you're always at home at moniack
13th July 2020 - COVID-19 Update
First, we hope that the easing of many of the restrictions has brought some relief to you all - we are really happy to be able to invite our family into our home again after such a long time!
As for Moniack Lodges - we are currently closed and expect to remain so until at least the autumn, when we hope that things will have settled down more. As such, our calendar is still closed to all future bookings whilst we work on our direct booking and COVID-ready systems.
If we do feel ready to open this year, we are likely to opt to open just our one bedroomed (sleeps 2) chalet, Smithywood . It’s possible that we’ll open our calendar to spring 2021 bookings of Smithywood and two-bedroomed Affleck later this year, when we hope that there will be a clear indication of lasting improvements in the infection rate and further lifting of restrictions and lockdowns.
Keep an eye on our news on here and updates on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Best wishes from Antonia and Richard
13th June 2020 - COVID-19
Our chalets have been closed for 12 weeks now and, with lockdown restrictions beginning to be eased across the country, our thoughts have turned to the future with optimism that we will soon be able to welcome guests back to stay at Moniack.
We were pleased to hear the news this week that a provisional date of 15th July 2020 has been set by the Scottish Government for when tourism businesses may be able to resume operations; however, as we always have the safety of our guests and of our team as our top priority, we will not rush to re-open until we are 100% sure that we are ready.
In the meantime, as part of our ‘COVID ready’ preparations, we’re working on the following –
- Revised booking terms – there’ll be more flexibility for 2020/21 bookings; e.g. provisional reservations will be made with no deposit, free cancellations up to two weeks prior to your stay, payment in full required just two weeks before your arrival date to secure the reservation;
- A new look booking calendar and payment system – we’re looking at a PCI compliant system that will securely hold credit card details upon booking and an automated payment request messaging service for when payment is due, and there’ll be a change to the minimum duration of lettings to three nights stays, from two nights;
- COVID-19 cleaning protocols – risk assessments and draft guidelines for social distancing, cleaning and preparation of self-catering accommodation have recently been developed by our industry associations; we’ll be studying these and any updates from our governments and will be adapting the required measures to our own operation. In our case, in the early stages of re-opening, we are likely to adopt a minimum 72 hour gap between guest departures and arrivals and may opt for a phased re-opening (e.g. one chalet available at a time to begin with), so that we can get to grips with the additional cleaning and preparations required.
As such, our booking system will remain closed to new bookings for a wee while longer; however, we hope to begin to open up our spring/summer 2021 calendar to new bookings over the coming weeks and, hopefully, will open up late summer/autumn 2020 availability soon too, when appropriate. Keep an eye on our social posts and our website for updates.
Finally, when we reopen, we’ll be encouraging direct booking; the many online travel agencies (OTA), whose listings dominate searches for accommodation, have not been easy to deal with over the past few months, for both guests and hosts, so we’re opting to list in the future only with sites that link to our website information and direct booking system - we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that guests will prefer the personal touch, direct contact with us, no (often hidden) OTA booking fees and more flexible booking terms.
We’re sure that you are missing visiting the beautiful Highlands at this difficult time and we are definitely missing welcoming you to stay with us. We look forward to seeing you back at Moniack soon…socially distanced, as appropriate.
Take care all and stay safe and well.
With warmest wishes from Antonia and Richard