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Hotels Without Children. It's A Trend, But Is It Legal?

In recent years, the number of hotels in Portugal that indicate on their websites, or on booking websites, that children are prohibited, is increasing. They promise little paradises to take a vacation, where you would not hear screaming children, whimpers and tantrums.

If you are not traveling with children, it looks perfect. If you are traveling with children, it is a reason to be jealous or mad because you can't stay in that hotel.

However, is it legal?

Despite being private places, the hotels are freely accessible. And, in Portugal, the law does not allow indiscriminate refusal of access to part of the population, namely children or minors. And, the ban, is subject to sanction (maximum of 35.500 euros).

But there are exceptions. Hotels can refuse access to those who disturb their normal functioning. Which leads us to analyze what is meant with normal functioning. How can a child disrupt the normal functioning of a hotel?

I don't think there is anything that a child can do that could prevent a hotel from operating normally. Or at least nothing that is very different from an adult, because in reality not all adults behave the same way.

Now if a child may be able to disrupt the normal functioning of a hotel, an adult will be also able to do so, or even worse. Therefore, the ban cannot be prior, but after something has happened.

However, as is happen with Portuguese law, everything is open and subject to discussion, and the legal understanding of this matter is not unanimous in Portugal, so it is up to each client who feels harmed to make the respective complaint.


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Filipe Consciência's picture

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1984, Filipe Consciência did his entire education in Lisbon, entering with 17 years at the Law Faculty of Lisbon University.

After graduating, and before entering the legal labor market, Filipe Consciência accepted the position of employee of a car stand, having in just a few months become department manager and later responsible for two car stands.

In September 2008, Filipe Consciência started working in the office of Pragma founder, Cecília Caria Mendes, beginning  to work with Pragma right away.

Over the years Filipe Consciência has specialized in consumer, labour and commercial law, and also in real estate.

After actively participating with Cecília Caria Mendes in the discussion and drafting of the law that allows the attribution of Portuguese nationality to descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews, since 2015 that Filipe Consciência has been responsible for the office's nationality department, having already delivered several thousand requests for attribution of Portuguese nationality, with great success.
In 2017, Filipe Consciência was invited to become Associate of Caria Mendes Advogados.