COVID19 UPDATE JANUARY 2021: BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE

Covid Refund Guarantee

Covid Refund Guarantee logo

In these uncertain times, it is reassuring to know that if you are unable to travel to take your holiday because of a national lockdown we will give you a full refund.   The refund guarantee covers national lockdowns but does NOT cover you (or members of your party) for being unable to travel because you (or a member of your party) fall ill with Covid, or are required to quarantine or self-isolate. These events can be covered by you taking out travel insurance. A number of bank travel insurance policies as well as a number of single trip policies include cover for illness with Covid and self-isolation (example links below) or you can look for suitable cover on comparison sites such as GoCompare.  Please see our Cancellation Terms below for further information.UK TRAVEL INSURANCE

We strongly recommend you take out your own travel insurance for UK holidays which covers booking cancellations. There are many policies out there now that cover Covid-19 illness, self isolation etc. They will also probably have wider coverage for things like jury service, redundancy, general illness and it is a good idea to protect you holiday in this way. We don’t sell or recommend any policies but you can find them on comparison sites or just search google. Taking out a policy will give you peace of mind.

STANDARD CANCELLATION TERMS

See our terms and conditions  – cancellation terms change depending upon how much notice you give us.

When we accept a booking from you we exclusively reserve the cottage(s) selected for the dates requested and decline all future booking requests for these dates. Most people book well ahead and it can be difficult to find a new booking at late notice.

We understand that people sometimes need to cancel and ask that you please give us a much notice as possible so that we have a chance to rebook the cottage.

MASTER CANCEL COVER

This is no longer available for new bookings – it was available for most bookings from June 2020 to December 2021.

If in doubt just drop Joe an email or call on 07962223582.

This product was available for most bookings placed from June 2020 to January 8th 2021

Master Cancel withdrew from the UK market on January 8th 2021 and this product no longer applies to any booking placed after this date. Master Cancel was provided by Rental Guardian, an American company. They continue to trade in the USA  and sell other products here in the UK.

Our revised Terms and Conditions for bookings taken from January 9th 2021 or earlier bookings. You will be asked to view and accept them in the booking process.

The question most guests ask is what happens if there is a lock down? In the event of a National or local lockdown that forces us to close or affects the postcode on the booking form we will either rearrange your dates or provide a refund (less an administration fee of unto £75).

There are many reasons why you may need to cancel a break not just the dreaded Covid so as always you should ensure that you have a UK travel policy that covers you if you need to cancel for reasons other than Covid. Many travel policies will now provide cover for Covid-19 so it is well worth having a look what is available to give you ultimate peace of mind.

EXISTING MASTER CANCEL BOOKINGS – HOW IT WORKS

For existing bookings with Master Cancel in place if you need to cancel up to 2 days before we will either rearrange your dates so you can enjoy your holiday at a later date or refund your accommodation cost on the date of your original check in – you can cancel for unforeseen circumstances.  So if you are due to arrive Saturday you can cancel up to the Thursday before.

No forms to fill in, no doctor’s notes or any evidence required, simply call us and we will ask for an email confirmation. You will be reimbursed between the check in & check out dates of your original booking – this is a condition of the Master Cancel scheme.

NEED TO CANCEL DAYS 2 TO 0 BEFORE ARRIVAL

Sorry if you cancel in this period there is no refund available, we may be able to re-let the dates for you so always call and we will see what we can do to help. It is rare that a guest cancels on the day of arrival or the day before but it has happened and we have sometimes managed to re-let the  dates.  Just to be clear to cancel a Saturday arrival  you need to cancel by the Thursday before to qualify for a refund. In this example if you cancel Friday or Saturday there is no refund available.

MY ARRIVAL DATE IS IN THE FUTURE BUT I BOOKED BEFORE JUNE 2020 – IS MY BOOKING COVERED?

Master Cancel only applies to bookings placed from June 2020 to January 8th 2021 and there are some exceptions. If you have an earlier booking maybe one that was re-arranged or you paid with a voucher issued due to first Covid lockdown affected booking that booking will not qualify for Master Cancel because your original booking date was prior to us being accepted into the Master Cancel scheme.

If you placed your booking before June 2020 &/or used a covid-19 related voucher for your booking it is not eligible for Master Cancel and our old cancellation terms apply – see your original booking confirmation. If in doubt just drop Joe an email or call on 07962223582.

CoronaVirus Update

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – WHAT WE ARE DOING HERE AT UNIQUE RETREATS IN THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME

An update about what we are doing at Unique-retreats in respect of Coronavirus.  We are a small business and are very determined to do our utmost to protect the health of our guests and staff and get our business through this difficult period.  We are by no means experts but are keeping abreast with Government advice on the Coronavirus situation as we receive it.

GREAT NEWS – WE ARE NOW ALLOWED TO OPEN ON 4TH JULY!

We have complied with all the requirements, the risk assessment is in place and we have developed a plan  for increased levels of cleaning, disinfecting and sanitising. We will observe strict social distancing and ask that you also comply with the prevailing guidelines.

We are working on a  digital guest information guide, you will be able to access this directly on your own phone or device rather than read a book. For those that prefer a book we are preparing extra copies so we can swap the Guest Information folders between guests.

MASTER CANCEL

Flexible cancellation terms for new bookings

As a result, we are very happy to say that we have been granted the Good to Go accreditation from VisitEngland, as well as the AA COVID Confident assessment scheme.

Covid-19 Good to Go Accreditation logo

WHAT HAS CHANGED AT THE COTTAGES?

We have developed new ways of cleaning & preparing the cottages to ensure that we achieve the covid secure accreditation with both the AA & Visit England, you can be assured that we have thought through the risks and changed the way we work.

Check in is contactless, each guest is issued with a personal key code so you can let yourself into the cottage on arrival. If we pop round to greet you after arrival we won’t enter the cottage and we will keep our distance. If you prefer us not to greet you call on arrival 07521212221 so we can just run through a couple of things with you and answer any questions you might have.

Recognising that guests may wish to clean more or disinfect over the course of your stay we are providing some cleaning materials and professional standard disinfectant spray in the cottage for your use. These products can be safely used on the surfaces in the cottage and the disinfectant spray is far more effective than anything you can buy at the supermarket.

The cottage will have been thoroughly cleaned and then disinfected/sanitised before your arrival, our housekeepers wear ppe whilst they clean and prepare your cottage and have been trained in the new way of working.

You might notice some changes in the soft furnishings, to make the new changeovers manageable and to follow the guidelines we have reduced some of the items in the cottages.

  • Cushions in the living areas have been reduced and they are swapped between each new set of guests
  • The paper leaflets have been removed, the Guest information file is swapped between each set of guests
  • Please note we will not be disinfecting the books and DVD’s in the cottage and it is your choice if you use them or not.

In the kitchen all items will be washed between each guest, and we have had to take some of the kitchen items out but hopefully it won’t be forever.  Please fill the dishwasher with a full load of crockery and cutlery and set it running before leaving (do not empty it).  We are now required to re-wash everything between guests, so it would help hugely if you could put all plates, cutlery, cups etc in the dishwasher before leaving, not just your breakfast things.

We do need to keep a record of all guests who stay so will ask you to provide that information shortly before arrival, it will only be kept for the required 21 days and then destroyed.

As you can see there will be extra work for us so please bear with us.  We are asking our guests to check out by 9.30 am and check in will be after 5pm to allow for the extra cleaning etc.   We just want to make the cottages as safe as possible for you.

Please Strip your Beds before leaving – Not glamorous, on the last day of your holiday, we know. The main route for contracting the virus is airborne, and it is considered that removing bedding could make the virus airborne, which is why they advise asking guests to strip the beds themselves. Clear plastic bags are provided for you.

Please empty all bins (including bathroom bins) and put into the outside bins.

If you show any signs of having the virus then you must immediately go and get tested by contacting https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-an-antigen-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/.
The result must be shown to us. If positive, you will need to leave if any Member of your party can drive you. If that is not possible and you have to self-isolate here, then unfortunately you will be have to pay for all bookings that have to be cancelled as a result.

We hope that you will have a fabulous holiday.  The “new normal” may be slightly different than what we are all used to, but it is great to be able to get away again, and if we all take responsibility for minimising risk, then hopefully we won’t get locked down again!

It will be lovely to have our guests back at Unique Retreats and with the news about pubs, restaurants and attractions also being able to open you should have a lovely holiday here in North Yorkshire.

Feel free to get in touch if you just want to have a chat or ask any questions.

UPDATE AS OF THE 22ND JUNE 2020

We are still waiting for the government to confirm that we can open from 4th July, in the meantime we are getting ready ensuring that as soon as we get the green light we will ready to go!

We have a risk assessment and have developed  for increased levels of cleaning and sanitising but we need to wait and see what the government requires before finalising. We are also working on a digital guest information guide, you will be able to access this directly on your own phone or device rather than read a book. For those that prefer a book we are preparing extra copies so we can swap the Guest Information folders between guests.

Guidance is that we should reduce some of the items in the cottages to make sanitation easier so we have been busy taking cushions and throws out of the bedrooms, reducing ornaments etc – don’t worry we will still make sure it looks nice!  We have always overstocked the kitchens so the removal of a few items probably won’t even be noticed.

As you can see there will be extra work for us so please bear with us when we can’t accommodate an early check-in or a late check-out. All this does mean that we will need extra time for each changeover, so arrival and departure times will now be 5pm arrival (rather than 4pm), and 9.30 am departure (rather than the usual 10am).  We understand it is inconvenient, but it is really important that you allow us this extra time to ensure your safety.  Please help us by observing these times.  We just want to make the cottages as safe as possible for you.

UPDATE AS OF THE 9TH JUNE 2020

We are delighted to be able to welcome guests back to Unique Retreats  when it is safe to do so.

However, the Government is only allowing accommodation businesses to re-open subject to certain conditions being met.  We have been issued with protocols that outline new cleaning and safety requirements. These are to ensure your safety, and that of our staff, and our family.  It will, however, mean that things are slightly different from usual, and we will be asking for your cooperation with a few things.

Cleaning will take extra time – we now have to “double clean” – first our usual high level cleaning, and then going over everything again with a virucidal sanitiser.  We also have to rewash crockery (even clean stuff) between guests.   This means that we need extra time for each changeover, so arrival and departure times will now be 5.00 pm arrival (rather than 4pm), and 9.30 am departure (rather than the usual 10am).  We understand it is inconvenient, but it is really important that you allow us this extra time to ensure your safety.  Please help us by observing these times.

If you develop symptoms – we sincerely hope that you will have a happy and healthy holiday.  However, should a member of your party develop symptoms, the Government advice is to return to your primary residence, and self-isolate there for a period of 7 days (14 days for the other group members).  Please do let us know if you do develop symptoms, as the cleaning protocols for the cottages are different.

We hope that you will have a fabulous holiday.  The “new normal” may be slightly different than what we are all used to, but it is great to be able to get away again, and if we all take responsibility for minimising risk, then hopefully we won’t get locked down again!

If you have any questions, please call us

Thank you!

UPDATE AS AT 5TH JUNE 2020

Firstly, we hope that you and your loved ones remain safe and well during these unprecedented times.

Unique Retreats is rather empty at the moment and we can’t wait to see our guests here again.  Our opening date is the 4th July 2020, and we are welcoming bookings from then onwards.  Until then we are busy working alongside Government guidelines to ensure our guests and staff safety is at the forefront of our reopening.

We’re very pleased to update you that we have been eagerly working towards putting all measures in place ahead of our opening.  We have a risk assessment and have developed a plan for increased levels of cleaning and sanitising but we need to wait and see what the Government requires before finalising.

Whilst you will undoubtedly notice some changes to keep both our guests and housekeepers safe, you’ll be reassured to receive the usual warm welcome from Geoff and myself (and Maisie and Nanci, our doggies).

We do have availability in July and August if you can’t wait to get away.  Our overseas guests have understandably cancelled.  For stays in July we have offered all our guests the opportunity to change their dates, and for those who have chosen to keep their bookings we will collect balances when re-opening is confirmed.

For stays in August we will collect balance payments 4 weeks prior to stays and not the usual 8 weeks.

Please get in touch if you have any questions – some of our regular guests keep in touch by email or on the phone from time to time and it is really nice to catch up.

HOW HAVE WE CHANGED THE WAY WE WORK?

We are taking advice from several trade bodies and keeping up to date with Government information as it is issued, we are members of the Professional Association of Self Caterers, Premier Cottages, and all these groups are involved in pulling together the Covid Secure guidelines for our sector so we are getting some good advice and support.  We are a small business and we are determined to do our utmost to protect the health of our staff and guests and to help everyone enjoy some leisure time when restrictions are lifted.

ADDITIONAL MEASURES WE ARE TAKING

We have, of course, implemented extra deep cleaning procedures, each cottage and retreat  is sanitised between guests paying particular attention to hard surfaces and high traffic areas like light switches, TV remotes, door handles, keys & key safe etc etc. All this takes place as well as our normal thorough cleaning programme. The housekeepers will have PPE.  

We will need to have a slight change to our check in and out times to allow for the extra deep cleaning needed.  Check out will be at 9.30am, and check in will be at 5 pm.

Our laundry will be washed at higher temperatures as advised and you might notice that we have removed some of the cushions, throws and ornaments for the time being.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

We are in a countryside location which makes it relatively easy to maintain social distancing, North Yorkshire is blessed with many wide-open spaces and beaches to enjoy away from the crowds. We have some lovely walks from the door or you can soak up the views and watch the wildlife and farm animals.  The key safes mean you can access your cottage directly on arrival and if you wish to forgo the personal welcome visit just let us know, we can always handle that by phone if you prefer.  If we do pop round we will ensure to stand well away. Holiday cottages do allow you to keep yourselves to yourselves yet still get away and enjoy a break.

Take care everyone & stay safe

Joe and Geoff xxx 5th June 2002

 

UPDATE AS AT 20TH MARCH 2020

ADVICE AND OUR CURRENT POSITION
We are taking advice from several trade bodies and keeping up to date with Government information as it is issued.
Our business at Unique Retreats remains open.

INSURANCES
Our Business Interruption Insurance does not cover this event.

You will probably find that your travel insurance will not assume liability if you decide to cancel because you would prefer not to travel. Your travel insurance may cover you if you cannot travel due to illness, if you are advised not to travel because you are in a high risk group or travel is not possible BUT you will have to check details with your insurance company. For those of you who took out Booking Protect their position mid March on coronavirus can be seen here , some situations are covered but not all. If you opted for this product it will be detailed on your booking summary with a link for making a claim. We will produce booking cancellation documentation to help you make a claim if that is possible – just let us know what you need.

CANCELLATION
The cancellation terms relating to your break are detailed on your booking form and in our standard Terms and Conditions.

We have temporarily enhanced our cancellation policy  – Which now Applies March – May 2020

If you have paid the full amount

If you need to cancel we will try to re-let your dates, should we be successful in re-letting all or part of the cottage/dates you originally booked we will refund you the sum we re-let for less an admin fee of £50. This may not be the sum you originally paid if we have to discount the rates or only re-let part of the original dates. If you wish to carry this forward to a future booking we will waive the admin fee and apply 110% of what we have been able to re-let to that future booking. We will be able to confirm what we have been able to achieve by re-letting just before your planned departure date.

If you have paid your deposit only & the balance is due shortly ie in the months of March to May 2020.
We will write to you with some options.  Again if your balance is due between now and May 2020 you will be able to change your dates for your stay.

CHANGING YOUR MIND ABOUT CANCELLATION
With the impact of the corona outbreak, we know it is difficult to plan at the moment, but if nearer the time of your break you decide you still want to come and regret cancelling  – talk to us and we will see what we can do to reinstate your booking, no admin fees will be charged. Given the uncertain times there will likely be late availability so we may all have the opportunity to be more spontaneous over the next few weeks and get away at the last minute if the opportunity arises. You don’t have to mix with anyone whilst you are here, all cottages are self contained, some have private gardens, and all have plenty of fresh air and lovely views.

All guests who have forthcoming holidays with us can be assured that we are taking this outbreak very seriously and doing all we can to ensure that you can benefit from relaxing on your well-deserved break. Over the coming months a change of scenery whilst we socially distance ourselves may be very welcome!

 

For more information / details please on our Coronavirus Policy Contact Unique Retreats

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