Firstly, I hope this message finds you safe and well in these difficult times. It has been a very strange and challenging time for us all and we have really missed welcoming guests to Tub Cottage and sharing the beautiful Peak District with them. We have been very fortunate to live in Litton during the lockdown and have been able to enjoy lovely walks from our doorstep during our daily exercise. It certainly makes us very thankful to live in such a beautiful place and we are looking forward to sharing it with you again in the not too distant future.
Our last guests vacated in the middle of March and we made the decision to cancel all bookings until the end of July, as we hoped that by then we would have some clear guidance from the Government on when and how we could safely open our doors again to guests. We know that once we receive the go ahead, we will need to respond to the guidance around cleanliness and social distancing practices relating to holiday accommodation. We are carefully considering how we can do this at Tub Cottage and know that effective communication with guests will be essential to ensure that you feel comfortable and secure staying with us.
We thought it would be helpful to share with you the types of procedures we will be putting into place which will hopefully provide you with the assurance that Tub Cottage will be a safe place for you to enjoy a relaxing and comfortable holiday, whilst being mindful of the new way of life that we are all having to adapt to.
Internal cleaning regime – we know that COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus) can survive on surfaces such as metal, glass and plastic for hours or days, however, they can be killed very quickly if cleaned and disinfected correctly. Therefore all hard surfaces within the Tub Cottage will be cleaned firstly with warm, soapy water (soap works very well at disrupting the virus structure), then disinfected with an anti-bacterial surface cleaner that is effective on viruses as well as bacteria. Surfaces will include high traffic areas such as door handles, light switches, appliance handles e.g. kettle handle, fridge door, oven and microwave, TV remotes, toilet and tap handles and all food prep areas and bathroom surfaces. All cleaning cloths will be washed at 60 degrees in-between cleans. We will load the dishwasher with essential pots and leave it to run on a high temperature, ready for the next guests to unload. This will ensure that crockery, cutlery and pots are only handled by current guests following the dishwashing cycle. We hope that our guests will find this arrangement acceptable in the current circumstances.
External cleaning regime: Our outdoor table, chairs and bench will be wiped with anti-bacterial cleaner in-between each stay as well as the recycling facilities in the back yard. For the benefit of our neighbours, we ask our guests to respectfully adhere to the 2 metre social distancing when enjoying the outside space at Tub Cottage.
Cleaners: We clean the cottage ourselves (me, my husband and daughter), so you can be assured that the regime sufficiently meets the required guidelines. In order to protect ourselves and our guests, we will wear disposable aprons, masks and gloves during each clean.
What we will provide in the cottage: We will provide anti-bacterial liquid soap at the kitchen and bathroom sinks and antibacterial wipes and spray in the kitchen. Guests are encouraged to bring their own supplies of hand gel, hand wipes or PPE such as masks and gloves should they wish.
Laundering of bedding and towels: We use our local Hillsprings Laundry for all the cottage’s bedding, towels and tea towels. This will be washed at 60 degrees with biological powder to ensure that any germs are killed during the washing process. The clean laundry is returned to us in sealed bags.
Non-essential items in the cottage: Although these are nice touches that add value to our guests’ experience, we have been advised to temporarily ask guests to refrain from using the mountain bikes, handling board games, maps and information leaflets in the cottage. We will wipe down the guest welcome folder with anti-bacterial wipes as we feel that this information is essential for our guests to access during their stay. We are also temporarily removing decorative soft furnishings such as cushions and throws as these are difficult to clean between each stay.
Check in and check out times: We are changing our check-in and check-out times to allow for the extra cleaning we will need to do. These have changed to – after 5pm for check-in and by 9am for check-out on the day of departure.
Meeting and greeting our guests: One of the best experiences of being a holiday cottage host is to meet guests a few hours after they arrive to say hello and ensure that they have everything they need. We would still like to do this as it provides the personal touch that we strive for. We will therefore visit the cottage at a time to suit guests and stay outside the cottage, ensuring that we maintain the recommended 2 metre social distance. We will, however, respect our guests’ wishes if they would prefer us not to visit and instead meet and greet over the telephone.
Out and about in the local area: One of the benefits of staying at Tub Cottage is access from the front door to plenty of open spaces for you to enjoy whilst walking or cycling. Again, we ask guests to respect social distancing at all times whilst out and about. Some of the local paths are narrow which makes it difficult to adhere to the 2 metre rule, so please be mindful of this and be patient if you have to wait for others to pass at a safe distance before accessing the path.
Obviously, all our local pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed, however, some are offering a limited takeaway service. This is changing regularly, therefore, we will provide information on what is available at the time of your stay.
All other local amenities such as historic houses, visitor centres, children’s playgrounds and fun parks are closed for the foreseeable future.
Pricing: We know from previous guests that we provide excellent value for money at Tub Cottage. We have therefore decided not to review our pricing structure in the current climate as we believe that, even though some amenities are not available, our guests’ experience will not be disadvantaged by this. Most of our guests want a cosy cottage, walks from the doorstep and to experience the open spaces that the Peak District has to offer. We feel that we can still offer this experience without compromise.
Displaying symptoms of Covid-19 during your stay: If a guest begins to display symptoms of Covid-19 during their stay (eg. a cough, high temperature or loss of smell/taste), we would ask that they inform us immediately and return home as soon as possible where they can self-isolate for 7 days and the other members of the household for 14 days. Once at home, they can seek medical attention from their local NHS services should they require this. Following their departure, the cottage will be fully cleaned and disinfected as described above.
We hope that the above provides sufficient information on our plans for welcoming guests back to Tub Cottage. The safety and welfare of our guests is our priority and we would like to reassure you that a holiday with us will be safe and enjoyable, whilst we all adapt to the new normal way of life.
We look forward to welcoming you back soon. In the meantime, our warm regards to you, keep well and stay safe.
Leonie, Eric and May