FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
COVID-19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If I cannot travel due to a Government enforced national or regional lock down, will I get a refund?
If you are forced not to travel for your intended holiday dates due to a lock down (whether national or regional) your booking will be cancelled and a full refund of the accommodation cost, any extras and security deposit will be provided. The non-refundable booking fee will not be returned to you as this is payment for a service that has already been provided. Due to the amount of administration required, we are currently not offering the option to move dates. However if you wish to book new dates immediately following the cancellation we will be able to waive the booking fee on your next booking.
If I wish to cancel my booking but my dates don't fall in lockdown, what are my opinions?
If your booking was confirmed prior to 20/05/2020, please refer to our special amendments policy
If your booking was confirmed on or after 20/05/2020 please refer to our full terms and conditions
If I can't travel due to illness or being told to isolate, will I get refund?
If you have to cancel your holiday within 4 weeks of your arrival date due to illness or isolation, you will not be entitled to a refund. We recommend you ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place to cover you for these scenarios. We will of course do our best to try and relet the dates and if successful we can provide you with a partial refund, dependant on the amount received for the new booking (may be subject to administration/cancellation fees).
Can two households holiday together?
We are delighted that the road map for the lifting of restrictions is in place and is currently following the dates and steps expected. Step 2 starts on 17th May and therefore means that all properties can re-open including apartments with communal entrances and corridors. Step 2 also means that 2 households or up to 6 people from different households can now holiday together! All bookings within this period (for more than 6 people) will be contacted to ask for confirmation of household numbers - if you have a booking with us for this period, please ensure you respond as soon as possible.
Step 3 (lifting of all restrictions) was planned for 21st June. However the government has now extended this to July19th. We certainly hope after this there will be no more restriction but it cna be reviewed.ng. until this time we still need to remain alert and safeguard our guests, housekeepers and local communities and therefore our COVID-19 policies will remain in place until such time when all restrictions are lifted by Government.
What is a support bubble?
A support bubble is made up of one household plus another single adult household (with or without children). From 2nd December, a household with a baby under the age of one can form a support bubble with one other household. Childcare bubbles are not allowed for the purpose of a holiday.
Will you be carrying out additional cleaning measures?
Yes. Our housekeeping teams will be carrying out thorough deep cleans and sanitation procedures during each changeover. Specific details of the measures we are taking in line with official guidance are available in our COVID-19 Guest Information & Policies document which is also sent with your access details/property information pack email 2 weeks prior to arrival. Please note, due to these new guidelines, many unnecessary/additional items such as books/games/DVD's/toys/soft furnishings/additional kitchen equipment have been removed from properties in order to ensure that every item within the property can be cleaned and sanitised before your arrival.
Do you offer returning guest discount?
As all of our properties are owned by individuals, some owners do allow returning guest discount (which can be seen on the property record on the website) but it is not possible for us to transfer this discount to another property. If you make more than one booking with us in a 12 month period, we will only charge you one booking fee - this must be requested at the time of making any subsequent bookings.
Do you accept dogs?
A very large proportion of our properties are pet friendly. You can check whether a property accepts dogs on the individual property records, or by performing a search with 'pet friendly' as part of the criteria. A charge applies for each dog. This can be found listed under the rental rates section on the property records.
How do I book a short break?
You can book a short break on most of our properties at points throughout the year. Our minimum short break stay is 3 nights.
Short break pricing normally follows the below rule:
75% for 3 nights
80% for 4 nights
85% for 5 nights
90% for 6 nights
Some of the larger properties in our portfolio may adjust this structure slightly as the changeover cost are considerable. Where a stay covers two rental rate bands, the higher rental rate will be applied.
Is the property accessible for those with limited mobility or a wheelchair user?
Notes on the overall accessibility of a property can be found on the property page on the website. For specific requirements and more information, we recommend contacting the office on 01271 320 330 or please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do not assume that the property has aids in place by default. Any mobility issues must be mentioned upon booking to ensure that ramps (or anything else that the owner provides) are present.
Making a Booking
How do I make a booking?
Bookings can be made online at any time of the day. Simply find the property you would like to stay at, enter your required dates and click book now. From here you will be prompted to fill in the online booking form and payment will be taken via debit/credit card.
Why do you need the ages and names of the guests?
We need this information for fire safety and insurance purposes.
What is the booking fee for?
There is a £60 non-refundable booking fee applied to each booking to cover the administration to process your booking.
Can I book a property for a hen/stag party or a group of young friends?
Ocean Cottages specialises in family holidays as owners do not wish to accept single sex parties/stag and hen parties. Parties of younger people will need to be checked with the owner of the property. On occasions these are accepted on the provision of a higher refundable damages/behaviour deposit than standard.
What do I need to pay for a deposit?
As standard, 50% of the accommodation cost plus the £60 non-refundable booking fee is due upon booking.
If your booking commences less than six weeks away from the booking date, the full balance will be due.
When will my final balance be due?
Any outstanding balance needs to be received at least four weeks prior to your arrival date.
When is my refundable security deposit payable?
The security deposit payment is due at the same time as the final balance payment.
How do I make payment for my booking?
Payments can be made via debit/credit cards. No charges are applied. We do not accept American Express, Cash or Bank Transfers.
Payment will be taken online during the online booking process.
Any failed payments, final balances, payments for bookings made over the phone will be issued a payment link via email.
Will Ocean Cottages remind me of any outstanding balances?
Ocean Cottages will send reminder emails for any outstanding balances due.
As per our terms and condtions; the owner/Ocean Cottages reserves the right to cancel a holiday where full payment has not been received more than 3 days after the due date. In this event, the initial deposit and non-refundable booking fee will not be refunded.
My payment link does not appear to be working. What can I do?
If for any reason you are experiencing any difficulties with making payment using the link, please copy and paste the link URL into a new browser. If you are still experiencing issues in accessing the payment link please contact our accounts department for more information.
Why is my payment failing?
Payment can fail for a variety of reasons. Firstly, we suggest checking the billing address has been entered correctly. If payment still does not go through, we recommend making enquiries with your bank to ensure that no limits are on the account.
If your bank has confirmed that no limits are placed on the account and you are still experiencing issues, please contact our Accounts Department.
When will my Refundable Security Deposit be returned?
The refund of your security deposit will be processed as quickly as possible following your departure. Although we allow 14 working days for this amount to be returned to your card it is often much sooner than this. An email will be issued to the lead booking member to confirm the refund.
What is the refundable damages deposit for?
The damages deposit is to ensure that the property is treated with the same level of care and respect that the owners would hope for.
The amount of the damages deposit varies on our properties and is set in accordance to whether the property has a hot tub and/or the size and contents of the property.
How will my refundable security deposit be returned?
The refund will be issued to the card used to make the original refundable security deposit payment. Unfortunately, it is not possible to change the method of refund.
What happens if my card details change for my security deposit?
If your card expires before your checkout date, or has been lost or stolen, please contact us with your bank account number and sort code to process the refund via bank transfer. Please ensure that we are updated as quickly as possible to avoid any delays in the refund being issued.
Can I pay my outstanding balance in separate transactions?
Where possible, we will endeavour to accommodate split transactions allowing multiple cardholders to pay separate figures of the outstanding payment. Unfortunately, it is not possible to split the refundable security deposit. This payment schedule must be paid in full.
Where payments need to be split between three or more people, it may be necessary to charge an administration fee. Where it is possible to split payments, the transactions must take place over the telephone and confirmation emails will be sent to the lead booking member.
Before You Arrive
What is included at the property?
All of our properties are self-catering holiday cottages.
Although many owners have very kindly provided a starter pack of provisions, it is not mandatory.
Should you require confirmation of the items provided at the cottage, please contact the team.
What time is check-in?
You can arrive at the property from 6 PM. All of our properties have a key safe that can be accessed at any point after this time. If for any reason your arrival is delayed significantly after this check-in time, we kindly ask to be kept informed.
What time is check out?
Departure time is 9 AM.
Can I park at the property before my arrival time?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to allow parking at the property prior to your check-in time or following your departure time.
Due to the limited parking in the areas covered, it is important the parking is left clear for housekeepers and contractors.
Can I drop luggage at the property prior to my arrival time?
As above, it is not possible to allow luggage to be left at the property prior to your arrival time. Housekeepers have tight schedules and a large quantity of work to complete during their short changeover period.
Can I arrange for an earlier check-in time or late departure time?
During peak periods it is not possible to allow early check ins.
During off-peak periods we will endeavour to accommodate any requests, although it is not possible to guarantee.
How will we access the property?
All of our properties have a key safe. These can therefore be accessed any time after the scheduled 4pm arrival time. Therefore, should you be arriving at the property late into the evening, there is no need to panic about obtaining the keys from somebody.
When will I receive the key code and property directions?
The final information for your stay will be issued automatically 14 days prior to your arrival. If for any reason this has not been received, please do contact us and we will reissue the information.
What is the address of the property?
Each website record has a map tab which can be used to find the property location. The address of the property (including postcode) will be provided once the full accommodation cost has been received.
Are towels and linen supplied at the property?
Every property supplies one bath towel and one hand towel per person. It is essential that you bring beach towels with you and that you do not use the towels provided, away from the property or you may risk deductions from your damages. Where there is a hot tub, the property description will explain whether or not hot tub towels are provided.
Linen is provided for all beds at the property. If you have organised for a travel cot to be provided, you will need to supply your own bedding.
Amendments to Your Booking
Can I add an extra to my booking?
Ocean Cottages are able to add extras to the booking, providing significant notice is given (in most instances 7 days). Please contact the bookings team to process your request.
What happens if I need to cancel my booking?
We have a cancellation policy in our terms and conditions and we recommend that these clauses are read prior to making a booking. If you need further clarity on the clause that applies to your booking, please contact Ocean Cottages.
Do Ocean Cottages offer a holiday insurance?
We do not offer a holiday insurance policy. We strongly recommend that all guests take out holiday insurance prior to making a reservation.
Can I add additional guests to my booking?
Providing we are alerted of any guests that are staying at the property, and the maximum occupancy is not exceeded, you can change guests until 7 days prior to the holiday.
If you want to exceed the maximum occupancy displayed on the website, it may be possible to do so but you must make contact with us prior to your stay. Anyone exceeding the maximum occupancy displayed on the website without consent will risk being asked to vacate the property. We would need to check that the holiday lettings insurance that the owner has in place, covers the number of guests you wish to take.
During Your Stay
Will you meet any members of the Ocean Cottages' team?
We don't interrupt your holiday. You are welcome to just make yourself at home and relax. Although Ocean Cottages do not provide a 'meet and greet' service, the team spend a considerable amount of time in the area, so it is likely that you will see one of the team in the village (more than likely, jetting about in the VW convertible) - Give us a wave!
Will anyone access the property whilst we are there?
To ensure that the properties are kept to an incredibly high standard, it is imperative that window cleaners and gardeners continue with their regular visits. They will do this with as minimal disturbance as possible. Housekeepers and Ocean Cottages team members may have to drop things to the property or visit you during your stay.
Can Ocean Cottages offer additional cleaning of the property throughout the week?
We can arrange for any additional cleaning during your stay. Please provide us with adequate notice to ensure that we can book it into the housekeeping schedules.
What do I do if I cause damage at the property?
We all know that accidental damage will take place from time to time. Please contact us as quickly as possible so that we can arrange replacement/repair works prior to the next guests and where possible, for the remainder of your stay.
Do you offer an Emergency contact number?
Ocean Cottages offer a 24/7 emergency contact number for guests staying at our properties, please call the main line (01271 320 330) and follow the instructions on the switchboard.
Can we extend our stay?
We are always extremely happy to hear that you are enjoying your holiday enough that you would like to extend! We will always try our best to accommodate this, providing there isn't a booking coming in directly after your stay. Please call the office on 01271 320 330.
How does the property need to be left?
It is very important that the property is left in an acceptable condition, where all washing up has been completed and the dishwasher (if available) is left empty, the oven clean, any furniture that has been moved returned to it's originally position etc. A departure checklist is provided in the Property Information Pack provided.
After Your Stay
How can I provide feedback on my holiday?
We kindly ask that any problems are presented to us during your stay so that we have chance to rectify them. Feedback is very important to Ocean Cottages as it enables us to keep improving the accommodation we are providing. We welcome any feedback via email to email@example.com. Following your stay, and the refund of your damages deposit, we will issue you with a link to review the property on TripAdvisor and our website. Reviews are greatly received by us and by future guests.
What do I do if I left something at the property?
Ocean Cottages cannot be held responsible for any property left in the property following your departure.
Any lost property that remains unclaimed within 1 week of your departure will be disposed of.
A handling fee of £10 will be applied to any items that need collecting and posting - plus packaging and postage costs.