Royal Hotel criticized for charging refugees to use gym facilities

The Royal Hotel and Leisure Center in Bray has come under fire on the national airwaves for charging Ukrainian residents to use leisure facilities, which are normally available at no extra cost to hotel guests.

RTE Radio One’s ‘Liveline’ caller said the hotel charges Ukrainian residents €5 to use the gym and leisure centre.

The hotel on Main Street in Bray has been housing Ukrainian refugees since mid-March.

Anne told Joe Duffy that she canceled her gym membership in protest because she felt it was unfair that Ukrainian refugees were not treated the same as other guests.

She said she expected to see more Ukrainian women and children using the pool and gym facilities.

“I was curious to know why the pool was empty. There are no more cars in the parking lot, the few people using the swimming pool are outside the hotel.

Anne said she spoke with staff at the gym and hotel, who told her Ukrainian residents had to pay €5 per visit to use the gym and pool.

Anne said that in her opinion, Ukrainian hotel guests should be able to use the hotel’s leisure facilities at no additional cost. She pointed out that women and children arriving from Ukraine may not have much disposable income to cover these costs.

“If you’re a resident of the hotel and the government is paying for that room, you should be treated like a resident,” she said.

“I am appalled to be a resident of this town. I was so excited when I heard and thought it was wonderful and positive that they support these people, but I don’t see that as support.

Several other callers said they supported Ukraine, but disagreed with Anne’s point that “if you’re a resident of the hotel and the government is paying for that room, you should be treated as a resident”.

“If it is normally open to residents, why is it closed to residents now? Why are the women and children of war accused, have we lost all our humanity. “

Joe Duffy told listeners that hotel management declined to comment when contacted by the show. While Hotel Bray was not named at the start of the show, the RTE host confirmed the identity of the hotel halfway through the show.

Hotel management had previously said the entire hotel would be used to house refugees until mid-June, although this could be extended. The restaurant and bar also remain open to the public.

At press time, Hotel Royal management had yet to respond to a request for comment.

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