Our telephone lines are open for incoming calls from 9am until 1pm Monday to Friday during this extraordinary period as we are working on booking amendments during the afternoon.
The Coronavirus crisis has affected us all, and at this uncertain time our thoughts go out to all of you, our customers, who are living through difficult times and unsure whether you will be able to enjoy the holiday you planned.
At Sun-hat Villas & Resorts we have kept our UK office open with reduced staff to permit social distancing and we are keeping informed of industry news through our ABTA membership the FCO and other relevant sources.
Please be assured that if you are due to travel in 2020, but are unable to due to Coronavirus related travel restrictions, we will do everything possible to arrange an agreeable alternative by contacting the property owner to try to arrange a suitable alternative date, or credit voucher.
- Once you have paid your holiday balance we will seek agreement from the owner to maintain the price you paid should you need to revise your dates.
- If you are unsure when you can travel, we will issue a credit voucher which you can use as a credit against a booking for later this year or next year.
- Our friendly UK team are available Monday to Friday from 09:00 – 17:00 to assist with any questions you may have, and any changes you would like to make.
- The Sun-hat Villas & Resorts overseas based team is always on hand to assist us with any special requests.
Portugal is now opening for business, Restaurants opened last week and the resort is preparing for the summer season – albeit less busy that last year - and we expect air borders to be open in July and August. We are optimistic that travel will be possible from 1st July, and that “Airbridge” arrangements will be in place so that self-isolation is not required.
Our staff are working extremely hard dealing with a lot of amendments for people travelling in June at this time, and are working through these in date order. We are prioritising those customers travelling within the next 28 days.
What would happen if we are advised we cannot travel?
Should the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth office) or equivalent abroad issue advice against "all but essential travel", our team will liaise with the property owner / hotelier on your behalf and waive any admin or amendment charges.
Should we decide we don’t want to travel, yet the FCO or equivalent deem that it is safe to travel and there are no border restrictions, what would happen?
If there is no legal reason why you should not travel then normal cancellation terms and cancellation charges would apply.
Can we claim on our travel insurance if we are unable to travel?
Most travel insurance policies purchased prior to 14th March do cover for travel disruption or epidemic in the country you are travelling to, but this will usually be subject to there being FCO (or equivalent) advice against all but essential travel, or similar in your destination country. You should check your holiday insurance conditions to check this.
The balance of my holiday is now due, do I have to pay this?
We understand you may be reluctant to pay your balance because of the uncertainty, however, if you are travelling in July or August it is likely your holiday could go ahead as planned, and therefore you will need to pay your balance by the due date shown on your invoice / revised invoice.
Should FCO advice change, making travel not possible, you would have the option of moving your holiday date to later or next year, or taking the more flexible Credit Voucher, or if you prefer claim on your travel insurance.
Can I use the credit voucher to book different dates next year? For example, I was due to travel in May this year, but would like to travel in August next year.
The credit voucher allows you to use all funds paid towards another booking in the same villa on an alternative date, subject to availability. The price for your booking will be calculated at the prevailing rate for those dates.
If my holiday is moved to next year would I get a refund of the balance (75%) I have paid?
If you have paid the balance and we have moved your dates to later this year or next year, having the funds gives the owners certainty that the holiday will go ahead for the re-scheduled dates. By paying the balance for a re-scheduled booking to 2021 we would normally be able to fix the price in line with the 2020 price. We are expecting villa holidays to be in high demand in 2021 as they permit the physical distancing that hotels do not.
If we move my dates, is there an option to change to a different property?
In most cases we are dealing with one owner and one property, so therefore it would not be possible. However, there may be an exception to this, and you should speak with us about it if the time comes.
What if the property owner is unable to agree my change of date at this time?
For April and May arrivals we have been able to agree moves for the vast majority of our bookings as owners do understand the situation. However, all re-scheduling of holiday bookings is at the discretion of the owner, and of course rely on you being able to plan in advance. Should you be unable to travel due to restrictions we will provide you with a credit voucher, or if you prefer, a cancellation invoice to make a claim on your insurance.
We would like a refund of our monies rather than a change of dates. Can we have one?
Sun-hat Villas & Resorts acts as a named agent for the owner of villas, apartments and hotels, and on receipt of payments these are sent to the property owner to confirm the booking, and hence we no longer have the funds. We have worked with most of our owners for many years and the majority are very understanding and flexible with offering alternative dates for your booking, or a credit voucher to the value of your payments made.
What measures are being taken in my destination to protect me and my group from Covid 19?
In our main destination of Portugal there have been far fewer cases of Covid 19 than other European countries. There are currently physical distancing measures in place and face masks are worn in supermarkets. Local staff including cleaning staff are using PPE with an apron mask and gloves.
Health and safety is always our number one priority, whether that’s our customers, staff, or suppliers. Our teams both in the UK, and Overseas are working with distancing measures in our office or from home. We have all been affected by the current situation and we will do whatever we can to assist you for the best possible outcome.
At times you may not be able to get through to us and we thank you for your patience and understanding.
Should you have any further questions and are travelling in May, June or July, please do email us and we will endeavour to answer you. Alternatively, you can call us on 01522 889450. We ask all other customers to be patient at this time while we prioritise bookings travelling soonest.