The £50-a-night budget hotel where two Russians believed to be behind the Salisbury novichok attack stayed was open for business today – but closely guarded by police officers.
Cops have now issued a European Arrest Warrant for Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – who are believed to have stayed at the CityStay Hotel in Bow, east London.
The next day they travelled to Salisbury, before spraying the Skripal’s front door in nerve agent and fleeing the country.
The low-cost hotel in east London, which has 20 single and double rooms from £50 a night, is just minutes from the District Line at Bow Road.
In a statement, the management said: “The City Stay Hotel in Bow Road is open for business as usual. We are fully supporting the police investigation.
“We are reassured that the police and Public Health England have confirmed very clearly that there is no health risk whatsoever to our guests or to our staff.
“We are receiving a lot of media attention, and we would kindly ask that you allow our staff and guests to go about their business unhindered.”
Booking websites say the hotel has free wifi and offers breakfast for an additional charge. Although superior rooms have their own en-suite – some have a shared bathroom.
A website called LateRooms.com states the hotel has given itself a two star rating.
Customers also have access to a communal kitchen.
It is unclear which rooms the pair stayed in as hotel staff had refused to comment with reporters and news crews not allowed access to the narrow three storey building on the busy Bow Road today (weds).
A police officer stayed outside the entrance to the premises while other officers went inside.
Reception staff said they had been told by management not to comment but to direct press to the Metropolitan Police statement.
Two bewildered French tourists who said they arrived ’30 minutes ago’ knew little about the incident.
The CityStay Hotel sits in between Bow Church DLR station and the local branch of Barclays Bank.
Opposite is an Enterprise car rental carpark, an opticians and a petrol garage.
One online review of the hotel, left on uk.hotels.com, said they had been disturbed during their March stay by ‘loud noise’. He posted the comment on March 3 – the same day the suspects are believed to have left the hotel.
The reviewer, known Alex, posted: “Lots of loud noise from next door or above, worse due to them using metal stairs outside my room.”
Alex also commented that he believed people, possibly staff, were “shouting loudly early in the morning” and were “rude” during his stay.
Other reviewers said the rooms were ‘not good value’ and were basic – but clean.
Another guest from Northern Ireland called Liz said ‘not to expect a warm welcome’ in the foreboding entrance area due to rude staff.
Pictures online of the hotel show the rooms are small and often cramped as beds take up the majority of space.
Some rooms appear to have a good view of Canary Wharf.
At a briefing earlier today, investigators at Scotland Yard said the pair stayed on March 2 and 3 this year.
They are believed to have taken the tube to Waterloo station on the morning of March 3 where they caught a train to Salisbury.
The pair’s hotel room is said to have been searched on May 4 – where police discovered ‘minute’ traces of novichok.
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