Carl Simpson, founder of the non-profit organisation, accused of the property of “discrimination”, and said he was “absolutely gutted and very angry” in a Facebook post on Saturday (15 December).
Britannia Hotels, which owns the Royal, informed the group that the booking had been cancelled after someone claiming to be a staff member contacted the property and said the Ibis hotel used last year for the homeless was “trashed, set on fire and staff and guest property were stolen”.
However, Simpson refutes these claims saying it is all “untrue” as the group does not have staff and the person would not have been at the event last year, adding that Ibis had also confirmed there were “no problems last year”.
An Ibis spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we welcomed a group of homeless people for two nights last Christmas booked by Raise the Roof Homeless Project, and that the organisers felt the stay was very successful. We don’t recognise any allegations that these guests caused serious problems such as fire or theft in the hotel.”
Britannia Hotels said it would “reinstate the booking, with conditions”, but the Raise the Roof Homeless Project have decided to go with Hilton’s offer which is free.
A spokesperson for Hilton said making a “positive contribution” to the community was fundamental to its business, and it “hopes to make [its] guests’ stay truly memorable this Christmas”. They added: “We’re pleased to be able to bring our signature hospitality to the Raise the Roof Homeless Project by accommodating the guests at DoubleTree by Hilton Hull.”