Marriott Hotels has apologised for causing "any distress or offence" after banning mothers from breastfeeding their babies in its Regent's Park property in north London.
The company issued a contrite statement following an outcry on social media after it emerged that women attending a mother and baby swim group at the 304-bedroom London Marriott Hotel Regents Park in Swiss Cottage were told they were no longer allowed to breastfeed their babies in the hotel's Fitness Club.
The Twitter feed of Hampstead Mums, a community resource for parents and carers, described the ban as "disgusting".
One mother said: "When I told our swim teacher that the Marriott are not above the law and that women can breastfeed wherever they liked I was told that if we didn't comply then we would ‘lose the pool'."
The statement by London Marriott Hotel Regents Park said that an associate of the hotel "erroneously gave the instruction to one of the groups who use the pool facilities to not allow mothers to breastfeed in the Fitness Club. This instruction is not hotel or company policy."
It continued: "We will use this opportunity to reiterate to all our associates the local laws allowing guests and visitors to the hotel the right to breastfeed wherever they choose."
Last night the hotel announced that as a gesture of its regret for the incident, it will now make a donation to Hampstead Mums and the charity Breastfeeding Network.
The Equality Act 2010 states that a hotel or restaurant would be acting dishonestly if it asked a women to stop breastfeeding or if it refused to serve a nursing mother.
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