Bikini and balaclava night at UK hotel where guests fire guns sparks outrage

A resort in Northern Ireland has apologised after its advert for a “bikinis and balaclavas” spa package caused outrage.

Guests at Rosnashane House in Ballymoney, County Antrim, can enjoy a firearm-themed spa break.

The package includes use of a hot tub, a massage and the opportunity to fire handguns and machine-guns.

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But Kenny Donaldson, of the organisation Innocent Victims United which campaigns for the welfare of families affected by The Troubles, described the ad featuring a balaclava-clad woman in a bikini as “truly appalling”.

"Just when you thought there was no lower to descend, this business has proven otherwise," he said. "This is truly appalling, depraved marketing."

He added: "There will be fools who’ll say, 'but sure it’s just a bit of craic'. No it’s not.

"Balaclavas and guns brought nothing but carnage to this Society (and still do) and should never be reconfigured as acceptable marketing tools.

"We will be seeking clarification as to whether or not this business has ever received grant aid support from the public purse as well as probing whether or not other applicable standards and laws have been adhered to as part of their membership as an accommodation provider."

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Democratic Unionist party councillor Mervyn Storey, agreed that the advert was in poor taste, saying. “There is nothing glamorous in using balaclavas and guns to promote any business. Where is the respect for victims of horrific violence?”

A post on the official Rosnashane House Facebook page made it cleat that the company had not intended to cause offence. “As a business we have always strived to put our guests’ wellbeing at the forefront of everything we do. This has been one of our most popular packages since it was first announced over a year ago based around our onsite Airsoft range.

“Rosnashane House is a diverse company with a team made up of members both sides of the community, in addition to supporting many fundraising events for cross-community organisations. We apologise for any offence this may have caused.”

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Many locals were sympathetic to the resort managers, calling the promotion funny and harmless.

“Sure balaclavas are probably the most cross-community item of clothing in Northern Ireland,” one wrote on Facebook.

Another person added: “I was a bit offended at first but only because I’m too fat to wear a bikini but sure no one will recognise me with my clava on!”

In response, a message from Rosnashane House said they would be continuing with the promotion:“Thank you for all the support and kind reviews regarding this package folks,” the message said. “It is here to stay.”


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