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Discrimination -Motorcyclist Perception By General Public

  Posted at 09:35:47 AM
  File under  Opinion Travel
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

I guess this blog is going to be a rant... During our travels through France, Spain and Morocco, I noticed one major red herring with respect to our accommodation; "The lower the star rating of a hotel, the more willing they were to help us".

In other words, when you arrive at a top notch hotel, you're treated as dirt, while if you arrive at a 1 star hotel (or hostel), you're treated with respect, and the hotel staff go out of their way to help you.

Case in point is when you need to store your motorcycle for the night. When it's loaded and packed, you don't want to bother unloading it because the motorcycle needs to sleep on the public road; you want the motorcycle stored somewhere nice and safe for the night so that you don't need to unload it.

The Nice Ones

Conference Room Parking
At the Comfort Inn hotel in Orleans, France the hotel staff opened a conference room and allowed us to park our motorcycle inside for the night !!! Needless to say, that's one hotel we'll stay in whenever possible. The hotel itself is located in an industrial area, so it was very welcome to have the motorcycle sleep overnight in the conference room.

In Fes, Morocco, the Ibis Moussafir (located next to the railway station), let us park our motorcycles inside the guarded employee courtyard.

You'd have to go through a closed gate, with 24 hour security guard, to enter the hotel from the employee entrance to get to our bikes...

The same occurred in Marrakesh in the Le Grand Imilchil hotel, where we parked our motorcycles below the hotel in the servants' quarters (ie where the employees slept).

At the Kyriad Caen Sud hotel in Caen, France, the motorcycle was wheeled in to a secluded courtyard. In Bayonne, France, the B&B Hotel allowed our motorcycles to be parked in the footpath leading to our doors.

On the Down Side

Now on the downside. Arriving in Marrakesh, we were pretty tired, and I decided to treat ourselves to a very good hotel. We had the money, so no problem.

First posh hotel in view was the Sofitel Marrakesh hotel. I arrived at the reception desk in my BMW Rally 2 suit, and I'll admit, it was not very clean... the receptionist took one look at me after I asked if they had 2 rooms available, and she told me to stand aside and wait until someone would come and help me. A guy came up behind me, and asked the same question if there were rooms available, and she went on to help him! I was totally ignored for 10 minutes, so I left. So it would seem that it's Sofitel's policy to ignore motorcyclists, no matter who they are. It's really stupid, since I travel very regularly, and from now on, Sofitel is on the "forget" list.

Then Jacques tried the Hotel Marrakesh, another posh hotel. The receptionist took one look at him, and even without asking, told him "we have no rooms available"..... and it's low season !! They can't get rid of rooms even if they gave them away !!


It would seem to me that us bikers are still seen by the posher crowd as folks who will descend on a hotel, ride our motorcycles in to the lobby, frighten old ladies, tear up the rooms, swing from the chandeliers in the restaurant, drink up all the beer in the bar, and then leave without paying....(well some of them I know would do it Grin).

I really don't think that was ever the case, I think it's more Hollywood image of motorcyclists that people see in us, but it's a real form of discrimination. I earn probably more than any of these hotel employees, but still they think they are superior, at least superior to not let us stay in their hotel.

Well, I prefer to stay in a modest hotel anyway, since the staff there will look after us, and actually care about us....

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