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VAT: reduced rate for holiday accommodation

We have spoken to a number of guests/potential guests regarding the recent cut in VAT to 5% for businesses in the hospitality sector. I include below a summary of how this affects businesses across the sector. As a small business with a modest annual turnover, we are not VAT registered. We, and as a consequence our guests, do not benefit from this measure. Larger hotels and brands with multiple hotels do benefit.

Non-VAT registered hospitality businesses
Annual turnover below £85,000. Pays VAT on all supplies and services. Does not charge VAT to guests. Does not pay VAT to HMRC.
A reduction in VAT payable to HMRC does not affect non-VAT registered businesses.

VAT registered hospitality businesses
Annual turnover in excess of £85,000. Does not pay VAT on supplies and services. Charges VAT to guests. Pays VAT to HMRC.
A reduction in VAT payable to HMRC reduces annual costs for VAT registered businesses.

Covid ready steps

We have been working with VisitBritain to ensure that Ivythwaite Cottages are taking all necessary steps in advance of re-opening on 4th July.

 
We have submitted our plans to VisitBritain who have assessed them against industry best practice.

We have applied to the VisitBritain 'We're Good To Go' industry standard scheme - our application has been successful. 
We have made some changes to our usual practice and these are detailed below:
We have removed any additional soft furnishings such as bed throws and cushions.
We pride ourselves on our high standards of cleanliness, however, we are now using an anti-viral spray on all soft furnishings in the cottages between each guest, in addition to the usual disinfectant on all fixtures and fittings.
The bed linen is sent to a commercial laundry for cleaning where it is boil washed.
The towels and bed protectors are obviously changed between each guest and subject to a high temperature wash.
The cottage information leaflet and all items in the hospitality tray are new to you.
We have removed all tourist information leaflets and instead encourage you to use Cumbria Tourism’s website for links to all attractions. However, we do still have copies of leaflets so please just ask if you would like one. Andrew also has a good collection of recommended walks and guide books which you are welcome to borrow if you wish.  
Government guidelines state that handwashing is key and that soap and water is the best way to do this. We therefore ask you please to wash your hands before you leave your cottage. 
There are other things that we are doing behind the scenes to try to ensure that you have a safe stay with us, but we believe that you are here to relax and enjoy yourselves so have just given you the highlight here. If you would like any more information or clarification, please just ask us.

Silver award from Green Tourism

We are delighted to have secured a silver award from Green Tourism in recognition of our sustainable practices. We are fully committed to working with the knowledgeable staff at Green Tourism on our journey to greater sustainability.

 
Statement from Green Tourism -
Ivythwaite has done an excellent job achieving the Silver Green Tourism award following on from their first Green Check assessment. The website has a good section called Eco that talks about their commitment and the 10 steps. In addition, there is some fantastic information on walking and cycling routes in the area. Ivythwaite is LED equipped, they have installed a Hive system to help monitor and control the heating, and it was great to hear their average temperature is (very slightly) below that of others in the area. To encourage the use of public transport they can store luggage on arrival and departure. Breakfast showcases the local delights the area has to offer and includes some homemade items such as bread, cakes etc. This is just the beginning of their journey and I have sure Ivythwaite will continue to increase their score and move up the award levels.

Open on 4th July

We are delighted to open our guest house from Saturday 4th July. We are working with the AA, Visit England and Cumbria Tourism to ensure we are fully Covid19 prepared and are taking all necessary precautions, both prior to opening and while guests are with us. We will publish full details of these measures before we open. Do please call us on 01539 488914 if you have any queries or questions.

Gift Vouchers

We offer a range of gift vouchers if you would like to treat a loved one to a stay in our traditional Lakeland guest house. A number of previous guests have purchased these recently and are giving them to friends and family as something to look forward to when we’re able to move around more freely.

 
They last for 12 months from the date of purchase, although this can be extended in certain circumstances, and can be for any number of nights (with a minimum of two) in any of our five individually styled bedrooms. Prices vary according to room and date.

We also offer gift vouchers to enhance any stay and these can be purchased as a surprise for your partner, or to treat family and friends who have made a reservation with us. These gift vouchers start at £15 and can be personalised, but typically contain flowers, locally made chocolates and other luxury items.

Andrew and Abigail, June '20

Covid 19

The government has said that hospitality will probably start to open up from 4th July; and whilst we don’t know an exact date yet, we are hopeful that our lovely self-catering cottage and studio apartment will be welcoming guests back very soon. We’re waiting for further guidance but in the meantime, we are doing as much as we can to prepare.

 
Fortunately, The Nook and The Cranny are both entirely self-contained with their own external entry, and for The Nook a lovely private sun terrace. We normally pride ourselves on how well stocked our cottage and studio are but in the current circumstances we have removed some kitchen equipment and soft furnishings to ensure greater safety for all our guests. We always do a deep clean between our guests but will obviously take heed of any additional guidance issued. This may mean that on occasion we won’t always be able to accommodate requests for early or late check in/out, but we will continue to do our best to do so.

We’re very excited at the prospect of re-opening and welcoming guests back to the gorgeous Lake District. 

Andrew and Abigail, June '20

Covid 19

Ivythwaite Cottages are temporarily closed following government guidelines. Whilst we are missing our guests and longing to share the beautiful Lake District with you, we will always follow government advice about when it is safe for us to re-open. Please follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (via the links at the bottom of the homepage) for our most up to date information.

We would like to say a big thank you to all of our guests who have taken the time to send us their best wishes during this difficult time and our thoughts go out to all others who are finding this a challenging time. We are also extremely grateful to all key workers for everything they do.

When we are able to re-open we will be making some changes to our normal practices to ensure that we all stay safe. Whilst we pride ourselves on our cleanliness, something which is routinely reflected in our reviews, we will take some extra precautions to ensure that your cottage or studio is deep cleaned and disinfected in preparation for your arrival. Please rest assured that we will be doing everything in our power to make your stay as comfortable, relaxing and enjoyable as usual.

Andrew and Abigail, May ‘20