Agustín Matía, who runs the Down España association. According to this group, a worker at Down Almería asked a travel agency to ask three hotels for a quote. But one of the hotels, the CaboGata Plaza Suites, had replied: “We don’t accept groups of people with mental disabilities.”

When Down Almería contacted management directly, the latter not only confirmed the statement, but added that “this kind of people could bother the other clients in the hotel,” something that had “already happened in the past.”

Down España recalls two other cases in which young people with Down syndrome were barred entry: one was a nightclub in Sabadell last March and the other was a pub in Alicante in 2010. The owner lost his license a year later. In 2009, a parish priest refused to give a child from Teià (Barcelona) her first communion because she was “already God’s angel.”

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