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Copperhead

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I was B&B website surfing and found an interesting site with what I call very strict policies governing deposits, cancellations and arrival. Here are some of them -
  • Deposits for holidays/events/groups are 1/3 of stay balance due 60 days prior to check in
  • Cancellations must be in writing or E-mail
  • No refunds for holiday/event/groups cancellations
  • Reservations are only guaranteed until 7pm, after which will be considered a no show, and forfeit your deposit.
What strict policies have you come across???
 

Copperhead

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I do not find that the 1/3 deposit for holidays, events etc. is that strict but do think that their whole holiday/event/group thing is strict when putting it all together. 1/3 down, balance 60 days prior to arrival, no refunds (no refunds at any stage of the reservation process.)
Their way of handling late arrivals is something I have not seen before. It is not that you can not arrive after 7pm, just that it is boldly stated by way of after 7 and you are considered a no show, that you must make prior arrangements for late arrival. It states that guests are required to provide their expected time of arrival when booking, and to let them know of any changes in route. They will hold the room for only 2 hours after the arrival time given, after that the reservation may be canceled and considered a no show, forfeiting deposit. They state that their reception dest is not staffed full time so your arrival time is needed in order to have someone to greet the guest.
 

Morticia

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NOTE:
I do not find that the 1/3 deposit for holidays, events etc. is that strict but do think that their whole holiday/event/group thing is strict when putting it all together. 1/3 down, balance 60 days prior to arrival, no refunds (no refunds at any stage of the reservation process.)
Their way of handling late arrivals is something I have not seen before. It is not that you can not arrive after 7pm, just that it is boldly stated by way of after 7 and you are considered a no show, that you must make prior arrangements for late arrival. It states that guests are required to provide their expected time of arrival when booking, and to let them know of any changes in route. They will hold the room for only 2 hours after the arrival time given, after that the reservation may be canceled and considered a no show, forfeiting deposit. They state that their reception dest is not staffed full time so your arrival time is needed in order to have someone to greet the guest..
I think the 7 PM no show thing is harsh and I wonder if it has cost them bookings from people who are scared they might lose their room. Heck, even the hotel will hold your room if they have your card to charge if you don't show.
My guess is that they're busy as they want to be and if they can charge the same room twice in one day, bonus.
I know I'd be making a fortune...
BTW, there was a place here that did the same thing. If you did not arrive by 7 they wouldn't let you in.
 

gillumhouse

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I had someone ask me why they were not getting guests. I looked at his web site and he had a 15% gratuity for booking of 4 or more persons.
I e-mailed him a list (that I do not remember) of things he could do to fix his web site and make it better (small things really) and also asked him if he was a restaurant - the 15% gratuity would put off a LOT of potential guests.
 

gillumhouse

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NOTE:
I do not find that the 1/3 deposit for holidays, events etc. is that strict but do think that their whole holiday/event/group thing is strict when putting it all together. 1/3 down, balance 60 days prior to arrival, no refunds (no refunds at any stage of the reservation process.)
Their way of handling late arrivals is something I have not seen before. It is not that you can not arrive after 7pm, just that it is boldly stated by way of after 7 and you are considered a no show, that you must make prior arrangements for late arrival. It states that guests are required to provide their expected time of arrival when booking, and to let them know of any changes in route. They will hold the room for only 2 hours after the arrival time given, after that the reservation may be canceled and considered a no show, forfeiting deposit. They state that their reception dest is not staffed full time so your arrival time is needed in order to have someone to greet the guest..
I think the 7 PM no show thing is harsh and I wonder if it has cost them bookings from people who are scared they might lose their room. Heck, even the hotel will hold your room if they have your card to charge if you don't show.
My guess is that they're busy as they want to be and if they can charge the same room twice in one day, bonus.
I know I'd be making a fortune...
BTW, there was a place here that did the same thing. If you did not arrive by 7 they wouldn't let you in.
.
BTW, there was a place here that did the same thing. If you did not arrive by 7 they wouldn't let you in.
Perhaps that explains the guests who have asked me what time they have to be in by. I tell them they look as if they are adults - whenever they come in and that even my kids had no curfew once they graduated from high school. (My theory was that if I had not trained them properly by then, they were not going to be trained.)
 

Morticia

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NOTE:
I do not find that the 1/3 deposit for holidays, events etc. is that strict but do think that their whole holiday/event/group thing is strict when putting it all together. 1/3 down, balance 60 days prior to arrival, no refunds (no refunds at any stage of the reservation process.)
Their way of handling late arrivals is something I have not seen before. It is not that you can not arrive after 7pm, just that it is boldly stated by way of after 7 and you are considered a no show, that you must make prior arrangements for late arrival. It states that guests are required to provide their expected time of arrival when booking, and to let them know of any changes in route. They will hold the room for only 2 hours after the arrival time given, after that the reservation may be canceled and considered a no show, forfeiting deposit. They state that their reception dest is not staffed full time so your arrival time is needed in order to have someone to greet the guest..
I think the 7 PM no show thing is harsh and I wonder if it has cost them bookings from people who are scared they might lose their room. Heck, even the hotel will hold your room if they have your card to charge if you don't show.
My guess is that they're busy as they want to be and if they can charge the same room twice in one day, bonus.
I know I'd be making a fortune...
BTW, there was a place here that did the same thing. If you did not arrive by 7 they wouldn't let you in.
.
BTW, there was a place here that did the same thing. If you did not arrive by 7 they wouldn't let you in.
Perhaps that explains the guests who have asked me what time they have to be in by. I tell them they look as if they are adults - whenever they come in and that even my kids had no curfew once they graduated from high school. (My theory was that if I had not trained them properly by then, they were not going to be trained.)
.
Not a curfew after you've checked-in, but a rigid check-in time. Not there by 7? They told guests to find other accommodations. Guests were flabbergasted, but innkeepers did not budge. No rooms anywhere else? They guest knew the policy in advance.
Yeah, we all need our downtime and we grouse about being on call 24x7, but life happens to guests, too. Planes don't arrive. Car rentals go wrong. Guests get lost. Lots can happen. So, we put up with the couple of folks who are just rude to help out those who are truly grateful.
And, remember, I was told to call a B&B when I was 'an hour away' and when I did I was yelled at because it was after 3 PM! I had already explained how far away I lived and what I did for a living and if there were guests I would not be leaving until noon. All of that was ok until it was after 3 PM! yeesh. We didn't go back there even tho we drive by everytime we stay in that town.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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I had someone ask me why they were not getting guests. I looked at his web site and he had a 15% gratuity for booking of 4 or more persons.
I e-mailed him a list (that I do not remember) of things he could do to fix his web site and make it better (small things really) and also asked him if he was a restaurant - the 15% gratuity would put off a LOT of potential guests..
gillumhouse said:
I had someone ask me why they were not getting guests. I looked at his web site and he had a 15% gratuity for booking of 4 or more persons.
You can't believe how many times I'm asked by underperforming inns what's wrong only to find the most restrictive policies imaginable.
And the thing is, most of the time, prospective guests don't even tell them why they're not booking. They just move on.
We all know the need to hold tight to basic policies and we've all had the guests who think they can come in at any time. I'm all for setting up self check-ins and easing the whole late arrival process.
But restrictive booking policies do just that. They restrict bookings. If an inn realy wants to be slow, that makes sense I suppose. If an inn wants to make money, they've got to be reasonable with policies or guests just won't book.
 

gillumhouse

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NOTE:
I do not find that the 1/3 deposit for holidays, events etc. is that strict but do think that their whole holiday/event/group thing is strict when putting it all together. 1/3 down, balance 60 days prior to arrival, no refunds (no refunds at any stage of the reservation process.)
Their way of handling late arrivals is something I have not seen before. It is not that you can not arrive after 7pm, just that it is boldly stated by way of after 7 and you are considered a no show, that you must make prior arrangements for late arrival. It states that guests are required to provide their expected time of arrival when booking, and to let them know of any changes in route. They will hold the room for only 2 hours after the arrival time given, after that the reservation may be canceled and considered a no show, forfeiting deposit. They state that their reception dest is not staffed full time so your arrival time is needed in order to have someone to greet the guest..
I think the 7 PM no show thing is harsh and I wonder if it has cost them bookings from people who are scared they might lose their room. Heck, even the hotel will hold your room if they have your card to charge if you don't show.
My guess is that they're busy as they want to be and if they can charge the same room twice in one day, bonus.
I know I'd be making a fortune...
BTW, there was a place here that did the same thing. If you did not arrive by 7 they wouldn't let you in.
.
BTW, there was a place here that did the same thing. If you did not arrive by 7 they wouldn't let you in.
Perhaps that explains the guests who have asked me what time they have to be in by. I tell them they look as if they are adults - whenever they come in and that even my kids had no curfew once they graduated from high school. (My theory was that if I had not trained them properly by then, they were not going to be trained.)
.
Not a curfew after you've checked-in, but a rigid check-in time. Not there by 7? They told guests to find other accommodations. Guests were flabbergasted, but innkeepers did not budge. No rooms anywhere else? They guest knew the policy in advance.
Yeah, we all need our downtime and we grouse about being on call 24x7, but life happens to guests, too. Planes don't arrive. Car rentals go wrong. Guests get lost. Lots can happen. So, we put up with the couple of folks who are just rude to help out those who are truly grateful.
And, remember, I was told to call a B&B when I was 'an hour away' and when I did I was yelled at because it was after 3 PM! I had already explained how far away I lived and what I did for a living and if there were guests I would not be leaving until noon. All of that was ok until it was after 3 PM! yeesh. We didn't go back there even tho we drive by everytime we stay in that town.
.
And, remember, I was told to call a B&B when I was 'an hour away' and when I did I was yelled at because it was after 3 PM!
Sheesh!! and here I have been just checking guests IN at 3 AM! Yep, when traveling with horses, stuff happens.
 

Joey Camb

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Our policy is if you are comming after 9.30pm to call and let us know I don't think that is unreasonable as I am often pooped (english for really tired) and want to go to sleep. I always try and take mobile numbers as then you can ring them in transit if it is getting late. We live on site so its not too big a deal to get up and let people in now and again. Ie we had a regular who missed his train connection so wouldn't be here till midnight so said call the phone when you arrive as its by my bed and it will wake me and I popped up half asleep and let him in. Most people give an approximate time of arrival and I take my mobile everywhere anyway. Want to be in bed now but have one more to come. We have been affected by this volcano thing again so we have Irish ladies stranded with us. We are stri kt about smoking and noise but that is about it.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Our policy is if you are comming after 9.30pm to call and let us know I don't think that is unreasonable as I am often pooped (english for really tired) and want to go to sleep. I always try and take mobile numbers as then you can ring them in transit if it is getting late. We live on site so its not too big a deal to get up and let people in now and again. Ie we had a regular who missed his train connection so wouldn't be here till midnight so said call the phone when you arrive as its by my bed and it will wake me and I popped up half asleep and let him in. Most people give an approximate time of arrival and I take my mobile everywhere anyway. Want to be in bed now but have one more to come. We have been affected by this volcano thing again so we have Irish ladies stranded with us. We are stri kt about smoking and noise but that is about it..
I think allowing check-ins as late as 9:30 PM is very reasonable, indeed, Camberley. Do you do any kind of self check-in for guests arriving later?
 

Joey Camb

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I prefer to check the person in and it does only happen very rarely (ie once in about 2 months) but I have neighbours who leave the key in their porch with a lock box with a combination on that they give the guest, then they check them selves in (ie fill in their registration card and go to their room) If I had more late check in's I would consider investing in one of these as it is a good secure way. Also if I happen to be still up anyway I'll just check them in or my DH keeps later hours than me may do it.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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I prefer to check the person in and it does only happen very rarely (ie once in about 2 months) but I have neighbours who leave the key in their porch with a lock box with a combination on that they give the guest, then they check them selves in (ie fill in their registration card and go to their room) If I had more late check in's I would consider investing in one of these as it is a good secure way. Also if I happen to be still up anyway I'll just check them in or my DH keeps later hours than me may do it..
camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk said:
I prefer to check the person in and it does only happen very rarely (ie once in about 2 months) but I have neighbours who leave the key in their porch with a lock box with a combination on that they give the guest, then they check them selves in (ie fill in their registration card and go to their room) If I had more late check in's I would consider investing in one of these as it is a good secure way. Also if I happen to be still up anyway I'll just check them in or my DH keeps later hours than me may do it.
The lockboxes are my preferred method; they do work really well for everyone. They allow the innkeeper to leave at a decent time, especially on Friday nights when most late check-ins happen.
But if it were only once every couple of months, I'd probably do the same as you and just deal with it myself...
 

Morticia

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I prefer to check the person in and it does only happen very rarely (ie once in about 2 months) but I have neighbours who leave the key in their porch with a lock box with a combination on that they give the guest, then they check them selves in (ie fill in their registration card and go to their room) If I had more late check in's I would consider investing in one of these as it is a good secure way. Also if I happen to be still up anyway I'll just check them in or my DH keeps later hours than me may do it..
Let me ask you...what form is the guest filling out when they arrive? I get all the info I want/need in advance and print out a form the guest signs on arrival. I only fill out a form for a walk-in. And it has less info than a pre-registered guest.
I know a few places I've stayed have asked for all of my info on the phone and then make me fill the whole form out when I arrive. What the heck is the purpose in that? Makes me think they lost all my info!
 

JBloggs

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"Cancellations must be in writing or E-mail"
Funny, we say cancellations must be OVER THE PHONE only, spoken to us personally. I guess it is a catch either way, aye.
 

The Farmers Daughter

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I offer a self check in for guests arriving later than our normally staffed hours. I am very close to NYC and its not unusual for Manhattanites to be stuck in the tunnels or in gridlock for hours. This way they can arrive at their convenience, stop and eat on the way if they prefer or whatever and I don't have to be chained to the front desk.
It works out very well and the guests are appreciative of this option. They get a phone number where I can be reached if necessary and a letter of information with all details. Works out great for all involved. Then I see them in the morning over breakfast. Easy peasy.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Here's one...copy, paste and remove the spaces. With this one, you don't have a reservation unless they receive the contract back!
http://www.lil bearshouse blueridge bandb.com/ docs/KimsRental PolicyandAgreement.pdf
 

ginocat

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Cancellations in writing is perfectly fine. I also send an email or letter confirming their cancellation and give them a cancel number. This is apparently required by credit card companies if you are using a CC to hold the room.
Some hotels may not hold your room past 6:00 p.m. unless you notify them that you will be late. Guests can phone if they will be late, it's not hard. My confirmation says:-
My check-in time is between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. If you think you'll be arriving earlier or later please phone and let me know. My toll-free number is below. Gino the cat hasn't learned to unlock the doors yet so I need to ensure I am home to let you in!
 

Samster

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One of the strictest policies that I find on most B&B websites is the length of time for the cancellation policy. We had so few cancellations here with only 5 rooms and had a 72 hour policy. I think that there are probably folks who aren't booking at B&Bs because of these 7-14 day cancellation policies for just regular bookings. I'm sure the flak will fly over me posting that.
 

gillumhouse

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One of the strictest policies that I find on most B&B websites is the length of time for the cancellation policy. We had so few cancellations here with only 5 rooms and had a 72 hour policy. I think that there are probably folks who aren't booking at B&Bs because of these 7-14 day cancellation policies for just regular bookings. I'm sure the flak will fly over me posting that..
No flak here. I also have VERY few cancellations. Normally I do 48 hours and for the BIG event in July I have a 2-week with a $50 cancelation fee, something I have never done before - but decided this is the year to start. And full payment is requred by July 1!
 

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Cancellations in writing is perfectly fine. I also send an email or letter confirming their cancellation and give them a cancel number. This is apparently required by credit card companies if you are using a CC to hold the room.
Some hotels may not hold your room past 6:00 p.m. unless you notify them that you will be late. Guests can phone if they will be late, it's not hard. My confirmation says:-
My check-in time is between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. If you think you'll be arriving earlier or later please phone and let me know. My toll-free number is below. Gino the cat hasn't learned to unlock the doors yet so I need to ensure I am home to let you in!.
ginocat said:
Gino the cat hasn't learned to unlock the doors yet so I need to ensure I am home to let you in!
Love that!
 
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