Coronavirus Update  -                                                                                                    Back to Home Page

COVID 19 LATEST UPDATE   22.3.2020

Coronavirus Update for all Island Holiday Cottage Guests

We are receiving a very high number of enquiries at the moment due to the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak.  We are doing our best to respond to all customers queries, but are overwhelmed by the situation but are still  taking phone calls between 9am and 5pm, our telephone is extremely busy, so if you cannot get through please email us and we will respond as soon as we can.  Please bear with us and we will get back to you.  We are an independent local business on the Isle of Mull with a staff of four and we are doing our best to do what we can for the guests and cottage owners at this particularly difficult time.
Our first priority is the safety and wellbeing of our visitors, cottage owners, housekeepers and others in our island community.  We also ask that guests refer to the current government advice with regards to travel which indicates that all ‘non-essential’ travel should be avoided. Please also check the Calmac website for any last minute updates.

Please note that our cancellation policy (agreed to at the time of booking), laid out below, still applies in the first instance if you are unable to travel to Mull, whether that be due to government advice, regulations, or disruption to the ferry.   We always ask that guests take out their travel insurance at the point of making a reservation with us, and would ask in the first instance, that you check your insurance policy to see if your loss is covered.

Cancellation Policy:. Please note that we must receive something in writing (email is sufficient) if you decide to cancel a booking you have made with us. Deposits are always non refundable. Balances  and Full Payments are due 2 months before your holiday start date. If you cancel your holiday within the two month period before your holiday and you have paid your balance/Full payment  we cannot return any money received from you unless we manage to re-book the property for the same period. If the property is re-let at a discount, we will refund the balance payment received from you, less the discount. A £25 administration fee is also deducted from any refund we provide and our booking fee is non-refundable. In circumstances where the cancellation is made less than two weeks before arrival, there will be no refund made and we will not attempt to re-let the property.

We understand that the current travel advice is affecting whether people can travel in the coming 30 day period at least, and that is also affecting our guests’ ability to claim on their insurance policy.  In these exceptional circumstances, we want to do what is best for our guests and provide an alternative, if at all possible, for those who have booked with us over the next 30 day period (travelling between now and the end of April, who have paid their full balance already).
1.That we will attempt to transfer your booking to new dates, in the same property, between 5th September 2020 and 20th March 2021 only
2.If the week you choose has a higher rental fee, we will ask that you to pay the difference when the amendment is made.  We cannot reduce the cost of your booking
3.If for any circumstances, you are not able to make the new dates, government policy dictates you can’t travel, or any for any other reason at all, we will not provide a refund on your new booking or offer a change of dates.
What to do next
Therefore, if your booking is in April this year and you would like us to try and make an amendment for you, please check the availability, let us know your preferred date,  and we will try our best to accommodate you, please allow us extra time to confirm this.
There will be customers we can’t accommodate and unfortunately, we aren’t able to provide refunds in these circumstances as we don’t have the property owner’s authority to do so, and don’t hold the fund ourselves. We are very sorry that lots of customers, whether insured or not, stand to lose money as a result of the pandemic, and how that has affected people’s rights to travel.  The losses are also significant to our business too (like many others), and cottage owners are likely to be in a precarious financial position when there is currently no end point in sight to the current crisis. We are not a large business or multi-national corporation that can draw on creditors and investors for support.  We are doing our utmost to assist where we can.

Bookings from May onwards
We have just been advised by Calmac that people will not be able to make bookings online for the Oban ferry from now until  mid July 2020, although current bookings with them will still stand. People can still come onto the island through our 3 ferry routes ie Oban – Craignure, Lochaline – Fishnish,  Kilchoan – Tobermory.   We don’t know as yet whether this is subject to change or whether a full travel ban is likely to be enforced in the coming weeks.  Please bear with us while we gain a full picture on the likely repercussions for our guests, alongside the financial implications for cottage owners and our business, and how we might best be able to deal with this going forward.  We ask that all customers booked from May onwards give us time to help our April and May customers in the first instance.

Upcoming Balances
In terms of upcoming balances due in two months time, we are being flexible and allowing people extra time to make their balance payments.  So we will not be expecting any balance payments until a month before you are due to arrive. At that stage we can review the situation dependant on government advice on travel. We hope this allows our guests time to make an informed decision on whether to travel or not and see how the current situation unfolds.

Thank you.
Island Holiday Cottages