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Spa to continue ‘bikinis and balaclavas’ offer despite criticism

 (Rosnashane House/Facebook)
(Rosnashane House/Facebook)

A resort in Northern Ireland has apologised for offence caused by their advert for a “bikinis and balaclavas” spa package, but said that they would continue to go on offering the service.

Rosnashane House in Ballymoney, County Antrim, was criticised over the weekend for advertising a spa treatment with gun range shooting using the image of a woman in a black bikini with a balaclava.

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

The Facebook page reads: “Round up the girls or boys for the perfect fun and pampering night out.”

Speaking to the Sunday Life, Causeway Coast and Glens DUP councillor Mervyn Storey said that the advert was “in bad taste,” adding that the promotion might offend victims of the Troubles.

She said: "There is nothing glamorous in using balaclavas and guns to promote any business. Where is the respect for victims of horrific violence?”

Rosnashane House said it had not intended to cause offence and that the package was one of their most popular.

They issued a statement on Facebook saying: “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.”

The advert on the Rosnashane House Facebook page (Rosnashane House/Facebook)
The advert on the Rosnashane House Facebook page (Rosnashane House/Facebook)

They continued “Rosnashane House is a diverse company with a team made up of members on 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.”

Hundreds of messages – the majority of which were supportive – were posted and so the company decided it would continue offering the package.

They confirmed: “Thank you for all the support and kind reviews regarding this package folks. It is here to stay.”

However they did not say whether the advert, with its image of a woman in a bikini and balaclava would also remain.

In a further statement the resort did, however, say that the name of the package would be changed and are “asking the public to have their say on a suitable name for this package.”

The person who comes up with the chosen new name will be invited to Rosnashane House with a guest to try out the package .

Several of the Facebook comments defending the advert called it funny and harmless.

One comment read: “Sure balaclavas are probably the most cross-community item of clothing in Northern Ireland.”

Another wrote: “Balaclavas are what made this country famous.”