NORTH COAST HOLIDAY HOMES Q&A
Everyone has questions when looking to rent a holiday home.
Here you'll find answers to the most common questions about self-catering holiday homes, our booking process, and what to expect from our Luxury Portfolio.
What makes a North Coast Holiday Homes stay a unique experience?
North Coast Holiday Homes offers a unique holiday rental experience. We’ve found that holiday rental companies provide guests with inconsistent service. We are dedicated to improving your experience and sharing information with you to ensure that you experience the North Coast like a local.
Here’s what you can expect:
- Each property has been carefully selected and offers excellent amenities.
- You can expect our homes to be professionally cleaned, well-kept and well- appointed.
- You can expect a welcoming and informative experience from the moment you make your reservation until after your departure.
- A first-of-its-kind guest information guide that will make you feel like you have a virtual assistant during your stay.
- You can expect our local team to be available telephonically and in-person throughout your stay
You might find the answers you need in these frequently asked questions.
ABOUT VACATION RENTALS:
ABOUT THE PROPERTY
DURING MY STAY
What is Self-Catering Holiday Accommodation?
There are numerous terms used to describe different, but sometimes similar, holiday accommodations. Our accommodations include short-term rentals, holiday villas, Airbnb stays, and self-catering apartments. These include free-standing holiday homes (stand-alone houses), luxury apartments (multiple units within a building), duplexes (double storey), simplexes (single-level homes), or semi-detached townhouses (a home that shares an adjoining wall with the neighbouring house).
Much like a ‘home from home,’ holiday rentals are rented on a short-term basis, especially for holidays or business trips. Every home is equipped with all you need for your stay, from beds to towels, kitchen equipment, and televisions.
Facilities and basic services such as housekeeping are included in a daily/weekly booking rate, with a returnable deposit required to cover any potential damage during your stay.
What is the difference between your homes and hotels?
Holiday villas and apartments are rented on a self-catered basis, comprising a free-standing house or an apartment that is fully furnished and equipped. If you seek privacy, space, and a home-like environment, this option is ideal.
On the other hand, Hotels are rented on a per room basis. You may have shared facilities such as swimming pools and relaxation areas, with set meal times and room service. The main difference besides the self-catering aspect is that hotel rooms are less private and flexible.
What types of accommodations are available to rent?
Here at North Coast Holiday Homes, you will find a range of hand-selected rentals across KZN North Coast. We have over 50 luxury, self-catering holiday homes located in Zimbali, Simbithi, Ballito, Salt Rock, and Sheffield Beach. A number of houses are available throughout the year, while others are available during school holidays and festive seasons.
Our luxury accommodation portfolio includes three-, four-, and five-bedroom options. A variety of free-standing homes, townhouses, and apartment suites are available in our portfolio. Most of our properties are in secure estates, such as Zimbali Coastal Estate and Simbithi Eco Estate, with a few scattered properties located throughout Ballito. The majority of our homes are not pet-friendly. However, we do have a few where pets are permitted.
Why do your rates change during the year?
Seasonal rates vary throughout the year and are dependent on supply and demand. During school terms, there is a low demand for holiday homes, and owners reduce their rates to ensure that they get a steady stream of bookings. During school holidays and long weekends, families are looking for a quick getaway, and the demand increases slightly. Our rates and minimum stay increase. During Easter and Christmas, many people look to get away to the coast, and last-minute rentals become difficult to find. During these high-demand periods, rates and minimum stays increase considerably. It is important to know that the earlier you book your holiday home (especially in December), the less you will actually pay. If you start looking for Christmas accommodation in October, demand and rates will be at their peak. On the other hand, if you are looking at saving money on accommodation and do not have dependents, consider traveling during February and November, which are notoriously quiet periods with many specials on offer.
Where can I find your available accommodation?
There are a variety of luxury options available at North Coast Holiday Homes. We encourage you to contact us with your requested dates, the number of people joining you, the budget, and any specific requirements you may have (pool, sea views, golf cart, all bathrooms en-suite, etc.). We can then send you available, suitable options to consider, and we can assist in the process.
Alternatively, you may search our website for options. Input your dates into the search bar and view options throughout our portfolio. When dates are inserted, seasonal rates will be displayed, enabling you to browse the various options. Booking a home can be done directly from our website, but please be aware that we will need to confirm availability before accepting your reservation.
Is the information on your website correct?
We regularly update our website with the latest photos and information. To ensure that information is kept current, we maintain constant communication with owners. Our rates are accurate for all dates during the season, and we guarantee that the price shown on our website represents the price you will pay. Please enter your desired dates into the search bar to view our seasonal rates for the period requested.
Although we make every effort to keep our calendars current, updates are not made in real-time. Our calendars are linked to various third-party websites, so the availability can take some time to update. Before accepting a booking, we always check with the owner to ensure that the dates are available and blocked off before sending you an invoice. We do this to prevent duplication of bookings.
How do you ensure the quality of your homes?
Our policy is to thoroughly vet all of our homes to ensure that they meet our strict, high standards. We expect our properties to provide service from Monday through Saturday (excluding public holidays). All of our houses must be equipped with Wi-Fi, DSTV or Netflix, gas or charcoal braais, crisp, white linen and bath towels (including hand towels), and other items to ensure that we maintain a high standard expected by all guests. We do not list every home that we vette, and we onboard about 30% of homes that we are introduced to.
Among other requirements, all of our homes are located within a restricted radius so that we can personally attend to problems as soon as they arise. We are no more than 20 minutes away from any of our rental properties.
Home inspections are conducted regularly to ensure that standards are maintained. A problem home is typically removed from our portfolio until its quality is satisfactory enough to be marketed again.
What is the minimum stay for a reservation?
Each home has its minimum stay requirements throughout the year.
Our general policy is that the minimum stay during the low season is two nights, three nights during school holidays and public holidays, and significantly more during December. In December, we require a minimum stay of 10 nights during either Christmas or New Year and 14 nights during both dates. Some of our more exclusive properties require a minimum of five nights throughout the year and 16 nights over Christmas and New Year's.
What is included in the daily rate?
Rentals are charged on a daily/nightly basis for the entire home rather than a per person per night basis. If you stay longer than a week, you may often be able to get a discounted rate. All of our homes include the following:
Linen and bath towels
Cleaning Monday to Saturday (excluding Public Holidays)
Gas or charcoal braai
Sufficient crockery and cutlery for all guests.
The kitchen is fully equipped for preparing essential meals.
Additional services are offered at varying prices depending on the home and cleaning company.
How do I confirm and secure a booking?
When you have chosen a home and have received an invoice for your stay, you will need to secure the property with a 50% deposit. A booking will be held for 48 hours for you to make a securing deposit. There will be a balance due four weeks before your arrival, and an updated invoice will be mailed to you.
You will be required to pay a refundable breakage deposit. Refundable deposits are determined by the length of your stay and are refunded to you within five working days of your departure. The deposit is used in the event of any damages during your stay or if any fines are unpaid upon departure.
What payment options are available?
You can make payments via EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer), cash or Foreign Transfer. Should you decide to pay by cash or Forex transfer, please be aware of the additional bank charges which will be levied to your account
What happens to my money?
Payments are made to our owner immediately upon receipt of payment to secure your booking. As a result, the dates will be blocked off for you and your guests. Upon receipt of final payment, the monies are paid to the owner as confirmation of the booking. The owner receives full payment for direct bookings before the guests arrive. It should be noted that third parties, such as Airbnb, may work differently and may hold the total amount of rental income until the guests have arrived.
Is there paperwork required for my reservation?
We will send our booking forms with all the necessary information for your stay and your invoice. Be sure to read and understand these booking forms before signing and returning them to your agent. You will need to provide us with all guests' names and identification numbers. If there are children under the age of 16, their names and birth dates will be required.
There are separate rules that need to be accepted when making reservations within an estate. These forms will be sent to you with your booking forms and must be signed and returned to us no later than 72 hours before your arrival date.
Can I cancel my reservation?
If you need to cancel your reservation for any reason, we do have a cancellation policy. The policy is as follows:
- A cancellation fee of 15% of the gross rental amount will be levied if the booking is cancelled more than 6 (six)weeks before the anticipated arrival date.
- A cancellation fee of 50% of the total rental amount will be levied if the booking is cancelled between 4 (four) to 6 (six) weeks before the anticipated arrival date.
- A cancellation fee of 100% of the total rental amount will be levied if the booking is cancelled less than four weeks before the anticipated arrival date.
- Partial refunds may apply, depending on the ability to re-let the property for the applicable period at a similar rate.
- Rental is due for the entire rental period. No refunds will be permitted for early departures, delays in arrival or failure to arrive, or any reason whatsoever.
- No house substitutions will be accepted after payment has been made, and owners have been paid to secure the booking.
- In the event of force majeure, such circumstances include without limitation natural disasters or acts of God; acts of terrorism; war; government acts or orders; epidemics; pandemics or communicable disease; national or regional emergencies that are beyond either party’s reasonable control, the contract will be suspended for the entire period during which the force majeure occurrence continues. Guests will be able to postpone their booking for a similar future period, during a similar season without any penalties and up to a 6 (six) month period after that. Should a guest decide not to honor their booking, cancellation fees will apply.
Can I rent equipment for my baby?
North Coast Holiday Homes have access to reliable service providers that can provide camp cots, high chairs, snugs and safes, car seats, prams, etc. Camp cots are rented with brand new, sealed mattresses, and all baby equipment is cleaned and sanitized before delivery. Baby equipment is delivered to your holiday home before your arrival and is collected upon departure.
What other items are available for hire?
In addition, we can assist you with golf cart rental, babysitters, and various other options to ensure that your vacation is memorable. You are welcome to contact a representative to discuss your individual needs. You can always count on us for assistance.
Where can I locate my property?
Following your final payment, we will provide you with a link and password to our guest information page. This information is password-protected and provides all the information you need to prepare for your stay. The GPS coordinates for your rental home will also be provided with arrival information, Wi-Fi codes, weather, ocean tide times, and directions to all nearby shops and activities. During your stay, you will be able to access this website to obtain details and information you may need. Departure details are provided on departure to ensure seamless information throughout your stay.
What is the check-in procedure?
We will provide check-in details before your arrival. We will send you a link to our guest information page, which contains all directions and access details for the house.
The check-in time is after 2 pm on the day of arrival.
Check-out is before 10 am on the day of departure. Late check-out can be negotiated if you notify the booking consultant in advance – late check-outs may be subject to additional costs.
Can more guests stay at the accommodation than mentioned in the booking forms?
Each of our homes can accommodate a maximum of two people per bedroom. There is sufficient crockery, cutlery, and linen to ensure that guests remain comfortable during their stay. Day Visitors are not permitted to assemble or stay at our homes to prevent overcrowding. Children under three can share rooms and beds with other guests. We can assist with baby equipment upon request.
At times, bookings can be under-estimated regarding the number of people staying in each home. As each property can only accommodate a certain number of people, it is best to find additional accommodation if your group has gotten larger.
Do I have to share my chosen accommodation with other guests?
Our Self Catering homes enable you to exclusive use of the entire property during your stay. However, apartments and townhouses are situated in complexes, and some may have shared facilities such as pools. Estates offer communal Club Houses, restaurants, and Pools. In that case, you will only share such communal facilities – your apartment or villa, however, will be enjoyed purely by you and your travel companions.
Are pets allowed in your properties?
The majority of our properties are situated within secure estates. These estates are not pet-friendly and will not allow animals to enter at any time. We do have a handful of stand-alone homes that are pet friendly, and we can assist you with information.
Our pet-friendly homes require proof of vaccination (including rabies inoculation). These must be up-to-date and proof of tick and flea treatment and deworming to avoid cross-contamination and spreading parasites to other pets introduced to the garden and home.
Can I have a party at our rental home?
We understand that you are on holiday and would like to let loose a little bit! We do not allow parties or functions at our homes but can assist you with restaurant details for bookings. Estates are very strict regarding noise and will send security to your home. Fines are issued, and at times, police have been called and will make your stay very uncomfortable.
Will my property have a golf cart?
Golf carts are restricted to Estates and not available at all homes. Where golf carts are not available, you are welcome to contact us for golf cart hire, but it is dependent on availability and will be charged to you above the accommodation amount charged.
Is smoking allowed in our rental properties?
We adhere to South African laws on smoking indoors, which means that all villas and apartments have a no smoking policy. We can provide ashtrays, and you will be able to smoke outdoors.
What is the parking like?
All homes can comfortably park two vehicles. Should you be travelling with a trailer, please check with us before arrival so that we can ensure that there is enough parking for a trailer or arrange to park the trailer elsewhere during your stay.
What should I pack?
We suggest that guests bring their own beach towels, hairdryers, and any creature comforts that would make your stay more comfortable. While our homes all have kettles, they may not have a coffee machine, milk frother, or your favourite coffee pods.
Your home will also have basic cleaning materials for arrival, including toilet paper and black bags. You will be required to replenish these supplies during your stay.
How do I arrange to get to and from the Airport?
You are welcome to discuss airport transfers with us. We highly recommend Go Ballito as they are local and very reliable. We recommend Dolphin Coast Tourist Services for larger groups, who can be seen waiting at the Airport for their arriving guests.
Are meals and drinks included in the rates?
Our holiday rentals are provided on a self-catering basis unless listed differently, which means that you will need to provide your food for meals. There are some create eateries in and around Ballito. Have a look here for our top choices.
If I encounter a problem during me stay, who do I call?
Our guest informatNB ion will have all emergency contact details you may need – these numbers include fire, safety, medical emergency numbers, and contact numbers for our bookings team. With this on hand, you will always know who to call if any problem arises during your stay.
Are there shops close by?
There are great convenience stores and shopping Centres close to all of our properties, Along with restaurants, food deliveries, and even online grocery shopping options provided by major stores such as Woolworths and Pick ‘n Pay.
What activities are available?
North Coast is a hub of entertainment. Outdoor activities, extreme sports, and family activities are available. Having experienced many of these activities personally, we have selected our Top 10 activities for your consideration.
We have partnered with other service providers to ensure our guests enjoy various activities, romantic beach evenings, and indoor/outdoor fun.
What happens if additional cleaning is required?
For those travelling with kids (or those in need of added cleaning), you can let our booking team know when you make your booking. Housekeeping services will be notified of your added needs, which may come at an extra cost.
Is hiring an Uber recommended?
Uber rides are convenient but can be highly unreliable. Uber cars struggle to gain access to estates due to security issues, and they tend to cancel their rides when they know that they have to pass the security checkpoints. Guests will need to get in and around Ballito from their rental property and have minimal Uber codes. It is suggested that you hire a vehicle throughout your stay as this will allow you to travel freely and experience the best of the North Coast.
Who is responsible for cleaning the accommodation venue after I leave?
All establishments are fully cleaned after guests have departed. With that said, you will need to ensure that the accommodation is left in a decent state – basic tidy-up, closing of windows and doors and turning off the Air-conditioning.
When are booking deposits usually returned?
Deposits are returned within five working days after the exit clean has been completed. If there are any missing items, unpaid fines, damages, or excessive mess, We will use the deposit to cover these expenses.
Have questions that haven’t been covered above? Please get in touch with us today, and we will assist with your holiday accommodation rental queries in any way that we can.
North Coast Holiday Homes is a leading luxury holiday let company specialising in the Dolphin Coast area, including Ballito, Simbithi and Zimbali. Their expertise is second to none, and you can rest assured that your luxury holiday on the Dolphin Coast will be a memory to last a lifetime.
Have you been to Ballito or are you planning a trip? We would love to hear from you! Get involved with our community, post your questions, tips and comments below.