What's available? Can you get any special deals? And will your holiday be Covid-safe? Here, our travel partners answer all the questions you might have
With some lockdown restrictions having already been lifted, and more set to follow on 17 May, many of you will be thinking about booking a UK holiday – that's if you haven't booked one already.
But with foreign travel still hanging in the balance, the demand for UK breaks is likely to be much higher. So what chance do you have of finding availability, and if you do manage to book a holiday, what can you expect when you get there? To find out the answers to these and other important questions, we spoke to some of Boundless's travel partners:
• Bournemouth West Cliff Hotel
• P&O Ferries
• Warner Leisure Hotels
• Whitemead Forest Park
Boundless members can get money off holidays through all of these providers. To find out more, click here.
Q: Have you had an influx of bookings for this year since lockdown restrictions were lifted?
Credit: Warner Leisure Hotels
Belmond: Yes, it's been incredibly busy since restrictions were lifted, as guests start to feel more confident in making staycation bookings. British Pullman and Royal Scotsman have been especially popular.
Bournemouth West Cliff Hotel: Yes, we've seen a huge demand, especially for the summer months.
Hoseasons: We certainly have. We started to see bookings come in as soon as the initial roadmap was announced by the government, and confidence has continued to grow as restrictions have been lifted and overnight stays have been permitted.
Warner Leisure Hotels: Yes, since the announcement of the tiered reopening of the UK economy, our phone lines have been really busy and web sales have been at double their normal levels.
Whitemead Forest Park: Yes! The day after the government announced the road map for lifting restrictions, we saw an 850% increase in bookings. There was a buzz within the leisure industry, for sure.
Q: So, what kind of availability do you have for 2021?
Belmond: We still have some lovely cabin suites available for Royal Scotsman later in the season, and British Pullman has good availability throughout the year.
Bournemouth West Cliff Hotel: We do still have availability, but we recommend booking as early as you can, as demand for Bournemouth and the surrounding area remains very strong – particularly at weekends.
Hoseasons: We still have some fantastic availability for the spring and early summer. However, we are experiencing very high demand for the peak summer season, so our advice is to get something booked and have something great to look forward to. We still have some fabulous breaks available across the UK.
P&O Ferries: We still have plenty of availability, though our routes will continue to operate at a reduced capacity in line with health and safety protocols.
Warner Leisure Hotels: We do still have availability for 2021, however your first choice of date, hotel or room grade may not be available due to the huge booking demand we are experiencing.
Whitemead Forest Park: We are definitely filling up as the weeks go by, but we do have limited availability for the summer holidays and some last-minute options from May to July. If you're looking for a late-summer/autumn getaway, we recommend booking as soon as possible, as these breaks are filling up quicker than usual.
Q: Are there any great deals to be had?
Credit: Whitemead Forest Park
Belmond: Stay tuned – we don’t have any offers currently, but as restrictions lift this will no doubt change. [Note that Boundless members can get a year-round 10% discount when booking with Belmond. To find out more, click here.]
Bournemouth West Cliff Hotel: Boundless members can get 20% off our published rates, or 25% off if they book three nights. They'll also get free parking, entry to the hotel spa and a 10% discount on treatments. [To find out more about Boundless member discounts at the West Cliff Hotel, click here.]
Hoseasons: Absolutely. There are some fantastic deals to be found across Hoseasons' range of holiday parks, lodges, caravans and boating. [Note that Boundless members can get 5% off all bookings with Hoseasons. To find out more, click here.]
P&O Ferries: Currently, Boundless members can enjoy a 5% discount, along with a book with confidence offer (giving them free amendments). If any other deals become available throughout the year, we'll communicate these. [To find out more about Boundless member discounts with P&O Ferries, click here.]
Warner Leisure Hotels: Yes, there are plenty of great offers available throughout 2021. [Note that Boundless members can save an additional £10pp when booking a break with Warner Leisure Hotels. To find out more, click here.]
Whitemead Forest Park: Keep an eye on the late availability page on our website. There are currently some great deals on there, and these are updated regularly. [Note that Boundless members can get an additional 20% off holidays at Whitemead through Boundless Breaks. To find out more, click here.]
Q: Will my favourite activites and amenities be open during my holiday?
Belmond: There have been a few small changes to our itineraries due to Covid. For the most part, though, the journeys have not been affected and guests can enjoy our trains in the same spirit as before.
Bournemouth West Cliff Hotel: We do not anticipate there being any restrictions on our amenities when we reopen on 17 May, other than on the numbers of people allowed to sit at tables.
Hoseasons: Property owners are doing everything they can to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for customers, while following government guidelines. Government regulations on Covid-19 change frequently, so we advise that, before travelling, customers ensure that they've checked and understood the regulations that apply to them.
P&O Ferries: All venues on board our ships will be open, albeit with capacity restrictions in place. The only exception being that kids' entertainment will be suspended while indoor gathering restrictions are in place.
Warner Leisure Hotels: We have worked hard to ensure that activities are available and delivered in a safe environment.
Whitemead Forest Park: From 17 May, our swimming pool will be open again to onsite guests, and we'll also be looking at putting together an activity programme. For full information on what will be available at Whitemead, please click here.
Q: What hygiene measures will you have in place to keep people Covid-safe?
Credit: Bournemouth West Cliff Hotel
Belmond: Belmond is up to date on all appropriate Covid procedures. Click here to find out what they are.
Bournemouth West Cliff Hotel: The hotel has been deep-cleaned, with all of our cleaning products meeting the requirements for Covid sanitising. Additionally, risk assessments have been completed to ensure that guests and staff are kept safe – this has led to a few small changes to our processes and operations.
Hoseasons: Hoseasons has introduced a Safer Stays policy, with extra cleaning considerations for our customers' reassurance. More details can be found here.
P&O Ferries: Full details can be found here. But to summarise, we have increased shipboard cleaning, one-way signage, hand-sanitiser stations, 100% fresh-air ventilation, plus food-safety precautions in our restaurants, such as zero unwrapped food products or self-serve buffets.
Warner Leisure Hotels: We have worked hard throughout lockdown to ensure that our hotels are Covid-safe. We have social distancing, hand sanitisers, one-way systems, as well as table service for all drinks and food. Feedback from guests has been exceptional, with some saying they felt safer with us than in their own homes!
Whitemead Forest Park: We’re focusing on key aspects of safety to combat the coronavirus pandemic. These include improved hygiene and social distancing. For more information, please click here.
Q: What measures do you have in place to cover people in case their holiday needs to be cancelled?
Credit: Getty Images
Belmond: Belmond remains committed to providing you with as much travel- planning flexibility as possible, so that you can book your next break with confidence. All guests with reservations made prior to 30 June 2021 for a future journey will be able to reschedule their journey up to 10 days prior to the scheduled date of departure without charge by Belmond. If, prior to the scheduled departure date, any new government travel restrictions or quarantine measures come into force that affect Belmond’s ability to operate, or our guests’ ability to travel (either in the guest’s country of departure or destination), guests will be able to either change their booking without charge, or cancel without charge and receive a full refund of any amounts paid to Belmond. The latest booking information can be found here.
Bournemouth West Cliff Hotel: Boundless has a book with confidence guarantee that gives guests staying at West Cliff an opportunity to get a refund or the ability to change dates. For full terms and conditions, please click here.
Hoseasons: Our customers can book with confidence in the knowledge that their plans and money are protected with full refunds and fee-free changes if they can’t go on holiday due to Covid-19. More detail can be found here.
P&O Ferries: We have a book with confidence policy in place to allow free amendments should anyone wish to change their holiday plans. We also offer credit notes for those who want to cancel their travel dates but don't have a new date in mind. Credit notes can be redeemed for travel before 30 September 2022.
Warner Leisure Hotels: We offer a Covid guarantee that ensures a full refund or transfer of money for all Covid-related cancelations within four weeks of arrival. Full details can be found here.
Whitemead Forest Park: We have a book with confidence guarantee in place, which means you can book your holiday with us safe in the knowledge that, if the date needs to change, you can move it for free. For full terms and conditions on our book with confidence guarantee, please click here.
Do more with Boundless
A Boundless membership gives you access to year-round discounts on holidays, travel insurance, motor services and much more – all for just £29 per year. To find out how to join, visit our dedicated membership page.