Some Answers to your Frequently Asked Questions
Are your descriptions and photos a fair representation?
Every effort is made to present the homes as we find them when we visit, and we rely on our owners to ensure that they are maintained to the highest standard without interfering with their innate character.
Unlike marketing publications, photography across the website is free from art direction or stylists and is intended to present the unique ambience of these homes as they exist.
There will inevitably be some variation though, for example, we try not to photograph on a rainy day!
Can I filter just the homes that cater for my interests?
Yes. There is a handy filter system if you scroll down the Home Page, with more filters down the left. Here you will be able to click on your favourite pastime or requirement.
How accurate are your maps?
The map is an approximate location guide, but is not intended for use in navigating to a particular house, for security reasons.
You will of course receive complete navigation instructions when your booking has been confirmed.
Can I see larger photos of the homes?
Yes. Just navigate to the foot of the page, or click on Gallery in the menu listing on the right.
Why can’t I make a booking instantly online?
The vast majority of owners use their homes frequently throughout the year. Very occasionally they may forget to inform us of their plans.
Because your travel arrangements are important, all provisional bookings are double checked with the owners to ensure that there is no conflict. This can take up to 24 hours, but don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about you!
Provisional bookings will be followed up by email, at which point we can answer specific queries you may have, forward your contract, and will request a deposit to confirm.
Please note that all unconfirmed provisional bookings will expire after 3 days, and the property becomes available on line again.
Can I book the actual days that suit me, if they’re available?
Most owners prefer Saturday as a changeover day when booking for a full week, with Monday as a midweek changeover day. This helps greatly with cleaning rotas being regularised.
All homes clearly state this information on their booking page.
Are shorter breaks available at certain times of year?
Some properties do allow for shorter breaks on Public holidays for example, and this may change from time to time. Details will be clear on their booking page – Rates and Dates.
On the Properties page, you may choose Short Stay Homes for a listing of houses that cater for Weekend and Midweek breaks.
What basics are included in the rental?
All bed linen and towels will be supplied.
Most owners will also ensure that there is a fresh load of logs or peat briquettes in the house.
On arrival, there will also be a Welcome pack containing basic supplies, such as Tea, Coffee, Milk, Bread, Butter, Jams and Marmalade, eggs and Cheese, as well as cleaning products etc. – so you won’t get caught out.
If you have got special requirements, please give us good notice.
What are the arrival and departure times?
As with most holiday arrangements, guests rightly expect that their accommodation will have been thoroughly cleaned and aired prior to arrival, and this takes time.
Details are contained in the Booking Contract – generally, in after 4pm, out before 10am.
Of course, should you be running late on arrival day, you will have a local contact to facilitate you.
What are the detailed Terms and Conditions?
Prior to confirming your provisional booking, you will be asked to sign a booking contract which may vary slightly from one property to another.
The terms and conditions, and policy covering cancellations, as well as other requirements are contained therein, but nothing scary.
Why is a breakages deposit often required?
The beautiful properties that are offered on the Unique Irish Homes website are private holiday homes that have had a great deal of time, energy and memories invested in them over the years.
They will also often contain paraphernalia and collections of a personal nature that they have chosen to share with our guests.
The breakages deposit goes some way toward encouraging guests to respect the property and its contents.
This security deposit, payable with the rental amount will be refunded within seven days of departure, unless the owners report significant damages.
Why is there a surcharge for paying with PayPal?
Unique Irish Homes have a preference for using PayPal to process payments and refunds.
By so doing, we avoid gathering any personal bank details or other secure data, plus it is almost instant.
PayPal make a 4.4% charge for using this facility, plus 85 cents, which in common with most other businesses, is passed on to the guest at the time of booking.
There is no charge for refunds.
Why do some homes not accept dogs?
Whether or not to allow pets is completely at the discretion of the owners, and it varies.
Most owners prefer not to cater for dogs as subsequent guests may have pet allergies, or indeed they may suffer themselves.
If you intend bringing a dog, please tell us about him/her when booking.
In some cases, dogs may attract a cleaning surcharge – please check at time of booking.
Do you ever offer discounts for advance booking?
No, we don’t have special rates for advanced booking or last minute booking.
We would however recommend that you book as far in advance as possible, because your preferred house or dates could get gobbled up quite randomly.
Why do you need to know the ratio of adults and Children?
Health and Safety, and insurance considerations make it a requirement that we obtain a demographic breakdown.
Owners also find it useful in preparing for a visit, to know whether they should cater for children.
Can I have friends visit me at the property?
Visitors are of course welcome, but overnight stays for additional parties is strictly forbidden and will jeopardise the entire rental agreement.
Why do many properties exclude young children?
The most common reason that owners are hesitant to accommodate young children is concern over hazards – typically ponds, rivers or the ocean; cliffs or other steep falls; or occasionally, stairs or balconies may not be child proof in design.
Bearing in mind that these are private homes, often there will be heirlooms, memoirs and antiques, invaluable to the owners, throughout the property, and this also causes some understandable anxiety.
Are all homes equipped with internet connections?
Mostly too they will be WiFi connections, but the status will be mentioned on each homes’ page in any event.
Where broadband is not supplied, an alternative is to bring an internet USB dongle or use your mobile phone as a hot-spot connection.
Will my mobile phone work?
We are introducing a mobile signal checker link shortly so that you can check quality on-line before booking.
Televisions generally have a satellite connection and are usually fine, but not all your usual channels may be available.