Included in the rental price are electricity, oil for the heating and the Alpha cooker, bottled gas for the gas hob and the barbecue, logs for the wood-burning stove, use of sheets and towels, kitchen crockery and utensils and a supply of basic kitchen essentials. VAT is included in all domestic bookings, but additional for corporate bookings, which are quoted on a different basis.
Arrival and Departure times:
Weekend bookings normally commence on a Friday (4pm) and end on a Monday morning (10am) although in practice most of our guests leave on Sunday evening.
Weekday bookings which are primarily corporate are by seperate negotiation dependent upon requirements.
Our weekend rate costs the same for either 2 or 3 nights.
During the week it’s by arrangement.
Easter is 4 nights.
New Year is 4 nights.
Christmas is 7 nights.
Deposit and Confirmation:
A deposit of one third of the rental is required to reserve a booking, with the balance payable 6 weeks prior to arrival. Any booking made less than 6 weeks ahead will require the full rental paid to secure the booking. On receipt of the deposit we will confirm the booking and send out some pre-arrival information. We prefer to be paid by bank transfer or cheque. Credit card payments attract an additional 3% charge as passed on to us by the Card companies.
Most people with regular travel insurance will find that they have cancellation insurance included in the cover. This would cover, typically, medical problems or family bereavement etc. It would most likely include for the rest of the group having to cancel if others have to drop out. All cancellations must be in writing, or confirmed email.
Having said that, we would always try to re-let the barn and refund the client, wherever possible, and where we can’t, we very much hope you will have suitable travel insurance to fall back on. The client remains liable for the full rental less a refund based on the following rules.
- If we can re-let the barn, for the whole period, we will send back what you have paid less a £60 admin fee.
- If we can re-let the barn but at a reduced rate we will discuss with you as we would only credit you with the amount agreed on the re-let, leaving you still liable for any balance payable plus a £60 admin fee.
- If we can only get a partial re-let, you would be liable for the un-let period plus a £60 admin fee. We would refund anything you have paid more than this.
- If we are unable to re-let, you would be liable for the full rental.
Change of booking date:
If you have to change dates we will do our best to accommodate you. However you must try to give us adequate notice; 10 weeks minimum. A change made less than 10 weeks before a booking presents us with a problem. We may well have turned down an enquiry, which, at short notice will have gone elsewhere. We are unlikely to get them back, and thus that period of the year will become void. So, less than 10 weeks notice we must regard a change of date as a cancellation, when the above rules will apply.
Because of obvious problems with stag or hen parties, we reserve the right to refuse single sex groups. It’s not a given, so please ask. However, for Stag and Hen Parties and the like, we may ask for a surcharge to cover cleaning etc, as well as the usual housekeeping deposit.
Number of guests:
The number of guests using the Barn is strictly limited to those staying at Cats Abbey, unless we have specifically agreed to an alternative arrangement. This particularly applies to wedding groups. Renting the Barn does not entitle you to bring the entire wedding group back for a party. It also applies to larger groups, where some are staying in other properties locally, and wish to join the others for dinner.
We do need to discuss arrangements in advance, as the additional usage will probable incur an extra charge. Also if you have some guests leaving and others arriving, we need to know so as to be able to supply fresh bedding, for which we will be making a small charge for laundry.
The use of the barn is restricted to the number of persons booked. You can have a party and invite extra friends by arrangement. There is a world of difference between a large family group and a full-on party for 50 or so. The latter can involve a lot more wear and tear and a lot more cleaning up afterwards. We do make an additional charge for parties, large dinner parties, BBQ’s, receptions etc. that involve more than those booked. And we may require a refundable deposit, which will rather depend on the situation and the numbers involved.
Well behaved pets are welcome.
Please explain to your dogs that sofas and bedrooms are not their territory. Furthermore if they are wet and smelly, please put them on the terrace. If the home becomes uninhabitable due to pet odours, we won’t be able to accommodate our next guests without a major clean-up, and we will have to send you the bill! Lastly please clear up any mess they leave, inside or out.
In the cottage adjoining the site, Richard, our neighbour, has two gun dogs.
The Fox Inn at Barrington, by the river, serves great food, and also allows dogs.
Guests with allergies should be aware that pets will probably have been in the barn at some point.
We do sympathise if you are a smoker, many of us were once, but your non-smoking colleagues are a fussy lot, and they really don’t like to be in a room where someone has smoked. So please don’t smoke anywhere inside, including the Terrace (because it get into the family room and laundry, and can set off the terrace smoke alarm).
If anyone does, we will have to get the place cleaned up before the next guests arrive. It’s expensive and difficult to achieve at short notice, so we‘ll be sending you a bill.
This is primarily a self catering holiday let. However we like to have a good selection of basics on hand. The kitchen always has salt, pepper, some olive oil, a range of spices, dried pasta, fresh herbs, and some fresh milk, tea, coffee and sugar to get you started. There will also be washing up liquid, cleaning materials and tablets for the dishwasher. The idea is that you bring the food and things you need, and if you forget something, then the small but important items will probably be there.
Sometimes guests leave a few surplus items, so that we keep up a comprehensive stock. Try not to be the one in a hundred who packs everything (theirs and ours) and takes it all home!
And there are a range of catering options ranging from a hot meal on arrival, to pre-prepared meals, to a country cook, all subject to prior arrangement.
Care of the Property:
Please treat the Barn as you would your own home. Kicking a football around the flower beds would not be appreciated. If you break or damage anything, please let us know so we can replace it. We probably won’t charge you, but we reserve the right to do so if we think it’s appropriate.
We present the Barn in really top class condition, and we price the Barn on the basis that self catering implies self cleaning, so we ask guests to leave the Barn as found. And if you want to know what to do with the beds; stripping them is preferable to making them!
Turnaround times can be quite short, and the housekeeper may not have 4 hours extra to clean the cooker, ovens, fridges, and scour saucepans and roasting tins.
However, you are on holiday, and we totally understand if you don’t want to clean up. Just tell us in advance and we will lay on the extra staff to get it all done for you. We will charge you, but it won’t cost much, and you can relax in peace. We only ever charge for additional labour, not the entire cleaning job. It would typically be £60-£120, depending on the condition, and assuming there are no major disasters.
Also, you can have someone in during your stay to make beds, wash up, prepare a meal, whatever; just ask. We would need to know at the time of booking which alternative you prefer. If you choose to self clean, and then decide not to, do expect a charge to your credit card for the cost of extra staff at short notice.
There are plenty of recycling boxes and dustbins, round the corner from the kitchen. We suggest you choose one box (or dustbin) for bottles, one for washed cans. They also take plastic bottles, cardboard, and newspaper. Other rubbish just goes in black bin bags, and gets picked up every other Thursday.
We have made a big effort in this area. We have rainwater harvesting, solar panels, ground source heat pump, under floor heating etc. So please make an effort too, and turn off lights not in use. Likewise it will not help the environment, or our fuel bills, to have all the thermostats set at 30 and all the windows open.
Our policy is to leave you in peace to enjoy your stay. Apart from welcoming you, we will make an effort to stay out of your way, but we reserve the right to enter the property if we think it absolutely necessary. Having said that, if you want to talk to us, or need help with anything, you only have to ask. You can dial 01451 844444 from the phone in the Barn to reach us any time.
On our booking form we ask for name and address of the lead guest, their credit card details, and particulars of any special needs. We undertake not to divulge such data to other parties.
We provide a phone in the Barn (01451 844376) for your convenience, and for emergencies, and to contact us. Calls to international numbers and expensive lines are barred. The number is ex-directory and it is not for general distribution. If you use the phone we reserve the right to charge the calls to your credit card. However if you only use it to make a reservation at The Fox, then we are not going to waste your time and ours billing you for a few local calls. The most important point is that if we do bill you it will be only on the basis of the itemised bill we get from the phone company. We don’t make anything out of the phone. Lastly it is the group leader, whose credit card number we hold, who will get the bill, and they will have to deal with the rest of the group. It this arrangement doesn’t suit you, then don’t use the phone !
We have a fast wi-fi internet connection for your laptop or PDA, and it’s free. Look for the Network "Cats Abbey Guest". Password is "catsabbey". Or you can plug an Ethernet cable directly into the box.
We ask for details of your party, and an address and a credit card number for the party leader, in the same way as any hotel would do.
Credit Card charges:
Unlike many holiday lets, we don’t take a housekeeping deposit ( except for parties; see above), but by agreeing to a booking, you also agree for us to bill your card for any additional costs incurred. These might include, catering, wine, excessive phone use, breakages (exceeding the usual couple of wine glasses or what we consider reasonable), and excessive cleaning (typically oven or cooker, or wine stains). If you do not agree to this clause, please tell us, and we will agree a housekeeping deposit. We add a 3% fee to all credit card payments. (Nothing for Debit Cards.)
We have proper insurance with the NFU, and we take our liabilities seriously. However Cats Abbey has as many risks as has your own home, added to which it will be entirely unfamiliar to guests and children alike. This, in itself, is a risk. We would ask you, therefore, to take special care of vulnerable relatives, friends and offspring. We can’t do it for you, and contrary to litigious perception, we can’t foresee every eventuality.
If you have young children, special needs, or frail elderly in your group, we would like to discuss with you anything we need to do to make their and your stay as safe as possible. Thus we would appreciate having this conversation at the time of booking. Please discuss!
If for some unforeseen reason, Cats Abbey becomes unavailable between booking and arrival, our obligation will be limited to using our best endeavours to find another property (but not necessarily at the same cost), or refunding all monies paid.
We have tried to write our Terms and Conditions in plain English. If you have any queries please ask.
Rex and Bridget