Frequently Asked Questions FAQ’s
Whether it’s your first time booking a private vacation villa rental or condo, or your first time booking with us at BarbadosBarbados, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions to help you understand the rental process. Having been in business for the last 14 years we have heard almost every question you can imagine.
These FAQ’s will serve as your basic guide to pursuing a vacation rental for your Barbados holiday. Stay at a villa once and you’ll never look at hotels the same way again.
Is BarbadosBarbados located in Barbados?
Yes we are. Carolyn was born in Barbados and Billy has lived here for over 18 years. We have inspected every villa that we offer and we have the most up to date information on any property or the area.
Why choose a holiday villa vs hotel?
There are two huge advantages of a holiday villa vs hotel : PRIVACY and COST SAVINGS. With a villa/condo you have privacy and can move at your own pace with space to spread out and enjoy a nicely designed, well appointed and outfitted home. When travelling with friends or family you have the freedom to stock up on your own food and beverage items, rather than paying the additional tax and service charge affiliated with restaurant bills, plus you can cook and eat anything at any time.
Do you provide travel insurance?
No we do not. We do recommended that you purchase Cancellation Insurance to cover the cost of cancellation due to any unforeseen circumstances.
If we choose the lesser bedroom rate, can anyone else occupy that room?
No, you have the villa or condo all to yourselves. Typically the bedroom(s) that are not being used are locked. The reason that a lesser bedroom rate is offered is because the air conditioning is not being used and the housekeeper/laundress does not have the extra linens and towels to wash or the bedroom(s) to clean (savings to the owner).
Is there a minimum stay?
Yes there is. Typically most villas/condos have a 5 night minimum during the Summer, 7 in the Winter and 14 nights over the peak Christmas/New Year period. Some villas/condos have begun to offer 3 and 4 night minimums. Each owner and property management company has their own policies and BarbadosBarbados complies with each one individually. None of our holiday homes will do less than 3 nights.
What is the best way to choose the right villa for me?
It is easy to get overwhelmed with all the options you see on the internet. Leave the hard work up to us. Give Carolyn a call or send her a message, telling her as much as possible about your request (family dynamics, ideal location, if your dates are flexible, must haves and ideal budget) and Carolyn will present her favourite available options.
What is the process when booking a villa?
Once you have selected the villa that you want, and availability has been confirmed, we will send you our Booking Documents and Invoice. The invoice will outline the payment instructions and procedure and the Booking Form will outline the Terms and Conditions of the booking. Once payment is received, your booking is confirmed.
How does the payment process work?
Payment can be made via credit card, wire transfer or Bank Draft directly to our bank. We accept all major credit cards (we do not charge a processing fee). If paying via Credit Card you will be given a Credit Card Authorisation Form to complete. If you are sending via wire transfer our Invoice will outline the bank details. If you are sending a Bank Draft we will provide a Deposit Slip and the bank’s address.
What is the required deposit to confirm a villa?
In order to confirm your holiday villa we require a 25% deposit within 7 days of our Booking Documents sent off to you. Some owners/property management company require 30% deposit. You will be advise of the deposit amount in advance. If we have not received the deposit within 7 days we will give you a gentle reminder, after which we will have no alternative but to cancel the booking. During the peak Christmas/New Year period a 50% non-refundable deposit is required to confirm.
When is the balance due?
Your balance is due between 30-45 days prior to arrival during the Summer period and 45-60 during the Winter. Each of the property management companies we work with have their own policies and we follow suit. During the peak Christmas/New Year period the balance is due 60-90 days prior to arrival.
How do I know that my payment is secure?
It is important that you know who you are dealing with. If you are booking through a company or agency, make sure to check their background. The safest way to book is through credit card or bank transfer. You will know if a business is credible if they accept credit card payments. At BarbadosBarbados, we accept both payment methods. Our parent company, B C International Services Inc, is a certified E-Commerce merchant member of VeriSign via Authorize.net. Our servers use the most sophisticated and secure credit card processing facilities available to ensure all of your financial transactions are safe and secure. Read more about our Company Information here.
Do I need to pay a Security Deposit?
Yes, all of our holiday homes require a security deposit (ranging from US$500 to $10,000 depending upon the weekly rental rate). Amounts are determined at the discretion of the villa owner or their management company. A credit card number is taken as a guarantee for the security deposit amount, and the card is charged only if there are damages or outstanding charges incurred during the rental period. If you rent a villa where a security deposit must be collected just before your arrival this amount check is kept by the villa’s management company and then refunded (less any outstanding charges or damage expenses) within 1 to 3 months of your return from your villa vacation.
Can I bring my dog with me?
The majority of our vacation rental villas do not allow pets. Only a select few will allow you to bring your pet with you.
The pet import requirements for Barbados have been relatively strict in the past, but pets from all countries can now be imported directly into the country without quarantine provided that all import requirements are met.
Import requirements vary depending on the country of origin, but certain standards apply to all pets. All dogs and cats will need to have an ISO Standard 11784 or Annex A to standard 11785 microchip and must be vaccinated with rabies after the microchip has been implanted.
An Import Permit is also required; this is obtained from the Barbados Ministry of Agriculture and applications are available here. Dogs and cats also need an Export Permit endorsed by the Official Veterinary Services from their country of origin.
What is your cancellation policy?
Our holiday villa rentals have different policies in terms of the cancellation and refund policy. Your Booking Documents will outline the policy as it relates to your villa.
Typically for bookings cancelled between 42-60 days or more prior to arrival, the deposit paid is refundable. For bookings cancelled 41-59 days or less, no refund will be given, unless the property is relet. Refunds are subject to a processing fee to cover credit card/bank charges, and administration fee. No monies will be refunded after the balance has been paid. Christmas/New Year deposits are all non-refundable. It is recommended that you purchase Cancellation Insurance to cover the cost of cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances.
Do you charge a credit card or booking fee?
No we do not charge a credit card processing fee nor a booking fee. We absorb the credit card fee and consider it part of doing business.
What are the check in and check out times?
Check in is 3pm in the majority of our west coast villas, and for the south coast apartments and condos check in is 4pm. Check out time is 12 noon.
Earlier check in or later check out requests will be considered and will be handled on an individual bases and will depend on availability at the time.
Can we have an early check in or late check out?
Each of the property management companies have their own policies when it comes to early arrivals and late departures. Some are more flexible than others. Here is the general policy which is subject to change depending on the villa:
Standard Check in is 3pm (4pm for south coast condos/apartments)
~ Complimentary (12-3pm) early check in is available only as availability allows and cannot be guaranteed until the day before.
~ Early check-in (10am-12pm) is available only as availability allows and cannot be guaranteed. There will be an additional charge.
~ Check-in earlier than 10am can be accommodated and guaranteed for an additional cost of 1 night stay.
Standard Check out is 12pm
~ Complimentary (12-3pm) late check out is available only as availability allows and cannot be guaranteed until the day before
~ Late check-out (3-6pm) is available only as availability allows until the day before departure and cannot be guaranteed. There may be an additional charge.
~ Check-out later than 6pm can be accommodated and guaranteed for an additional 1 night stay.
Are airport transfers included, or can you arrange for us?
We do not automatically offer airport transfers with your rental but depending on the villa you have selected and the length of time you are staying, we may consider including arrival transfers. We feel that our high level of service and attention to detail, as well as our local, on the ground knowledge, goes much further than offering tempting gimmicks such as rental cars or airport transfers.
Remember that we do not charge a booking fee or credit card fee.
If this is your first time to Barbados, remember that we drive in the right hand side of the car on the left side of the road. We recommend that you use our private, air-conditioned taxi to take you to your villa. When you exit the Customs Hall and step outside you will see the driver standing up and holding our BarbadosBarbados sign. The cost depends on the number of people in your party and where you are going. The driver will have been briefed as to where you are going and will call ahead so we know when to expect you. You pay the driver directly, Bds$ or US$ cash. If you use a credit card they charge a 5% processing fee.
How does the handover of the villa work?
Once all of the Trip Planning has been finalised, and about 3-4 weeks before your arrival, you will receive your comprehensive documentation from BarbadosBarbados which will include all that you need for your arrival in Barbados and at your vacation rental. If you are driving yourselves or are taking an airport taxi you will be provided with directions. If you are using our private taxi the driver will know exactly where he is going. Very often the staff will be at the villa waiting for you, or in the small condos/apartments there will be a lock box and you will be given those access instructions. The document will include contact numbers for the property manager. We monitor your flight’s arrival time so if you are delayed we will know, but if you have missed your flight please advise us quickly. This is why it is so important that we have your flight details – including arrival time, departure time, and flight numbers – in advance. We will then forward this information to the property manager so that they may prepare for your arrival. We will usually meet you at the home, welcome you and introduce you to the staff. You will be shown around the villa and advised of the most important functions of the property.
What happens in the event of flight cancellation or weather related disruptions?
We strongly recommend that you purchase Cancellation Insurance to cover the cost of cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances. We cannot be responsible for travel problems, flight cancellations or delays due to weather related events, industrial disputes or any event out of our control.
In the event that your return flight home is delayed or cancelled we will try to accommodate you in your villa, depending on availability, but this cannot be complimentary. We will do what we can to assist in finding hotel accommodation if necessary.
Are towels and bed linen included?
Yes, all of our holiday homes include linens and towels (bath and pool/beach). In the holiday homes where housekeeping is included during your stay the housekeeper/laundress will change your linens/towels and launder them for you.
What amenities and services are included?
Our vacation villa rentals all have free parking, complimentary WiFi, air-conditioned bedrooms, hairdryers, fully equipped kitchens, bath and hand soap, toilet paper. Our luxury holiday homes will offer shampoo/conditioner and body lotion. Some villas/condos will have left over spices and kitchen pantry items but there is no standard stock. Some will also provide laundry detergent (not all). If you are staying in a self catering condo, and are checking a bag, we suggest bringing some pantry items with you.
Is smoking allowed at the villa?
Our holiday rental homes have a strict no smoking policy inside. Some properties will permit smoking on the patio/verandah but in most of the condo developments there is no smoking even on the balcony as this could affect the surrounding residents.
Are the staff included or do we pay extra?
The staff are included with your holiday rental., whether it be a housekeeper only, or full staff to include cook/chef and butler. While tipping is not mandatory it is a welcomed and appreciated gesture and the amount is discretionary. We can give you a guideline to follow.
How does it work with the staff?
Our vacation rental homes employ excellent staff who will take wonderful care of you. They are a great source of information about the island. The cooks (where included) will also delight you with their local and international cuisine.
Staff employed at the villas and their hours of work can vary between properties, but generally work 6 days per week, 8 hours a day, with some exceptions. Each staff member is entitled to have one day off each week.
Cooks/Chefs and Housekeepers work from approximately 8:30am to 1:30pm & 5:30pm to 8:30pm. Maid/Laundress hours are from 9:00am to 5:00pm with a 1 hour break for lunch.
Transportation for staff who work beyond 8:30pm to accommodate your needs must be provided with a Taxi to take them home and the cost for this will be at your expense.
In some properties only maid service/housekeeping is included and the number of days and hours vary depending on the property.
Those villas that come with a cook, are groceries and meals included?
Groceries are not included with your rental as standard. Cooks/chefs prepare your meals for you at no extra charge.
We will organise your initial grocery shop so that your cook has adequate groceries for the first three meals. The following day you will sit down with your cook/chef to discuss a meal plan. He/she will offer his/her menu suggested and give you a grocery list. You can do the grocery shop after that. Some (not all) cooks/chefs are able to do the grocery shop for you – just give them some money and a bit extra for gas (if they have a car). For those cooks who do not have a car you are required to provide a taxi. In the larger, luxury villas where there is a chef and butler, they will do the grocery shop for you.
Who will take care of any problems that may arise during our stay?
Every vacation rental property offered by BarbadosBarbados has a local housekeeper, villa manager, or local villa management company who is accessible to respond to any problem you might have at your holiday home. You will be supplied with their contact information, along with other important local phone numbers just prior to arrival. In addition one of us at BarbadosBarbados are just a phone call away to answer any questions or help in any way. We will forward your concerns to the appropriate person and follow up until it has been resolved.