What is Self Catering?
It is a very simple concept – You rent a house for a specified short term, and live in the house as you please for that time.
It is a way for a party to enjoy a holiday with the comforts of home whilst enjoying a holiday in a new location, and rather more comfortably than camping. You have complete freedom to plan your daily timetable rather than staying in a hotel or bed and breakfast with set meal times and set menus.
Guests are expected to conduct themselves peaceably and with respect to their surroundings – many houses have neighbours whose peace and privacy should be respected, although there are several properties with no near neighbours where children and adults alike can let off steam to their hearts content
How long can I stay for?
During Peak Holiday season rentals will usually be a minimum of a week, and with a fixed start day: Some variations may be found. However, away from July and August long weekend breaks of 4 or 5 nights are possible.
What is included in the rent?
You will have unrestricted use of the property and the facilities as described in the details. What is included is explained in more detail in THIS ARTICLE but briefly…
In summer, Water and Electricity will be included: Where there is electric heating, a supplement may be charged for heating in the winter months – you should confirm before you book in the off season.
Charging for electricity based on meter readings is very rare in Halcyon Leisure properties.
All property related bills, such as local taxes and services are included in your rental unless otherwise advised on the website information, and beyond cleaning you have no obligation to maintain anything.
You do have a duty of care to look after the property, furnishings and equipment as you would your own, and to respect any particular house rules, although beyond smoking these are rarely onerous in any way.
It is HL Holidays policy that rents include one set of bed linen for all guests, and bathroom towels as well, although other agencies and Owners differ on this, and with them you may either face a mandatory charge, or be asked to supply your own linen. You should clarify the position before you confirm a booking
What is NOT included in the rent?
No travel is included in the prices quoted: You are free to make your own arrangements. Many travel by car and use the cross Channel Ferry services. It is also popular to travel by air – Please see the Travel page for suggestions.
You should expect the house to contain nothing but the furniture and facilities listed, so you would normally be expected to provide all consumable items that would be needed in a house: In practice however, at least a small stock of items such as cleaning materials, loo rolls etc would usually remain at the house, but if you run out of these during your stay, the etiquette is to top them up as normal and leave what is not used for the next guests.
In this way you are free to enjoy the things that you may prefer or are familiar at home – You can even bring your own from home if luggage space allows. However, especially with cleaning products, please follow the house instructions if your house has a ‘fosse septique’ which are very common in the rural areas of France.
Some Owners state that they offer a Welcome Pack of basic groceries, which is usually enough to at least have something to eat and drink after you arrive before you get organised and head for the shop, and often there will be condiments remaining from the last guests that you are welcome to use.
Towels for use at the pool or beach are not normally included, although many Owners do leave a stock of towels for swimming.
Travel Insurance is not included, or offered as an extra, but many will either have this included on credit cards when they pay by card, or on their ordinary domestic home insurance.
Can we take our dog /cat?
A limited number of properties will accept pets, although for the Peak weeks of July and August these properties generally book up very early. More information about Pets can be found in THIS ARTICLE
How do we know that the house is of good quality?
With an agency such as HL Holidays, it is normal to visit all houses at least once a year, and also Guest comments are fed back to Owners to ensure that quality is maintained or improved.
All HL Holidays staff have visited all the properties at least once: We are able to answer most questions a potential guest needs to know quickly.
Properties advertised through HL Holidays sister site France for Families are independently owned and run and will not usually have been visited or assessed by the site owning staff.
Can we be totally private?
Several of the properties in the HL Holidays portfolio are at the end of their own roads, and well away from neighbours and anyone else, and without Owners living on site: However, Guests must understand that in a longer term view routine maintenance on the gardens or other facilities must continue as usual, and whilst we pass on requests for complete privacy to the management team, it cannot be guarenteed.
Owners are encouraged to get building work done out of season, but often site visits for quotations may be necessary: Again, these are kept to a minimum, and we ask Management to give Guests advance notification should any visit be schedules during their stay.
Are there hidden extras that will be added to the rent?
As far as possible it is HL Holidays policy to make the price you see the price you pay
However, you may wish to order additional items such as baby equipment that is not included, or pay for cleaning at the end of your stay that can be added to your bill.
The refundable Security Deposit will also be added to your final invoice – Please see the separate article on Security Deposits.
For further information or discussion of your self catering holiday needs please contact HL Holidays / France for Families
If you would like a shortlist of available or suitable properties for particular needs, please send THIS ENQUIRY FORM to HL Holidays