Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing a holiday cottage in Cornwall gives exciting little butterflies in the stomach as the anticipation builds of visiting kilometres of sandy beaches, swimming in crystal clear sea, trying water sports, eating amazingly great food and, most of all, not being at work!  Holiday planning must be one of the most pleasurable ways to pass the time, however, we appreciate whilst getting lost in daydreaming of sunny beach days and eating fish and chips is easy, questions need answering to instil confidence in booking a St Ives holiday or a trip to West Cornwall through Orange Roofs.

For this reason, here are some frequently asked questions that we readily answer when called or emailed directly but, as you are browsing our site, we thought we would share these questions and answers online. You may also find reading Staying With Us really helpful too.

What are your office opening hours?

Monday – 9 am to 5 pm

Tuesday – 9 am to 5 pm

Wednesday – 9 am to 5 pm

Thursday – 9 am to 5 pm

Friday – 9 am to 5 pm

Saturday – 10 am to 4 pm

Sunday – Closed

(Bank Holiday Mondays – Closed)

What deposit do I pay and when do I pay my balance?

If the date of your arrival is more than 8 weeks from the point of booking, you pay 33% of the rental plus a booking fee of £50. The balance is then due 8 weeks before the holiday start date being the remaining 67% of the rental plus any extra you may have chosen such as bringing a pet or using an EV charger.

When are check-in and check-out times?

Check-in times vary by property, but will be between 3pm and 4pm. Check-out is universally 10 am.

Why is check-in so late you may ask? And it’s a good question.

Check-out is 10 am which leaves 5 or 6 hours to get your holiday property properly cleaned after the last guests who stayed, carry out any maintenance, top up the inventory (if anything has been broken accidentally or batteries need changing) and then finally checked with the finer details ticked off such as fire alarm testing and welcome goodies delivered. Quite often the housekeeping teams (employed by the owners of the holiday homes) clean more than just one property per changeover day and so they may arrive to clean the home after having cleaned another. Sadly we cannot influence the order in which they clean their properties (sorry!).

Our team is in constant contact with the housekeepers throughout the changeover day and so, if a holiday home has had every box ticked, we can release the key safe code notification early. That is often THE best news to hear on arrival day. We appreciate that, we really do and so, believe us when we say we can’t wait to release the key safe code to you earlier too. Until the key safe code is released, the practice of patience (we are afraid) is what is needed.

Many guests say “we have booked 7 days but checking in so late means we are losing a day”. The booking is in actual fact by night (as is the price) so the booking is for 7 nights and 6 whole days. This is the same when booking any accommodation provider whether it’s B & B, hotel, camping or self-catering accommodation. Preparing a self-catering home between guests takes longer than a campsite plot but we promise you, it is worth the wait!

Do all your properties have WiFi?

Yes. Simple answer! All properties we manage and will manage in the future have free WiFi.

How do I get my keys to the holiday cottage in St Ives?

Each of the self-catering holiday homes we manage has a key safe. Keys are left in the key safe for your arrival and the key safe code is released to you via the Orange Roofs App and text message at the check-in time.

When will I receive the key code?

Orange Roofs has its very own App and it is designed to make guests’ lives super easy when planning holiday journeys as well as when settling into the holiday property. The key safe code is locked on the App until the check-in time, at which point the lock opens and the key safe code is displayed. We send a text to let you know what the code is too.

Will I be able to have an early check-in?

This depends on a few factors. What makes us happy, is making you happy so, getting into a holiday cottage in St Ives early on a Saturday mid-summer is everyone’s dream! Changeover days at holiday accommodation across Cornwall is a hive of activity. A lot goes on in those few hours between check-out and check-in and so it is only when we know all boxes have been ticked by housekeeping teams, maintenance and trades visits and possible owner drop-ins too that we can release the key safe code sooner than the pre-agreed check-in time. Until such time we get that golden nugget of information that the property is ‘good to go’, we are afraid the practice of patience is required.

Can I have a late check-out?

Again, this depends on whether there are guests arriving the same day of your leaving. If there are guests coming to the holiday cottage on the same day you leave, unfortunately, it is not possible to have a late check-out. If there is no arrival the day you are leaving, give us a call and request a late check-out and we can chat to the housekeeping team and check that no maintenance is scheduled and hopefully allow an hour or two extra in bed!

Will there be a travel cot or high chair at my holiday cottage?

It is up to each owner of the self-catering holiday properties we manage whether they buy a travel cot and high chair for their holiday rental. In some cases, these are provided so please do ask a member of our team when booking and they can confirm if one is available or if you need to bring your own. If a travel cot or high chair is not supplied at the property, there is a rental firm called Star Linen Hire that will be very happy to drop hired holiday equipment to your chosen holiday property before your arrival. In all cases, please bring your own travel cot bedding and bed linen as these are not supplied.

Please note, you will need to bring your own travel stair gates.

Are bed linen and towels provided?

Yes! Bed linen for each bed is provided and they are all made up ready for your arrival plus a bath sheet and hand towel per person. Tea towels are also provided as are bathmats and oven cloths or mitts. Beach towels are not provided unless otherwise specified in the property description. If beach towels are provided these need to be washed and dried before you leave ready for the next guest.

Will there be any essentials at the property?

Again, yes. You will have one loo roll per WC on your arrival, hand soaps, washing up liquid, some cleaning fluids, a washing-up sponge and j-cloth, a few dishwasher tablets to get you going as well as some washing machine tabs. There will be salt and pepper but no oils, kinds of vinegar or sauces left by owners. You will also need to take cling film and foil too if you feel you will need it on holiday. As it is self-catering accommodation, it is expected you cater for yourselves whilst on holiday.

Will I need to buy anything during my stay?

Following on from the answer above, yes. As it is a self-catering holiday you have booked, you will need to do your weekly shop as normal and cater for your own family needs/ wants (just at a holiday cottage instead).

What do I need to know if there is no parking with my holiday home?

Right, parking in St Ives, now there is a question that deserves a thorough and detailed answer.

Parking in St Ives can be a huge bugbear and it’s the one thing that fills most visitors with trepidation. We have a great selection of boutique holiday cottages and apartments in St Ives that have provision for parking but equally, there are some delightful St Ives cottages whose sheer position means that they simply can’t offer it. But fear not; there are plenty of car parks to choose from. As most of our self-catering accommodation is in St Ives, here is a list of long-stay Cornwall Council car parks on offer in the coastal town. We have provided a link to the Cornwall Council website for pricing information and also the 4-digit car park code if paying by mobile phone (call 01872 302947) or the JustPark App. Whether the property has parking or not, we have listed the properties in closest proximity to the car parks below:

The Island – TR26 1SY – 8419

This pay on departure car park has 129 spaces which are in high demand as it’s the one closest to properties around the harbour, Downalong, Porthgwidden and Porthmeor. If you are staying in any of those areas, it will only take you a few minutes to walk to your accommodation from the car. A lot of people will park their car in St Ives and leave it for the entire week without moving it, so a good few spaces will become free on changeover days (normally Friday and Saturday) but these spaces are quickly claimed by others during popular holiday weeks.

Properties closest to Island car park

Barnoon – TR26 1JF – 8422

There are 124 spaces in this car park, it is the next closest to the main town and waterfront areas, there is a shortcut path that runs either down to Porthmeor beach or into the town on foot. These paths have steps and are steep in some areas. It overlooks Porthmeor beach and is next to the Tate Gallery.

Properties closest to Barnoon car park

Train Station – TR26 2BH – 8417

As the name suggests, this 106 space car park is situated at St Ives railway station, next to Porthminster beach. This is another good option if you are staying around the harbour area or in the lower parts of the town. After leaving the car park via a flight of steps, there is a level walk to the harbour that follows the sea.

Properties closest to St Ives train station car park

Park Avenue – TR26 1QE – 8416

The 77 spaces are in high demand during the school holidays due to it being close to the town’s shops. There is a shortcut into town after having parked here but beware, there are quite a few steps.

Trenwith (St Ives Leisure Centre) – TR26 1DD – 8414

This is a pay on departure car park and it has 311 spaces in the winter and 759 in the summer as they use two grassy fields and a grassy area at the top of the tarmac area. Despite it being a 10 to 15-minute walk into town, this is the car park we will often point guests in the direction of first; purely for ease of finding and a better chance of finding a space. If you are prepared to try the others first, be also prepared to face the traffic queues and narrow streets with pedestrians aplenty.

Properties closest to Trenwith station car park

Private car parks

If you wanted to take the stress away from parking in St Ives altogether, you could park privately with It’s slightly more expensive but has the advantage of being within a secure compound and for some, it certainly takes a load off their minds when travelling to St Ives.

You could also book a space at St Ives Rugby Club which is a 15-20 minute walk to most holiday properties in St Ives. This car park does not have a set number of spaces due to their parking capacity so is never short of room no matter what. It is a 15–20 minute walk into the centre of St Ives but knowing there are plentiful spaces can really help relieve some stress. An added bonus is that you can pre-pay for your space before you even arrive in St Ives. Simply head over to their website to book now! There is a shuttle bus that runs from Tate St Ives to the Rugby Club every 10-15 minutes during school holidays so you can spare your legs!

St Johns-in-the-fields Church at the highest level of St Ives (about 1km from the harbour front), offers parking for a very reasonable amount and it’s a downhill walk to the seafront. The entrance is practically opposite the Fire Station near Leach Pottery.

Finally, to book and pay for a space on a private driveway, you could try the website Park On My Drive

Can I use the parking space early?

This depends on whether the housekeeping team needs the space on the changeover day. There may be instances when this is very possible so we ask you contact us first so we can check and then confirm it’s all okay for you to use the parking space if you arrive at your holiday destination early.

Can I place my items in the property earlier in the day?

We are so sorry but the answer to this question is no. If you are travelling by train and it means you arrive before 5 pm but don’t want to be lugging cases around with you, there is a secure luggage storage facility at St Ives Tourist Information Centre which is at the Library (on the corner opposite the Wetherspoons Hain Line pub). The luggage drop-off service is available Monday to Saturday, from 9.30 am and items must be collected by 3.30 pm (their office closes at 4 pm). It is £6 per item. If you get into a real pickle, we may be able to arrange your luggage to be left at the holiday home but we can’t make promises sadly.

Where is your office, are you local?

Our office is on Park Avenue in St Ives so very local to the town centre of St Ives. 4 out of 5 of the Orange Roofs team is born, raised Cornish!

What do I do if I experience an issue within the property?

Our office is open between Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm, and on Saturday we are open between 10 am and 4 pm. If you are staying at an Orange Roofs holiday home and you have a ‘this needs to be fixed now’ maintenance issue, either call us at the office on 01736 806100 or, if we have gone home at the end of our working day, call the emergency out-of-office-hours mobile number given to you via the App and we will do all we can to help facilitate a fix, and quickly.

If you arrive at the holiday accommodation and you spot something that isn’t an urgent maintenance issue but would like to draw our attention to it at the start of your holiday, email Torrie, Billie and Nancy on and they will be very keen to address it.

What if I lose the key to my holiday accommodation while on holiday?

There is a key safe at every holiday home so we ask and recommend that one set of keys is kept in the safe at all times, this way you never get locked out! Should it happen, please give us a call and we will make sure a new key is produced quickly and not keep you locked out for long. If it happens when the office is closed or late at night, you should expect at least a 45-minute wait before we can get you back in (hence the idea to always leave keys in the key safe!) There is a small fee for cutting new keys if lost.

How do I recover any left items I accidentally forgot at the property?

We are very happy returning any left items to you but there is a timeframe to do this by. It is your responsibility to let us know you have forgotten items at the holiday property within 2 weeks of leaving them, we will then liaise with the housekeeper to ensure we get the left items delivered to our office. The team at Orange Roofs will weigh the items and inform you of the weight so you can purchase a parcel bag and pre-pay the postage and send to our office (Orange Roofs, Park Avenue, St Ives, TR26 2DN) so we can get the items packaged up and sent back to you quickly.

Please note, if we do not hear from guests within 2 weeks of the items being left, they will be donated to a local charity or disposed of it not a specific charitable item. Once a guest contacts us and wishes the items to be returned, the pre-paid postal bag needs to arrive at Orange Roofs’ office within 2 weeks of the guest departure.

Do I get a refund if I need to cancel due to change of plans or illness?

We have a sliding scale of the amount of refund given depending on when the holiday is cancelled. At any stage, the deposit and booking fee is non-refundable. If the holiday is cancelled between 56 and 21 days before the start of the holiday, 40% is refunded. If the holiday is cancelled within 3 weeks of the arrival date, no refund is given.

We appreciate that things crop up and plans change so we strongly recommend that a single trip holiday insurance is bought to protect your money in case of last-minute cancellations. Prices from the Post Office online for single trip holiday insurance start from £12.15 so it is well worth buying a policy for peace of mind.

Do you accept pets? If so, what is the cost?

Yes, your dog is welcome in our dog-friendly holiday cottages and apartments. There is a pet supplement fee of £50 per dog.

To know which of our holiday cottages accept pets, look for the paw symbol on the property page on our website or choose from our pet-friendly holiday cottage collection

All properties on our portfolio only accept dogs over the age of 1 year old, so sorry we do not accept puppies.

I’ve got a dog since booking my property, can I bring them along on holiday too?

It depends on whether the self-catering holiday accommodation you have booked accepts pets or not and how old your new dog is. If it is a dog-friendly holiday cottage, it is very easy to add your new family member to the booking and charge the pet supplement fee. Please note that we cannot accept bookings with dogs under 1 year old. If the property is not dog-friendly, I am afraid that sadly they would not be able to join you.

If I can't bring my new pet to my originally booked non-dog friendly property, can I swap to a dog friendly property?

Sadly not. If you book a non-dog friendly property and pay the booking deposit or balance in full and then, sometime after, you chose to get a family pet, our terms and conditions apply and the owners expect Orange Roofs to enforce these on their behalf.

Are there surf schools near me and how do I book a lesson?

There are surf schools in St Ives, Hayle, Marazion, Sennen, Newquay to name a few so we are very certain that you will be in the water enjoying lessons on your holiday. Check out our Water sports blogs for St Ives and West Cornwall.

Do restaurants close in Cornwall during Winter?

They used to! As holidays to Cornwall are now taken all year round, many restaurants stay open 12 months of the year. Some cafes close for a month in January but most of them remain open to serve up delicious local food to those who love visiting our county out of season. Our recommendation is to call the restaurant you have your eye on to double-check it’s open if you have any niggling doubts.

Which restaurants in St Ives and West Cornwall do you recommend?

Oh there are so many to recommend! Check out our Food and Drink blog articles and you will see a wonderful, mouth-watering choice of places to eat in St Ives and in West Cornwall.

Share this article with friends and family