Corona and Us
From September 2020 we will be taking bookings again. Our opening will be with limited capacity, but at least we're back
To see what we can and cannot do under the current rules, we made a protocol that we need to follow, and unfortunately it also involves a set of rules we must ask our clients to comply with.
One very important change: for the duration of the limitations imposed by the pandemic, we shall not be taking bookings for just one night. The two nights before and after any booking, the guest's room is left unoccupied - the only certain way to void virus transmission via bedding and pillows. That, plus only three out of our five rooms occupied at any one time, means our occupancy is already dramatically down, and this makes single night bookings too expensive for us.
We'll be happy to send you the documentation on our way of working, and on what we need guests to comply with. They will always be sent with booking confirmations and will be part of our agreement. Everything can still change at very short notice, so we'd rather send out the most recent version via mail, than host it on this site.
You will not find a Good-to-Go certificate. Because we find it a dismal, pointless excercise. Why? Well, here's what a business needs to do to get its certificate: go to the website, enter business details and answer 'yes' to all the multiple-choice questions following. And that is it. We'll have nothing to do with that!
Thank you for your interest, we hope to see you soon!
The order is chronological, the most recent on top.
The current Corona-pandemic was easy enough to handle up to mid-July, as we were simply not allowed to open. From then on,
the government has decided that we may, subject to restrictions.
To see what we can and cannot do under those rules, we made a protocol that we need to follow. In addition to the conditions imposed on us, we added lots of things that we felt we needed to in order for us to feel comfortable working again.
This did not turn out well. There is a daunting list of extra cleaning, the maximum occupancy of the house is right down to well below 10% of normal times, we would not be able to provide breakfast, but worst of all: when we look at what a guest may expect from a stay with us, we cannot ensure anything remotely like the experience we want to provide.
With heavy heart, we have decided to remain closed for the time being under these circumstances. We will not consider taking bookings before September, but even then we will not guarantee to open. It very much depends on how the situation develops. Watch this space, which we will update as soon as we know more, or somewhere mid-August at the latest.
Our website no longer met the requirements of modern times. Or rather: the requirements that Google sets to be properly visible in search results! For the most part this was caused by our website not adapting to small screens such as those of mobile phones. We can do quite a bit ourselves, but for this we have called in the help of a company that we had seen work from before. Janewi went to work for us quickly, with good feedback and at an attractive rate. So from now on the new website they have built is operational, and now we'll just wait and see how visibility improves! We have every confidence that it will be fine.
TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
We were very pleased to have been inducted into the TripAdvisor 'Hall of Fame' - an award given to some 10% of B&Bs - those that have rated at least four stars and got consistently great reviews. A big thanks to our guests - without your reviews that would not have happened!
Both for deposits and for payment on departure, we now have the possibility of taking payments via PayPal. Even though the actual costs of PayPal transactions are added to the amount due at 3.5%, that still makes it considerably cheaper than many deposit payments via banks. Do keep in mind that if you do not pay in GBP, PayPal or your bank will charge you for the conversion!
Rates for 2018
After four years, our rates are once more updated. Guests sharing a room will now pay £ 37.50 rather than £ 35, and for singles there is a change from £ 45 to £ 55.
During the last few years, we passed on the actual cost of taking card payments (3.5%) at check-out. As do a lot of small (and big) businesses. Now, the card companies' lobby has convinced the EU that that should not be allowed. The result is that we no longer take card payments. We do still use card details to secure bookings, though.
Rates for 2014
For the first time since 1-1-2011, some of our rates need to be increased. Inflation has continued all these years, so it was only a matter of time! Guests sharing a room will now pay £ 35 rather than £ 32,50. The rate remains unchanged for singles.
An old house - ours is from 1904 - is charming and fun, but it has certain disadvantages. After a few unexplained power outages it was time to call in professionals. They have done weeks of work on rewiring almost the entire electricity supply. Everything is now up to date. A safe feeling!
We have tried to write out our policies in a separate page (called 'terms'). This is included to try to prevent any misunderstanding. Legal jargon has been avoided as much as possible, and we hope it reads like actual English!
After a lot of bad experiences last year, we have had to decide on a minimum age of 8, regretfully. This does not please us at all; many of the children staying were a joy to have around. There were too many cases, though, of parents letting their children run wild (and that was really wild) without supervision. This caused breakages that we were expected to pay for, bother for other guests, and an unbelievable amount of cleaning, while the people involved even got angry for us not giving discounts for children. The fun no longer outweighed the toil and loss. We took the decision with a lot of regrets, and we realise that it will put out many people. But the decision is made, and we will have to let it stand.
Prices for 2012
Our rates for 2012 will remain the same.
Just in time to benefit from very favourable government rules, we have gone a lot greener than we were. At the back of the house, solar panels have been installed. This will give us a lot of the greenest electricity imaginable when we need it most: in the summer season. And it should help us in keeping our costs down, which ultimately benefits you, dear customer!
The sign hanging over the front door had become old and tatty. We were extremely lucky to have the address of Ratho Forges, who have designed and built us a beautiful new one, with a very handy mechanism to change the 'vacancy' and 'no vacancy' signs around. We hope it will remain as attractive for many years to come!
All of the guest bathrooms have had major upgrades this year. Some were almost completely redone, others less extensively, but they all look a lot fresher, and with the wet-walling replacing tiles and grout, they are set to remain so for a long time to come.
Prices for 2011
After rates have been constant for a number of years, for the 2011 season we cannot escape raising them a bit. We hope it will not deter you from staying with us!
Bathroom Floors Upgraded
We were never very happy with the carpets in most of the en-suites, and now that all rooms have been upgraded to new vinyl flooring they all look and feel a lot better!
The house was in need of a new coat of paint, and now this has been done it looks almost new! It is still, of course, well over a hundred years old.
Double Glazing Installed
All the old single-glazed windows were replaced by new ones offering the best insulation on offer. This will mean more comfort for our guests!
Two of our guest-rooms have been fitted with new furniture. Over the coming years, the others will follow suit.
Flat Screen TVs
The aging and bulky TVs in the guest rooms are replaced by flat screen ones. They have a DVD player built-in, so if you bring a (region 2) DVD with you, you can now watch it in the room.
The analogue television signal (which was pretty bad anyway) is due to be shut down sometime in 2010. Instead of four snowy channels, we now have six crisp and clear digital ones (BBC1, BBC2, STV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and BBC News).
After almost a month of preparation, Breadalbane House reopened.
This was the day that our new life as B&B owners started.