FAQS

Making a booking?

Once you have searched and found a suitable property you can book and pay for it straight away on the website. We use a secure third-party payment process so you can be confident that your debit or credit card details are safe. If you are booking more than 6 weeks in advance we require a part payment of one third of the rental cost. You will have the option of paying the balance by sending us a cheque in the post or via the website with a credit or debit card. If you are booking less than six weeks in advance we require payment in full. If you do choose to pay by credit card at any point it will be subject to a 1.7% surcharge - there is no surcharge for payment by debit card.

Pricing information?

All prices on the site are for the property (not per person) and are shown in £ sterling. If you are bringing a pet there will be a pet supplement of £25.00 per pet per week (or part of). For the vast majority of properties there is nothing more to pay. Occasionally owners may offer extras for hire such as towels or may make a small additional charge for logs or coal for an open fire. If this is the case then it will be clearly stated in the individual property details. In a few instances owners require a refundable security deposit to be taken with a booking payment – if this is the case it will be clearly stated on the property details. Please note that a refundable security deposit of £100.00 is required for all Christmas and New Year bookings.

Full week or a short break?

During school holiday periods most properties will only allow bookings of one or more full weeks. However, outside of these busy periods most owners are happy to accept short breaks of 3, 4 or 5 nights. Unless otherwise specified on the individual property details, short breaks will be charged at 75% of the full week price for a 3 night weekend, 80% for a 4 night midweek break and 90% for 5 nights subject to availability. The full week rate will apply to 6 night bookings.

Arrival information?

If you pay in full at the time of booking we will email full holiday details within 48 hours. The details we send will usually ask that you make contact with the property owner or housekeeper to confirm arrival information. If you pay only part of the cost at the time of booking we will email details after we receive the final balance payment from you, usually six weeks prior to your arrival date The details we send, along with the property website description, should provide all of the information you need about the property you have booked but if you have any questions you can always ask the owner or email /telephone us and we will do everything we can to help.

Arrival and departure times?

Most properties will be ready to be occupied by around 3.00pm on the day of your arrival and will need to be vacated by around 10.00am on the day of departure. If there is any variation from this it will be clearly stated on the property details. The arrival and departure times are specified by the owners in order that they have time to prepare properties between lets. Please do observe the times given.

What's included?

All of the properties on our website are fully equipped for a self-catering holiday so you will find everything you need by way of furniture, fixtures and fittings (as well as kitchen equipment, crockery, cutlery etc) to cater for the number of people that the property sleeps. All properties have colour television, microwave, ironing facilities and are self-contained. The provision of other equipment eg washing machines, dishwashers, DVDs etc. will vary - see the individual property details to check what`s included. Beds will have duvets and two pillows per person as well as bed linen (bottom sheet, duvet covers, pillowcases). Where you are booking for more than one week a change of linen will be provided at the end of each week. Unless otherwise stated double beds will be 4`6” wide and single beds 3` wide. Towels are not automatically provided - you may have to bring your own towels or hire them from the owner separately – again see the individual property details. Beach towels are never provided so please bring your own. Many owners provide thoughtful extras such as cots, highchairs, a welcome tea tray or toiletries. If you have any specific requirements, or special needs please check with us before booking.

How many can come?

The ‘sleeps` number given on the property details is a maximum excluding infants under 24 months of age and must not be exceeded. If there is space for additional infants this will be specified in the property details (along with advice about whether a cot is supplied or if you will need to bring your own travel cot). All of the individuals occupying the property must be named on the booking and the lead member of the party must take responsibility for all of those named. We essentially cater for families and couples so, in our owners` interest, bookings will not normally be accepted from large all female or all male groups or large mixed groups under 25 years of age.

Pets?

It will clearly state on the property details if pets are permitted at a property. We do try and persuade owners of suitable properties to take pets. There is an additional charge of £25 per pet per week or short break. Some owners may accept more than one dog but you should always check this in advance. Dogs should never be left alone at the property, they should not be allowed in bedrooms or on furniture and any faeces should be removed from outside areas and suitably disposed of. Where a property states ‘pets not allowed` this does not necessarily mean that no animals will have been in the property. From time to time holidaymakers want to bring pets other than dogs and again you should always check in advance of booking if this is the case.

Parking?

You will find information about parking facilities provided for each property on the website. Parking arrangements and the number of cars that can be accommodated will vary for each property. If the size of a parking space or access to it is restricted in any way we will mention it. If you have a particularly large vehicle it is always worth just confirming that it can be accommodated – many domestic garages for instance struggle to house a high-roofed four wheel drive car. In some instances there will be no parking available at a property – in this instance we will give an indication of the distance to the nearest public parking which will invariably be pay and display.

Cleaning?

All properties are thoroughly cleaned and prepared between lets. You will find some basic cleaning materials in the property and owners will expect that you observe a reasonable standard of cleanliness while you are there. You should make sure that the property is in a generally clean and tidy condition when you depart – leaving it much as you would expect to find it.

Older Properties?

We offer a wide range of properties – everything from modern apartments to quaint old cottages. Older properties tend not to have the damp courses and cavity wall insulation that we are used to in modern houses and can at times feel a bit damp, especially during the winter months. If you think that this might to be a problem, particularly if you are travelling with young babies or very elderly members in your party, please talk to us first and we can advise on the most suitable properties for you.

Need to cancel?

It is important that you phone to let us know at the earliest opportunity and follow up with a confirmation letter or email. Please do read the details of the inclusive cancellation scheme in our booking information. If you are covered by the scheme you will be refunded the amount you have paid less an administration charge. If you are not covered it will still be your responsibility to pay the full balance for the holiday but we will attempt to re-sell the holiday on your behalf in order that you get some of your money back. It is always advisable to take out separate independent holiday cancellation insurance if you feel you may need it.

Damage and breakages?

You should find all of the advertised facilities and services in good working order when you arrive. You are responsible for any breakages or damage that occurs during your stay. Please do let the owner/caretaker know at the earliest opportunity of anything not working or broken so that they have the opportunity to put things right for you and/or for the next guests.

Problems or complaints?

In the first instance you should contact the property owner or housekeeper. You will find their details on your confirmation paperwork or it will be displayed in the property. If things are not resolved to your satisfaction then we will always try and assist so that you can get on with enjoying your holiday. We ask all holidaymakers to complete a simple questionnaire on departure so there is always an opportunity to feedback your comments, both positive and negative, to the owners.

Special requirements?

We ask all of our owners to prepare an access statement for their property. This indicates what facilities they have in place to assist those with special needs, perhaps mobility, sight or hearing related. We want to offer properties that appeal to the widest possible section of the community, however all of the properties on our website are individual and provision will vary considerably, so if you have specific needs please ask us before booking and we will do everything we can to help you choose the right property.

Environmentally friendly?

We encourage all of our owners to think about ways of making their properties ‘greener`. You may find low energy light bulbs, recycling facilities, water saving devices in the cisterns along with many other environmentally friendly practices being observed. We ask holidaymakers to be aware of their own energy use too. Turn off lights when not needed, don`t leave heating on unnecessarily and make use of recycling facilities wherever possible. You may find the following websites useful to help identify local recycling facilities. Please note the following links will open in a new window.

www.recycledevon.org
www.dorsetforyou.com

Why not travel by train or use public transport to get around while you are here? The fantastic X53 Jurassic Coast bus serves the coast from Weymouth to Exeter. You will also find lots of opportunity to buy good local produce while you are here – why not have a ‘supermarket-free` holiday!

Quality assurance?

We encourage our owners to be assessed under the VisitBritain quality assurance scheme. The star ratings reflect the quality of accommodation and the facilities on offer. There is along list of minimum requirements, and the more stars the higher the overall level of quality you can expect to find. We only accept properties that would achieve a minimum of 3 stars under the scheme. Generally you can expect:

3 stars - Good overall level of quality. Good standard of maintenance and decoration. Ample space and good quality furniture.
4 stars - Very good overall level of quality. Very good care and attention to detail.
5 stars - Excellent overall level of quality. High levels of decor, fixtures and fittings, together with excellent standards of management efficiency and guest services. Excellent range of accessories and personal touches.

For those owners that decide not to use the independent quality grading we have included our own quality assessment showing a number of ticks for the property. Our tick system is based on the same criteria as the star grading system and indicates a similar level of quality as that indicated by the same number of stars.

www.devonanddorsetcottages.co.uk/gradings

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Holiday cottages in towns and villages on the Dorset and Devon border

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