Covid-19 - keeping our guests healthy
We are open to Holiday Guests
This page includes:
We hold a number of certificates for your reassurance including AA COVID Confident accreditation for our accommodation, Visit England Good to Go, Infection Control Training Certificate and Staying Covoid-19 secure.
We are very much aware that Covid-19 is a worry for some of our guests, since March 2020 - we have done everything we can to ensure that the cottages are ready for you arrival, we have been open to holiday makers as soon as restrictions allowed, and we have always had a comprehensive cleaning routine. As hosts we are double vaccinated and boosted for your piece of mind, and have always maintained high standards of cleanliness as we are very much aware that due to our specialist nature some of our guests have high risk medical needs.
What to Expect at Our Bench
Before you arrive
Guests booking direct automatically get sent a Welcome document prior to arrival, and we are asking guests only stay if they are fit and well. We have a key lock entry system - we do let the cottages air as much as possible prior to your arrival - they may feel cold as the heating is turned down whilst the windows and doors are open, and we appreciate if you do the same during your stay - ventalation is important - but with increased charges of energy we really appreciate you turning down the thermostat when they are open.
- We will ask all guests for their name, address and contact details (phone number) - this is so you are covered by our insurance - if NHS track and trace is implemented again, we will have your details to pass on.
- We will be asking guests to be considerate of others, so please maintain spaces between other cottages and santise before using communal areas.
- We are retaining our social distance signs as we think it is is good practice to give space to other guests.
- We are retaining our anti bacteria stations as key contact points - as we have found them really useful and hope you do too.
- We will continue to follow guidance, and we will react on any news - locally or nationally as required, and we expect our guests to do the same.
- We will keep washing our hands and encouraging guests to maintain good hygiene practices.
- We are delighted to hear many of our guests have been vaccinated.
- We will be wearing a mask where the situation dictates it - if you would like us to wear one then please just ask.
- We encourage all guests to read the current guidelines on Covid-19 - they can can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/Coronavirus.
- If you breach any of the current guidelines applicable in our area during your stay, or our terms and conditions we will be asking you to leave.
When you arrive
We have always offered a key lock entry - so it is essential now that you make sure you have your key code, we have added hand gel nearby ready for you to use. Please let us know when you have arrived, and we will still pop by and say hello - but we will be respecting social distancing - we will wear masks on request (for some we know this is a barrier to communication) and we will happily answer any questions about your stay.
The cottages will be cleaned ready for you, the beds made up - there will be the homely touches that make our holiday cottages a home away from home. We have considered carefully whether to include information on the local area, personal touches like plants, soft furnishings etc and we have done research on what we think guests would like - you are coming for a holiday, and over the years our guests have clearly said that is what they value.
During your stay
During you stay if you show any sign of infection whilst staying with us, then please notify us of the potential risk - as you could be putting other guests and ourselves at risk. If you are unable to return home you are liable to any costs of emergency accommodation, tthis could include the costs of extending your stay and could be the costs occurred by the arriving guests as their holiday would be cancelled.
If any guidelines change during your stay, and we become aware of them, then we will be contacting you and may request you leave early depending on the information received. We appreciate your understanding and co-operation at this unprecedented time.
In all properties we have included extra soap and cleaning supplies. There is a basic first aid kit.
When you depart
We ask now that you send us a text on departure - letting us know that you have vacated the property, we will ask that you turn the heating down, and open all the windows that are not visible from the road, then lock up as normal and leave your key in the key safe. This is to ensure the property is aired fully before the next set of guests, and to help reduce any risks to ourselves, by sending us a text - we can ensure we can pop along as soon as we can.
We ask that you wipe down all surfaces on departure to reduce the risks for ourselves, in addition to our standard terms where we have always requested you leave the cottage as you would like to find it.
Cleaning between guests.
Guests whom have stayed with us before will know that the cottages have always been cleaned ready for your arrival. We have always cleaned the cottages thoroughly, ready for the next guests. This has always included comprehensively cleaning of kitchens and bathrooms, wiping all cupboards, vacuuming and floor washing as well as cleaning and tidying any shared spaces.
We are happy to share our risk assessment, based on guidelines provided by the Professional Association of Self-caterers.
Due to the additional work - lawns may not be mowed and gardening maintained on changeover days so we may be doing this during your stay, but we will be maintaining social distancing as we work.
What is Open for us to do?
Is the New Forest Open
The New Forest is following the same guidelines as the rest of the England - at times various businesses may have to close due to staffing issues - we always advice checking ahead, visiting their web site and booking a visit as some places are limited numbers and some local restaurants are very popular this year.
Questions regarding our holiday as restrictions have changed since booking.
Everybody booking direct with us ticked a box on booking saying that they agreed our holiday terms and conditions and acknowledged that they were advised to take out travel insurance. We are a small business - we have huge ongoing costs, that need to be covered to ensure that we are able to offer accessible holidays to our clients - we totally understand that you may be shielding, or a higher risk group - we are doing everything we can to ensure our accommodation is as safe as possible, but all our guests have chosen to book with us because of the enhance facilities that we offer. We would love to be able to refund everyone if their situation changes, but we can't afford to do that unless we relet ... with as much notice as possible - and your help, sharing our accommodation with your friends and colleagues - we will try and relet - we are also offering potential guests the opportunity to join a waiting list or possibly stay for a last minute weekend or mid week break.
We have paid our deposit and are unsure whether we can not attended
We appreciate as much notice as possible that you have changed you mind, and that circumstances have changed. Please get in touch as soon as possible, we can suggest offering you a full refund if we are able to relet (with more than 8 weeks notice) at this stage, we can offer the booking for sell - and honor your credit if you choose to rebook the same dates closer to the arrival day. If you choose instead not to pay the balance - then the booking is automatically canceled.
We have fully paid for our holiday direct with Our Bench
Fantastic - we are delighted you booked direct for the best prices. If you have fully paid directly with us and your circumstances change then a reminder of our cancellation policy
- Cancellation made between 8 weeks and day of arrival date, and if we are able to relet – we will refund your balance minus your £200 deposit. It is not our policy to return the deposit as we have costs that would have already occurred. - £200 Deposit Retained. If you are unable to travel then contact your insurance company. We recommend in our terms and conditions that you take out travel insurance. We remain open and are able to accommodate people for work or essential needs even in a higher Tier so if you need to cancel please give us as much notice as possible.
Please note our terms and conditions have been updated for all bookings made direct with us.
If you are coming to stay from outside the UK then please check the UK Government Website to see if any restrictions are in place, that may affect your travel.
The latest advice is here: Travel to England
Last Updated 23rd February 2021