Humberside

Hull homeless group enjoy luxury hotel stay

Homeless people eating Christmas dinner at The Hilton, Hull Image copyright Raise the Roof
Image caption The homeless people stayed for two nights at the luxury hotel

A group of 28 homeless people enjoyed a "phenomenal" stay at a luxury hotel for two nights over the festive period.

Raise The Roof Homeless Project had paid for the group to stay at the Royal Hotel in Hull, but the hotel cancelled the booking.

The Doubletree Hilton stepped in and offered free accommodation, including breakfast and Christmas dinner.

Carl Simpson, from Raise The Roof, said there were "so many happy faces" around the dinner table.

He said: "We had one guy who literally checked in, fell asleep and he didn't get up until the next afternoon.

"He said he didn't want to get up because he felt safe. The generosity of the city has just been phenomenal."

The community group had originally booked 14 twin rooms at the Royal Hotel for 28 people at a cost of £1,092, hoping to build on the success of a similar event at the Ibis last year.

Image copyright Raise The Roof
Image caption The Doubletree Hilton stepped in to offer the experience free of charge

It said The Royal Hotel had originally accepted the booking knowing it was for homeless people, but later said it had been warned not to by a former project worker.

The hotel offered to reinstate the booking after an outcry over their cancellation, but Raise The Roof declined to take them up on it.

A post on Facebook from the group explaining what had happened was shared by more than 1,500 people, leading to donations worth more than £9,000 being made.

The Doubletree Hilton then said it would accommodate the group free of charge.

Mr Simpson said: "It was a really strange atmosphere, some of them couldn't believe it, they still believed something would go wrong.

"When they got their room cards you should have seen the smiles on their faces, these people just loved it."

He said the hotel also gave them gift bags containing chocolates and toiletries, and it was "just beautiful".

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