More than 100 people were evacuated from the Apex City Quay Hotel this morning after an alarm was activated in a chemical leak scare.
The alarm went off in the hotel’s swimming pool plant just after 6am while most guests were still in bed.
Staff ushered all the guests into the hotel’s car park before moving them to an area a few hundred metres away.
They were kept outside for around an hour while dozens of firefighters using breathing equipment checked the building and the pool plant room.
They were then led into downstairs rooms in the hotel, well away from where firefighters were investigating.
No-one was injured in the incident although several babies and young children were given foil blankets to keep warm.
Police sealed off the area around the hotel while emergency services were at the scene.
Two hours later the hotel was declared safe and the cordon was lifted.
James Skilling, 52, from Shotts, said: “I was in my room around 6.15am when the fire alarms went off.
“Guests, many in their pyjamas, were told to gather in the car park. Staff called out all the hotel guests names and checked that everyone was there then we were moved further away.
“After around an hour we were allowed back into the hotel but had to stay together in downstairs conference rooms.”
Steven and Lynn Grant, from Elgin, were among the evacuated guests.
Steven said: “The hotel staff were great and kept us up to date as much as they could.
“The alarm had gone off in the swimming pool area and there was talk that it was a chemical leak.
“I saw fire officers in breathing apparatus going in there.” Lynn said: “Once we were back inside we were given tea, coffee and pastries.”
A spokesman for Scottish Fire and Rescue said that a chlorine alarm had been activated in the swimming pool area of the hotel.
It is understood this was caused by faulty equipment.
A spokeswoman from Apex City Quay Hotel and Spa: “Earlier this morning guests were evacuated from their rooms as a precaution following an emergency alarm on the premises.
“We have worked with the emergency services to determine the cause of the alarm and ensure the safety of all guests. Everyone has since been allowed to return to their rooms and the hotel is operating business as usual.”