THE OWNERS of an AirBnB in Tarbolton where a party of 17 people took place have apologised for the ‘shocking and irresponsible’ behaviour of guests.

A large party in the Gold Crown Spa in the villages Cunningham Street was shut down by police on Hallowe’en with all 17 in attendance issued with fixed penalty notices.

The party has since been blamed as one of the reasons for a spike in cases of coronavirus in South Ayrshire, with the number of cases in the past week in the neighbourhood of Annbank, Mossblown and Tarbolton also 17.

Today, the incensed owners have told how the group booked for two persons on an agency platform, believed to be AirBnb, assuring owners that it was for a single family.

But the gathering began to grow with more numbers arriving due to a birthday party.

A spokesperson for the Golden Crown Spa said: “Apologies on behalf of the Golden Crown Spa for the shocking and irresponsible behaviour of the guests being reported in the media.

“We were livid with them, as we have been very careful in trying to ensure that it is only the single households/bubbles that are permitted who stay at the moment by having prices around 25 per cent of usual rate and taking steps such as limiting bedrooms to two and locking others off (which we did for this group) and reminding guests prior to arrival of all the rules.

“I can assure you were not out encouraging large groups to make profit and break rules, especially with the low rates now available, and the venue has hardly been occupied by guests over the last few months.

“This group booked for two persons on an agency platform and paid around a quarter of the usual price - not the usual price as has been reported by people commenting in social media (incorrectly!). The guests were made aware of rules several times, as all our advertising and booking pages make single households clear for this period, and they assured us it was a single family... then proceeded to bring in extra numbers later on in the evening to have a birthday party. Sadly it is happening all too often across the country."

The accommodation say they have added extra CCTV cameras to monitor ‘extra guests’ being sneaked in and have a full audit trail of communication with guests.

Other measures being introduced at the Golden Crown Spa include an extra proof of address being required prior to entry.

They added: “This group were not local and did not make contact with anyone local as far as we know as they resided in the venue until they were thrown out 10 hours after arrival but have clearly exposed others who they interacted with after they got home as well as intra group.

“However, if there was any cases in their group, we would have immediately been contacted by track and trace, and have not been.

“We deeply regret that the lovely wee village of Tarbolton itself has had negative publicity due to people outside the village, the guests, being very dishonest with us and not following rules and how it was reported in media.”

“I would encourage anyone seeing any anti social behaviour to contact us immediately via the Crown Spa's Facebook page.”

A spokesperson for Airbnb said:“Parties are banned on Airbnb, we have zero tolerance for violations and have removed the guest from the platform.

"We have introduced a number of measures to help keep communities safe and crackdown on parties, including removing or suspending over 800 UK listings and blocking more than 13,500 booking requests.

"We will take steps against anyone who violates our policies, including potential legal action.”