We're on-hand to help
Our team of big house specialists are here to help you all the way. Call us for a friendly chat, or take a look through the commonly asked questions below. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, click here to contact us or call us on 01242 352 747.
CORONAVIRUS: Please click here for FAQs about the Coronavirus.
Finding the right property
- What types of property to you offer?
Can I hire a house for 1 night?
While there is a minimum stay of more than 1 night at the majority of our houses - typically 2 or 3 nights at the weekend - we have a handful of properties which are suitable for a 1-night stay.
These houses tend to be our fully catered properties which have all the feel of an exclusive house, but come with staff including a chef. Great options include: Lakeside Manor in the Cotswolds, My Own Castle in Scotland and Frome House in Hampshire.
Occasionally, one night stays may be available at our non-catered properties too during the middle of the week. Please call us on 01242 352 747 to discuss options with our team.
What are your most popular destinations?
A big factor in selecting our houses is location. All of our destinations are worth visiting, but here are some of our most popular destinations:
How can I search all availability on my chosen date?
If you click on 'Find Houses' and click on the 'Filter' button, you can select a specific date and duration. This will show the houses that are available during your chosen dates.
Please note too though, that some of our houses may be available but not show up here. That's because we need to manually check the availability of these houses with the property owner.
Are your properties pet friendly?
Some of our properties allow dogs, while others don't. To make things easy, click here to see our full range of pet friendly houses to rent. Or when looking through all our big houses to rent, just look for the dog icon.
Where a property is pet friendly, there is usually a fee of £30-50 per dog to cover additional cleaning. This information can be found on each specific house page, where pets are allowed. There is usually a maximum number of dogs allowed, so please check for this too prior to booking when brining more than one dog.
Generally dogs are the only pets that are permitted, but please ask us if you are looking to bring along any other pets.
Can I invite extra guests to the property?
Most of our houses are restricted to allowing only the number of people that can sleep at the property. If you're looking to plan an 'event', with additional guests joining, please contact us and our team will aim to help.
- Are your properties suitable for company bookings?
Do you allow weddings at your properties?
We have a wonderful range of houses available for small and personal weddings. Please see our full wedding collection here.
Booking your Big House
How can I book?
When you're ready to book, we're on hand to make the booking process as simple as possible. You can either call us on 01242 352 747 or email [email protected] (remember to note the property you're looking to book). You can also make your booking request online.
When we receive your request, we'll check the availability with the property owner. We may have some additional questions to ask you about guest numbers, and the use of the property and process your payment. When we're able to confirm your stay, we'll confirm it with a booking confirmation document.
It's worth noting that bookings are only confirmed once we have sent you a Booking Confirmation document, so it's advisable not to book any additional services or travel until you have that.
Are bookings confirmed immediately?
No. Bookings can sometimes take 24-48 hours to confirm. Given the nature of our privately owned houses, we like to make sure we reconfirm availability with our property owners before we issue you with a booking confirmation.
Why might a booking not be successful?
In rare circumstances, a booking request made online may not result in a successful booking. This can can be for a number of reasons, for example:
- When checking with the owner, there is no availability. This can happen when a property owner also works with other booking agencies, or decides to use their property for a personal reason. This is rare, as we go to great lengths to keep our availability calendars accurate and up to date.
- When we discuss your booking with you, we deem the use of the property to be unsuitable. For example, a hen group booking a property where hen parties are not permitted.
If a booking is not successful for any reason, any money paid will be refunded immediately. Remember, when making a booking request online, we don't take any money until we're in a position to confirm your booking.
What is the cautionary deposit?
In most cases, we hold a cautionary deposit (usually £500-£1,000) during your stay. We ask for this to be paid in plenty of time before your stay (usually two weeks).
In the vast majority of cases the cautionary deposit is refunded in full to our guests. In rare circumstances, we may need to make a deduction if there is any damage to the property or it's contents during your stay.
What happens if I decide to cancel my booking?
Deposits paid to hold a house are non-refundable. For that reason, we advise our clients to be sure about wanting to book. We also advise clients to take out suitable cancellation insurance to cover you incase you need to cancel your booking for an insurable reason.
Your experience at the house
Do houses provide bed linen and towels?
Yes, all of our houses provide luxury bed linen and towels.
How will we access the property?
Our big houses are typically available from 4pm on the day of arrival. In most cases a house manager, or the property owner will meet you at the house to welcome you and show you around briefly before leaving you to enjoy the house. In a few cases, the property may be fully staffed throughout your stay.
Whatever the arrangements are, we’ll make sure you’re fully informed in the run-up to your stay. We’ll send you full pre-arrival information, including the address, arrangements for accessing the property other useful hints and tips to help you maximise your enjoyment of the house.
Can I arrange a super-market deliver to the house?
Where a property allows self-catering, it’s not uncommon for guests to arrange for a super-market to deliver your groceries directly to your house. We’ll send you some pre-arrival information ahead of your stay detailing the super-markets we recommend for your house, and the best time to arrange deliveries.
Can I self-cater?
In most cases the answer is yes, apart from some of our properties which have staff which includes a chef. If in any doubt, please ask.
Can I arrange for a private chef to cater?
Yes! We can put you in touch with local chefs that can come to your chosen house to cook a special meal, or cater during your entire stay. The services of the chef are arranged directly with the chef, and don’t form part of the contract you have with Big House Experience. We find it’s easier for guests to make arrangements directly with the chef, as often the arrangements are tailored to suit you.
Can I arrange spa treatments?
Yes! It’s a great way to enhance your experience, and particularly popular as an experience during a celebratory weekend. The booking process varies slightly from property to property, but we'll send you details of spa therapist services to you shortly after booking your big house.
As you would expect, we have been monitoring the developments of the COVID-19 and the UK Government’s response to it very closely. Below we have tried to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we have been receiving.
We are currently receiving a lot of calls and emails, and we ask that you are patient with us as we work hard to find a balance between supporting our guests and our owners. We hope that the following FAQs answer many of your questions. We would request that you only contact us if your booking is in the next four weeks, and the information below doesn’t answer your question.
Corona Virus FAQs
What are the new rules around social gatherings?
The new rules in England
The Government has updated the rules on restrictions on gatherings in England, a summary of which you can see here. From 14 September, in England, it will be against the law to meet people you do not live with in a group larger than 6 (unless you are meeting as a household or support bubble) both indoors and outdoors.
The new rules in Scotland
The Scottish Government has updated the rules on restrictions on gatherings in Scotland, a summary of which you can see here. From 14 September, the number of people who can gather, indoors or outdoors in Scotland, will be set at a maximum of six from two households with children under 12 from within the two households being excluded from the limit of 6. The currently available information from the Scottish government suggests that there will be some limited exceptions for larger households but these have not yet been published.
The new rules in Wales
The Welsh Government has updated the rules on restrictions on gatherings in Wales. From 14 September, we understand that the number of people who can gather, indoors in Wales, will be set at a maximum of six from one extended household with children under 11 from within the extended households being excluded from the limit of 6. We will update this page as the Welsh government releases more information and guidance.
There are some exceptions to the laws, including company/educational gatherings, weddings and organised sporting events.
What will happen to my booking if my numbers exceed the allowable number?
We are getting in contact with all guests with a booking up to the end of the year to outline if the stay is affected, and what the options are. We’re committed to finding a fair outcome for all guests. This will take some time, and we are prioritising those with a booking in September in the first instance.
Are you able to offer a discount for a smaller group?
There has never been a better time for small groups to book a big house! You'll notice dates becoming available at reduced rates over the next few months for smaller groups.
Remember, the new rules are that only 6 can gather (from multiple households), or one household of any number can still gather.
Will the property I have booked be thoroughly cleaned ahead of my stay?
All properties are thoroughly cleaned to a high standard between all stays. In light of the Coronavirus, our property owners have stepped up their efforts to ensure additional cleaning is being carried out to place a heavy focus on frequently touched surfaces to minimise the risk of infection.