Gîte hols 2021

Will Gîtes be open for holiday business this summer?

Who knows? I think (and hope) they will be otherwise their will be a lot of people who can’t have their holidays, and a lot more skint gite owners.

Gites are apparently allowed to be open at the moment judging by the amount of enquiries we’ve had for winter half term, but that could change fairly quickly if the purported new lockdown happens.

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We’re open until told to be closed!

Bookings relatively healthy, I think 8 weeks now booked for summer. Some have checked that the contract says that their deposit will be refunded if things change - which it does, and is what we did last year. And the cleaning arrangements, which we have augmented.

Just done the accounts for last year, and despite me feeling v gloomy and fed up about not getting fonds de solidarité for early part of year, the rest was pretty normal. So better than I had feared.

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I think it depends upon the owners.
We have bookings carried forward from last year but the way that the new variant is running around like wildfire does not give us any hope.
We also would not want anyone who had not been vaccinated.

Are you going to ask for proof?

I think anyone coming by plane is likely to have to be vaccinated.
I’m assuming this year will be the same as last - cancellations from the UK (I’m not expecting them to want to transfer their deposits yet again, so we’re anticipating having to refund this year, which we didn’t have to last)
If I’m lucky I may get a few late bookings from mainland Europe. Expecting to translate all our stuff into bad German and French this winter!
Otherwise I will behave exactly the same as I did last year and behave as if anyone (even if they have been vaccinated) can pass it on to us or leave traces for other guests - follow French cleaning protocols, a week between bookings, cottage stripped back to bare minimum (no games / books / ornaments or surplus crockery and cutlery), keeping our distance, wearing masks.

Like Sue whether or not someone said they were vaccinated would make no difference to our behaviour, so no point asking them!

But then we have no British clients, and certainly wouldn’t want them now. I personally feel that even if holidays are ok, each nationality/resident should stick to their own country and all borders should be closed to everything but essential travel.

Surely there are few people who could seriously say they have visited everything there is to visit in their own country?

Yes.
I have come across this stupid post must be at least five characters again. WHY?

But how would you know whether that proof was real or not? I have seen my BILs little vaccination card for Pfizer, and my own. But no idea what they might look like in other countries and for other vaccines.

We managed last year by just talking to people about precautions and will do so again this year. If they say they have been vaccinate we will still take precautions.

Most under 18’s won’t be vaccinated by the start of summer so that would exclude the majority of families from taking holidays.

All of our guests come by car.
I think we will be refunding too.

Obviously we are not experts in spotting forgeries, but the majority of our guests are older, so more likely to have been vaccinated.

The vaccine stops the person getting covid it does not stop them passing it on.
I read in only one place that Macron wants the state of emergency kept until June 1

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As renters we certainly should have rules in order to protect ourselves and our property

What are your rules or your new rules

@Barbara_Deane I found this thread invaluable last summer. I’ll be doing exactly the same as I did last year. So far as I’m concerned nothing has changed, even with vaccination

Yes but do you leave lots of toys for the kids or ask them to bring their own
Check out time has to be regimented as does check in
One week open and the next closed would not work for me or my agents
We have huge rooms and lots of big windows plus a parc with outside cooking>

@Barbara_Deane
We each do what we feel is necessary / appropriate in our individual circumstances. And what I thought through over weeks last year and in the end chose to do may not be right for you. You need to think through for yourself what feels safe. My suggestion is if at any point it feels risky or cutting corners, then don’t do it. So, for example you may need a larger team of cleaners than you would normally expect to pay for.
As I’ve mentioned several times elsewhere, I am fortunate. I run what professional gite owners call a “hobby gite”. It supplements my pension and the money is very welcome, but it means I can easily make decisions that protect me (I do all the cleaning) and my guests.
I have never booked back to back and I would be VERY concerned about doing so in the current climate. But if you really have no option, then at the very least I would ask guests to leave earlier and arrive later than they might have done in the past, to give maximum time for airing and cleaning.
Set a VERY strict protocol for your cleaners - the French paperwork is excellent and I translated it into English for people here. It’s no good your cleaners saying “if it looks clean it is clean”. EVERYTHING must be cleaned thoroughly.
Certainly I found stripping the cottage of any extras made my life (and that of my guests) much easier. So for last year and this all games / books / DVDs / extra ornaments and knickknacks have been removed. I also took away extra plates/cutlery/glasses/etc We have always been very generous with what we provide.
I also provided a “stuff box” for each set of guests which had things in to help them keep the cottage clean - unopened soap / hand cleanser / spare masks / new kitchen washing up brushes etc etc and one or two little gifts (pretty note pads / lip gloss - again in unopened packs)
I also have a 40 page info book (where to eat / places to visit / instructions for equipment in the cottage) and I now print off a fresh copy for each set of guests and put it in a cardboard cover, just for them. They are asked to take it away with them or put in the rubbish when they go.
I ask guests to bring anything they want in the way of games etc but also emphasise that EVERYTHING that comes into the cottage with them MUST leave with them - fridge etc to be completely empty…
I asked them NOT to strip beds - some guests think they are helping. i have a protocol for dealing with bed linen involving rolling it away from from me.

All of this and more is conveyed to them before they come and is shown on my website.
Those who came last year loved it. They found it very reassuring, kept the cottage very clean and entered into the spirit of what I was aiming to do, to keep all our guests and us safe.

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I agree with all you say and we have always spent a lot on keeping the property tip to toe clean
No parties or celebrations just holiday enjoyment.

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Yes our guests seemed happy with the precautions we’d taken. We also split some things in half, so had half the kids toys in the gîte and swapped with then other half at the end of each stay. Same with cushions, as looked a bit stark with nothing!

We left a list of maps and guide books that we would provide if they wanted, and a basket to put thing like that in at the end so could be disinfected/rested. The most popular walks we laminated, so could be easily disinfected.

We continued with back to back bookings as our profit margins are tight, and since we were unsure how many bookings we would get we needed to make sure our costs were at least covered (which is 5 weeks high season rental). So also complete change of all bedding between guests, putting everything through the dishwasher etc etc. It was hard work on changeover day! Especially as left a couple of hours airing time…

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We are very much like you Sue. We will leave a week between bookings, so that the house can be thoroughly aired and we will not go in until three days after the guests have left.
We do all our own cleaning too.
We have guests desperate to come in May, but I really cannot see that happening.
Our main hope is that the family will be able to come for their two week holiday at the end of August, but that depends on restrictions within Schengen.
Also, we really hope that we will have been vaccinated by then.

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