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We have been continually monitoring the guidance and advice being given by our local authorities here in Sark and in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. This is being adjusted and updated, almost daily and as such, just as the authorities cannot always give a specific timescale or specific anticipated measures, we are also working with some uncertainties.
However, we are also aware that our guests needs to have some certainty and we are therefore pleased to set out below what we are doing regarding any current and future reservations.
Our main priority is, and will continue to be, the safety and security of our guests and staff, and whatever we do will have this as our primary objective. We also aim to be as fair, transparent and clear with you as possible, given the circumstances and without knowing when we may be able to open and under what conditions that may be. Equally we are keen to open as soon as possible, to welcome guests back to Stocks and Sark, and for the good of our own business and the economy of Sark.
Up until today, May 11th, we had confirmed that we would be closed till the end of May and we have given either free changes or full cancellations and refunds to every guest that had a reservation with us before the end of May. This has clearly had a significant cashflow impact for our business, however we believe it was the fairest and most respectful way to manage the situation and to treat our guests, many of whom have stayed with us over many years and are long term friends as well as visitors.
Sadly, with the announcements in the islands recently, and with a desire to give you as much certainty as possible we have decided today to confirm that we will definitely remain closed till the end of June 2020. For any guest that already have a reservation up until that date, please see the section below regarding our policy.
We remain hopeful that it may be possible to reopen in July, albeit with a changed level of service, but we must wait to see whether we are allowed to open, under what conditions and exactly who would be able to travel to Sark. As such, on an ongoing basis, we will aim to confirm whether we will open for each future month, by or before the 14th of the preceding month. We will make our announcement on our website as well as emailing or contacting our guests by whatever contact details we have.
We do not know exactly what the conditions may be that we will need to work within to enable our hotel to reopen this summer, but we can be sure that there will be various requirements for such matters as social distancing, health, safety and hygiene. We also anticipate that even once we are able to open, there will be restrictions on travel which will affect guests, but will also affect the ability for our staff to return to Sark.
As such we are currently planning for what we know we can do with the hotel as it is now, and in particular the staff that are currently here, on island and able to work.
We are sure that once we can open we currently have the ability and staff to provide a great Stocks Hotel bed and breakfast service. We would expect and hope to provide this to the same standard as we always have albeit we may need to adjust the style of service, such as the layout of breakfast and a reduced evening turn down service. We would also expect that for resident guests there may some changes to the way in which general areas can be used, and we will also need to ask guests to wash hands, use sanitiser more regularly and possibly other procedures.
We also expect that with restrictions on the numbers of people in the hotel, and on numbers of staff we will have, we will only be able to open a limited number of rooms, possibly just the main building.
The biggest effect is likely to be on our kitchen. As our fantastic team of chefs may not be able to return in full we expect and are currently planning to provide a more limited menu for lunch and supper. This is certainly planned to include sandwiches and salads and a limited children’s menu, but hot food is less likely.
We know that our guests expect high standards and our aim is to be open and clear with what we plan to do and ensure we do that to those high standards, and to be clear, in advance on what we are not going to be able to offer. Equally we know from the demand we are now getting that customers are very, very keen to visit Sark and for Stocks to be open and able to welcome them, and they are quite happy for us to do this in whatever way we are able.
To reflect our expected levels of service and availability of services for 2020 we have adjusted our rates for 2020. We have now set a fantastic Bed and Breakfast only rate for the rest of 2020, until the Christmas period. For more information on this please see our website:
As we do not expect our full service restaurant to be running in the short term, we will not be offering half board terms for the remainder of 2020. However, please note we do expect and are currently planning to provide a limited menu for lunch and supper, including sandwiches, salads and a children’s menu, although hot food is less likely.
For any new reservations that are made from now on, we know that there is still some uncertainty as to when the lockdown will end and we can open up, but please rest assured that if we are unable to open we offer a free change of date or a full refund (this is similar to any current reservations but they will also receive an extra night!)
We plan and hope to be open for the festive period this year and expect to honour our current bookings. We cannot be 100% sure whether we will be able to offer a full service restaurant menu but for the time being we plan to be able to do so and therefore have left our reservations, rates and any remaining availability as they stand.
To give certainty to our guests and to enable changes to current bookings (see below) we have extended our original rates from 2020 to 2021 with no changes. All of our rates are based on our full deposit rack rates, and then our discounted rates take into account the time of year, our levels of occupancy, the length of the planned reservation and prepayment and cancellation terms.
If you have a reservation for a month that we have now confirmed we are closed (presently reservations to the end of June) we are pleased to offer two options:
We can offer a free change of date for your reservation to any time for the remainder of 2020, or for the whole of 2021 and receive a free extra night. This offer is subject to availability and the extra night is to be taken on top of the original planned number of nights. Any amount that you have already paid as a deposit will be applied as a credit against your new reservation, and if the cost of your stay, as a result of our great B&B rates for the remainder of 2020 is less than you have already paid we will offset the extra against any food or drink you have, and even pay you back the balance, if there is one, at the end of your stay!
If we are unable to be open, and you do not wish to defer your stay we will offer a full refund. Please note that due to the restrictions on our current working hours and practises, as well as those of our payment service providers, it can take up to 14 days to receive refunds, however generally they are being processed within 3 working days.
If you have a reservation for a future month in 2020 we do hope that we will be able to welcome you to Stocks Hotel. We know that there is uncertainty, but we hope that your current plans to visit Sark is putting a smile on your face and you will be able to come.
If we extend the dates for which we are unable to be open to include the date of your reservation we will offer you the same as above for those guests who are already in this situation. Equally, if as a result of official travel restrictions when you are supposed to be visiting you are unable to visit, we will also offer you the same two options above.
As explained, we expect that our service will need to be adjusted this year and we hope that this will not detract from your visit. We will still be able to provide our usual bed and breakfast accommodation and as such our fundamental service will be unaffected, but we have adjusted our rates to reflect the potential reduction in other areas of service.
Any amount you have already paid will be applied as usual to your stay, which we will adjust to our new 2020 rates. If the cost of your stay, as a result of our great B&B rates for the remainder of 2020 is less that you have already paid we will offset the extra against any food or drink you have, and even pay you back the balance, if there is one, at the end of your stay!
Please do note, that if we are open, and there are no travel restrictions affecting your plans, but you decide not to visit, our usual cancellation policy would apply (generally any changes/cancellation must be made more than 7 days before the planned date of arrival and we can offer one free change of date of arrival, subject to availability and rate changes)
As we do not expect our full service restaurant to be running in the short term, we will not be offering half board terms for the remainder of 2020. If you have booked on this basis, any prepayment will be applied against the costs of your stay as detailed above. As mentioned above we do expect and are currently planning to provide a limited menu for lunch and supper, including sandwiches, salads and a children’s menu, although hot food is less likely.
As detailed above we have great rates for the remainder of 2020 and have extended this year’s original rates to the whole of next year. However, please note that certainly for 2020 we would expect availability to be limited as we are unable to be able to open all of our rooms. As such, if you are keen to visit please make a reservation quickly.
We do hope you will consider making bookings during this year as we would love to see you, and all of us here in Sark hope that we will have support from our friends and guests as we try to make the most of any remaining season that there is this year.
As noted above for any new reservations that are made from now on, we will offer either a free change of date or a full refund. Please note any changes to future dates for these new reservations would not attract an extra night for free (however the rates are already great so it’s still a good deal!)
We hope that the information above is clear and you are now in a position to know what we are doing and what you may need to do now, and we hope that we will be able to welcome you to Sark and to Stocks Hotel later this year
We would suggest that if you are still planning to visit Sark you look at the Sark Shipping website as that contains information regarding the Shipping timetable. As and when visitors are able to come to Sark we would hope that they will be able to give more information about their schedule for the season also.
As a result of the restrictions in place and our available resources please note that reception is only manned from 8.00am till 10.30 am Monday to Friday. As such we suggest that if you have any questions regarding current or future bookings, please initially email and we can be sure of getting back to you.
We will post regular updates on our website and on social media. We will also endeavour to contact those with current reservations in the near future to consider with you any possible alternative dates for your planned stay.
For any questions please do not hesitate to contact Stocks Hotel directly via email: email@example.com or telephone: +44(0)1481832001
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