What do we need to bring?
We do our best to make our houses “home from home”. We will send you details of things that will be in the houses like cling film, foil etc when you arrive. Basically you should be able to walk in with your personal belongings and the usual supermarket shopping and have a great time.
The only bedding that we do not provide is for the travel cot.
Do you accept short breaks at the houses?
We will accept short breaks all year round, even as short as one night on occasion. We will do our best to offer you the best deal we can. However, the price of a short break can seem disproportionately high compared to a full week. This is due to the relatively high cost of the housekeeping.
Can I bring my pets?
Yes – pets are very welcome at both our houses. So far we have only had dogs, cats, hamsters and a rabbit! They are all very welcome. We ask that you do not let your dogs upstairs or on the furniture. Also, obviously, we ask that you clear up after your pets and dispose of any waste responsibly (not in the regular bins at the houses).
How can we pay for our holiday?
We can accept payment by debit and credit cards, cheques, bank transfers and Paypal. If you are making a very late booking it may be possible to pay cash but we prefer not to do this.
Please note that we impose a 2% surcharge for payment by credit cards as we are charged 4.5% by the banks!
I will be arriving very late – how can I get in?
Both our houses have a combination key guard system which is accessible at any time. We will do our best to leave lights on etc if you will be arriving at night. Full details of how to access the keys will be provided before your holiday.
What is your normal arrival and departure time?
We ask guests to leave by 10.00am on the day of their departure and we commit to having the house ready for any new guests arriving by 4.00pm. The houses are both large and are cleaned to a very high standard. Six hours to clean the houses throughout, sort out all the linen and towels and resolve minor maintenance items when possible is a significant challenge. We really appreciate the fact that most guests cooperate.
We are travelling with an infant and a three year old – what is there at the house?
We provide a travel cot, high chair and two stair gates at each house.
Please note we do NOT provide bedding for the cot.
With sufficient notice we have been able to borrow an additional travel cot and high chair for our guests to use – we do understand the enormous quantity of baby related paraphernalia that is essential when travelling!
Is there any way of listening to music?
We are progressively changing from CD players to iPod docking stations. Each house has a main unit downstairs that has various adapters to suit different devices.
Please note if you are using an iPhone 5 you will need to bring a lightning to 30 pin adapter.
We love “real” coffee – do we need to bring our machine from home?
Both our houses have stainless steel cafetières and a coffee machine that takes ground coffee and does not need filters. Hopefully this will satisfy even the most discerning of you!
Do you offer a discount if we stay two weeks?
We can usually offer a good deal if you choose to stay for a fortnight at either of our houses. It depends exactly what your requirements are. Some guests are happy to stay two weeks without ever setting sight on our housekeepers. Others choose to have clean bedding and towels provided and change the beds themselves. A few guests prefer to go out for the day & have what is effectively a complete changeover. Please let us know your preference and we can offer a discount to suit.
How will we stop our teenagers from getting bored?
There are many outdoor activities suited for all ages and levels of fitness. Hopefully a change of scene will capture your youngsters imagination and persuade them to venture outside. If all else fails there is Sky TV at the houses, Wi-Fi and a variety of games. Bring your Wii or XBox if you really can’t persuade them that they won’t be bored.
Can we buy food nearby?
There is a very large Co-op in Portree which is only 20minutes drive from Colgrain. There is also a convenience store in Dunvegan about 8 miles from the house.
There is another Co-op supermarket in Broadford which is about 18 miles from The Old Church. There is also a small but well provisioned store in the village itself.
At the Kyle of Lochalsh, just before the Skye Bridge, there is another Co-op which can be useful when visiting both houses, depending on your route.
Details of the opening hours will be provided before your holiday. Please take care to check these around Bank Holidays.
We are going to a wedding – will we be able to get taxis?
We have contact details for taxi companies around the island so this should be possible. However we do recommend that you book as far in advance as possible even if you don’t know the exact timings of your day. Let us know what you are looking for & we will do our best to help.
We are going to a wedding – is it possible to arrive earlier than 4.00pm?
We will always try to help guests with this type of request if we can. On occasion we have allowed guests access at 2.00pm with a commitment that the upstairs will have been fully prepared by that time. After the guests have changed etc & gone off to the event, our housekeepers can then return & finish any outstanding work downstairs. This does cause us some problems and obviously requires significant trust on both sides. A bottle of wine to thank the housekeepers for their extra help is highly recommended!!
There are just two of us in four bedroomed house – can you reduce the price?
As we like our houses to be “home from home” there are no doors within the houses that are locked or lockable (except the bathrooms naturally!). Therefore when we rent the house out we rent the whole house. We may be able to offer a small discount as there is less bedding to deal with. After each set of guests leave the whole house gets cleaned irrespective of which rooms have been used.
What if I have to cancel?
We recommend that you take out holiday insurance, as you would for package deals etc which should cover cancellation costs.
Having said that we recognize that unforeseen circumstances do occur and will do our best to help. There are a number of websites that we use where we can enter late availability at discounted rates. So far we have only had a few last minute cancellations but, in each case, we have been able to re-sell the rental and refund the majority of the price to the original guests. We even had flowers and a thank you card on one occasion!
Do we have to pay a security deposit?
At the moment we do not charge any security deposit. We do understand that things get broken accidentally. All that we ask is that you please tell us about any breakages so that we can make sure everything is in order for the next guests. There simply isn’t time to do a full Inventory check on every changeover. There is a “housekeeping notes” book in the houses where we ask you to make a note of anything that gets broken or is not working.