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We Don’t Like Your Impeachment Testimony, We Don’t Like Your Hotels

We Don’t Like Your Impeachment Testimony, We Don’t Like Your Hotels
Jeff Edwards

“If you’re looking for a hotel owned by a Trump supporter who gave the campaign a million dollars in exchange for an ambassadorship that he’s unqualified for so he can extort foreign leaders into attacking fellow Americans, look no further,”

The hotel chain founded by European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland is facing increasing pressure as growing calls for a boycott are being followed by politically motivated, negative reviews on social media sites such as Yelp. So far, the business is mostly facing backlash from the left, but as Sondland slowly falls out of favor with the administration, the attacks are starting to spread to both sides of the aisle.

European Union (EU) Ambassador Gordon Sondland spent much of Wednesday being grilled by lawmakers during impeachment inquiries on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, the business founded by the controversial Trump administration figure is facing its own trial by fire. Since Sondland emerged as a key player in the mounting political scandal, Provenance Hotels has been the focus of repeated calls for an outright boycott and more recently has been pilloried on social media sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp.

In October, Skift reported that Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon was one among a number of voices demanding a boycott of the popular boutique properties. The Democrat tweeted the call to action following news that Sondland would refuse to testify before a congressional committee or hand over any documents (on orders of the President).

“No one who cares about America should do any business or stay at any of Gordon Sondland’s hotels until he fulfills his duty as a citizen to testify & turn over all relevant documents to the House,” Rep. Blumenauer wrote in his now-famous October 9th Twitter post. The lawmaker also provided a link to a list of all properties owned by the hospitality group. The hashtag #BoycottProvenanceHotels has been used hundreds of times since the congressman’s initial social media endorsement.

Now, the Daily Beast’s Julia Arciga reports that the hotel chain is facing nearly unprecedented backlash in the form of one-star reviews and negative comments on online review sites. While some sites (including Yelp) have aggressively removed user-generated reviews written with an entirely political slant, the chain’s overall social media presence has taken a decidedly less hospitable turn in recent weeks. As Arciga puts it, “People are absolutely savaging Gordon Sondland’s hotels on Yelp.”

Screenshot, Yelp

Highlights of said savaging include both political shaming and allusions to repeated accusations against administration officials of engaging in blatant racism. One particularly biting review of the Revolution Hotel in Boston seamlessly hit both notes.

“If you’re looking for a hotel owned by a Trump supporter who gave the campaign a million dollars in exchange for an ambassadorship that he’s unqualified for so he can extort foreign leaders into attacking fellow Americans, look no further,” Zee L wrote in a since-removed Yelp post, adding, “BONUS: plush bathrobes and white hoods available in each room.”

So far, the boycott calls and social media campaign against the hotel chain appear to mostly be coming from the left of the political spectrum, but early indications that the administration is beginning to distance itself from Sondland may mean that the business founded by the freshly-minted diplomat will soon be getting it from all sides – and that could be very bad news for the company indeed. After all, if there is anyone who knows how to “absolutely savage” a person (or business) online, it’s the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

View Comments (8)

8 Comments

  1. RomeoDelta

    November 21, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    How about stick to travel and stay out of politics to avoid offending many of your flyertalkers???

  2. Global321

    November 21, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Booked my staff to another Provenance Hotel after reading this biased article. 10 more rooms!

    Stay out of politics FT!

  3. kjbrant

    November 22, 2019 at 5:20 am

    Thanks for this post. One could easily say this is not political commentary but rather respect for each other commentary. I certainly view it from the human respect point of view. Couldn’t agree more with your last sentence. Cheers!

  4. cairns

    November 22, 2019 at 7:42 am

    “How about stick to travel and stay out of politics to avoid offending many of your flyertalkers???”

    Plus 100.

  5. Jostgarden

    November 22, 2019 at 10:48 am

    “How about stick to travel and stay out of politics to avoid offending many of your flyertalkers???”
    -100
    Everything in life is politics, especially travel to Portland where many of these hotels are based. There are literally at least two sides to everything. The only people who don’t want to accept that are intellectually lazy “fake news” believers.

  6. Irpworks

    November 25, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    I’ll pick the hotel that serves me best at the right price – that’s value. Boycott, blame, whine all you want but I will spend my money where I want despite your political pseudo convictions.

  7. alangore

    alangore

    November 26, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    I’m not a Trump fan either, but let’s leave off-topic political commentary to political sites.

  8. Dublin_rfk

    December 1, 2019 at 8:31 am

    WOW! I’ve stepped into the Omni zone.

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