A COUPLE set to tie the knot in two weeks were forced to find alternative accommodation for dozens of guests after a hotel closed its doors at short notice to temporarily house refugees.

The Colchester couple said they had planned to stay at the Marks Tey Hotel the day before their wedding and use it as a base for their morning preparations.

They had been set to have between 30 and 40 guests, travelling from across the country, stay at the hotel.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said: "I have had my reservation at the hotel for over a year, to ensure that the room was secured.

"We also had arranged transport for our guests for taking people to and from our wedding, commencing from the hotel, which has now had to be cancelled.

"My fiancé received an email late on Saturday, October 1, from Hotels.com stating that his reservation was cancelled.

"I, however, was not aware that there was any issue and was not informed to the contrary, so we assumed there was an error somewhere."

The following day the couple made enquiries, were informed the hotel was shut and told to find alternative accommodation.

"Understandably panicked, we called Marks Tey Hotel directly," the couple said.

"We were told that our reservations were not longer going ahead, with the only reason given that the hotel was closed to the general public over this weekend.

"We were told by the staff that all third party booking companies were already informed and it was the third party’s fault we were not told sooner.

"We thankfully were able to contact our families fast and arranged a fall-back plan for our guests and parties."

North Essex Momentum said the focus should be on "concern for the refugees, not the cancellation of social events at the hotel".

The group said: "We are so lucky to have Colchester Refugee Action and we urge all our followers to give whatever support they can to this wonderful local group refugeeactioncolchester.org.uk."

Marks Tey Hotel says any guest needing help with finding alternative accommodation can email info@marksteyhotel.co.uk.