What do I need to know before choosing a Property?

Q: Do you have properties suitable for those with mobility problems?

We encourage owners to make their group self catering holiday accommodation as accessible as is reasonably practicable. We advertise a number of properties as ‘suitable for those with some mobility problems’, in which case access from the car drop-off point to the property is short and fairly level (2 – 3 steps up or down at most), the living room and kitchen are easily accessible and there is a bedroom and bath or shower-room with w.c. on the ground floor. If we say a property is ‘suitable for wheelchair users’, it means that the property and facilities have been designed with wheelchair users in mind. If you have disabled people in your party, please always discuss the property’s suitability for them with us, in detail, before booking.

Q: What if I or a member of my party have allergies to pets or feathers?

If you need (for allergy reasons, for instance) a property which pets NEVER enter, please tell us. Please don’t assume owners who don’t accept dogs will never allow a dog (guide dogs, for example) in the property. Similarly, if anyone in your party suffers from allergies to feathers or other materials, please let us know when you are booking so that we can guide you towards an appropriate alternative group self catering property.

Q: What about Internet access in the holiday house?

At large holiday properties where broadband is shown as available, we are unable to guarantee absolutely that it will be available during your stay. If this facility is important to you, please discuss details of the service provider with us in advance and ask them to do their best to ensure availability. Please note there may be an additional charge for internet access. Please do not expect owners to provide IT support during your stay.

Q: Will there be a phone in the self catering holiday cottage?

Not all large self catering properties have phones. We indicate in the holiday home property description whether they are available and if they are for outgoing or incoming calls only. Calls you make will be payable. If this is important to you, please ask for further details. Mobile coverage is very variable.  Click here to check for mobile coverage at your holiday destination

Q: When are swimming pools open?

Every effort is made to have outdoor heated pools available for your use between the second week in May and the second week in October (subject to cleaning and emergency maintenance) unless we say otherwise in the large holiday property description. In particularly bad weather conditions we cannot guarantee the temperature of the pool.

Q: Are swimming pools safety supervised?

No. You and your fellow holidaymakers use them entirely at your own risk.

Children, poor swimmers and non-swimmers must always be supervised in pool areas.

The pools are regularly maintained by our staff, but please don’t hesitate to contact us if you see something that could cause danger.

Q: Are all of your group self catering properties self-contained?

Yes. Where facilities are shared we say so; otherwise, you will have sole use of the property.

Q: Do any of your large holiday cottages allow smoking?

For the pleasure and comfort of all our guests, all our large group accommodation properties are strictly no smoking.

Q: How do I know if a holiday house accepts dogs?

If pets are permitted at a property, it will be stated on the property information and if you are bringing a dog, we will send you further guidance on the dos and don’ts when you book.

In the meantime, you can also find out more here.


The Booking Process

Q: Can I, the holidaymaker, change the names of those staying at the property after I have made my booking?

Yes. Do let us know in writing and in advance, the names of all guests, their ages (if under 18) and the dates they will stay in the property. The overnight total must not exceed the maximum number the property is advertised as accommodating. If you do have a change of guests mid-week do make sure you inform us if you require additional linen and towels, for which we will make a charge.

Q: Can I, the holidaymaker, change a booking once it is fixed.

At the owners discretion, yes you may change a date on your group self catering holiday.

Q: Can you, the agents, change a booking once confirmed in a large holiday home?

Exceptional circumstances outside of our control could arise which could result in the cancellation of a booking. Under such circumstances we would refund all monies with the exception of the deposit.  If we, through actions within our control,  have to cancel your holiday we would refund your money in full. In either case we will inform you immediately and try to offer you alternative group accommodation. Our liability does not extend beyond this point.

Q: What happens if I need to cancel my group self catering holiday?

By making your booking, our agreement is a legal contract and your deposit is non-refundable.

If you cancel :

  • Up to 16 weeks before your arrival date you will not be liable for anything other than your deposit.
  • Between 16 and 12 weeks 50% of the balance
  • Between 12 weeks and 8 weeks 75% of the balance
  • If you cancel within 8 weeks of your arrival date, your entire payment is forfeit.

In every case where a cancellation takes place we will do our utmost to re-let the dates. As the date of the holiday draws nearer we may need to reduce the price, wholly at our discretion. If we resell the holiday for less than you paid we shall refund you the lesser amount less an administration and advertising fee of £100.

Many unforeseen things can occur either prior or while on holiday and we strongly recommend that you take out holiday insurance.

Please see our Terms & Conditions pages, relevant to each property, which can be found on their listings.

Q: What are the Terms of Business?

When you make a booking you enter into a legal contract with the owner of the self catering holiday property. The Terms of Business can be found by going to a Properties page, where you can see T&Cs on our website.

Q: When does the final balance need to be paid for my group self catering holiday?

At least 8 weeks before your holiday starts.

Q: How much deposit do I have to pay to secure my booking?

The deposit to secure your booking is 25% of the basic rental of the group accommodation.

Q: How do I pay for my group holiday accommodation?

By Bacs transfer or cheque.

Q: Are there any additional charges for your group self catering holidays?

Heating, electricity, bed linen and towels are always included in the rental of our large group self catering properties. We will let you know about any ‘extras’ at the time you book. Where there is a wood burner or open fire and logs are available from the owner, there is sometimes a small charge. There will also be a charge for telephone calls and excess internet usage

Q: Are the prices quoted for the large holiday house or per person?

All prices quoted are for the basic rental of the large self catering house and where applicable includes the cost of travel cots, high chairs and bringing your dogs. There is no booking fee or card transaction fees.

Q: How far in advance can I book a large holiday cottage?

If prices and availability are shown on the website then you can make a booking. Prices are usually set during June of the previous year for our group self catering holidays in the Wye Valley.

Q: How do I book?

A: Booking Online:

We don’t allow online booking of our large holiday houses. We like to know who is coming to our owners’ properties and we can only find that out by contact. Consequently bookings can be taken over the phone or by email.

B: Booking over the phone:

Call us on +44 (0)1600 732050 and we can book your large group self catering holiday for you over the phone. We will take your name, postal address, telephone number (and email address if you have one). We will then enter these details on our booking system and send you an invoice by email. If booking more than 8 weeks prior to arrival you have the choice as to whether to pay a deposit (25% of the rental) or the full amount. Your booking will be confirmed to you by email or post.


My Arrival and Stay

Q: What time must I vacate the self catering holiday property?

We ask all holidaymakers to vacate the property they are staying in by 10am on the last day. There is unlikely to be any flexibility on this time due to cleaning arrangements.

Q: What do I do with rubbish at the large holiday cottage?

The property welcome folder will include information on the use of refuse bins and refuse collection days. Please note that glass and bottles are not collected and must be taken to the nearest Bottle Bank – the location of which will be found in the welcome folder or taken home with you. The clearance of unsorted or excessive rubbish will be charged at cost from your bond.

Q: Am I expected to clean the property before leaving?

We ask all our holidaymakers to leave the property clean and tidy. A thorough clean is done in-between lets by owners / cleaners, but please make sure that;

  • household rubbish bins are emptied and deposited in the appropriate outside bins.
  • if fires have been used and embers are cool enough, please clean out fires.
  • owners are very appreciative of holidaymakers who strip used beds for hygiene reasons.

Q: What do I do if I find something wrong at the property?

If you find anything wrong, tell the owner or the caretaker AT ONCE (you will find their contact details on your paperwork/email information). They will be anxious to put any problem right as quickly as is humanly possible.

If you cannot get hold of them, then contact Big House Holiday Lets immediately (01600 732050). Outside normal office hours please phone the mobile contact you’ll be given on arrival. A member of staff is ‘on call’ 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to deal with emergencies. If you have difficulties, please do not suffer in silence.

Mention problems that are spoiling your holiday to owners, caretakers or us so that action can be taken to put things right. We care that you enjoy your holiday in our homes and will do all we can to rectify any problems.

Q: Where will I collect the keys and directions to the cottage?

Following receipt of your final payment, full instructions will be sent to you.

They will contain details of directions, full postal address as well as information on picking up the keys to the large holiday home you have booked in the Wye Valley or Forest of Dean.

Q: What time am I able to occupy the holiday home?

From 4 p.m. onwards. Please do not arrive earlier as this will interfere with the cleaning and maintenance tasks that need to be performed prior to your stay.

If you do have a need to arrive earlier, please discuss it with us well beforehand so that we can find out from the owner if we can accommodate any flexibility.

Q: What provisions are provided?

Even though this is a self-catering holiday home, some basic consumable items are likely to be present when you arrive.

If you wish to avoid duplication or ensure that particular allergies will not be triggered, check with the owner/caretaker what will and will not be there (contact details provided with your final booking confirmation) and they will be able to confirm whether they can accommodate the needs of your group.

Likely to be present are

  • Tea. Coffee, Sugar as a welcome drink
  • A few dishwasher tablets
  • Some washing up liquid
  • Basic cleaning materials
  • Loo roll

There may also be other non-perishable items like a few herbs and spices.  You will need to bring everything else that you need or expect to use over the course of your stay or perhaps purchase them from local shops near your holiday cottage.

Q: Do you provide cots and highchairs in your holiday homes?

All of our properties provide 2 travel cots – and 2 highchairs. Please do check the individual property details.

Bedding for cots is NOT provided; please bring your baby’s bed linen for the cot.

Q: Do we have to bring our own bed linen and towels?

Bed linen, towels and tea towels are provided unless otherwise stated.

Do look at the individual property details for clarification.

Pool and hot tub towels and cot linen are not provided at any of our properties.

We also ask families with small children to provide their own waterproof sheets for beds if needed.

Q: Can I find out about the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley before I arrive?

Yes, (see www.wyedeantourism.co.uk or our own Blog or Things To Do pages on each Property listing for local information).  These include articles, background information on the area and contact details regarding places to eat, local producers and things to do whilst you are on holiday.


After my Stay

Q: How do I leave feedback?

Let us know how your stay went in the Visitors Book and if you have any suggestions for improvements do leave a note for the owner or contact Big House Holiday Lets and we’ll pass it on to them.

Q: What is the “Refundable Bond”?

It’s a deposit that we take on behalf of the owner.  We will only withhold repayment of it if they ask us to do so. Normally, we return the deposit to you within 10 days after the end of your holiday. We retain the right to increase the Bond at our discretion. For single sex groups the Bond is £500.

Q: What do I do if I have left something at the property?

Do check the property thoroughly before you leave, but if a valuable item has been left please contact us. There is a minimum collection and packaging charge of £25.00 for returning items which will be deducted from your bond.