Hotel owner under fire for banning overweight guests

A German hotel owner has been slammed after she said guests who weigh more than 130 kilograms are not allowed at the beachside resort.

Angelika Hargesheimer made the shocking announcement on the website of her Beachhotel Sahlenburg in the town of Cuxhaven, Germany.

She said the facilities are "not suitable” for overweight people.

“For reasons of liability, we would like to point out that the interior is not suitable for people with a bodyweight of more than 130 kilogrammes,” the disclaimer on the website reads.

Angelika Hargesheimer made the shocking announcement on the website of her Beachhotel Sahlenburg in the town of Cuxhaven, Germany. Source: Australscope

Hargesheimer told local magazine ‘buten un binnen’ that she fears overweight guests will damage her “classic” furniture.

She added that she wants to have a “designer hotel” so did not want to need sturdy furniture.

Hargesheimer came up with the disclaimer, which she says is not discriminatory, after she was sued by an overweight guest whose bed collapsed while he was sleeping.

The man reportedly sued for damages and the case was settled out of court.

Hargesheimer said other overweight guests had struggled to get into the showers or complained of being uncomfortable sitting on the chairs in the breakfast area.

She said she wants guests to enjoy their stay and pointed to anti-discrimination experts who said the policy does not appear to violate any rules.

Hargesheimer said other overweight guests had struggled to get into the showers or complained of being uncomfortable sitting on the chairs in the breakfast area. Source: Australscope

“Only if an overweight person reaches the threshold of a disability does protection against discrimination exist,” Sebastian Bickerich from the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency told local newspaper Bild.

“Therefore, it should be difficult for those affected to take legal action against provisions such as in the hotel you described, with reference to the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG).”

Natalie Rosenke from the Society Against Weight Discrimination called for legislation to be brought in to protect overweight people, telling Bild: “Legal protection against weight discrimination is overdue!”

Friedrich Schorb, with the University of Bremen, said that while the hotel’s policy did not break regulations, it was “humiliating” and promoted the “isolation of obese people”.

Australscope

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