Reactions to COVID-19 from Further Afield partners
As 2020 continues on its strange and complicated path and individual countries assess their ongoing travel restrictions the reaction to COVID-19 amongst the Further Afield partners is a different and as unique as they are.
Some of our partners have chosen not to open for the remainder of 2020 as they assess how best to react to the crisis, others are changing how they work and the services they offer whilst others continue to offer the same great service – always mindful of the health and safety of guests – and are offering discounts and special offers to encourage travel.
Below I’ve highlighted how some of our partners have altered their businesses to match new requirements as well as some ways our members are expressing their gratitude to key workers on the front line.
Some travellers prefer the idea of traveling and staying only with those they know well whilst adhering to rules for getting together across individual European countries.
Across in Spain, Marc and Alan who run luxury retreat The Hunting Lodge (above) behind Malaga have fine tuned their take on the luxury “travel pod” idea. “From our launch in 2009 we focused on our secluded and beautiful location, paired with a service-oriented approach as a main selling point, but that seems to take on new significance moving forward. We’ve also refocused health and safety regimes in light of the coronavirus.” These include an automated guidance and welcome system plus grocery shopping so minimising the group’s interaction outside of their pod.
Chris and Sandra who usually run Tir y Coed – with its stunning sitting room above – as a boutique B&B are instead offering the house as a full house rental for large groups. There’s still a great breakfast on offer and the added bonus of an on site bar! Sandra believes that this more relaxed atmosphere is what people are looking for on a stay. “They can have the place to themselves and their social bubble and we will bespoke a package for them. We can still provide housekeeping, breakfast, evening meal or even a picnic.”
Offers and specials
One development I’ve seen across the Further Afield collection is the desire to show their appreciation of and support for those who have worked on the frontline during the pandemic. These include Andrew and Ian at Casa Higueras who founded the #mytravelpledge campaign and Ursula from Arts Space Gites who has extended her 50% discount for French workers to those in the UK too. The hospitality industry has always been based around looking after travellers, caring for people and I feel that carries on throughout these strange times.
Ensuring a great service safely continues
The individual and personal nature of many of our businesses means that they take the health and wellbeing of themselves and their teams as seriously as they do that of their guests. Partners across the collection are continuing to offer the same great service but with some changes in place to ensure the safety of everyone. Tudor Farmhouse hotel – due to reopen on July 27 – have created a great video to explain the changes they’ve adopted to ensure your stay is a safe one.
Huw and Sam at The Old Rectory Hotel on Exmoor – due to reopen on July 12 and which is our lead image – have introduced a huge range of new practices reflecting their dedication to guest wellbeing. “When we reopen we’ll do so with 70% of our capacity and with a new cleaning protocol including the disinfection of all rooms using our hospital grade Sanitising Machine which uses natural ozone gas to safely kill 99.9% of viruses, pathogens and bacteria in the room, its surfaces and soft furnishings including beds and carpets.”
At the end of the day it’s down to you as a traveler to make a decision on whether you feel safe to travel and what type of travel you want to undertake. If you decide you’d like to book a trip in 2020 remember to check out the small, often family run, businesses which make up this wonderfully diverse group of places to stay.