Frequently Asked Questions

Frequesntly Asked Questions about staying at Hawthorn Farm, Kent1. At the booking stage

“The cottage I want to book is showing as available on your website. How can I book it?”
You can book your holiday at Hawthorn Farm either online via our simple website booking system, or if you prefer, you can phone us on: 01304 290029.
If you’re having any problems booking your preferred dates in your favourite cottage, please give us a call and we'll be happy to help you if we can. 

“Can I view a holiday cottage prior to booking it?”
We will of course try to organise a viewing for you, but because of the nature of holiday letting, we will need to find a time that's convenient for you, when the cottage isn't occupied. If you have any specific questions or needs relating to your holiday, or something about the cottage, then you can always give us a call and we'll do all we can to help you make the right choice.

“Can you reserve a holiday cottage for me whilst I decide?”
We will happily make a provisional booking for a holiday cottage for up to 24 hours to give you time to decide, or to talk to any other guests. Please be aware that we can only do this for you once, and the reservation will expire after 24 hours if the booking is not confirmed within this time.

“Can I stay at Hawthorn Farm over Christmas and New Year?”
Yes! Our cottages are all centrally heated and double glazed, and make a wonderful cosy base over Christmas and New Year. Because it's a very popular time of year for holiday lettings, you will only be able to book for a minimum of 7 nights over the Christmas/New Year period.

 “Can I stay in one of your holiday cottages for more than 2 weeks?”
Our 2-3 bedroom cottages are perfect for short lets of up to 28 days at a time. They are fully furnished and all bills are included in the rental price, so they make a great option if you're looking to stay in the area for work; while your own home is undergoing renovations; or between house moves. If you'd like to discus the possibility of a longer stay at Hawthorn Farm, please call us on 01304 290029.

2. At the payment stage

“When do I pay for my holiday cottage?”
If you are making a booking more than 8 weeks before your arrival date, then you will only need to pay a 30% deposit at the time of booking. The final balance of your booking becomes due eight weeks before the start of your holiday. If you are booking less than 8 weeks in advance, then you are asked to pay the full rental charge at the time of booking. 

“How do I pay my final balance?”
When you first make your booking, you will receive an automated email from our online booking system which will have a link to your booking on our website. If you chose to pay by Bank Transfer as your payment method, it will take you to our bank details. If you chose Credit/Debit/Amex it will take you to our secure card payment provider "Stripe", or if you chose PayPal there will be a Payment button at the bottom of the page. Where possible, please make sure you include your booking number and surname in the payment reference so we can allocate it correctly.

If you wish to pay your balance using a different method to the one you used to pay your deposit, please do give us a call on 01304 290029 and we'll be happy to help you.

“Will I get a reminder to pay the final balance?”
Not as a matter of course, so you will need to make a note in your diary when the balance is due. Please don't rely on our reminder to pay the final balance because non-payment by the due date may result in the cancellation of your booking. 

 “How much is the security deposit and what is it for?”
Our standard security deposit is £250 per cottage, and is required in case of any losses, damages or exceptional cleaning needed after you leave. It is also an incentive to leave the holiday cottage in the way it was found! In certain circumstances, we may adjust the amount of the security deposit. For example if there is a group booking of 3 or more cottages, if you're staying for 28 days, or if you are bringing a puppy. We will let you know if this is the case at the time of booking, so you won't get any surprises!

“How and when do I need to pay my security deposit?”
If your're coming for a short stay of 4 nights, then the security deposit can be taken as a pre-authorisation on a credit card when you arrive. A pre-authorisation isn't actually a charge, but it enables us to make a charge to your card if needs be. For stays of 5 or more days, we will need to take a payment of the security deposit on a credit or debit card when you arrive.

“When can I expect to get my security deposit back?”
We will endeavour to release your security deposit (less any necessary deductions and without interest) seven to ten days after your stay, once we have had a chance to go into the cottage to confirm that everything is in good order.
Please be aware that due to the nature of pre-authorisations, your bank/card issuer may not show any transaction information for the hold or release of funds that remain in your account. You will therefore only see any transactions for charges made for replacing or repairing any damaged or lost items. Please note that although the release of your security deposit is instantaneous at our end, d
ue to individual bank handling times, the release of your security deposit can take up to ten working days to clear fully into your account.

3. Before your arrival

“What is provided in the holiday cottage?”
The facilities provided at each of our cottages are included on the cottage information page on this website. If you have any specific questions, or requirements, please do give us a call before making your booking.

“Are towels and sheets provided?”
We provide bed linen for the number of people/beds in your party, plus bath and hand towels, covid-restrictions permitting. Please note that the towels provided are for indoor use only, so you will need to bring your own separate beach towels for use outside, as well as pet towels as needed.

"What do we need to bring with us?"
Owing to the extraordinary circumstances and challenges of the pandemic in 2020/21, we've had to make a few changes to the way we do things, but we still aim to provide a holiday home from home as far as possible. We've listed some of the most important things not to forget, plus some other suggestions on our "what do we need to pack" page.

“What do I do if I cannot find the information I need on your website?”
If the information you are looking for is not provided in the individual holiday cottage information pages, nor in overview of "The Cottages" section, then please feel free to contact us by email or on 01304 290029 and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.

“I’m expecting an email from you, but I haven’t received it yet!”
Try checking your “junk” or “spam” folder, in case the email you are expecting has accidentally been sent there by your inbox. If you still cannot find it, please do contact us, and we will happily resend any missing emails. 

“When do I get the information in regards to our arrival and collecting keys?”
About a week before your stay, we will send you an email which will include information about how to find Hawthorn Farm Cottages, what to do on your arrival and how to collect your keys.

“I will be arriving after your 4pm check-in time, is this okay and how do I collect the keys?”
If you know you will be arriving much later than 4pm, please let us know as soon as possible before your arrival, so we can arrange to leave the keys in a safe location for you.There'll be no charge for a late check-in, but out of courtesy, please keep us informed by phone or email if you're expecting to arrive late, or if you're delayed for any reason.

“Can I have the full address for my SatNav?”
The full address is Hawthorn Farm, Corner Drove, Ware, Ash, Canterbury, Kent CT3 2DB. We will send you directions (the things your SatNav and Google won't be able to tell you!) when we email you about a week before your stay.

“Can I arrange a food delivery to the holiday cottage?”
You are more than welcome to arrange for a local supermarket to deliver food to your holiday cottage. Just give the full holiday cottage address as above and be sure to include the name of the specific cottage you are staying in, as well as your mobile phone number when making your food delivery booking. Please make sure that your delivery is ordered for after your holiday cottage check in time, and at a time when you are certain to be in there.
If you would like us to arrange a welcome pack of groceries and essentials for your first meal and/or breakfast, then we can arrange for this to be delivered to your cottage before you arrive, and cold items to be stored in the fridge ready for your arrival. You will be able to see what's available and to add any you'd like to your booking.

“What time will I be able to get into the holiday cottage?”
You're welcome to arrive and gain access to your holiday cottage any time from 4pm. If you know you're going to be arriving much later than 4pm, please let us know as soon as possible. If you find yourself running late then a quick phone call to let us know would be much appreciated.

“Can I arrange an earlier check in?”
We will be happy to try and arrange this for you depending on how busy we are, and when the house keeping team is scheduled to prepare the cottage for you.  If you'd like an early check-in, the following additional charges will be made:

Between 2pm - 4pm on day of arrival: £15 per cottage
From 12 noon: £25 per cottage
Please check with us  preferably at time of booking, as it we will need to confirm that the cottage can be prepared in time.

“Can I add extra guests on to my booking?”
As long as the total number of guests does not exceed the occupancy number stated on our website (and complies with current covid-safe regulations), then you are welcome to bring additional people to stay provided you let us know in advance. If you wish to bring additional guests over the number indicated to us at the time of booking, then we do ask you to provide us with full guest details, at least 7 days before your stay. If you are looking to have day guests visit you at the holiday cottage, we would ask that you contact us first to let us know as anyone unknown to us may be asked to leave.

“Why do you need the names of our guests and ages of our children?”
We ask for the names and ages of your guests so we know who to expect for safety and insurance reasons, and also to comply with Government regulations. This is the same reason we need to know in advance if you would like to have people visit you at the holiday cottage.

“When do you need our bed configurations by?”
As soon as possible, and definitely a week before your stay so we can ensure to meet your needs.

“Can I bring a pet with me?”
Two of our cottages are pet friendly (Foxglove and Primrose), so as long as the holiday cottage you have booked accepts four legged friends, we are happy to add these on to your booking for you. Please be aware that we can only welcome a maximum of 2 pets in each holiday cottage, and there is a £25 charge per stay for up to 2 pets. Please note that this charge may increase depending on the pet/s you are bringing (such as very large dogs, or young animals). For any pets other than cats or dogs, please ask at the time of booking what the charge will be.

“Is there parking at my holiday cottage?”
There is enough free parking for one car per holiday cottage within the grounds of Hawthorn Farm. If you are arriving in a large vehicle, or with more than one car, please let us know on your booking form. You may need to park larger vehicles or additional cars on firm "off road" ground if the gravel parking areas are full. If you or a member of your party has a disability, or is a wheelchair user, you will be able to park in an allocated space a few yards from Primrose Cottage.

4. During your stay

“We're celebrating a birthday/anniversary or other special occasion. Can you arrange anything for us?”
Congratulations! We love it when our guests choose to come to Hawthorn Farm Cottages to mark a special occasion... We have a number of "Optional Extras" which you may like to order in advance to make your stay that bit more special - including a luxury upgrade, flowers, chocolates etc. If there's anything else you'd like to arrange, such as a meal out or a special treat, do let us know and we will send you some information so you can book it directly. Please note that we do not allow parties including guests not staying in one of our cottages, and you will need to let us know if you are planning to invite any suppliers to come to your cottage (such as a beauty therapist, or private chef!)

“Will I get a good internet connection and mobile phone signal?”
Because Hawthorn Farm is in a rural location, the quality of mobile phone coverage can vary depending on your provider. If you are on the Vodafone network, or if you are on a roaming package, then you should get a good 3G signal. If you are able to make telephone calls via an internet connection, then our free WiFi should be fast enough. If this is important to you please ask at the time of booking.

“Can I leave my dog in the cottage while I go out?”
Unfortunately, we are unable to allow dogs to be left alone in the cottage, even for a short time. There are several excellent dog-sitters in the local area who we can put you in touch with if you'd like to enjoy a day or eveng out sans doggy!

“I can’t find something in the holiday cottage which I was expecting to be here. Where is it?”
As the owners live on-site, they know they cottages very well, and will be happy to help you to locate any missing items. Unless it's an emergency, your query will usually be dealt with between 9am and 8pm. Please feel free to email or text them outside of these hours, and they will endeavour to help you as soon as possible. 

“What should I do if I have a complaint about my holiday cottage?”
We work hard to make sure that everything about your stay is enjoyable and relaxing. In the unlikely event that something does go wrong it is very important that you inform the owners or our representatives immediately. You can do this through the emergency contact details that will be provided in the cottage information pack. Please do not wait until you return home as by this time, the chance to actively help will have passed. Even if you believe that nothing can be done to make the matter better, you must say something during your stay.

If you are unhappy with way any problem has been handled/resolved, then you must put a complaint to us in writing within 30 days of the end of your holiday. We will then attempt to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. Further information on our complaints procedure can be found in our Booking Conditions.

5. After your stay

“What time to we have to vacate the holiday cottage?”
Please vacate your cottage no later than 10am on the final day of your holiday.

“Is there anything you expect us to do before we leave?”
You'll find a short checklist in your cottage, which we will also email to you about a week before you arrive. It includes some basic tasks such as removing and folding any used bed-linen, removing all rubbish, cleaning up any obvious spills and remembering to take home all personal belongings. If you have moved any furniture, crockery or ornaments around to suit your needs (or sense of aesthetics!) then we ask you to put them back how you found them. If in the unlikely case that you're unable to leave the cottage as requested, we reserve the right to make a charge of £25 per hour against your security deposit.

“Can I arrange a later check out?”
We will be happy to try and arrange this for you depending on how busy we are, whether we are expecting any other arrivals on the same day and when the cleaning team is scheduled to arrive. You may be able to extend your stay at Hawthorn Farm up to 6pm on the day of departure, but we will need to confirm this with you at the time of booking.

The following additional charges will be made for late check-outs:
Between 10am and 12 noon: £15 per cottage
Extended stay: up to 6pm on your day of departure: £25 per cottage

“I think I’ve left something in the holiday cottage, how do I get it back?”
Please contact us by email as soon as you realise that you have left something behind. Please include details of the item, where you think you left it, and the address where you would like it to be sent. We will do our best to find anything you leave behind, but please be aware that there may be a delay in finding your missing items, as the housekeeping team can only enter the cottages between stays. If it is a heavy or precious item, then we may need to pass on the cost of postage to you. We will always let you know in advance how much this will be, before committing you to a payment.

“Can I give you some feedback on my stay?”
Yes of course! We welcome any feedback as it helps us to keep improving on our standards, and hopefully to exceed our guests' expectations! You can leave a review on Google Maps, or on Facebook. You can find links to both of these review sites on our reviews page.

If you would like to tell us about any specifics about your cottage relating to maintenance, items of furniture, inventory or other practicalities, please email or text them to us as soon as you become aware of them, so we can take prompt action as necessary. These are different sorts of issues to the content of online reviews, so we'd encourage you to keep them separate!