Uproar After Israeli Carlton Hotel Issues Dress Code to Accommodate Religious Guests

Commentators are accusing the hotel of encouraging the exclusion of secular people from its public space

The ad that was hung at the entrance to the Carlton Hotel in Nahariya, Israel.

A message posted at the Carlton Hotel in Nahariya is spreading on social networks, evoking angry responses, following the hotel’s request that guests refrain from wearing revealing clothes since a group of religious people was staying there.

The message called guests’ attention to the fact that “between July 28 and August 8 a group of Orthodox Jews will be staying at the hotel. We request other guests to wear modest dress including sleeved shirts rather than undershirts or tank-tops and knee-length pants. This applies to men and women alike.”

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The note added that on the Saturdays of July 28 and August 4, the gym would be closed during the day, only opening after the Sabbath was over. The hotel’s website claims that the gym is open seven days a week.

After a photo of this note was posted online, numerous responses appeared, accusing the hotel of encouraging the exclusion of secular men and women from its public spaces. The hotel’s Facebook page has not responded yet but in a Saturday morning post marking Tu B’Av (Israel’s version of Valentine’s Day), people remarked that this amounted to religious coercion.

One woman asked whether the hotel had notified its secular guests that on those dates there was a request to observe a specific dress code, since she was considering coming there but did not want to be forced to dress according to Orthodox dictates. Another person wrote that he was canceling a stay he’d reserved two months before due to the clothing restriction.

The hotel’s manager said in response that “the hotel respects all citizens of Israel. There is a group of religious people staying with us but the hotel has no policy of preferred guests or gender discrimination and the hotel does not segregate any of its guests – it only asked people to respect the sensitivities of other guests.”

The Nahariya Carlton is an independent hotel and does not belong to the Carlton chain, which also includes independent hotels.