– James Robinson was on a night out in Cardiff with friends when he met a homeless couple – but three hotels turned them away.
Have you heard the one about the businessman who treated a homeless couple to two nights in a luxury hotel suite?
It’s a story to restore your faith in humanity.
James Robinson was on a night out in Cardiff with friends when he met a homeless couple and tried to book them into a hotel for the night.
He says his guests were turned away from three other hotels – before he secured a room at the city’s luxury Hilton hotel – because they were homeless.
He began talking to couple, known only as John, 33, and Anna, 21 outside a city takeaway at the end of his night out.
“Through no fault of their own they became homeless and John said they were going through a rough time,” said James.
‘They weren’t bad people’
“I got the sense they weren’t bad people and they weren’t going to trash the hotel room, they just needed a bed and a hot bath and something to eat,” he said.
He first called the Radisson Blu on Bute Terrace asking for a room for two but when he told them it was for a homeless couple, he was turned down.
He reassured the hotel and said he would leave his credit card as a guarantee but they would not accept his booking.
They then made their way to the Thistle Parc Hotel, where he said the room was for two homeless people and was turned down before his third rejection at Park Plaza on Greyfriars Road.
James then made his way to the Hilton on Kingsway, asking the couple to stay outside while he booked a £300 suite for two nights.
He left his card details with staff and cash on the bed – telling the pair to buy food and clothes.
He never expected to see the couple again, but the following day as he sat in a city pub he saw them walk past and ran outside to speak to them.
“They just gave me the biggest hug,” said James.
“They said they had each taken two baths and showers already.
“It pains me that in 2015, we have got people who are sleeping on the street.
“I just wish I could do it for everyone.”
James, who is managing director of ad agency Hello Starling, has previously stepped in to donate £5,000 to homeless charity The Wallich.
Both Thistle and Radisson Blu said they were investigating but both said it was not their policy to turn anyone away.
A Park Plaza spokeswoman said: “It is a requirement at check-in that any potential guest has a valid home address. If they don’t we reserve the right to refuse admission to anyone, a policy which was explained to the individuals involved at the time.”