WESTHOPE COUTRY RETREATS
COUNTRY SIDE SELF-CATERING HOLIDAYS
UPDATE – MARCH 26th 2020
Since our last update on the 23rd March, the Prime Minister has issued an instruction that everyone in the UK is to remain in their homes. Significant restrictions have also been implemented by the Government of Ireland. This of course bears an impact on the domestic holiday market and guests who are due to travel.
Below are some important updates on our policies, and guidance for you.
- We are offering booking amendments with no admin fee for everyone due to travel before 4th June 2020
- Guests are liable to pay the uplift in price for any change of dates
- We are unable to offer refunds
- If customers cancel then they must claim on their travel insurance if that is covered, customers could and should of taken out travel insurance
We are working hard to try and bring what certainty and stability we can to our holidaymakers in what is a strange and ever changing situation. Your custom is of the upmost importance to us, and we will be delighted to welcome you to our accommodation when this situation passes.
Above all, stay safe, enjoy the sunshine with your family, if you can.
If you are a key worker, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for the outstanding support you give our country every single day!
CARONAVIRUS ( COVID– 19 )
UPDATE – MARCH 23rd 2020
As the situation around Caronavirus (COVID – 19) continues to develop, we are now updating our policies in line with the latest government guidelines and the wider travel industry.
First and foremost we would like to thank all of our customers for being so supportive and understanding of this unique and unprecedented set of circumstances we all find ourselves in.
As a small rural, family run business providing high quality self-catering accommodation we seek to provide high standards and exceptional cleanliness, this is more relevant now than ever. To be in a position to remain open for business and to prevent the spread of Coronavirus we are:
- Following all of the Government recommended guidelines.
- Carrying out the strictest of cleaning regimes.
- Closing all communal areas.
- Each party will have Exclusive access to their own cottage.
- Providing sanitation packs.
- Encouraging physical distancing.
- There is access to lots of fields on the farm and miles of woodland to go for walks in the fresh air with your dog (If you have one) BUT you must maintain social distancing if you see anyone.
Latest Policies and Information
Our Predicament at Westhope Country Retreats
We find ourselves in ‘hospitality’ in an impossible position. We are currently ‘technically open’ but we have MP’s and Tourism leaders throughout the UK asking people not to travel for fear of spreading the virus. This compounds the pressure on us hospitality business owners who are ever more being asked to become the insurers of last resort, and being pressured into refunds which simply as a small business cannot afford.
As a small family run business, we have 6 cottages that have been advised that there will be disruption for the next 12 weeks, up to June 4th. for us that is equivalent to 72 bookings.
The facts are, while we have not been instructed to close then standard policy procedures remain in place. These are in simple form:
- If we cancel then we must refund customers and cannot claim on our insurance.
- If customers cancel then they must claim on their travel insurance if that is covered.
- If we are instructed to close, that means we will be able to claim Business disruption and also guests can claim off their holiday insurance.
- Customers could and should have taken out Travel Insurance.
- Currently the Government is not saying either that guests are not to travel, or that Self Catering Accommodation must close. Until that happens travelling is down to the discretion of each individual customer, as their Travel Insurance, if they have it, does not cover a change of mind or an unwillingness to travel. ( This is harsh because guidelines are to minimise travel)
As a means of explanation We strongly ask you to consider the following financial implications of the big picture and two scenarios.
- For customers to lose the cost of a holiday is incredibly unfortunate and we are unbelievably sorry, though is beyond our control.
- For us to either reschedule OR refund both have the same implication for us which is total loss of income – Cumulatively this has the potential for 72 weeks loss of income of Holiday lets, this will never be regained and could potentially create financial difficulties. We really do want to survive this and be available for all our guests in the future……..
- I have an upcoming booking, can I still go?
If you have booked to stay in one of our properties and wish to go ahead with your holiday, then all of our properties are still open and available at the moment.
We are monitoring the situation very closely and to date have had no reported cases in any properties. Should this change, we will contact customers on a case by case basis to offer alternative arrangements where possible.
- Am I covered by travel insurance?
We do not provide travel insurance so would need to refer to your insurance provider.
- What if I am over the age of 70 and due to go on holiday?
We are following government advice on age and travel restrictions, if you are over the age of 70 then you will be able to amend your holiday with us as the guidelines are now for all over 70’s to stay at home. Please make contact with one of our team to make the arrangements as soon as possible, it would be incredibly helpful for us to have early indication of this.
- How can I be sure the cottage I am due to visit has been cleaned appropriately?
We have reviewed the NHS guidelines on how to prevent the spread of germs.
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/how-to-prevent-germs-from-spreading/ and are committed to following the guidance given by The Department for Health & Social Care. We recommend that you pack essential items such as toilet rolls and nappies in the event such items become short in supply.
- Can I amend my holiday?
Currently the Government is not saying either that guests are not allowed to travel, or that Self Catering Accommodation must close. Therefore we remain still open. Until that happens travelling is down to the discretion of each individual customer, as their Travel Insurance, if they have it, does not cover a change of mind or an unwillingness to travel. ( This is harsh because guidelines are to minimise travel)
- Will I receive a refund if I want to cancel my holiday?
At the moment the government hasn’t imposed any travel restrictions within the UK and we are not currently offering refunds.
- Will I receive a refund if I need to self-isolate and am due to go on holiday?
If you have travel insurance, please speak to your insurance provider. If you do not have travel insurance and you are due to travel up to 4th June 2020.
- What if I need to self-isolate whilst I am on holiday?
As this is an ever changing situation, we recommend that you review the up to date guidance from the Department for Health & Social Care. If you are advised to stay in your holiday cottage, please call one of our team.