What can we say about the owners and managers of the Britannia Royal Hotel in Hull, after they cancelled a booking that would have given 28 homeless people a place to stay during Christmas?
Members of the public have been making their feelings known with an influx of negative reviews on the hotel’s TripAdvisor page (all now deleted) and on its Facebook page, which has also been deleted.
Non-profit community organisation Raise the Roof paid £1,092 for 14 rooms, to be used on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – but the hotel cancelled the booking – initially without explanation.
The Britannia Royal Hotel in Hull. Remember the name of this place because they have just cancelled a paid booking for nearly 30 homeless people to have somewhere to stay on Christmas Day. No reason given. Whoever made this decision should hang their head in shame.
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) December 17, 2018
After booking a hotel, paying in full and telling them it was for the homeless to stay there over Xmas which they was fine with, we've just had booking cancelled with no reason given so close to Xmas. #discrimination #homelessness #Homeless pic.twitter.com/sWJ80XqwT1
— Raise the roof Hull (@raiseroofhull) December 15, 2018
Fortunately, it seems another hotel was less squeamish about taking money to provide people with a room for a couple of nights.
The Doubletree by Hilton stepped in to offer its services – free of charge:
Just seen this 😍 pic.twitter.com/f3nCLjJSgD
— Daryl Jenner (@Dazzaroon) December 17, 2018
And the offer has been accepted:
Great news! They have accepted the offer. ❤️ Much nicer hotel too! Will not forget how awful The Royal Britannia have been however. pic.twitter.com/vJpplcDfju
— Eve (@EMDKelly) December 17, 2018
As for the Britannia Royal: It did provide an explanation, eventually. Apparently somebody who claimed to be at a similar event organised by Raise the Roof at the Ibis Hotel in the city last year had contacted that hotel with a horror story – one that was not true, as you can read on the Raise the Roof Facebook page:
Press release.We and others have received a email from Britannia hotels informing us that our booking was cancelled…
So it seems Raise the Roof – and the homeless people it was trying to help – were the victims of a hoax by somebody with an axe to grind.
Well, their plan backfired because the practical result is that the homeless people got rooms at a better hotel – and Raise the Roof’s GoFundMe crowdfunding page has received a huge influx of funding.
And for the Britannia Royal, the moral of the story is clear:
Always check the authenticity of allegations – it would not have been hard to contact Raise the Roof or Ibis. Failure to do so can cause serious harm to your own business.
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