Our industry has been turning itself inside out for the past few weeks trying to come up with policies that will enable our guests to have a fabulous experience, whist providing you with as much protection as possible.
What has become clear is that there is a tightrope to walk between providing a Covid-19 free environment and a comfortable holiday property. If we don’t do anything, we’re at risk of encouraging the spread of the disease once more, but if we go too far, our cottages will switch from being enjoyable to clinical hospital wards.
Every property owner will have to make their own plans within these parameters and it’s not easy. We’ve decided to come up with a plan that hopefully walks that tightrope and is transparent about it, thus giving you the opportunity to make your own risk assessment and decide whether this standard is good enough for you and your family.
Our logic being that by the very nature of leaving the safety of your own home and travelling to Cornwall you are taking risks. You may decide to stop off at a service station en route and visit a supermarket, cafe and theme park when you are down here. So you will already be taking calculated risks.
We’re also mindful that the current situation is constantly shifting sands, so what you think will work for you now, might not be right in 3 months time. Or there may be another lock-down imposed, which is totally out of your control (or ours). We’d normally advise you to take out insurance to cover for such eventualities, but from what we’re hearing, most insurance policies are no longer covering for the fallout of a pandemic.
With that in mind, here are the changes we’ll be making. These plans may change over time as new information comes to light, or new legislation is imposed, so keep an eye on this page for further updates. However, if you’ve already booked with us, I’ll be keeping in regular contact with you.
Cleaning and house preparation policy
Firstly, we want to give our cleaners as much time as possible to clean our properties. So we’ve now changed our check in times to 5pm and are asking guests to promptly check out at 9am. Please make sure Amy has an up-to-date mobile number for you as she will text you as soon as your cottage is available (which may well be before 5pm).
Crockery and Cutlery: We have minimised the numbers of cutlery, crockery and kitchen utensils available in the cottages. This enables us to wash everything either in a dishwasher or with Milton, so that you’ll know that these items are safe to use.
Standard Cleaning: Our cleans will be to our normal high standard, with the addition of any hard surfaces (including doors, sockets, switches and remotes) being cleaned with an anti-viral cleaner. We will also leave a cleaning spray at the property for your use, should you want to clean any surfaces yourself upon arrival or during your stay.
Books: We recognise that it will be impossible to clean every page of every book. So we have removed all these from the cottages.
Soft Furnishings: Cushions and throws have all been removed to help reduce cleaning and transfer risks between guests. Fabric headboards will be either steam cleaned between guests or sprayed with an anti viral spray.
Bedding: Our duvet covers, sheets, pillowcases, bath mats and tea towels are professionally cleaned each week and we have 3 sets of everything. This means that the set on your beds will have been washed 2 weeks prior and the only person who would have touched it will be the cleaners when making the bed. All the linen is boil washed, tumbled and ironed so this should kill any virus.
Further notes on bedding:
- Having assessed the risks we are removing all pillows from the beds and asking guests to bring their own. As you are breathing into or onto your pillow every night these are probably the highest risk items in the cottage. We are happy to supply the pillow slips. If you are an international guest or you have no way of transporting pillows, please contact us and we will arrange for them to be left. These pillows will then be ‘isolated’ for at least 72h after use to prevent cross contamination. We recommend the vac-pack backs for travelling with pillows as they suck all the air out and this makes a bulky item much easier to transport.
- We normally make all the beds in the cottage when you stay with us, even if the number of people booked in is less than the number of beds in the cottage. However because of Covid 19 we are asking you to confirm the number of beds you require before you stay. Any excess bedding will then be removed to reduce cleaning.
- We will change the mattress protector, duvet protector and valences weekly.
Games room / Laundry facilities:
Our Games Room will remain open but due to its very nature it will be impossible to clean all the toys and games so must be used at your own risk. A sanitising spray and paper towels will be available for you to clean anything you wish to play with, along with hand sanitiser at the door. The Laundry facilities will still be accessible. We will pop in daily to clean the front of the machines and hard surfaces with anti viral spray. Because it is an enclosed building, all the windows will be left open to allow for the through breeze. This should help to reduce risks.
Cream teas! We have thought long and hard about this one. Under normal circumstances we provide a cream tea for guests. We are still happy to do this but want to limit waste so, if you do not want us to leave a cream tea please let us know. We will still be leaving milk, tea, coffee, hot chocolate and sugar in sachets. If these are not used they will be removed at each clean and fresh ones added.
Payment and Refund Policy
Our standard payment and reservation policy will remain:
Deposit: 33% to reserve your booking.
Balance: will be due 1 week prior to your holiday date.
Should the government announce another lock-down that affects your holiday date: If you can’t come because of a local lockdown or because you are self isolating but we are still open, let us know as soon as possible and we will do our best to re-let your booked week. If we can do this we will refund you what we can for your cancelled booking
If we are forced to close because of a local lockdown we will contact you immediately. Then you have a few options: to defer your payment towards another week of your choice (subject to availability) for later in the year or the following year. Or you can request that we refund any payments made by you. If you request a refund, please remember we are only a small family business, we will refund you however this depends on funds available to us, so this could take a few weeks.
If you change your mind about taking your booked holiday for any reason: No automatic refunds will be made. However, we understand that especially in the current climate, personal circumstances can change. So we will try to accommodate your situation and will do all we can to re-book your cancelled holiday dates. If we are able to do so, we’ll refund as much as we can of your payment less any costs incurred by us (advertising, last minute reductions etc). Alternatively, providing you tell us of your change of plan a minimum of 4 weeks before your holiday, you’ll be able to defer any payments made in full towards another week of your choice (subject to availability) any time up until 1st April 2021
Developing Cronoavirus / Covid-19 symptoms while on holiday
If anyone in your party develops Covid-19 symptoms while on holiday (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) please inform us immediately (maintaining social distance), check out and return home if it is safe to do so. This is the advice given to us by Visit Cornwall. Once at home continue to self isolate and order a test. If you choose to self isolate at the cottage you will be liable for the cost of any cancelled booking which has to be made as a result.
Please also inform us if you develop any symptoms in the 14 days after your stay with us.
I hope you find the tweaks to our policy reasonable but please contact us should you have any concerns or questions.
Above all, stay safe and we hope to welcome you and your family to one of our lovely cottages soon.
Please click here to view our full terms and conditions, which should be read in conjunction with the changes discussed on this page.