TERMS & CONDITIONS & OTHER INFORMATION UPDATE 1st June, 2020
During your stay at Emerald Star Cottages we would appreciate that you understand the terms and conditions which you are committing and agreeing to whilst staying at our lovely property. If you have any queries regarding these terms and conditions, please do not hesitate to ask us prior to or upon your arrival. Please note that the person making the booking carries the liability and is therefore deemed responsible for any subsequent costs that may occur from their stay.
COVID-19, better known as the Coronavirus has had implications worldwide and has affected us all. Conditions for all businesses have been set by Government & Health advisors. Please see the following;
Traceability – As advised by Government and Health advisors, we need our guests to provide information prior to their stay and after their stay. We ask that you let us know the following information in the week of your booking;
- Travel information for the last month.
- If you’ve been in contact with someone that has tested positive to COVID-19.
- Unwell? Let us know. Do not attend our venue if you have any signs of fever, sore throat, cough or runny nose not due to allergies or hay fever.
- If you become unwell with any of the above symptoms within two weeks after your stay or you test positive for COVID-19 after your stay we ask that you please inform us as soon as possible.
We appreciate your understanding of our request for the above information.
Security of your booking – We are not processing deposits at the moment and will process full payment in the week before your stay.
If you require to cancel due to COVID-19 or being unwell, it ensures that you have no penalty placed on you given the current circumstances, but we ask that you give us as much notice as possible.
We reserve the right to ask you to leave if you become visibly unwell during your stay with considered refund for any nights remaining dependent on circumstances.
If you made your booking and paid upfront through a third party booking channel you will need to contact them for refunds.
PLEASE NOTE: We reserve the right to refuse your stay and offer no refunds if you appear visibly unwell upon arrival.
Check in/Check out – Changes in check in and check out times may occur due to more time required for cleaning of rooms as per conditions set by Government and Health Advisors.
We will advise you based on number of bookings in the property what time you will need to check in or check out.
We do reserve the right to communicate this change to you at any time before and during your stay. This is to ensure the health and safety of all guests.
Social Distancing – We ask that you maintain current social distancing guidelines of 1.5m between yourselves and others guests or other people not of the same household whilst staying at our property.
Hygiene – We are being extremely diligent in the cleaning of our rooms to protect the health of our guests and our staff. What we are doing;
- Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of our cottages including all high touch areas.
- Some cleaning products and disinfectant sprays provided for you to use during your stay.
- Ensuring our staff regularly and thoroughly wash and/or disinfect their hands before greeting guests, avoiding hand shaking, using gloves and masks when cleaning rooms.
- Staff to not come to work if they are in any way unwell
- Provide hand sanitiser and soap in each cottage.
- Keep checklists of cleaning regimes.
- Keep on smiling and serving our guests
What you can do to maintain this standard during your stay:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before eating and after using the bathroom and use hand sanitiser often.
- Encourage your companions to do the same
- Wash dishes in hot soapy water immediately after use or place in the dishwasher ready to wash upon your departure.
- Place all rubbish immediately after use into the bins provided.
- Cough/sneeze etc into a tissue or your elbow and dispose in bins provided and then wash or sanitise hands. Please do not flush tissues down the toilet as we are on a septic system
- Maintain social distancing recommendations.
- Please do not take from the rooms any sanitiser, cleaning products, handwash, tissues, toilet paper etc. These are provided at our cost to help maintain hygiene for you and other guests.
- Please avoid handling or using extra linen & blankets if you do not need them. Please clearly show what extra linen has been used prior to departure by placing on the bed.
- Encourage friends and family to continue supporting their local hospitality and artistic communities.
- And remember we are all responsible for our part in keeping each other safe from COVID-19 and other flus and viruses during this time. Thank you.
If you are booking direct through our website a 10-50% deposit will be required at the time of the booking dependent on how far in advance the booking is. You will receive a confirmation email. The balance will be required to be paid within 7 days of your booked date. Please refer to our cancellation policy with respect to refunds or changes to bookings. All third-party bookings will be required to provide a credit card upon arrival for security deposit purposes. Bookings made direct will have credit card details stored securely in our online system for security deposit purposes.
Payment types accepted are Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB and Union Pay.
Please note children of all ages are welcome and parking for all paying guests is available on site.
Additional Guests Policy
No non-paying guests are allowed to use the facilities of our cottages or our property without prior arrangement and agreed to by Emerald Star Cottages Management. We do not accept parties of any kind as there needs to be a consideration for other paying guests. We reserve the right to cancel any booking if guests do not comply with our terms & conditions and to charge costs for any extra guests that stay without consent or any damage that may occur from these non-paying guests. Thank you for your consideration.
Cancellation Policy/Changes to Bookings (General – unrelated to COVID-19)
The cancellation policy is as follows for bookings made through our website. A full refund will be given if your booking is cancelled with at least 14 days notice. If 7-14 days notice is given you may only book at a later date or receive a 50% refund. If less than 7 days notice is given, or no show, no refund will be given. If you must cancel for totally unforeseen circumstances, please contact us directly to discuss. For any cancellations during your stay we reserve the right to retain all monies that have been paid for the booking.
All cancellations/changes to bookings made through third party booking agents such as Booking.com or Expedia.com etc. must be directed to them.
Check in/Check out (See revised conditions on Page 1)
Check in is after 2.00pm and Check out is by 10:30-11am. On the day prior to arriving we will ask you to please text to +61 (0) 499 805 000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org your estimated time of arrival. If you are arriving after 5pm you will need to contact us for information and a door code to access your room. If you require an early check in or late check out, please ask us prior to your arrival and we will see if we can arrange this dependant on other bookings.
Upon arrival a parking space will be allocated to you. Please be mindful of other guests and where they park and try not to block anyone in. Also be aware of any children that may be staying on site when driving into or out of the property.
Upon Your Departure
On your departure you must ensure the cottage is left clean & tidy. If a dishwasher is provided, please load it and we will subsequently wash and clean dishes. Please hand wash well pots and pans and other kitchen equipment that can’t be put into the dishwasher. In the two smaller hotel rooms please leave dishes for the cleaning staff to wash. The property needs to be left in a clean and tidy state, however we do not expect you to fully vacuum, mop or do any deep surface cleaning or laundry. All trash is to be disposed of in the proper receptacles that are provided at the property (recycling, rubbish, etc).
Damages and Cleaning Policy
We reserve the right to charge your credit card at any time during the week after your stay or to claim from you any costs incurred due to damages made during your stay. This can include but is not limited to damage to furniture, appliances, fixtures & fittings, windows, external areas and the like. It also refers to any contamination of bedding, linen & mattresses by means of bodily fluids, (ie vomit, faeces, urine etc) or certain product spills that require specialist cleaning/replacement as per standards of practice for the Hospitality Industry. Please also refer to our Smoking & Drug policy.
Additional cleaning costs required due to the property being left in a poor condition or contamination of bedding, linen or mattresses will be charged at a rate of $60 per hour.
Smoking, Candles & Incense Policy
The lighting of candles and the smoke from cigarettes/cigars/pipes/e-cigarettes/drug paraphernalia or from the burning of incense is not permitted inside any building. Smoking is permitted in courtyard areas and away from the front doors of cottages. Butt bins are provided in courtyards. Please DO NOT put cigarette butts in the room bins.
Candles and smoke represent a major risk of fire/damage to surfaces and fabrics.
If there is damage as a result of the burning of candles or other paraphernalia or there is evidence of burning candles in a room or if a room is contaminated by smoke from inside or outside smoking or there is evidence of smoking in a room you will be liable for an additional charge, which will equate to the sum of:
– The daily tariff for the days or part days that the room or cottage is unavailable for other guests due to the effects of smoke contamination and damage.
– The cost of finding alternative accommodation for subsequent guests as a result of the cottage being unavailable.
– The cost of cleaning, repairing or replacing any item damaged by the effects of smoking of any kind or the burning of incense. This may include the cost of additional cleaning, laundering of furnishings, blinds or other fabrics and the replacement of damaged items.
The minimum charge for either the burning of candles, damage or for smoke contamination of a cottage is $500. Further costs will be determined, and we reserve the right to charge you at any time after your stay for costs as set out in our policy above. Further costs will be quoted and sent to you for consideration of payment.
Drugs & Criminal Activity
No drugs are to be brought onto the property nor any criminal activity to be conducted on the premises. We reserve the right to call the police at any time if there is suspicion of any of this type of activity.
If it is deemed that the above has occurred further investigations of the cottages will be conducted and any evidence of drugs and drug use and potentially cooking or cutting of drugs, (manufacture) with be photographed and evidence collected. By law we are required to test a cottage that has be deemed contaminated. This will be done and subsequent costs for cleaning, damage and contamination of the cottage can be sought through legal, insurance and police avenues. See minimum costs below.
The minimum costs that can be directly charged to you for this process are as following;
Initial Composite testing (10 swabs) – $550 + GST
Subsequent breakdown analysis of each swab – $150 + GST per swab
Potential contamination of room, (room must be shut down for at least 2-3 days for testing) – $1000
Minimum cleaning cost until receipt of testing & analysis – $500
You will find our lovely Reception/Shop located in the first barn as you drive into the property. The reception is not manned at all times, but we endeavour to be onsite between 10am-3pm every day and as required at other times of the day/night. Our Reception/Shop will showcase some unique items for you to purchase as gifts or as a memento of your stay in the lovely Dandenong Ranges.
Children of all ages are welcome to stay at Emerald Star Cottages however please be aware that it is the parents or children’s guardians that are responsible for monitoring them during their stay. There are quite steep banks on two sides of the property that adjoin the main roads. Whilst we have made provisions to separate these areas it is important to monitor the whereabouts of children at all times. We have several open areas for kids to play in within the grounds immediately surrounding the cottages.
Pets unfortunately cannot be catered for on our site.
Wedding Groups Policy
We do not operate as a party or wedding venue but are very happy to welcome the bride & groom for their honeymoon stay or bride and bridesmaids for preparation for the wedding.
Bridal parties must contact Emerald Star Cottages to discuss suitability of arrangements prior to booking.
No non-resident guests are allowed on site without prior arrangement and agreement of Emerald Star Cottages. We do not accept groom and groomsmen parties, hens or bucks’ parties but will consider a whole venue booking for wedding guests and bridal party.
Whole Venue Bookings
Whole venue bookings for your next family get together or celebration will be considered by Emerald Star Cottages management. Please make enquiries directly to us.
Bushfire or Other Emergencies/Severe Weather Policy
Emerald Star Cottages will accept a cancellation by you for days with an actual or predicted Fire Danger Rating of ‘Code Red’ or ‘Extreme’ for the Central District (Refer www.cfa.vic.gov.au) or alternatively download the Vic Emergency App.
You must notify us of your intention to cancel stating that this is your reason for cancelling and it must be acknowledged by us. Under these circumstances we will refund in full any deposits already paid by you for that unused accommodation. For bookings made through third party booking agencies you will need to contact hem directly and state the same reasons for cancellation.
We reserve the right to close our operations and in effect cancel your booking with us in the rare event that we deem it necessary for your safety or because of an inability to operate due to circumstances beyond our control. This may include significant bush fire danger, road closures, an extended power, water or gas outage or damage to your booked accommodation due to storms or other circumstances. In this instance we will give you as much notice as possible and provide you with assistance where we can. We will either credit or refund in full any deposits already paid by you for that unused accommodation.
On site Emergency
For all emergencies that may occur whilst you are onsite please call 000 first and then contact us via the manager’s mobile 0499 805 000. We will obviously try to get to site as soon as possible.
In the event of a fire or other significant emergency onsite please safely exit your cottage leaving behind belongings and proceed to the driveway area between the two barns. If the emergency is significant enough for you to have to leave the site, please proceed to the road and if necessary drive or walk east up Stewart Road until you come to the first open paddock that is on the left side of Stewart Road. Please use the emergency contact numbers as listed above.
At all times we would endeavour to ensure that people do not travel to the hills during significant bushfire predicated weather however if you are onsite and we receive direction from CFA we would evacuate you to a
more appropriate location in the Emerald area.
Emerald Star Cottages has five cottages that sit relatively close together. We ask that you be considerate of the privacy of other guests staying on the site and maintain a level of conduct in your cottage and within the grounds that respects everyone’s right to a relaxing and enjoyable stay. If you have any concerns or issues with other guests, please contact us.
Concerns or Complaints
During your stay if you have any concerns or complaints please let us know as soon as possible so that we can do our best to rectify the situation. This may include any maintenance issues, noise issues, cleaning issues etc.
During your stay you will have access to internet via our wi-fi. Please note that whilst we endeavour to provide a fast internet service please be mindful that we are in the Dandenong Ranges and reception can be intermittent at times.
Living in the hills comes with many unplanned power outages. In the event of an outage, please find torches located in bedside tables or under kitchen sinks. We generally receive a notification of the power outage and will be in touch with you if it appears to be a long outage to discuss any potential refunds if you have to leave the property early. We would also endeavour to help you seek alternative accommodation.
Laundry and BBQ Facilities
Onsite there is a laundry with washing machine and dryer for your convenience. Please ask the manager onsite for access to these facilities. There is also a BBQ available for use. If you use this facility, please ensure that it is cleaned after use.
In each cottage you will find a guest tablet supplied to you which contains a wealth of information about the cottages and about the area. You will find suggestions on great places to eat, things to do and places to see during your stay here. If you require any assistance with this, please do not hesitate to ask.
It also contains information on emergency and evacuation procedures.
Please note that if the tablet is damaged or is taken from the property you will be appropriately charged to replace this item at the current day cost for that tablet.
Appliance Instruction Manuals
The instructions for all your appliances can be found on your guest tablet and in hard copy. If you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to ask.
You should find extra blankets in cupboards in each cottage however if you require extra towels or bedding please let us know. Dependant on your extra needs a small surcharge may apply for the cleaning of extra bedding not allowed for in your room rate. Unfortunately, we do not provide cots for infants.
It does get cold in the hills and all our cottages have reverse cycle heating/cooling systems however you might want to enjoy a lovely fire. Myrtle Loft features an open fireplace and Blackwood Rise features a wood heater. We do not provide wood onsite, but we can help you to purchase firewood for a reasonable price. This can be added to your booking if required.
On the property you may come across a variety of wildlife such as native birds, wallabies, kangaroos, wombats and other animals. Please be reminded that these are wild animals and should not be approached or fed by you. Doing so may result in injury to yourself and the animal.
If you are fortunate enough to see some of our native wildlife, please enjoy observing them from a distance.
We do have bird feeders on the property and wild bird seed is available from the Reception for feeding. Our guest tablet features information on some of the animals and birds you may encounter on site.
At times possums may find their way into the roof or wall and they are known to jump from trees onto the roof making a very loud noise. Possums also have a very loud territorial call that may be frightening to some guests. Please do not be alarmed but if this becomes a problem please contact us so that we may deal with the situation.
Pests and rodents
Our cottages are old and surrounded by bush areas and therefore attract pests and animals seeking food or shelter. Whilst we have an implemented pest control program in place, rodents and pests re-populate all the time. This is part and parcel of living in the bush. We ask kindly that you help us by ensuring food and food scraps are not left out on benches and outside the buildings. Your help in maintaining a pest free environment is most appreciated.
At the rear of the cottages there is native bushland that adjoins other properties. Please do not wander into the bush areas as you will potentially damage native and rare plants such as the Emerald Star Bush or potentially wander onto other people’s properties.
Our guest tablet features more information on the flora you may find within the forest area.