ICU nurses gifted £1.2 million worth of luxury hotel stays as ‘coronavirus thank you’

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A non-profit campaign to thank hard-working intensive care nurses with luxury hotel stays has seen all 6,200 rooms on offer snapped up within six hours.

The founders of Nights On Us said they were “delighted” with the response, which has seen thousands of NHS staff members who worked tirelessly throughout the heights of the coronavirus pandemic redeem £1.2 million worth of two-night breaks at leading UK hotels, including Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, The Savoy, Grantley Hall and The Dorchester.

They were available from 10am on Wednesday and were claimed at a rate of eight stays a minute.

Heather McCarthy, who works in an intensive care unit (ICU) in Romford, said “I was lucky enough to book a place at the Shangri-La, At The Shard, London, and I honestly can’t believe it. When you think back at what has happened over the past few months, it doesn’t seem real, but this has given me something to really look forward to.”

The drive behind Night on Us, which was established by four travel industry professionals, was an appreciation and respect for the nurses who worked on the frontline to save lives during the past six months, in the belief that they are deserving of rest and relaxation after the emotional strain of the pandemic, with many separated for long periods from their loved ones. The Telegraph partnered with the cause at the end of May.

ICU nurses could choose from country escape to city breaks, such as a stay at Shangri-La at The Shard, London (pictured)

ICU nurses could choose from country escapes to city breaks, such as a stay at Shangri-La at The Shard, London (pictured)

Jacob Pickering, one of the founders, said: “We created this initiative not only to thank ICU nurses for the work they’ve done, but also to celebrate the efforts of the NHS and shine a light on the incredible work that’s being going on behind the scenes.

“Our goal since starting Nights On Us has always been to send a nationwide thank-you to the NHS for their work during this pandemic. We hope that this first phase of the initiative has shown just how grateful we and our partner hotels are for the incredible, life-saving work that our healthcare workers do day-in, day-out.”

The Resident, which has five hotels across London and Liverpool, provided just over 2,000 complimentary rooms. David Orr, the group’s chief executive, described Nights On Us as “a truly wonderful initiative”.

“The voucher take up on day one demonstrates the need to give back to this special group of people, whose unfaltering skill, empathy and endurance continues to help so many during this deeply challenging global pandemic.”

Even though all the rooms have been claimed, the founders of Nights On Us are still looking for more hotels to get involved so they can extend the campaign to all NHS staff. Further updates will be added to their Instagram page in the next few weeks.

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