HOW DO I BOOK?
BOOK ONLINE: If you wish to check prices or availability or to make a booking, you can now use the online system. Most of the properties we feature are now bookable online. We will confirm your booking with you within 48 hours. Should the property you selected not be available we will offer a suitible alternative or a full refund. Please remember that we have acess to many more properties which are not shown on our website so if you don’t immediately find what you are looking for please drop us a line or email. A 30% deposit is required at the time of booking to confirm your reservation. (In some instances the deposit required is 50% – usually on high value bookings or bookings with a duration on 3 + weeks) The balance is due 8 weeks prior to departure. In some instances the deposit required maybe higher depending on the property. Please enquire at the time of booking.
CHECK AVAILABILITY AND BOOK OVER THE PHONE: If you would prefer to talk to a member of our team, please call us on 0044 (0) 161 787 8587, email us firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact us form to get in touch. We know each property well and we are always happy to talk things through with you and help you choose a property that best matches your needs and priorities.
CAN I HOLD A PROPERTY?
Please contact us If you are interested in a certain property and would like to hold it for 24 hours (no obligation). This can be useful when looking in to travel arrangements etc
WILL I BE CHARGED FOR USING A CREDIT CARD?
Although a small (2%) service charge is applicable to credit card payments, there is no such charge if you choose to pay by debit card (UK only), bank transfer or cheque. American Express carries a 4% charge
CAN I PAY IN EUROS?
We accept Euro payments by Bank transfer. We apply the exchange rate provided by our bank, HSBC on the day payment is made. We will issue your booking confirmation and a receipted invoice upon receipt of payment. Your balance must be paid in the same currency as your deposit.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE COST OF THE VILLA RENTAL?
Usually, Normal use of gas, electricity, water facilities. The weekly change of bed linen, towels, kitchen towels is often included but varies from property to property so please check the descriptions which may state otherwise.
Often Payable locally: Final cleaning charges, inventory deposit, use of telephone, excessive use of electricity, central heating, air-conditioning, logs, maid service, cots (if applicable) meals and tennis courts, extra maid service, shopping and chef service, unless otherwise stated in the property description. Where a washing machine is available in a Villa there is usually no charge but there will be a charge where there is a laundry room for communal use, unless otherwise stated in the property description. A mid week cleaning charge is payable locally at some of the properties, this is indicated within the property description.
Please take with you any cot linen and any beach towels you may need. The House towels must not be used at the poolside. In some cases an initial supply of beach / pool towels is provided, if this is the case it will be stated in the description.
Arrival provisions – Please take the basics with you as kitchen and bathroom essentials are not normally provided. Alternatively in most properties we can arrange a shopping service for a small charge plus the cost of the food. Please enquire at the time of booking
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT ITALY?
SPRINGTIME IN ITALY
April,May &June are the perefect months to visit. There are fewer tourists so sightseeing is a pleasure.The weather is warm and pleasant, days are long and the scent of jasmine and roses fragrance the air.
SUMMERTIME IN ITALY
July & August are the most vibrant months when even the sleepiest village comes alive. Italians generally head for the sea at this time of year. August 15 is a National Holiday.
AUTUMN IN ITALY
Autumn is a tranquil season and the ideal time to discover towns and the countryside, mellow with tones of russet and ochre with fields of ripened grapes ready to be harvested. Autumn sun-seekers need to head south of Rome to be assured of warm weather.
WINTERTIME IN ITALY
Winter is usually crisp ,mild, bright and can be a delightfully relaxing time to explore.
IS CAR HIRE ESSENTIAL & CAN BRIDGEWATER ORGANISE MY CAR HIRE ?
It depends on the location of your chosen holiday rental. Some properties are within easy reach of the airport and walking distance to local amenities and therefore a car isn’t necessary. Other properties however are often in rural locations which cannot be reached by public transport. We can book car hire for you upon request.
WHAT DOES BRIDGEWATER CONSIDER AS ‘WALKING DISTANCE?’
Please check the description for your individual property. Generally we consider walking distance to towns and restaurants to be around1 Kilometer, unless otherwise stated.
HOW DO I GET TO ITALY FROM THE UK / INTERNATIONALLY?
FROM THE UK. There are many flights to Italy Please check www.skyscanner.net for details of routes from your local airport.
INTERNATIONALLY, please check with your Travel Agent.
DRIVE TO ITALY OR PUT THE CAR ON THE TRAIN. More and more people are choosing to drive to Italy or to put their car on the train. Taking your own car adds flexibility to your holiday. You can avoid stressful airport queues and luggage restrictions as well as enjoy a leisurely drive at a pace that suits your, through some of Europe’s most stunning scenery with an overnight stop en-route.
WHEN CAN WE ARRIVE AT THE PROPERTY?
Arrival times are usually after 16.00 hours and no later than 19.30 unless by prior arrangement. Early arrivals are not possible. Details will be confirmed in your accommodation voucher. If you are going to be late, you MUST advise us or the owner/ key-holder in advance. Failure to do so may result in you not being able to gain access to the property and you will have to stay overnight in a hotel (at your own expense).
Arrivals after 19.00hrs can be requested if advance notice is given and you may be asked to pay a supplement locally to cover the costs. In some cases, owners may not be able to accommodate late arrivals.
In order to give maximum time to prepare the property for future guests, you are asked to vacate the premises no later than 10.00am on departure day.
HOW WILL WE FIND THE PROPERTY AND WHEN WILL WE RECEIVE OUR FINAL INSTRUCTIONS?
We send out one map/set of directions to every customer. We Provide the owner’s contact number for when you arrive. For properties which are harder to find we arrange for the owner to meet you at a designated location which is easy to find. After you have paid for the holiday, all tickets and joining instructions are forwarded aproximately 14 days prior to your departure. You are asked to check these carefully and advise us in good time of any queries.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN UPON ARRIVAL ?
Under Italian law, owners are required to register passport details with the local authorities and so a photocopy of your passport may be taken.
You will also have a voucher which you hand to the property owner and you will be asked to pay any extra local charges such as your inventory deposit.
A refundable inventory deposit is payable on arrival at the Villa to the owner or key holder. This protects against accidental breakages, telephone, central heating and any other services which cost extra as detailed in the property description. Amounts vary, so the deposit for your Villa will be indicated on your confirmation invoice. It must be paid in cash and you should collect it before you depart from the villa
CAN I HAVE EXTRA GUESTS STAYING IN MY RENTAL PROPERTY?
Where a property offers a price for varying numbers, owners will take it that there are two people occupying one bedroom and empty bedrooms will be closed. Property owners reserve the right to evict clients if the total number of persons occupying the property exceeds the maximum sleeping places shown in the brochure or on the website.
DO YOU PROVIDE INSURANCE COVER ?
Travel insurance is a vital part of any holiday and it is a condition of your contract with us that you have insurance cover for the duration of your trip, and that it is adequate for your needs and the type of activities you will be undertaking as part of your holiday.
Paying with a Visa /Mastercard credit card means that you are further protected by the credit card company. There is a 2% charge for credit card payments.
WHAT IS THE TIME DIFFERENCE IN ITALY?
Italy is always 1 hour ahead of the UK
YOUR HOLIDAY IN ITALY – USEFUL INFORMATION
A holiday in Italy is obviously very different from one in your own country – and there are some variations that you should expect. Our properties are owned by “real Italians” and they do not cater for the mass tourist market. Family life in Italy centres on meals and the table. In a few houses you may find fewer armchairs than you would expect but this is the Italian way of life.
Kettles, breadboards and Toasters – These are not part of Italian daily life. Some houses do have cafetiéres – and you may have to boil water in a saucepan.
Wine glasses – Are not in general use. Italians often use tumblers for wine.
Animals – As the properties are situated in the countryside they may have dogs, cats poultry or livestock. If the presence of certain animals is a problem, please discuss this with us before confirming your booking. The natural environment is populated by all those species of insects and wildlife which are natural and necessary for a balanced eco system; their presence is not to be attributed to lack of cleanliness inside or outside the houses.
Insects and wildlife – occur in perhaps somewhat greater numbers than you may be used to, however although their presence is not generally attributed to lack of cleanliness – simple hygienic precautions will eradicate most problems.
Roads – Italy has a complex road network, in the country and many public roads can be long, steep and have no asphalt. Often private roads especially those leading to the houses are no more than a dirt road. If this concerns you please check with us BEFORE confirming your reservation.
Children’s safety – with so much extra freedom children are likely to be excitable and curious to explore unfamiliar territory so they should be supervised at all times. As with most homes potential hazards exist and whilst our inspection trips are frequent and descriptions as clear as we can make them, realistically we cannot possibly cover every eventuality. Please take particular care around water and electrical items.
Gardens- Outdoor furniture is usually provided at all properties with gardens. Gardens are often left in a natural state especially in the countryside. Please do not take indoor furniture outside. In hot weather a well tended garden with pots of flowers has to be watered daily to keep them at their best. Gardeners will try to fit in with your timetable but will need access to the property.
Water and electricity – you will need travel plugs for Italian sockets for electrical appliances such as razors and hair dryers. Water and electricity supplies can be erratic during the busy summer months when the demand is at it’s highest. You will often be asked to be sparing with water. There may be interruptions from time to time due to long dry periods. It is better to buy bottled water or boil it before drinking. Italy imports all the electricity and it’s very expensive, the supply is low kilo-wattage.
Occasionally, hot water installations, swimming pools, WC’s,dishwashers and washing machines may need to be repaired. It may take time to engage maintenance people to obtain replacement parts, especially during high season. Please remember, however, efficiency is not always as visitors might expect. Our representatives will always do what they can to rectify a problem as soon as possible.
Noise – peace and quiet. This is almost impossible to define. Italy is not a desert island, but part of today’s world where dogs bark, cocks crow, church bells chime, tractors work in fields from the break of dawn, mopeds whine by and the hum of distant traffic is never far away.
Furnishings – The properties within on our website are all individually and privately owned so the standard of decoration and furnishings vary both in taste and quality. Regional standards vary too and may not always offer the comforts you enjoy at home. Some villas have furnishings of a very high standard but may lack carpets and armchairs which may not be looked upon as essential in the locality. (Similarly, kettles, toasters, teapots are looked upon as peculiarities and not easy to purchase!). Bath mats are considered un-hygienic. Sometimes, too, wardrobe space is not necessarily in the relevant bedroom. Wear and tear is unavoidable in letting and owners may change furniture which has become damaged.
Internet: We do not guarantee the speed at which information may be received or transmitted nor even uninterrupted availability of any internet connection / service. On an island such as Sicily particularly in rural areas, internet connections and services can potentially be erratic and fail due to network failures that are completely out of our control.
ARE THERE ANY EXTRA CHARGES AT THE PROPERTY?
This varies from property to property. Please check the individual property description where details of any extra charges will be listed under the ‘rates section’.
Bed linen and towels – usually included but please check the property description as this is not always the case.
Cleaning & breakages – We ask you to leave the houses clean on your departure. At majority of properties there is a final cleaning charge: where this applies it is shown on the price list. At many properties an extra mid stay clean can be arranged at an additional cost.
Security deposit – There is generally a cash security deposit due to the owner upon arrival. We rely on clients’ honesty to replace anything they break or damage or let the owners know, so that the matter can be dealt with before the next clients arrive.
Electricity and water – You will need an adaptor (BSI1363) if you want to use any British electrical appliances: electricity is 220 volts. Water can be in short supply especially in southern Italy so it is better not to be too lavish with it. At some properties you will pay for electricity separately and where this is the case it is stated on the description. At those properties where you pay for electricity you also pay for pool and garden lighting, please remember that electricity and gas is a lot more expensive in Italy than in Britain.
Heating – Heating costs are extra and are paid directly to the owner in Euros. By British standards the cost of gas is high. Wood is usually cheap.
WHEN IS THE POOL OPEN?
Operational dates vary from property to property; (From 01 May onwards – Southern Italy and Sicily April onwards) Opening dates are dependent on weather conditions, please check at the time of booking.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO ARRANGE EXTRA MAID SERVICE AND CHEFS / COOKS?
It is often possible to arrange cleaners and cooks in advance. These services are extra and are payable locally directly to the person(s) giving the service. Please enquire at the time of booking.
CAN YOU SUPPLY EXTRA BEDS, COTS AND HIGH CHAIRS?
Beds – Mattress types vary greatly from one country to another and will not necessarily be like the one you usually sleep on and are used to at home. Italian cots do not necessarily pass the standards demanded in other countries. We recommend you take your own, but a cot, usually a folding travel cot is available on request. At some properties there may be a charge for this, payable locally. Highchairs are available in some properties.
HOW DO I REPORT A PROBLEM OR MAKE A COMPLAINT?
Our complaints ratio is very small, but to be realistic things sometimes do go wrong. We work very hard to ensure that your holiday is as enjoyable as possible. However, if you have a complaint on arrival concerning any aspect of your accommodation, you must inform the owner or agent immediately or at the latest within 48 hours of arrival. Complaints not advised within this time scale will not be considered valid
If you experience any problems with your accommodation during your stay, you should report it immediately to the owner or the Agent, to give them the opportunity to put things right within a reasonable timescale. The people on the spot are your first contact and are best able to resolve any problems with the accommodation both on arrival and during your stay The relevant contact address and telephone numbers are listed on your documentation.
Please note that between midday and 4 o’clock Italians have lunch and a siesta. This means that local businesses are closed and it is not possible for the agent to make contact with the relevant tradesmen / person to correct the problem. The same applies to Sundays and bank holidays and we ask in this instance for your patience whilst we do our best to resolve the situation.
If the problem is not resolved to your satisfaction locally within a reasonable time scale, please contact the UK office by telephone on:
Tel: 0044 161 787 8587 during UK office hours
On your behalf, Bridgewater have set up a system of help locally which you are expected to make full use of in order to minimise any disruption to your holiday.
We do appreciate client feedback…both bad and good in order to help us to do our job properly. It is nice to hear that we have got things right but at the same time your suggestions and constructive criticism enables us to see which areas of our business we need to improve and offer you a better service next time.
If you have a formal complaint it must be put in writing to Bridgewater’s Idyllic Italy within 28 days from your return date. We regret we will be unable to accept complaints or claims which are not notified entirely in accordance with the above procedure.
Please talk to us, we will always do our best to help.
Finally, to ensure there are no misunderstandings, please read our booking conditions carefully – we believe them to be reasonable and fair. If you are unclear of their meaning or you do not agree with any part of them, please contact us before confirming your rental and ask if the condition you are unhappy with can be removed or altered.
WHY SHOULD I BOOK WITH BRIDGEWATER RATHER THAN GOING DIRECT?
Simply put; our knowledge, contacts and experience. We can help ensure that you find the right perfect property rental for your holiday in Italy. We also make sure the houses meet our standards and only work with reputable suppliers with whom we have collaborated with for many years. We have English-speaking agents on the ground so that, so that should anything happen, you can turn to a familiar party.
WHEN WILL I RECIEVE CONFIRMATION OF MY BOOKING?
We aim to confirm all reservation requests within 48 hours, however most properties can be confirmed much quicker. Confirmation will be sent to you via email. Should you require a written copy to be posted to you please request this at the time of booking.
HOW MUCH DEPOSIT DO I HAVE TO PAY?
Deposit on the majoriy of our properties is 30% of the final balance. (In a few instances a 40 or 50% deposit is required – this is usually on higher value properties or bookings with a duration of 3+ weeks. Where a 40 or 50 5 deposit is required – it will be stated on the property description). If you are booking within 8 weeks of your holiday then you will be required to pay the final balance in full when confirming your booking
WHEN IS MY FINAL BALANCE DUE?
You have up until 8 weeks prior your arrival date to pay your remaining balance. If you balance is overdue, we will send you an email reminder prompting you to make payment. If you are booking less than 8 weeks prior to arrival, you will be directed to pay your balance in full following your reservation request
I AM TRYING TO BOOK A PROPERTY FOR NEXT YEAR, BUT THE SITE WON’T LET ME?
The holiday season availability information that the website uses has date boundaries. If you wish to book a holiday for dates not currently shown on the website, please call us on +44 (0)161 787 8587 or email email@example.com
MY SEARCH SAYS THERE ARE NO PROPERTIES AVAILABLE TO SUIT?
We have many more properties available than are shown on our website! Should your search for specific dates return no properties or you can’t find exactly what you are looking for, please contact us!
HOW DO I MAKE AN ENQUIRY?
If you wish to check prices or availability or to make a booking, you can now use the online system. Most of the properties we feature are now bookable online.
If you would prefer to talk to a member of our team, please call us on 0044 (0) 161 787 8587, email us firstname.lastname@example.org or use the online enquiry form to get in touch. We know each property well and we are always happy to talk things through with you and help you choose a property that best matches your needs and priorities.