Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update

Coronavirus Update

Thank you for your understanding, patience and messages of support during these unprecedented times. This message supersedes our previous guidance.

Following our Prime Minister’s government announcement on Monday 23 March 2020 and his subsequent announcement on 10 May 2020, no-one will be allowed to travel to any holiday homes for the foreseeable future and we must all stay at home. This is for the good of all of us and must be observed.

Please understand that we will be accepting no new bookings with start dates from now until 3 July 2020 or until we know it is safe for people to travel. We will keep this under review.

As such, our office is open from 9am-1pm weekdays and we are working remotely and are dealing with our guests who have booked with us over the next couple of months – to discuss their options. What we are doing is considerably relaxing our terms and conditions in terms of late balance payments and deferment of holidays within relevant periods, so that you, our guests, may still have a holiday to look forward to at some point in the future, so that our owners may still get some small income so cleaners, linen providers, gardeners etc. can still be paid and so that we, as a small family company can continue in some skeleton capacity in order to manage the current situation and still be able to offer our beautiful cottages again in the future (hopefully from early July!).

The Q&A section below may help with your questions.

Coronavirus and your Coastal Retreats holiday 

If you have a holiday booked between now and 3 July 2020:

Can I take my holiday?

As per government advice, no travel to holiday homes is allowed until further notice. We anticipate that this may continue for some weeks, so it would appear that you will not be able to travel. We will keep the situation under review and hope that our guests are allowed to travel to our cottages in July.

We have not taken any steps to cancel your contract on behalf of the owners, and we would like to say that we will be able to provide you with the booking you requested, but it just looks unlikely that we can provide this on the original date.

Can I move the dates of my holiday?

We have relaxed our terms and conditions, in association with the property owners, to allow your holiday dates to be moved to another date at the same cottage within 12 calendar months of your original date (normally requests for a change in date have to be made two months before your holiday date). As a gesture of goodwill, we will waive the usual amendment fee for this.

We can only accommodate one date change. Your new date will be confirmed in your account page. For holidays in a higher priced bracket or for a longer period, then the difference will be added to the cost of your holiday.

What if I am unable to choose a new date now?

We can issue you with an email credit note to the value of your holiday against another date at the same cottage, to be used within 12 calendar months of the original date. This is the period of credit note that we are able to obtain from our owners, given their need for flexibility as to whether to make their property available through our platform.

Can I cancel my holiday?

Yes, you may cancel your holiday, as per our usual terms and conditions, and we can write you a letter to assist a claim on your travel insurance.

Can I call you to discuss my holiday?

As you can imagine, we are very busy at the moment and our phone line is manned only as and when we can, as we are working remotely. We encourage only email enquiries at this time as we are all working remotely and we will call you should a further conversation be necessary.

We thank you for your understanding. Normally we love to chat with our guests on the phone but at the moment this is just beyond our capability.

If you have a holiday booked from Fri 3 July 2020 onwards:

We do not know what the situation will be as time goes on but will be updating and refreshing our guidance week by week.

If you booked your holiday with us on or after 11 May 2020, then our current terms and conditions will apply to you in terms of your options. These rules are a little bit different to those for customers who booked before Covid-19 took effect, and reflect how we are managing bookings over the coming months, where there is uncertainty about the duration of lockdown periods, and the possibility of further lockdown during this calendar year and beyond.

For any customers that booked with us before 11 May 2020,  we hope you may still be able to take your holiday. If Government restrictions continue or are reintroduced by the time your holiday comes around, we will offer you the same flexibility we are offering to our currently affected guests (see above). Our priority for the moment is to handle bookings in date order. We ask you for your understanding and patience as we simply don’t have the capacity to handle changes to bookings later in the year at the moment.

What should I do about my balance payment?

For the time being, we have relaxed our terms and conditions, in association with the property owners, to allow you to pay your holiday balance only two weeks prior to your holiday. This will allow us all to assess the situation nearer the time of your holiday and if necessary issue new guidance. This means that only your deposit will be affected and we won’t be invoicing you for the final balance.

New bookings

We all hope and trust that this situation will be over sooner rather than later. In order to minimise further complications, we are taking no new bookings for dates up until July 3 2020 and will keep this under regular review.  Our 2021 dates are filling up fast. It does look like everyone is wanting to look forward to a holiday in Northumberland in the future.

IMPORTANT NOTE – For bookings in July and August, please email us to arrange a call to you to take your deposit payment only, if you don’t wish to pay the full amount. (Please note our online system is set up to take the full amount for holidays less than 2 months in advance so over the phone is the only way we can ensure you only pay your deposit). Once you have then paid your deposit, we won’t ask you to pay your final balance until we are sure there are no travel restrictions in place. This may be a week or two before your travel date rather than the usual 2 calendar months before your travel date

Our booking calendar is now open for 2021 bookings and for dates later in 2020 and normal online payments apply for these, but we stress, as we always have done, that we ask and EXPECT all guests to have valid travel insurance for their holidays. In the event of another government lockdown, we will be able to offer date changes or credit notes for new bookings, but PLEASE NOTE we won’t be able to offer any refunds, so please make sure you take this into consideration should you wish to make a future booking during this period of uncertainty.

Thank you for your patience during these shared challenges and we wish you well and hope you are keeping safe.

Yours hopefully

 

The Retreats team