Booking your Villa in Tuscany - the small print
Making a booking
If you want to booking, it couldn't be simpler. Just use this tool to find a slot and an apartment that suits you, and press BOOK. In around a minute you'll be booked.
I'll then confirm your booking personally by email, telling you how you can pay your deposit, or send full payment if you're booking late.
Alternatively, please do one of the following:
- Email us by filling in this form here. We usually respond within a couple of hours, assuming we're awake.
- Or call me in Italy on +39 331 733 8442 (please check what time it is in Italy before you call!)
If accommodation is available, a 50% deposit will be required immediately, unless we are less than 90 days away from your arrival date, in which case full payment is necessary.
We do not usually place accommodation on hold, but if you have a particular need, please drop us a line and we'll help if we can.
Internet fraud, and how to book safely
We've been the victims of internet fraud ourselves, so we know how hard it can be to be sure you're being sensible. Every year, the fraudsters get smarter and make life more difficult for us all.
So how can you be sure we're legitimate?
- We've been online a long time, since 1998. And you can check this yourself by doing a simple Whois search for patrignone.com
- Look at this website. Many 100's of man-hours have gone into creating it and keeping it up-to-date.
- Look for us on Facebook. We have an active page there with entries going back many years, plus reviews from guests. You can even book from our Facebook page.
- We also have a Friends of Podere Patrignone group on Facebook, populated mostly by people who have stayed with us. Ask them any questions you like - they are usually very helpful.
- Look for us on TripAdvisor. We have over 200 reviews going back as far as 2007.
- Look for us on VRBO, Flipkey (TripAdvisor vacation rentals), and Sawdays - we've been advertising with these people for years, so if we were fake, our ads would have been pulled years ago. You'll find reviews for us there too.
Once you chosen a legitimate vacation rental, the next hurdle is paying for your rental safely. These are our tips:
- NEVER send credit card information by ordinary email. It's not safe. There are a number of ways you can safely send your credit card details online, and we'll explain these to you when the time comes. Phoning with your credit card information is safe and simple. Using your credit card usually incurs a small fee,
- Many of the main vacation rental advertising sites have their own payment systems that are safe to use. Some of these work very well, and are relatively cheap. VRBO is the best and only costs 3%. Others cost between 4 and 8%. AirBnB is by far the most expensive way to rent.
- Paypal is a safe way to send funds, but can be expensive if you don't have a Euro account with funds in it.
- Wiring funds is still cheapest when larger sums are involved, especially with some of the new wire transfer services, like Transferwise. But you should only wire funds when you've done your research and made sure you are dealing with a legitimate vacation rental provider.
We hope this is of some help to you.
More on wire transfers
When you make an international bank (wire) transfer the old-fashioned way, you can choose who pays the transfer charges. The detailed instructions for the wire transfer are itemised in a piece of formal international bank language called a SWIFT instruction.
BEN, SHA, OUR are codes in a SWIFT instruction, at field 71A "Details of Charges".
The OUR value means you pay all transfer charges. We receive all your payment. SHA (shared) means you only pay your bank's outgoing transfer charge. We receive your payment minus the correspondent (intermediary) bank charges. BEN (beneficiary) means you do not pay any charges. We receive your payment minus all transfer charges.
We require all international transfers to us to be made with the OUR instruction in Swift Field 71A. The only exception is EU-payments in EUR which can be made with SHA instruction. Any fees we incur will be charged back to you.
Booking Terms and Conditions
Here is a list of our T's and C's. If anything is unclear, please let us know and we'll clarify immediately.
- You need to pay us a 50% deposit when you make your reservation. The balance is due 90 days before the beginning of your stay. If you are booking less than 90 days in advance, full payment is required when you book. We cannot hold a property or update our availability calendars until payment has been received. If you do not pay us within 72 hours, or confirm to us that payment is on its way, we will release the space to other parties without further warning. It sounds harsh, but if you are serious about booking with us, then this is not likely to be a problem. If you are having any difficulties, just get in touch and we'll help as much as we can.
- As soon as we have received your deposit, we are committed to providing you with the stay you are expecting, and hopefully much more besides. We will never cancel or move your booking (unless something disastrous or unforeseen happens beyond our control, though this has never happened in 25 years of business).
- If you need to change your booking at any time, talk to us. If we can help, we will. Usually, if we have the space available and you'd like to move your booking, we'll be happy to give you a hand, just as long as you have given us lots of time to re-let the space you are vacating. There are two provisos: first, we are not obliged to move your booking, so if we say no, then the answer is no, and secondly, you will pay us a €30 admin charge for each change to cover our time. Or you can buy us a bottle of Ceparello. We can usually only move bookings if you give us at least 90 days' notice, more for the Villa, so that we can fill your space.
- You are required to read the document "Your Stay at Patrignone" which will be sent to you before you arrive. The same information can be found in your apartment. It contains important information for the safety of you and your family, with special reference to the swimming pool and Patrignone's function as a working farm.
- We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive holiday travel, health and cancellation insurance at the earliest possible time.
- On your arrival date you should arrive between the hours of 4pm and 6pm local time, unless by prior arrangement. All guests should depart by 11am on the departure date.
- Booking fees include all hot water, electricity, weekly bed linen and towel change, and final cleaning on departure.
- The prices we charge you are inclusive of all taxes at the time you book, but we can't be held responsible for additional taxes cooked up by the powers-that-be after you've booked. In these cases we'll let you know what these additional costs are as soon as we can.
- An additional charge will be made for central heating and firewood in colder months, if required. See Prices for details.
- Any money paid by direct bank transfer or Paypal must include all transfer and receiving charges from the sending and receiving banks.
- All apartments are thoroughly cleaned in between bookings. However, please leave your accommodation neat and tidy on departure with all kitchen-ware thoroughly washed and all rubbish disposed of at local recycling points. We will charge you a final cleaning charge should you fail to do this: €60 for a 1-bed apt, €100 for a 2-bed apt, €300 for the Villa. We're not asking you to leave the place spotless, just clean up your mess, wash the plates & pots you've used, and throw away your rubbish. That's not unreasonable, is it?
- Because the large number of precious items and antique furniture used to make Patrignone look great, a security deposit is usually payable on all big bookings, equivalent to 25% of the total accommodation cost. So we're talking about wedding parties, large groups taking more than one unit, celebrations and so on. Deductions may be made for any damage, breakages, losses, additional cleaning or outstanding bills, and you will be notified by email in the unlikely event that any deductions have been made. We usually use Paypal for security deposits because it is quick and easy for you to pay, and for us to issue a refund. You will not be charged any Paypal fees.
- Cancellation terms: if you cancel 60 days or more before you are due to arrive, 50% of the total booking cost (excluding any bank or transaction charges and a €30 admin charge) will be refundable. If you cancel after this, the entire booking cost is forfeit. Deposits are not refundable or transferable. If you would like more information on this policy, and why it exists, drop us a line. Although these are the specific terms, we always try to help those who book with us and can't then come for one reason or another. But we will do this because we're nice people. not because we are obliged in any way. So if you find you need to cancel, let us know straight away. As long as we successfully rent out your space, and you can come and stay with us some time that season or the next, you'll be able to use your deposit against that future booking (minus a €30 admin fee).
- Booking changes: you can increase the length of your booking at any time as long as we have space for you and it doesn't cause us any calendar problems. If you want to reduce the length of your booking before 90 days prior to arrival, you can usually do so, but you will lose the deposit paid for the nights you no longer need. Your final instalment will be reduced in line with the new total cost of your booking. However, if your reduced booking leaves us with gaps in our booking calendar, which we cannot then fill because of adjacent bookings, we have the right to (regretfully) say no to your request for a change in your booking.
- Late payments: we will give you as much time as you need to make your payments, within reason. If for some reason you are having difficulties, then please let us know and we will try to give you the necessary time. If you are late making a payment, we will send you several reminders, but if you ignore these, then we will send you a final reminder. If you fail to make your payment at this point, your booking will be cancelled, and any deposits paid will be forfeit.
- Although we hope never to have to use it, we reserve the right to substitute your booked accommodation with alternative accommodation at Patrignone of equal value or better in the case of unforeseen circumstances.
- If you fail to provide your full details at check-in for the State Police anti-terrorism and anti-crime database (name, address, DOB, passport/identity card, etc. for all guests) then you will not be allowed to stay here. Sorry. It's the law. I'll send you a form to complete prior to arrival to make this statutory information-gathering exercise easier.
- There are specific conditions for large groups, celebrations, parties and weddings. First, an additional hire fee may be charged for using communal spaces at Podere Patrignone, such as the Frantoio, Dining Room, Terracotta Terrace, and other spaces. Second, those renting these spaces are charged with leaving them in the very same condition they found them, removing all decorations and litter, replacing all furniture in its original position, returning plates, glasses and cutlery to the apartment or villa it came from, and tidying the facilities, and so on. If you don't think you are up to this task, you should ask up front if you can pay for additional cleaning, which we will provide if we can. Finally, please pay for all breakages with a smile and good grace. Accidents will happen.
- You are not allowed to sublet space you rent from us to any third party without our express permission. Obviously, if you're getting married here, it's fine to pass on the cost of the accommodation to those of your guests who will be staying here. But if you are a travel agency or any other intermediary, you are not allowed to rent space from us and resell it at a mark-up without our permission and without telling your clients exactly what you are doing.
- Bad behaviour: if you're the kind of person thinks it's OK to treat others poorly, don't come to Patrignone. We don't tolerate rude behaviour towards us, our staff, or our guests. Any such behaviour can result in your booking here being cancelled immediately and without compensation. Similarly, turn up in the dead of night without warning us first, or turn up a day late without contacting us just because it suited you plans better, and you'll find your booking with us no longer exists. To summarise: be a human being, treat us all the same way, and we'll all get along famously.
Karen & Ali - UK 2014