Hampton Inn Tarpon Springs
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Hotel Denied Stay to Couple Because of Where They Live

Work was being done in the home of a couple who lived in it for 15 years, so they decided to check into a hotel property located nearby for the night — only to be denied staying there solely because of where they live.

Hotel Denied Stay to Couple Because of Where They Live

After handing over their credit card and official government identification to the person behind the front desk, Anthony and Jeanette Davis of Kankakee were first shocked and then livid at being refused to stay at the Hampton Inn Bourbonnais Kankakee in Bradley last month — all because of a policy which restricts checking in guests who live in the local area and was reportedly implemented by the owner of the hotel property.

According to this article from WLS-TV Channel 7 Eyewitness News in Chicago:

“She said, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t rent to you guys.’ I said, ‘Why?’ She goes, ‘Because of your address. You have a Kankakee address,’” Anthony Davis said.

They were shocked. The couple say they asked to speak with the owner, but were told the owner himself came up with that policy, no Kankakee guests in his hotel.

“Totally disrespected,” Jeannette Davis said. “I felt let down and I felt puzzled. Kankakee? What’s wrong with Kankakee residents?”

They said the receptionist told them that a while back a Kankakee resident pulled out a gun on another guest at the hotel.

“I told her, ‘What do I have to do with that? I don’t have anything to do with someone pulling a gun.’ At that point, she just kept saying, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t rent to you,’” Anthony Davis said.

Here is the video of the news story.

The couple refused a purported offer by the owner of the property of $1,000.00 and a steak dinner on the condition that they stay away from the media — but they refused the offer, instead choosing to stand up for the people of Kankakee.

One of the hotel properties adjacent to the Hampton Inn Bourbonnais Kankakee is where the couple stayed instead.


The policy is reportedly no longer in effect at this hotel property as of last week.

When I was alerted to this story by a reader of The Gate, I was stunned that a hotel property would have such a ridiculous policy in place. I do not understand the practice of discriminating against anyone solely because of where he or she lives. Is his or her money not as good as any other guest?

No guest should ever have to experience a unnecessarily restrictive policy such as this one — nor should anyone unfairly be a victim of any sort of discrimination in general.

If you face a similar situation to Anthony and Jeanette Davis, document the incident. Stay at another hotel property if possible, as there is no point in staying where you are not wanted. Report the incident to both the local government and the lodging company which owns the hotel property. Contact the media if necessary so that others do not suffer from a similar experience.

I have never been to Kankakee — at least, I do not recall ever being there — which is located approximately 60 miles south southwest of Chicago in Illinois along the Kankakee River; and Interstate 57 runs mostly east of the city.

From my many experiences with Hilton — of which Hampton Inn is one of its 17 brands — both as a customer and meeting with many of its employees and executive team members in person, I know that the company would never tolerate a policy such as the one described in this article; and I am glad that Hilton stepped up to the plate and offered the couple two free nights to be used for a stay in the future.

In fact, the aforementioned policy of the hotel property directly contradicts the vision, mission and values of Hilton, which is as follows:

Since being founded in 1919, Hilton Worldwide has been a leader in the hospitality industry. Today, Hilton Worldwide remains a beacon of innovation, quality, and success. This continued leadership is the result of our staying true to our Vision, Mission, and Values.

Our Vision is to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality.

Besides, our Mission is to be the first choice of guests, team members, and owners alike and see below our values.

Hospitality — We’re passionate about delivering exceptional guest experiences.

Integrity — We do the right thing, all the time.

Leadership — We’re leaders in our industry and in our communities.

Teamwork — We’re team players in everything we do.

Ownership — We’re the owners of our actions and decisions.

Now — We operate with a sense of urgency and discipline.

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.


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