We hope that this message finds you well and in good health.
Statement from the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, 22nd March 2020, ” The advice should not be considered optional – it should be seen instead as a set of rules to be followed” and further, “To our hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation – you should not be accepting visitors”. – Full Statement
With a heavy heart:-
Pier House Glencoe, is now closed for the foreseeable future. We will not accept guests here through April-June. The situation will be continually reviewed and we will only re-open when it is safe to do so as advised by the government. We are currently emailing all existing guests advising them of this notice.
This is an open and honest letter explaining the current situation for us, which is also reflected by 10,000’s of other establishments in the UK hospitality sector in these exceptional times.
For the last 4 years/3 seasons we have run our home as a B&B and have done our utmost to provide the best possible level of service and hospitality for our visitors. We have proved popular with occupancy rates exceeding 95% in all the years of our operation.
Small scale, family run B&B’s in the more remote costal and mountain areas of the UK (e.g. Cornwall, Wales, The Highlands and Islands) all work in the same manner. We make our money in the Summer months and budget to use it to live through the Winter when there are very few visitors in these areas. A non-refundable deposit is paid to reserve a room on the calendar and continues to support our living costs through Winter.
You will appreciate that the current situation is unprecidented. In the UK, CoronaVirus has now bought the hospitality and many other industries to their knees. At a time (February/March) when we expect the vast majority of bookings to be made, they flat-lined.
Within the household, we have two people who are in the vulnerable category, including Andy’s 90 year old mum. Earlier this week we received doctors advice regarding coronavirus and were advised not to accept anyone into our home. Consequently we are in self isolation and, in light of the First Minister’s statement, the business will not open until it is safe to do so. We also feel that we should be socially responsible in helping to reduce the spread of this catastrophic disease.
In the UK, the disease is expected to peak from late May until the middle of June. The situation for subsequent months will be continually reviewed. This may create disappointment; for you, this is your holiday, for us it is our business and ultimately our home that is at risk.
As per our booking terms and conditions your deposit is non-refundable (please check your holiday insurance which may also be included with your credit card). Under these exceptional circumstances we would like to offer you the opportunity to defer your booking to a time when we feel it is appropriate to reopen. We will therefore honour the amount of deposit you have already paid against any future booking of 2 nights or more MADE DIRECTLY THROUGH OUR WEBSITE for an alternative stay until we close for the business season in 2022 (!)
On-line, 3rd party booking agents are currently applying massive pressure on small businesses and many of those businesses will be reviewing their relationship with those agents moving forward.
Pier House has a business insurance policy which includes protection for loss of revenue for many circumstances including disease. However, insurance companies across the hospitality sector in the UK are currently failing to honour any claims. As a small business and being self employed we are unable to qualify for any grants or loans currently on offer so we hope you will understand the decision that we have had to make. Should the government underwrite the insurance industry and force them to cover loss of revenue we will of course revue our refund policy.
We understand our stance may cause frustration, but we believe the vast majority of our customers will have travel insurance, and our extended offer of deferring your trip for over 2 years is an acceptable solution.
We very much look forward to welcoming you to Pier House and the Highlands in the future and hope that you will continue to support us.
Finally, we would both like to wish you, your friends and families good health for the coming weeks and months.
Stay safe, stay healthy.
Andy & Annie Harpur,