For a country "without free speech", we do pretty well and I can get away with ten times more than I could ever do in the US.
The hotel were talked to by Trading Standards, and have immediately revoked the policy (because it was legally dubious right from the outset). They are currently being spoken to also about refunding this "fine" despite the idiots signing a piece of paper that says they agreed with it (which is also legally dubious). And there doesn't need to be any change in the law because already, by the laws that exist, including by default many EU laws that do include free speech, the area is more than well enough covered, thanks.
The reason it makes news is not because it's legal to do what the hotel did. It absolutely is not legal. It's because it's OUTRAGEOUS to even try, given the current laws. And they are quickly finding that out in more ways than just the Streisand Effect as they now have a lot of lawyers and government departments breathing down their necks.
There is nothing whatsoever in law that gives the hotel the right to do this, only the opposite, and no need for explicitly stating this beyond the existing laws. UK laws do not explicitly enshrine a number of things, like the "official" language of the country, the rights of free speech, etc. because they are just automatically entrenched in the law and the case law.
We don't have a "You have the right to say anything" law because we haven't needed one. You have pretty much the same rights as anywhere else in the EU, and a damn sight more rights than the US.
Remember the UK "super-injunctions" that supposedly stopped people talking about the very existence of another court injunction? It went down the pan because the media basically ignored it, made it front-page news for several months and then exposure of their existence meant they were dead - legally speaking - from that point. I can't imagine US media fighting like that for a second.
And the UK's defamation laws? We gave them to the US:
They've been through changes, and a number of high profile cases lately have resulted in changes, but asking someone who says you're a paedophile to prove so (and not be unchallengeable in court unless you can prove you're not) is not the end of free speech. And all those laws have been fixed for quite a while now.
You cannot, and cannot ever have been, successfully sued for your reasonable opinion, in any first-world country in modern times. What you can have been is defamed with absolute untruths and then had the defamer hiding behind "his opinion". That's always been true in any system.
Hence, as a Brit, I've never been one to hold back on forums, or otherwise. The threat to me is zero. I'm either clearly expressing an opinion or stating fact, and you cannot ever have been successfully sued for that.
The problem with the US is that they think they are a free country. However, whenever I've been there people are shocked at the opinions I express, the way I express them, and friends have honestly believed that I would get into trouble for expressing them. Yet, in the UK, if anything I'm considered quite passive.
The UK defamation laws give this place NO RIGHT whatsoever to block reviews of their business, nor to charge for them. Hence why the policy has been revoked on the same day and why government departments are "in discussions" with the hotel. That's English politeness for "We're currently explaining the law to them, and won't stop explaining it until we have to take them to court or they stop doing it of their own 'free will' ".