Hotel criticised for charging £200 fee to deter people taking selfies

The Druidstone Hotel, in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. (Getty)

A hotel at a Welsh beauty spot has been criticised for introducing a £200 membership fee to deter people from taking photos for social media.

The owner of the Druidstone Hotel, in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, has defended himself after being called “elitist” for introducing the scheme.

Owner Angus Bell said he was forced to set up a members-only club after tourists flocked to the rooftop bar overlooking St Brides Bay.

He told the BBC: “My guests were having to wait 45 minutes at the bar to get a drink and a lot of the local people would avoid us in the summer because we were too busy.”

The rise in domestic holidays due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to more people visiting the bar from campsites and Airbnbs nearby after seeing pictures on Instagram.

Read more: Red Bull threatens English gin maker Bullards with legal action over name

Tourists have flocked to the hotel’s rooftop bar overlooking St Brides Bay to take pictures. (Getty)

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An angry reviewer on Tripadvisor labelled the charge as “backward”.

They wrote: “So disappointing to have such a lovely place turned into an elitist members-only clique where you can only drink if you're staying there or pay £200+ a year.”

Another person said they could no longer afford to visit the hotel bar.

But Bell remained steadfast in his defence of the membership charge, which also has a £400 option with extras.

He added: “We could have gone down the route of having a second bar, but we don't want to be a pub and I didn't like walking into my garden to find 60 people there that I didn't know”.

But the hotel did add on its website anyone who couldn’t afford the membership should “talk to Angus and Beth” because they didn’t want to price people out.

Bell’s late parents Rod and Jane Bell also ran a membership scheme before they died and he took over with his partner Beth Wilshaw.

Watch: Grant Shapps explains new travel rules

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