Last updated 07/07/2020
Welcoming guests back to Corffe
Last week we received the news that we’d been waiting for, the government gave us the green light to reopen the Corffe Estate to guests. Based on this we plan to reopen the cottages on Monday 6th July.
Due to the number of guests some of our properties can accommodate we are evaluating bookings to ensure they meet the current guidelines and if appropriate we will be in touch with the lead booker to discuss this.
We are now working extremely hard behind the scenes to ensure everything is in place to provide you with a much deserved safe and happy holiday. The safety of our employees, guests and familly are of great importance to us. We are currently busy undertaking training courses, compiling risk assessments, updating cleaning protocols and completing assurance schemes such as the ‘AA COVID Confident assessment’ and ‘Visit England - We’re Good To Go’.
In order for us to re-open responsibly we have reviewed all aspects of your stay and will be adhering to guidance from the UK Government. As part of this, the following will give you an insight into the measures we are taking and procedures that guests will need to follow…
All along we have been working towards the pool being open and providing guests with allocated timeslots so that they can enjoy a socially distanced swim. We have created a risk assessment for the pool and also drafted new pool rules, we also have an online booking system ready to go.
Over the last few days we have been receiving conflicting information regarding whether the guidelines allow us to open this facility and as of this moment our swimming pool is unfortunately closed until we get a definate yes.
We are hopeful we should hear something this week at some point as it was mentioned in the Government briefing last week that they would be shortly giving more details on the timelines for opening pools and gyms.
As you can imagine it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster but we very much hope that we get some clarification in the next few days as we know it’s a popular facility for our guests.
The tennis court is available for guests to use whenever they like. If you would like to use it at a specific time please chalk your name and cottage number on the board outside the court. Hand sanitiser will be available to use when entering the court. Guests will be required to provide their own racquets and balls and these will need to be removed from the court after playing.
We have recently added a basketball hoop to the tennis court for guests to use, again please provide your own basket balls.
There are several pieces of play equipment spread out around the woods, these will be available for children to use and we ask that you supervise young children at all times and ensure that they either use hand sanitiser or wash their hands prior to/following use of the equipment. You will find a hand sanitiser dispenser that you can use attached to the hammock situated near to the main climbing frame. Social distancing to be observed as normal. And remember the risks are substantially reduced outdoors.
If you fancy a kick about then please bring a football to use on pitch by the walled garden.
The laundry room will remain open but we recommend that only one person is in the laundry room at a time to maintain social distancing. We have positioned a hand sanitiser dispenser at the door and have provided cleaning products and equipment for you to wipe down surfaces and equipment once you’ve finished.
Please note the laundry room will be unavailable on Mondays and Fridays between the hours of 9am and 4pm as it is used by our team of housekeepers on changeover.
As before we continue to offer use of a number of charcoal barbeques including the brand new bespoke barbeque in the courtyard. These can be used free of charge and on a first-come-first-served basis. It is important that guests empty and clean the barbeque using the sanitiser provided.
Whilst we are adapting to all the new procedures we have taken the decision to temporarily close the BBQ cabin in the woods. We are however putting an outdoor barbeque by the picnic benches in the woods as it does make a lovely setting in the evening when the outdoor lights are on. This will be free to use but we would ask that guests reserve this spot in advance to us via text/email as we need to ensure it is left clean and tidy.
Unfortunately, the information room and phone box library will be temporarily closed whilst we follow the guidelines. Details of local attractions, and eateries can however be found on the ‘things to do’ page of our website. Please check individual websites before you visit anywhere as you may need to prebook.
Deep cleaning and disinfecting
We have always prided ourselves on high cleaning standards and now more than ever we intend to maintain this. Moving forwards, we will be complying with new and specific Covid-19 cleaning protocols.
The changeover cleaning regime is now being extended to include double cleaning of all high contact areas with sanitiser before every arrival, helping to put your mind at rest.
Our experienced housekeeping team will be provided with appropriate PPE where required and will be using quality, industry approved products and equipment.
We will also be carrying out regular cleaning and sanitising of shared facilities.
New wall mounted alcohol based hand sanitiser dispensers will be located at convenient points around the estate as well as outside each property. We would ask you to use these as frequently as required.
Because of the intensity of the changeover clean we have decided to temporarily remove a few non-essential items from properties such as ornaments, books, DVDs and games as well as throws for the beds.
The guest information folder will also be removed and replaced by a downloadable digital version (available prior to arrival so you can print your own copy if desired).
Where possible, staff and guests from different households/bubbles should remain at least 1 metre apart. The Corffe Estate offers lots of outdoor space so hopefully this will be straightforward to maintain.
We have designated each property a table in the courtyard so that social distancing can be maintained whilst also maintaining a social able atmosphere. We would ask guests to avoid moving the outdoor furniture and to maintain the cleanliness of it.
We ask you not to invite any additional guests onto site during your stay as we need to keep track of who is here.
Please do not enter another property onsite and please ensure you do not swap items such as glassware or crockery with another property.
Check-in is from 4pm, we cannot allow new guests to arrive before this time.
Once your property is ready for you we will leave the sanitised key in the door, please let yourself in.
Please wait until the unloading area is free before unloading, once unloaded move your car to the carpark.
Finally drop us a text to let us know you have arrived safely, we do live onsite so can quickly deal with any queries you might have.
Check-out will now be 9am for all properties.
The evening before your departure we will come to your cottage to drop off an extra dishwasher tablet and bin bag (if required). We will also leave you with a laundry bag.
Our new cleaning protocol means that we need you to strip your bedding and place with bath towels, tea towels and oven gloves in the bag provided. Please leave the bag near to the front door for us to collect once you leave.
As before please take all rubbish and recycling to the bins by the entrance and remove all perishables.
We will need you to ensure you fill your dishwasher and leave it running prior to departure. This is with not only your breakfast items but as many kitchen items as possible as we need to wash every single item in the kitchen before our next guests arrive.
The key is to be left in the outside of the door. For larger properties, the spare key can be left on the coat hook inside.
Due to critical time constraints, it is vital that all guests follow these new procedures, if guests don’t adhere to the rules then it will unfortunately leave us with no option but to withhold the security deposit.
If you feel unwell
If before you (or any of your party) start your journey to us or during it you feel unwell with COVID-19 symptoms then please let us know and either stay at home or return home to self-isolate.
If any members of your group feel unwell during your stay with us then we require you all to initially remain in your cottage and contact us by phone. You then need to arrange a test which can be booked online. Should your test prove positive for COVID-19 then we require you and your group to return home to self-isolate.
If you feel you are not well enough to travel or are unable to make arrangements to travel then we need to be informed and the situation will be discussed with a health care professional and/or the local authority. It is worth noting that should you end up staying onsite rather than departing you could be liable for any arising costs such as cancellations from other guests due to a COVID sufferer being onsite.
We have also addressed some common questions about your booking...
What happens if you are forced to close again, will I get a refund?
Fingers crossed this won’t happen but understandably you want the reassurance that your money is safe. During lockdown we have been offering all guests the choice of a full refund or alternative date. Should we have to lockdown again then we would continue with this.
I am due to pay my balance what should I do?
We are now asking guests to pay the final balance in line our standard 8 week time period. Should the final balance remain outstanding after this time-period we will take it as an acknowledgement to cancel the booking.
Can I cancel or rearrange my booking now?
If we are open then our standard terms apply (these can be found on the individual property pages on our website). If your stay doesn’t currently fall within our temporary closure period we cannot action these requests and our standard cancellation terms apply. We recommend contacting your insurance provider in this instance.
I want to speak to someone about my booking
We are understandably receiving high levels of calls and emails and it is taking us longer than normal to work through these. We would suggest sending us an email in the first instance. It is also a good idea to keep an eye on this page as we will update it with useful information once we have it.
To reiterate we plan to end our closed period on Monday 6th July. We will continue to closely monitor and follow government guidelines and should any changes we make apply to your booking you can rest assured we will be in touch.
At this stage, we would like to thank all the guests that have sent us messages of support and for all of those that have rescheduled their stay to a future date. It is still a difficult and uncertain time for everyone so we really do appreciate this.
If you have any urgent questions please drop us an email and we will try and answer them as quickly as possible.
Take care and we look forward to welcoming you to beautiful North Devon soon,
Hazel & Jon