I’m delighted to say that we are going to start running a series of 5 day coach holidays to our Ardgartan Hotel in October. In order to maximise safety, we need to cancel all our existing October holidays and set up completely new tours that may feel a little different to what you are used to. If you have an October holiday already booked, our team will be in touch as soon as possible.
Like the self-drive holidays that we are running in September, these holidays will run from Fridays to Tuesdays and allow us to have two full days when the hotel is closed so that we can reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19. The hotel will only operate at 50% capacity so that we can ensure that your bedroom will have been empty for 9 days prior to your arrival. There will also be no housekeeping service in order to avoid anyone else coming in to your room during your stay. These measures are far in excess of what we are required to do, but I want to be extra cautious as we begin to open up.
For the itineraries, we have selected destinations that are big enough to cope with coaches but small enough not to be too crowded. We are also able to include a cruise on Loch Lomond where we can be sure that there will be enough space for social distancing.
The coaches will have a maximum of 30 passengers and every second row will be left empty. As coaches are governed by the rules of public transport, you will need to wear a mask or face covering on the coach.
We are not allowed to have amplified music at this stage so there will be no entertainment in the evening. This is to stop anyone needing to raise their voice and to avoid needing to lean in to each other to be heard, both of which are considered a risk. The bar will be open as usual and we expect that people will still want to be in the function room and foyer in the evenings.
We have tried to minimise the risks of infection but I must point out that we cannot eliminate them entirely. We will still need to stop at service stations and of course there are the destinations that we go to on day trips that we cannot control. You will need to be aware of your own safety and take all the precautions that our governments and health authorities advise.
If you are at particular risk from Covid-19 or were advised to shield because of a pre-existing medical condition then I recommend that you do not travel unless your doctor tells you that it is safe to do so.
We are operating an extension to our normal cancellation policy. Even if you want to cancel on the day of your holiday, we will issue you with a voucher for the full value of the money you paid. We want to do all that we can to ensure that nobody travels unless they feel fully fit and well.
It will be great to see our Lochs and Glens coaches back on the road as we take our next small step forward. We have missed you and look forward to welcoming you back.