Anti-Gay Sultan of Brunei Eyeing Iconic New York Hotels – VIDEO

Hassanal Bolkiah, the homophobic Sultan of Brunei, has offered to pay around $2 billion to buy New York’s Plaza Hotel, along with Grosvenor House in London and the Dream Hotel in lower Manhattan


Hassanal Bolkiah, the homophobic Sultan of Brunei, has offered to pay around $2 billion to buy New York’s Plaza Hotel, along with Grosvenor House in London and the Dream Hotel in lower Manhattan, reports Huffington Post.

Bolkiah has faced severe criticism for Brunei’s new penal code which includes death by stoning as a punishment for homosexuality.

A number of celebrities – including Virgin founder and CEO Richard Branson – have protested against the Brunei-owned luxury hotel operator Dorchester Collection following the implementation of the country’s anti-gay laws. However, Russell Crowe announced his support for Dorchester, claiming that protests would “throw employees under the bus to make a political point.”

A statement from the hotel chain said that the company continues to “abide by the laws of the countries we operate in and do not tolerate any form of discrimination of any kind.”

However, activist group Human Rights Campaign’s Director of Global Engagement Ty Cobb said “the American profit stream that flows from [Bolkiah’s] hotels back to his regime needs to stop. We urge all New Yorkers to have one simple and straight-forward message for the Sultan: take your business elsewhere.”

Watch a CBS News report, AFTER THE JUMP…


  1. Andrew says

    This is undeniable proof that the boycott of the Sultan’s hotel properties has been a total flop. He is buying MORE hotels, not divesting exiting ones from his $20+ billion worldwide investment portfolio.

    His real money comes from OIL anyway. Buying hotels, shopping centers, business complexes, etc. is a hobby, like stamp collecting.

    The boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel in particular has been hypocritical and unfair.

    Hypocritical because countries with Sharia law are heavily invested all over the West, in Apple and Twitter, in Four Seasons and Fairmont hotel chains, in Warner Brothers (where Ellen’s studio is located) and on and on.

    Unfair because The Beverly Hills Hotel has been a gay-friendly and accepting place. It has been a good friend to our community. Lots of gay folks work there. The hotel has donated money and facilities to gay causes, it welcomed same-sex commitment celebrations BEFORE marriage was even legal, it offered partner benefits BEFORE marriage was legal, and so forth.

    Offhand I can’t think of any other business where gay activists urge boycotting an establishment with 100% gay-friendly policies and management and so many gay employees.

  2. Randy says

    Even taking out the ownership issue, if the Dorchester Collection can’t be bothered to have an opinion on amputation and stoning, that ALONE is reason to boycott, Andrew.

  3. TheCptNemo says

    Everyone wants a better way to handle this mess. So let me offer one.

    Hold a LGBTQ Pride event in EACH hotel & get the hotel to help sponsor/ help. Get announcements and statements from them. Take lots of pictures, including an opportunity to get your picture with Hassanal Bolkiah!

    THEN advertise in Bruni (leaflets, Internet, etc) that the Islamic Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah sponsored and supported this LGBTQ event. Make sure people all over the Middle East know what he owns and supports.

    The “press” and religious nuts in his own nation & those arround will eat him alive. He will be forced to take action then. Most likely he will drop the property.

  4. Andrew says

    Gigi, how can you continue to use Apple, Twitter, Bank of America, see Warner Brothers movies, and oh yeah, PUT GAS IN YOUR CAR knowing your money is going to countries with Sharia Law? I know, it’s easier not mindlessly adopt the boycott of the day and not think about it.

  5. Ginger says

    So gay people aren’t entitled to decide what they want to do with their money?! They shouldn’t be able to decide for themselves that they don’t want to spend money at anti-gay sultan hotels, regardless of what it means for the sultan’s bottom line?! Apparently that’s ‘hypocritical’ and ‘unfair’?!

    Just because one can’t boycott everything anti-gay simultaneously, doesn’t suggest that one can’t boycott/not-spend-money where they choose.

    By the way, the way the hotels have handled this situation demonstrates beyond any doubt they’re no allies of the gay community.

    Gays don’t own these hotels anything.

  6. George says

    Andrew’s argument rests on the idea that if you can’t eat the whole meal in one bite, you can’t have any of it.
    If you can’t address all homophobia at once, you can’t address any of it lest the troll call you a ‘hypocrite’.

  7. Anon says

    @”RICK” You couldn’t afford it anyway so that’s besides the point, isn’t it?

    [not saying I think you’re the usual ‘RICK’, or that I believe you believe your assertions, as you’re just a troll who doesn’t have real opinions]

  8. Markt says

    That’s crazy. The CEO has no opinion on stoning for adultery and same sex relationships. That guy is more or less the equivalent of Satan. In the entire world, other than the Muslim world, you have to go back a thousand years or more to get that kind of ignorance. His statement sold me hard on a boycott right there. I don’t think NYC would patronize any hotel owned by the Sultan. Hopefully no one will sell.

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