After six years of running Highgate House we've had the most fantastic, amazing, wonderful, beautiful and brilliant guests. Seriously, the people who choose to come and stay with us are lovely. So lovely that we always try our absolute best to make sure that everyone has a really relaxing and enjoyable stay.
And this is why we hate it when we can't always give everyone, everything they want, and in particular it's why we get really upset ourselves when we have to tell a guest that they can't have a refund or can't just rebook new dates if they are unable to come to and use their rooms on the date they booked (if it's within the no cancelation period of course).
"Why not, it's just another date and you've already got our money? Just change the dates and we'll come then and that way nobody loses out". We hear. But is it just another date? Yes we've been paid, but we've been paid for the dates you booked, which we can't now resell* because hotel rooms are a 'perishable product'**. If we agree to change the dates we are effectively giving you the room twice, for the one payment meaning that we are covering your loss out of our own pocket.
This why we advise guests to take out travel insurance so that they can get their money back if something happens and they cant come and stay with us on the booked dates.
*If we can rebook the rooms for someone else we will always happily refund because in that situation no one has lost anything. We make a small charge for providing a refund because we get charged by the card companies, but its typically very small.
**A tourism product is perishable in the sense that, unlike a can of beans, it cannot be stored away for future sale if it does not sell the first time (Weaver and Lawton, 2006, p. 207).
So please do make sure you have insurance.
Well, there’s the shops on the east side along Sandgate and Church Street, for some Whitby Jet jewellery, a nice picture or two, some clothes, gifts or some classic Whitby rock.
Or a café for coffee and cake, cafes throughout the centre of town, or of course there's a nice drink in one of our 34 pubs whilst you wile away an hour or two.
Or if have a wander lust you could take a trip on the North York Moors Railway on an old steam train through the beautiful North York Moors.
Or what about checking out some history and culture in some of our fantastic museums? The Captain Cook Museum is just over the swing bridge, whilst Whitby Museum and art gallery is in Pannet Park, just opposite the house.
Or what about a film or a show at the Whitby Pavilion?
Whatever you choose, were sure that you'll have a smashing day!
Here's some web links to help you:
Recently there has been a constant hum of ‘small town, stay home’ rhetoric both on Social Media and also, on occasion in the print media. This is driven by a small, but unfortunately vocal minority, pushing ‘stay away’ messages, often in response to very polite and reasonable requests for information and typically from the safety of their keyboards. The majority of townsfolk genuinely appreciate tourists and totally understand how important the tourism industry is to the modern-day Whitby.
Admittedly, there is a lot of concern amongst the community, for the potential virus impact that an influx of day visitors could have. In the weeks since Boris Johnson announced unlimited travel there has been a continuous up-tick in visitors to the town, causing an undercurrent of anxiety. However, the majority of day visitors have been respectful and mostly stayed on the beaches. Just the odd one or two have caused some much-publicised concerns. It is always attractive for people and the media to focus on the negative instances, whilst peaceful and responsible visitors go unnoticed.
An example of the generous spirit of the town is its businesses most of which have been and are being massively impacted by the Covid-19 crisis as all the hospitality businesses are closed. Even the medium-term prospects are very worrying, due to the impact of social distancing and anxiety in both guests and businesses. When I asked the Whitby Hospitality Group; more than 80% said they would open in July, when the Govt says it is OK to do so and a similar number, over 80% said they expect business to be significantly down on normal levels with 65% saying that business would be down by 50% and another 25% expecting business to be down by a massive 75%. Guest houses are nervous about re-opening, the smaller pubs won’t be viable due to the impact of social distancing, and we fear a wave of business closures, despite the Government support received so far. So, this backdrop makes the Whitby Thank You Weekend offer of nearly 200 free rooms, hundreds of free drinks, and free meals to NHS frontline workers all the more wonderful.
The town loves its visitors and can’t wait to welcome them back when it can do so safely. Until then, we do reluctantly ask people who love Whitby to resist the temptation to come into the town. As soon as we can, we will welcome people with open arms. Safely.