The Telegraph is proud to have partnered with Nights On Us, a brand new initiative from the travel industry that hopes to offer two-night hotel breaks for all ICU frontline workers over the following 12 months. More than 3,500 nights have been confirmed so far from leading UK hotels including Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, The Savoy, The Doyle Collection, Grantley Hall and Farncombe Estate.
The raison d’etre of Nights On Us is simple: to send a collective thank you to ICU workers for all their efforts throughout the coronavirus pandemic, from one industry to the other.
The initiative is the brainwave of four friends who have more than 40 years of experience within the luxury travel and hospitality sector: Jacob Pickering, Tom Harding, James Wales and Greg Früchtenicht. So far, all four have been overwhelmed by the generosity and interest of hoteliers across the board.
Jacob Pickering shares: “We in the luxury travel, hospitality and hotel industries are not in the business of saving lives, we are in the business of enriching them. So it’s with that in mind that we think it’s only fitting for the industry to unite and offer a light at the end of the tunnel for these frontline workers who have risked their lives during the pandemic.”
There are many other campaigns in the industry that hope to reward NHS workers, but Pickering highlights what he believe sets them apart: “Nights On Us is underpinned by collaboration and we believe that by bringing the hotel sector together, we will be able to thank for more of these incredible people as an undivided unit. Our target is to provide 100,000 hotel stays for NHS ICU workers.”
Tom Harding adds: “By connecting the ICU workers to the hotels, we hope that it ticks two huge boxes. On one hand, a memorable thank you to some incredible people who are working tirelessly to save lives, and on the other, a public sign that the UK hospitality industry cares and will come back stronger than ever once the pandemic is over.”
Jonathan Russell, CEO of Cowdray Estate, a sprawling West Sussex country estate with room to eat, sleep and play, was one of the first to come on board. He shares: “Nights On Us are ambitious in their plans and anything we can do to support this is something we are very proud to be part of. We can’t wait to welcome these heros, with so many varied activities on offer across the estate, we feel we are incredibly fortunate [to] be able to make their stay a memorable one.”
Andrew Grahame, CEO of Farncombe Estate, echoes the sentiment: “In recent weeks we have run a series of NHS thank you giveaways from Dormy House, The Fish and Foxhill Manor, giving people the chance to nominate an NHS worker to be thanked, with the gifts to be enjoyed when our doors are open again. It’s a small gesture but the reaction has been incredible and joining Nights On Us will enable us to continue sharing our support and gratitude on an even wider scale.”
Once the relevant lockdown measures are lifted and UK hotels are able to open again, the Nights On Us booking portal will open to all ICU workers who will be able to secure their much deserved break. Further details on what information will be required to confirm the stay will be announced in the coming weeks.
In the lead-up, Nights On Us continues to look for hotels that would like to generously pledge rooms to the initiative in order to meet their target; anyone in the hotels industry who is interested in getting involved can do so via the pledge form online. They are keen to hear about donations of any size, from boutique and luxury hotels across the country.