Swedish hotel offers refunds for marital breakdown

    A Swedish hotel chain has promised to reimburse the cost of a two-night stay for guests who divorce within a year of their visit. The Countryside Hotels group offers the “relationship guarantee” for couples who invest in its mini-breaks, stressing the importance of spending quality time with one another to the success of a marriage.

    “We have welcomed couples to our hotels and mansions around Sweden and seen how beneficial it can be to get away for a while and devote time to each other”, Countryside Hotels’ marketing officer Anna Madsen told The Local.

    She assured the news outlet that the scheme is real, with all married couples who share a room and quote “relationship guarantee” in their booking being eligible for the refund, providing they produce their divorce papers as proof of their split.

    This is not the first time that the hospitality industry has attempted to capitalise on the prevalence of divorce. In 2011, a Dutch entrepreneur opened a “divorce hotel”, which allowed parting couples to dissolve their union through mediation, all in the comfort of a four or five star hotel. Then there’s the proliferation of divorce retreats, which cater to those looking to recover emotionally from their split, by offering a series of workshops in a tranquil setting.

    Of course, these services are centred on easing the divorce process, while the Countryside Hotels incentive focuses preventing it.

    Selling a romantic getaway as a panacea for marital strife may be distasteful to some, a cynical cash-grab that commodifies human intimacy, it goes without saying that communication is key to maintaining a happy relationship—escaping the pressures of modern life, albeit temporarily, can certainly help facilitate this.