Local hoteliers urged to come forward after 80 men and women camped inside luxury Airstream trailer in breach of terms and conditions
When Noel Sykes checked into the luxury Airstream trailer that he had lovingly renovated this summer, he thought it was an innovative upgrade.
After all, it promised great views of the Yorkshire Dales and an authentic “authentic rustic” scene complete with worn sandals and tattered dressing gown.
But the effort it had taken to build the “Ocean Breeze” Airstream into its rustic new home seemed to have backfired when the trailer formed a human shield outside the Tan Hill Inn, stopping customers from entering and making a timely exit.
Six months later the hotel’s chef, Tara Porter, didn’t find out what had happened to the truck until she visited the resort near Stourhead in Gloucestershire.
Speaking from the Bay of Biscay, Porter said: “The woman who put it up said the trailer had broken down at the hotel, which is just a myth. The truck was supposed to park by the hotel door with hotel staff on duty, but they had to come and collect it.
“There was nothing wrong with the trailer. It was working fine. I’ve heard some people were told that it was broken down. There were 10 or 12 people in there and then it closed down for the night. It was about 9pm and there was a warning sign saying the trailer would be gone by 10pm, but it just stayed.”
Porter said it was clear from the comments on Facebook that people had been kept in there overnight, and believed the owners were to blame. “They were fined and they were told they had to take it down by 6am the next day,” she said.
“The owners thought the idea was brilliant and wanted to renovate it. It was already up and running when I came down to say hello to the group, but everything had changed in the time it was up. They said they didn’t mean to have people in there for three nights.”
Porter said it was common practice to offer a complimentary night’s stay for businesses that chose to have their trailer out of sight. The park reportedly allowed customers to stay overnight up to four times a year.
The first and second nights of the “guests” were free, but a third night was added to the nightly rate by the owners to make up for expenses incurred.
“They said they were baffled about the situation and they think it was down to people who don’t live here claiming the hotel,” Porter said.
It was at least the third time the visitors had stayed overnight on the Tan Hill Inn. Despite pleas from hotel staff, Porter said the caravan had refused to leave.
“It is all their fault because they kept the sun going all night. They were told that they were not allowed to stay here and they should have taken it down by 6am,” she said.
The BHIL Hotel Group, which owns the Tan Hill Inn, has released a statement. A spokesperson said: “The trailer and accompanying group of men and women are in breach of our rules and it is our understanding that they will be removed from the premises on Saturday 6 September.
“The group is part of a travelling event who have visited the inn and are due to return to their vehicles on Sunday 7 September. However, it is our understanding that this will not be possible until the trailer is removed from the premises and is subsequently registered and and registered in the company’s name.”
Porter said she was shocked by the severity of the consequences for a couple of Australians who had paid for a romantic four-night stay with the intention of sharing a few quiet nights in front of the fire.
“The next day the man’s email said they’d been fined £500. A restaurant wouldn’t treat us like that,” she said.