The Damson Dene Hotel in the Lake District has caused controversy by swapping bedside Bibles for Fifty Shades of Grey in its hotel rooms. However, in comments to Stylist, hotel owner Jonathan Denby says guests that have stayed at the Damson Dene are fully in favour of the move.
ABOVE: The Damson Dene Hotel near Bowness-on-Windermere in Cumbria
The Damson Dene Hotel sparked outrage in America when it was reported by NBC News that Denby had decided to remove the Holy Bible in favour of E.L James’ erotic bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey.
He told NBC News that in a secular society it was “wholly inappropriate” to put a religious book in someone’s bedroom, and while Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged was his first thought for the swap, he settled on Fifty Shades of Grey because everyone was talking about it. Speaking to Stylist, Denby said: “I chose Fifty Shades, because so many of our guests were talking about it. They all told me it was a real page-turner.”
While Denby received several angry emails from American citizens (one even calling him a “puppet of Satan”) demanding that the Bible be restored to rooms, it seems us Brits are a lot more open-minded:
“We’ve had no negative feedback from this country,” Denby said. “We've had some negative comment from the States, but a lot of positive feedback as well. At the moment it's four to one in favour. We certainly won't be pressurised into putting the Bible back. I don't believe the Bible story and it would be hypocritical of me to change my mind."
ABOVE: Damson Dene Hotel manager, Wayne Bartholomew, reading Fifty Shades
In fact, so far, there’s only been one unexpected incident of protest from Damson Dene patrons. “All our guests are fully in favour,” reports Denby. “The only complaint we've had from a guest was from someone who checked into their room and found that Fifty Shades wasn't there - the previous guest had taken it home!”
ABOVE: Author E.L James with her bestselling book
And the Bible swap has proved so popular that Denby is looking to make it into a regular thing: “The guests have enjoyed having the book so much that we're going to have a monthly book club - with the guests choosing which will be the book each month. I guess that next month it might be volume two of Fifty Shades.”
Look out Lake District, thanks to the Damson Dene, it seems things are about to get a whole lot sexier.
Find out more about the Damson Dene Hotel at damsondene.co.uk