YouTube, Elle Darby, social media, Instagram, bloggers, hotel, stay, free, Dublin, White Moose Cafe, Ireland

Luxury hotel bans social media ‘stars’

A hotel in Dublin has banned bloggers and social media influencers for their “sense of entitlement”.

A luxury hotel in Ireland has banned all bloggers and ‘social media influencers’ using channels like YouTube and Instagram, after a 22-year-old YouTuber asked for a five-night stay for free.

Elle Darby, a UK-based social media ‘star’ with 87,000 YouTube subscribers and 76,000 Instagram followers, wrote an email to Paul Stenson, owner of The White Moose Café in Dublin, asking for “possible collaboration.”

“I work as a social media influencer, mainly lifestyle, beauty & travel based,” Darby wrote citing her social media reach. “My partner and I are planning to come to Dublin for an early Valentine’s Day weekend from Feb 8th to 12th to explore the area.”

She continued: “As I was searching for places to stay, I came across your stunning hotel and would love to feature you in my YouTube videos/dedicated Instagram stories/posts to bring traffic to your hotel and recommend others to book up in return for free accommodation.”

She ended her email by saying she had organised a similar collaboration with Universal Orlando in Florida and “it’s been amazing for them!”

The answer is no
In a public response on The White Moose Cafe Facebook page, Stenson responded, “Dear Social Influencer (I know your name but apparently it’s not important to use names),

“Thank you for your email looking for free accommodation in return for exposure. It takes a lot of balls to send an email like that, if not much self-respect and dignity.

“If I let you stay here in return for a feature in a video, who is going to pay the staff who look after you? Who is going to pay the housekeepers who clean your room? The waiters who serve you breakfast? The receptionist who checks you in? Who is going to pay for the light and heat you use during your stay?

He then suggests: “Maybe I should tell my staff they will be featured in your video in lieu of receiving payment for work carried out while you’re in residence?”

He ends: “P.S. The answer is no.”

Social media users began to attack Darby with negative comments, which eventually led her to upload a YouTube video where she tearfully describes her embarrassment, anger and humiliation.

She says she had “nothing but the purest intentions” and “I don’t feel like I did anything wrong”, describing the hotel owner posting her email as “just malicious”.

The Dublin hotel has also faced its own backlash. After that, Stenson posted on Facebook in capital letters: “All bloggers banned from our business”, adding that “the sense of entitlement is just too strong in the blogging community.”

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