COVID-19 has changed the way we all live, and for many we have now been under periods of confinement that seem hard to imagine in a developed society. However, many governments are starting to discuss timelines for release from lockdown and what we will be able to do in the coming months. At this time, we still do not know whether holidays will be permitted, and if so, how far any of us will be allowed to travel. We understand the importance of having a holiday booking in the calendar, it is psychologically beneficial, and of the desire to be able to reserve the property of your choice. For this reason, below we set out how we want to help our future and returning clients:
We are Fiona and Nick, at Mas de la Giralde, and we travel too, so we understand how our clients feel about making long-term financial commitments for their holidays, particularly where there are strict cancellation policies. We also understand that it is now more difficult and expensive to obtain appropriate holiday insurance that covers COVID-19 related disruptions. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend that all clients ensure that they have appropriate and valid travel insurance.
At Mas de la Giralde, we offer our clients contracts that significantly reduce the uncertainty of refunds when you make a reservation directly with us. In simple terms, the payment schedule and cancellation terms are as follows:
A deposit of 25% of the rental amount is required at the time of booking. The reservation will remain in force for 3 days from the date of your inquiry. If the deposit is not received, the booking dates will be released. The balance of rental amount plus cleaning cost (cleaning costs apply to gites only, not B&B) and tourist tax will be required no later than 14 days prior to your stay. Bookings made less than 14 days from arrival date will require immediate payment in full. In addition, a security deposit (again gites only, not B&B) will be required prior to arrival. We will provide an invoice with a required payment schedule. If you have reason to cancel your booking prior to arrival, the following charges will apply:
Cancellation more than 14 days before arrival date – all monies paid will be returned in full.
Cancellation within 14 days of arrival date – full rental amount will be forfeited.
COVID-19 – In the event that Government travel restrictions, not in place at the time of booking, are imposed preventing client travel at the reservation date, all monies will be returned in full
COVID-19 – In the event that a member of the client party, or the owners, contracts COVID-19 prior to arrival, forcing cancellation of the reservation, all monies will be returned in full upon receipt of a relevant medical certificate
The security deposit, the cleaning costs, and any local taxes paid in advance will be refunded in full on all cancellations.
The global impact of COVID-19 is bad enough as it is without having to suffer further uncertainty or potential loss from making a holiday booking for the summer ahead. We have no intention of making money from other people’s misfortunes. As an example, in January 2020 (before COVID-19), we had a local lady who booked one of our gites and both of our bed and breakfast rooms for some of the guests she had invited to a party. Clearly, it became obvious that it was inappropriate to hold a large gathering. She called us and we refunded all her monies paid.
We clean our units very thoroughly and have a 100% 5* rating on Airbnb for cleanliness. Most of our Airbnb guests are also kind enough to give us a “sparkling clean” compliment. However, with COVID-19 this is not enough. So, at Mas de la Giralde, in addition to the normal deep clean, we will also be sanitizing/disinfecting all commonly touched surfaces.
We want our clients to be able to enjoy their stay with us, and not to feel like you have moved from one prison cell to another. Mas de la Giralde is set up in a way that all units, whether it is the gites, Les Cigales and Les Faysses, or the bed and breakfast rooms in the main house, have their own private outside space.
As such we have very few genuinely common spaces. The swimming pool and surrounds is one such space. The swimming pool area is large enough for all our clients to enjoy at the same time. In order to help the situation, we have ordered some additional sun-loungers so that there will be one for each customer, and customers will be asked to use the same sunbed for the duration of their stay with us.
Another common area is the washing machine that is available for guests. We provide rules on how this should be used to minimise risks.
Yes, you may see other guests in the parking area, or around the gardens but by now we are all familiar with how to manage proximity.
We hope this was not too much of a lecture and thank all our new and returning customers for your confidence in us.
Nick and Fiona
Mas de la Giralde