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Children’s charity early beneficiary of York hotel’s £3m upgrade

A children’s charity is to be an early beneficiary of a York hotel’s £3million upgrade and extension.

Over the last five years, the Best Western Monkbar Hotel has been supporting Martin House children’s charity by encouraging guests to take home cuddly “Marty” bears in lieu of a donation of at least £5.

This, together with a number of dedicated fund-raising events, has seen the hotel present more than £40,000 to the home, which supports terminally-ill children and their families from all over the region.

Now, whilst work is underway to build an extension to house an additional 27 bedrooms and four flexible function rooms, the hotel has taken delivery of a limited number of “construction” Marty bears.

Each of these 2,500 bears sport a hi-viz vest with the words “Thank you for bearing with us” printed on them.

Monkbar Hotel sales manager Nikki Brannan said:

“Our Marty bears are incredibly popular and have helped us raise thousands of pounds for Martin House.

“We thought it would be a great idea to commission a new, limited edition, Marty Bear, to help us communicate our thanks to guests for being understanding whilst this major upgrade is underway.

“Just like the engineers carrying out the £3m scheme, our bears are all wearing hi-viz vests, but with a special message printed on the back relating to the construction of the new extension.

“The bears will be placed in all existing 99 bedrooms until all the work is finished, which is scheduled for Spring next year.”

Once the work is completed, the city centre hotel will boast 125 fully refurbished bedrooms, newly designed public areas, including restaurant, lounge and reception and a number of flexible meeting rooms and a state of the art 170 seater function suite.

In addition the hotel will boost its current Best Western rating from three star to four star plus, and see the introduction of new food & beverage experiences for residential guests, diners and conference delegates alike.

The Monkbar Hotel was purchased in 2007 by Shiva Hotels, which owns venues in London, Derby, Manchester and Coventry, and recently opened two Hampton by Hilton hotels at Waterloo and Gatwick. 

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Monkbar sales manger Nikki Brannan (far right) with hotel general manager Graham Usher and his daughter Mille with the limited edition Marty bears

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