A hotel in the Philippines has received social backlash, after posting a sign that bans unmarried couples from sharing a room together.

The sign, which was photographed by a guest who visited resort Ephrathah Farms, shows three room guidelines when staying at the hotel.

The first point under the heading “Guidelines for Couple Booking a Hotel Room” says “only married couples are allowed to share a room together when staying at the hotel”.

The sign goes on to say that a couple may be forced to provide proof of marriage by hotel administration — including wedding rings — before a booking is approved by staff.

The sign, which went viral after an unknown guest took a photo and uploaded the image to social media, has been liked thousands of times and received hundreds of comments.

Following the photo of the sign going viral, management from the hotel said “it was not the intention of Ephrathah Farms for the post regarding our ‘Guidelines for Couple booking a hotel room’ to go viral”, but adding they were standing by their accommodation rules.

“We believe in the sanctity of Marriage,” their response on Facebook read.

“We further believe that ‘SEX’ should be done in the confines of married people only. This is the reason we screen guests of opposite sex wanting to check-in our rooms.

“We do not force guests to check-in our hotel, there are other business that can serve guests that can’t comply with our rules.”

The post went on to say that as “stewards of God’s property” management “will run the business the way the Lord intends His business” to be run and “not be used for evil works”. “Although people may say that this is a bad business decision, Our Faith in God is greater than money. We have been operating for the last 6 years and this has been our rule since day one. And for the last 6 years, the Lord still sustains His business.”

The hotel’s response was divided, with many commenters suggesting they should be a church and not a resort.

“You should be running a church then, not a hotel,” one person said.

“And what about married same sex couples? I guess you would be okay with their use of your facilities too?” another added.

“So basically, check in to the hotel while your partner waits in the car if you’re not married,” another joked.

Here are the full guidelines:

1. Only married couples are allowed to share a room

2. Front desk may require proof of marriage like ID’s, wedding rings, etc. before being allowed to book a room.

3. In as much as we would like to maximise business gains, we are compelled by our Christian belief to adhere to this rule.