A pre-rant rant…

Oh I give up!

I have had a great summer, fabulous guests who reported happy stays here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House, a really interesting enjoyable number of guys from all points of the compass, many have made holiday friendships across oceans and country borders and several have already booked to come back later this year or next year. I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later but this weekend I have had nothing but cancellations, revised bookings, shortened bookings and problems.

It all kicked off yesterday when a couple of guys from abroad arrived here in the warm September sunshine.  They professed to be bowled over with the place, the views and the facilities, as I showed them round my home, including the gardens, dining room, terraces and of course the infinity swimming pool, and then into the Suite which they stated to really like.  It is one of my favourites (alright they are all really my favourites but this one is super nice).  I helped them with their baggage and soon they were making their way via my trust bar to the pool.  Not more than two hours later they came to find me to say that they were leaving on account of the wasps!!!!

Now as regular readers know it has been very dry and hot here, and I guess that although nobody particularly likes flying insects they have just as much right to the planet as we humans and like us they need to drink.  Well there are wasps that drink the swimming pool water, and hover around the terrace, everyone else has tolerated them without complaint, and I am highly allergic to bee and wasp stings, but manage to cope with them on a daily basis, but to have guests say that there are no wasps in Tuscany (from whence they had come and presumably were heading back to) is an exaggeration.  Anyway the long and short of it was that they decided to leave and magnanimously offered to let me keep their deposit – 20% of a three night stay.  They had used towels, soap, pool towels and of course the room had to be remade this morning.  Rather than kick up a fuss, and being unduly weak and stunned I accepted their offer and off they went. I don’t want unhappy miserable guests her to spoil it for everybody else.

On reflection, I did the wrong thing and talking to colleagues in the business it is customary to take payment in full for the stay once the stay has begun, unless fault can be laid at the innkeepers door – wasps… not my fault… am I to stop the dawn chorus or the mating calls of the toads in the far off pond in the valley below or the bees greedily feeding on the nectar of the abundant lavender in the gardens (now long past flowering and ready for cutting back) or the magical nocturnal dance of the June fireflies!

This morning emails and telephone calls amending and canceling confirmed bookings for this weekend.  At the time of booking as those of you who have stayed know I request a deposit of 20% to guarantee the room, that to me forms some type of agreement and commitment on both parties, and means that I will not double book the room and the guys will turn up.  This all started last year when I had three separate incidents of Italians telephoning for a room, confirming and even discussing arrival times and routes and just not showing up and simply not having the decency to tell me they had no intention to turn up.  Now I have a guy who will not send me a deposit as he says his credit card has a chip and it cannot be used for deposits!!  I have had a chip credit card for years and years and never failed to pay a deposit… but there we go.  I have a booking just cancelled due to pressure of work, no doubt legitimate, and I am sorry that the guys have to work instead of taking a well deserved rest here in the tranquillity and beauty that is Bellaugello, but they must consider that I have turned away other potential guests as I had guaranteed them the accommodation.  I am now left with spaces I am unable to fill and 20% payment.

So the result is a strictly to be enforced cancellation policy, to be elaborated on, but starting from now with payment in full if a reservation is cancelled or shortened on the day of arrival or after arrival – their credit cards will be charged for the accommodation part of any period that I am unable to re-let the accommodation.  I guess everyone is competent enough to take out holiday insurance, and so they should.  I hate to have to do this but the flood this weekend of guys thinking they can just simply arrive and I will hold a suite for them on the never never or arrive and leave because of nature is just too much for me to take.

As guests who have been here know Bellaugello is a quiet, tranquil and beautiful place where you can really relax, it is not a sordid cruising ground, it often surprises me just how many years my guests have been together as couples, the record to date is 35 years, yes I do get single guys here, they have to holiday, (I too am single and occasionally tear my self away from here for a holiday) but there is no point in them or anyone else coming here looking for cruising, that is not at all what this place is all about.

There’s more where this came from but for now….

to be continued……..