When we started this business all our cottages were "traditional". Although we retain a large number we also have modern houses, bungalows and a few apartments. Each property is intended and equipped to accommodate comfortably the number of persons indicated (and in many cases a child in a cot) for holiday use. Where two numbers such as 4-6 occur a maximum of 4 adults and 2 children can be accommodated. It is generally not suitable for 6 adults. For the purposes of our accommodation a child is taken as being aged 15 or under at the time of the holiday.
We do restrict total occupancy to the maximum number shown and reserve the right, on behalf of the owners, to cancel a booking immediately, without recompense, if more people are introduced than shown. Occasionally, principally due to such items as sofa beds, the total number of beds exceeds the maximum number of guests shown. These "extra" beds are intended merely to offer some flexibility within the maximum figure. Generally speaking we do not consider bunk beds as being suitable for adult use.
All the accommodation is furnished for family usage and Cornish Traditional Cottages reserves the right on behalf of Property Owners not to accept Bookings from groups of single people or from all male or female parties exceeding 3 people. Several of our properties are located on working farms. As a general rule, the owners are happy for all or part of their land to be used sensibly according to the "Countryside Code", but guests must check with owners and dogs must be kept under control at all times.
All the properties are inspected by our property department before joining our portfolio and are then subject to continuous monitoring via our questionnaires and occasional re-inspections. However, even with this careful monitoring there will always be variations in quality.
Our rating method, the popular "smiles" system is generated entirely by the feedback we receive from our visitors. The number of smiles is calculated by taking the average grading given to the question:
'How would you rate the furnishings and equipment of the property?'
A property will achieve a rating of 5 Smiles down to 1 Smile, although it is our policy not to carry any properties with ratings lower than 3 Smiles. The customer choses from the following ratings:
There are a number of first time properties and these are graded "New".
Holidays at the majority of cottages start on Saturday, some on Friday and a very small number on other days. Unless stated otherwise in the description or agreed beforehand with an individual housekeeper or owner properties are available from 4.30pm on the start date to 10.30am on the finish date.
The owner, housekeeper or keyholder generally lives nearby and their name and address are forwarded with our final invoice. They hold the key of the property. As they are probably the guests' first and primary contact in the County during their holiday, the keyholders are usually very happy to go out of their way to make the guests' stay in Cornwall a pleasant one.
Most are delighted, if asked, to advise where to swim, surf, fish etc. and also where to shop, dine out and the like. In common with most people in the County, they are generally very welcoming indeed and extremely hospitable. They are eager to help guests and will be pleased to put right immediately any shortages or other things guests may bring to their attention. If something goes wrong particularly with the gas, electricity or plumbing, during your stay please report it immediately so that it can be put right before it becomes a more major problem.
Properties are contracted to be thoroughly cleaned throughout before the arrival of each group of guests although guests are expected to clean and tidy the property before departure.
Guests are reminded that due to our maritime climate, Cornish properties, despite careful maintenance, can suffer from dampness, but this can largely be overcome by ventilation and heating. Guests coming out of season are advised to discuss their choice with one of our helpful staff.
Mobile phone and 3G connection can vary considerably throughout Cornwall. If you are concerned about mobile coverage or 3G connection please ensure you check with your provider before booking your cottage. Mobile phone or 3G coverage cannot be guaranteed. Where a property is advertised as having internet access or broadband, provision is for normal usage. Video and music streaming or downloading and the equivalent are not considered normal usage. Speed cannot be guaranteed.
Every property has electric light and all of the following unless stated to the contrary. Bathroom or shower, immersion heater, inside flush toilet, refrigerator, electric / gas cooker, spring interior or latex mattresses, electric iron, electric fires, child's cot, all necessary cutlery and crockery, pillows and blankets or duvets.
Colour TVs are provided; however in a few places and in some atmospheric conditions the reception may be poor. Domestic appliances do go wrong and their serviceability at all times cannot be guaranteed. Where a washing machine is available, individually in a cottage or provided for general use within a complex of cottages, it is stated in the description.
Where Central Heating is installed it is stated in the property description. Most properties include heating costs in the rental. If central heating is on top of the rental it will be indicated as such.
Night storage heaters are available in many properties. If there is an extra charge for use of night storage heaters this will be indicated. Please refer to the individual property descriptions for information on the heating arrangements for the property.
Most properties include electricity in the rental (excluding night storage heaters). Where electricity is charged as an extra (usually by pre-payment coin meters or by meter reading), this will be indicated as such.
Sheets, pillow cases, duvet covers and towels are not automatically provided. If bed linen is included in the description this will be indicated. Some properties include bed linen and towels in the rent. Some include bed linenbut do not supply towels and a few do not supply bed linen or towels at all. There are a few properties that don't supply bed linen and towels unless the guests are coming from overseas. Arrangements for bed linen and towels will be indicated in the 'At a glance' section for the property. Cot linen is not supplied.
Where possible, car parking is available, at car owners' risk in all instances and not necessarily on site. Guests coming without cars should seek our advice as a car is a "must" in many of these properties.
Boat trailers can also be parked at some properties and dinghies and sailboards can be launched all over Cornwall.
One dog is welcome in some cottages and sometimes more. For other pets we would have to enquire with the owner first before accepting them. Certain owners definitely do not accept any pets and these are indicated in the property descriptions. A charge is made for them and owners are expected to bring suitable bedding or baskets and not to permit pets to use the blankets and soft furnishings provided for guests. Pets may not be left unattended in any property and should be "exercised" away from gardens.
If guests wish to bring more than one pet, they must clear this first through us. Although an owner may not accept pets and the property carries that symbol it should not be assumed by those with health problems that the property is "Pet Free". When there are health concerns we advise you to speak to one of our staff who can make further checks with the owner or housekeeper.
Dogs are banned from many Cornish beaches, if you are concerned about this please check before booking.
If you would like you can open and print a copy of our Pet Policy here.
Assistance dogs are of course welcome in all our cottages free of charge, however owners of them should be aware that a considerable number of people are allergic to dogs and in some cases can have a severe reaction. Owners are therefore encouraged, where at all possible, to choose a property which normally allows pets.
If you have special needs do let our staff know prior to booking a property to ensure that those needs can be catered for in it. With the best will in the world not all our cottages are suitable for those with disabilities or allergies.
We act only as Booking Agents for properties which come up to our standards. However, in an organisation of our size, complaints do occur from time to time. We all abhor them because we genuinely want everybody coming to the county to have as happy a holiday as possible. Should guests feel they have cause to complain they must follow the procedure indicated in our Booking Conditions.
Any faults must first be reported to the housekeeper or owner immediately, so they can be put right. Please note that housekeepers are the owners’ agent on the spot and it is they, or the owner, not Cornish Traditional Cottages, who must attend to such faults or discrepancies.
In the event of guests still being dissatisfied after they have spoken to the owner or the housekeeper, they should telephone Cornish Traditional Cottages immediately so that we may take such reasonable steps as we are able to, in an endeavour to put the matter right. Guests are asked please not to return home without doing so, as matters brought to the attention of Cornish Traditional Cottages thereafter cannot be resolved.
As approximately 50% of our business each year comes from past guests or their recommendations, we are proud of the reputation we enjoy. Therefore, in the event of disagreement between owners and guests we will endeavour to see that each party is fairly treated, but both must bear in mind that Cornish Traditional Cottages is not party to the Contractual Agreement.
Each group coming to our properties receiving a questionnaire with a pre-paid envelope on their return home. We are delighted and grateful to get these back as they enable us to form opinions of, and exercise control over, such things as cottage descriptions, cleanliness, prices etc. They clearly indicate to us where our Company is satisfying the demands of the market and thus enable us to make changes, if we find we aren't.
They form the basis for our smiles rating method which is explained under the Standards paragraph on the Your Property page.