A woman who gives speeches on equality and inclusion has claimed she was thrown out of a luxurious Hilton hotel onto the streets of London in the early hours of the morning. Helen May, 49, desperately searched for £350-a-night accommodation at the famous Metropole branch around 1am on Wednesday after missing her last train back to Oxford. But after speaking to the front desk staff, she claims she was “kicked out” after failing to present identification that the staff said she needed to reserve a room.
Helen, founder of Belonging@Work, missed her last train after realizing she had left her laptop where she had been talking and rushed back to find the bag missing.
After returning to Paddington station, she realized her train had left and headed to the luxury branch of Hilton, where she was denied a room after failing to present identification which she claimed had been stolen along with with your laptop.
she told the Mirror: “Everything was extraordinary, they crowded around me and one of the guys was smiling,” Helen told the Mirror of the encounter.
“Anything could have happened to me. It was 1 in the morning. I would like to know what your women’s protection policy is, if you have protection policies. I would like to know what they are going to do with the manager, why. They think it’s okay for them to ask where I’ve been.”
Helen tried to book a room at another hotel while waiting in the hotel lobby but was reportedly kicked out, leaving her alone on the streets of London at 1am.
She claims that Hilton hotel staff asked her where she had been and if she had been drinking.
While the Hilton website states that all guests require identification upon check-in, Helen has argued that this rule should not apply in circumstances like hers.
She added: “They said I had to go now, but I didn’t want to wander. I was pretty upset at the moment.” Helen claimed that the staff threatened to call the police and that she was “absolutely terrified”.
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Helen filmed the encounter while sitting on the sofa in the hall.
A member of staff asks where you have been and why you have arrived at 1am. He then tells her that the hotel is full and suggests that Helen find another hotel.
Helen has insisted that the hotel was not full and that she had been offered a room before being unable to find her identification.
In the end, she booked a black cab that took her back to her home in Oxford for £200. She also managed to track down her belongings on Wednesday (May 24).
A Hilton Hotels spokesperson said: “We pride ourselves on providing a hospitable and welcoming environment for everyone who enters our hotel and we regret that we were unable to offer you a room without any identification or payment.
“When she arrived, we offered to help her by calling the police to report the theft, and we invited her to take a seat while we offered her a glass of water. Now we are in contact with her to talk about what happened.”
Helen has said that she had means of payment that were clear to staff, and that she does not believe that the suggestion to call the police was made to help her.
On Twitter, she said: “The hotel responded to a journalist who said I had filed without ability to pay, which is an absolutely defamatory lie. I am going to get legal advice later – please let me know of any legal contacts who have experience in this area”.