How To Book

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New two-tier booking option

Like many in the travel and hospitality sectors (hotels, airlines, etc.) we now offer a choice of two types of booking:

  • Standard: priced at basic rate, pay in full on booking, changeable subject to conditions, no refund on cancellation but voucher issued for a future booking.

Standard booking, full terms (PDF, requires Adobe/Acrobat Reader)

  • Flex, pay less up front: for bookings over 6 weeks ahead, available as an opt-in extra in the booking process; pay a traditional deposit now and balance later; change or cancel at any time without penalty.

Flex booking, full terms (PDF)

Either way, you can book with confidence. The Flex option gives extra peace of mind for those wanting to commit ahead and secure their holiday well in advance without having to tie up the whole amount.

Done it before, let's go

If you know how the system works, just click an available start date (green square) on the booking calendar below. But still ...
We strongly recommend first scrolling down through the rest of this page, as many details have changed in 2023!

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If you're new to our website

  • ESSENTIAL to read to the end of this page! - otherwise bits of the booking system might not make sense to you.
  • The calendar allows you to: view availability; price a holiday; book a holiday (you don't have to book - you can just look).
  • Human contact by telephone / email still has advantages - bookings can be a complex process of juggling limited availability (that's why we maintain a manned office).

Online booking is provisional!

  • IMPORTANT: it may feel like booking at Premier Inn, but it's not: bookings placed through this system are not actually "live" - strictly speaking they are provisional booking requests.
  • This is deliberate: there could be complications unknown to the world of machines, and so no payment is taken at this stage.
  • The booking is not 100% definite until confirmed by us, with a request for payment; and until that payment is received.
  • But meanwhile the house(s) and dates you book are immediately held for you, and are shown as provisionally booked on the availability chart.

Off-Peak Advantages

Our busiest times are set out under "Peak Periods" below. "Off-peak" is everything else - that's over 70% of the year!

For off-peak bookings we offer greater flexibility in two ways:

  • Low occupancy discount - 4% deducted for each bed unoccupied.
  • Short breaks (less than a full week) - price reduced accordingly.

So don't worry if you won't fill a house (e.g. you're just a couple), or can't do a week - we make it easy to come. Few other operators go as far as we do!

The online booking system does all this automatically for off-peak bookings only. Short break prices are based on a formula that takes into account fixed cost elements (not simply pro-rata based on number of days).

Large groups at weekends, limitation

We regret that weekend bookings for more than 3 houses together are NOT generally accepted. Weekend bookings span the weekly changeover day (Saturday), thus taking out TWO regular booking weeks, and we prefer not to do this for more than half of our available houses at once. We hope you will understand.

Peak Periods

For peak periods the online system automatically applies the following conditions:

  • Full week basis, Saturday to Saturday - you can arrive late or leave early, but no deduction from the weekly rate will normally be given. On a last-minute basis only, if you can't come for a full week in a peak period, please contact us - we'll work out a short break for you.

Peak periods are:
> Easter school hols;
> Whitsun / "Spring Bank Holiday" - usually last week of May;
> Summer school hols - July & August (broadly);
> October school half term - second half of Oct;
> Christmas and New Year.

Large groups in summer, limitation

We regret that in July and August bookings for more than 2 houses together are NOT generally accepted, unless the whole place is booked on an exclusive use basis. This is because we have found that large groups sticking together en masse can tend to "crowd out" other guests, without intending to do so - it's just that shared areas such as the pool/poolside do not have unlimited space and can quickly be taken over as soon as the sun comes out. And of course our aim at Gelston is to keep it as unlike Benidorm as possible!

Multiple week discount

Automatic 5% discount on the second week if you come for two consecutive weeks at any time of year.

Weekly changeover: Saturday

For full weeks our changeover day is Saturday. In peak periods the online system does not allow any other start day. But in off-peak periods it DOES allow you to book a week starting on any other day - we can't avoid this, but don't want to encourage it because it mucks up weekly bookings for others, so we reserve the right to add a small 25 supplement to weeks not starting on Saturday.

Priority booking system

We try to be fair and to honour loyalty and regularity. There's nothing worse than being bounced out of your regular annual slot by a newcomer (and some of our guests have taken the same slot for more than 30 years!). So if we know that you want to keep a regular annual slot, we'll protect it for you. That's why many dates show as provisionally booked in the online booking system.

On the other hand, we want to make it possible for new guests to break into the system and stake a claim to their own annual slot. For this purpose there is a tick-box in the booking process if you would provisionally like to repeat the same booking the following year.

Booking Conditions, Deposits, etc.

Brief essentials as follows:

  • No booking is definitely confirmed until the required payment has been received (unless otherwise agreed, e.g. for very last-minute bookings).
  • For Flex bookings, a deposit of 100 + 10% of the holiday cost is payable on booking, and the balance is payable 4 weeks before the holiday starts.
  • There is a "good housekeeping" deposit of 50 which is refundable after the end of the holiday - for Standard bookings this is payable on booking, and for Flex bookings with the balance payment.

Damage Waiver Scheme

You can opt into our unique Accidental Damage Waiver scheme as an extra in the booking process. Low cost, highly recommended! Click below for details.

Bringing Pets

Pets come free to Gelston. But please do read the terms for bringing them:

Like to talk?

So do we. Ring us:
01556 502211
From abroad:
+44 1556 502211

Gelston Castle Holidays, Gelston, Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway DG7 1SW
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Last modified: Mon Oct 30 12:53:02 2023
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