Inside the hotel for Rwandan asylum seekers in the UK with gift shop, volleyball and free cigarettes
The first group of asylum seekers to be airlifted to Rwanda will arrive this week – and will be warmly welcomed into a resort-style hotel.
Under the government’s controversial resettlement policy, the central African country will be the destination for 150 migrants who arrived illegally in the UK.
The decision, which saw a legal challenge dismissed by the High Court, was widely condemned, with even Prince Charles calling the decision “appalling”.
But the fate that awaits them 4,000 miles away in Rwanda stands in stark contrast to the lackluster detention and treatment centers back home.
The Hope Hotel in the capital of Kigali is a 50-room, four-storey property set amid lush green lawns, with jacaranda plants adding a fragrant scent to the air while palm trees sway in the breeze .
They will receive toiletries, will be well fed in the restaurant, with three meals a day, while a volleyball court has been built outside just for them.
There is also a ‘suggestion box’ where they can voice their complaints, if they have any, while a series of new washing machines have been installed as well as computers in special shopping areas. There’s even a free gift shop on site.
And all this at a cost of £60 a day, which is being stacked up by the UK government as part of the £120m deal to ‘offshore’ asylum processing to Rwanda.
Bakini Ismael, 34, is the general manager of Hope Hotel and he is only too helpful in meeting all the needs of the migrants.
He told the Daily mail“We want to make them happy here, we will welcome them as if they were paying guests on vacation in Africa.
“Everything is ready for them. We will distribute cigarettes for free and we have built nice gazebos in the garden where they can smoke, because we want them to have pleasures in life.
“We will offer them everything they could wish for.”
All of this is literally miles from UK deportation centers where migrants on the ‘no right to be in UK’ deportation list are held in tight security conditions after being detained by police of immigration.
A Rwandan government spokesperson confirmed that they will be treated well, saying: “Migrants will not be locked up. You don’t do that to guests.
“They will not be prisoners, but will be able to leave and enter the Hope Hotel whenever they wish.”
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There are two other hotels ready to receive an influx if Hope Hotel is flooded, including the Rouge by Desir with a swimming pool and rooms with stunning mountain views, and the Hallmark which has 20 villas with private gardens. They have been reserved by the British government until October.
Rouge by Desir’s general manager, Denis Bizimungu, like Mr. Ismael, is looking forward to a new group of visitors.
He told the Mail: “We will try to make them forget the problems that made them leave their country.
“We want to make sure that the idea of crossing the sea by boat never comes back to them. We want their hearts to be filled with joy in Rwanda.