Checking Out: Hotels as Places for the End of Life
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Hay, B. (2014) Checking Out: Hotels as Places for the End of Life, , , , ,
This paper explores through an indirect approach why some people chose to die in a hotel rather than at home, in a hospice or a hospital. Through in-depth interviews with hotel managers and junior staff at four luxury city hotels, this issue was explored from the perspective of ordinary people, all of whom had some kind of long-term relationship with the hotel where they died. The hotel staff suggested that the reasons why some people choose to die in a hotel include loneliness, fear and to minimise emotional distress for their friends and relatives. The impact of managing such guests is investigated and shows that, although managers do care about the impact on the reputation of the hotel, they, along with their staff, are very much affected emotionally by these types of deaths. The suggestion emerged from the interviews that, with an ageing population, perhaps in the not-too-distant future the 'hospice hotel' could re-emerge as a tourism product.