Swiss Alps Important Information
Walking Holiday Information
- All you need to know about our holidays in the Engadine
- Seasons & Services, Day Off, Insurance, Booking Conditions, At Your Own Risk, Making a Booking…
Please refer here for any further information concerning your walking holiday in the Swiss Alps. If you have any further questions that aren’t covered here, please feel free to get in touch by calling 01799 513331 or make an accommodation enquiry here.
Organised Walks - At Your Own Risk
You join us on our organised walks at your own risk, responsible for your own safety, as part of an autonomous group, in which each member has a duty of care to each other.
You will be asked to sign a disclaimer in this respect. This is an explanation of the status of our organised itineraries whether they involve walking, snowshoeing or skiing. We refer to such itineraries as organised, not guided. They are available on a basis of goodwill so that you might enjoy an itinerary you might not otherwise discover. They are nothing more than an opportunity to go out in beautiful scenery in company. It is a fact that mountains, mountainous areas and activities undertaken in them are associated with personal injury and death. By coming to such areas, you are exposing yourself and your party to the possibility of personal injury or even death. In such an event, Collett's will not be held responsible for your interest in mountainous areas and your involvement in mountain pursuits, which can occasionally have tragic consequences.
In these days of litigation it is important you know that every time you (and each member of your party) join us on an organised itinerary you do so at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member of that group has a duty of care to the other. This is no different from the responsibilities you have on a casually arranged weekend walk with friends or family in the UK. Our hosts all have experience of the mountains, some more than others. Some have qualifications relevant to mountain activities, but they are not qualified mountain guides. We recruit and train our outdoor staff in line with a Health & Safety Policy, which is based on risk assessment and recognised mountain safety procedures.
Not being professionally responsible for you on organised itineraries does not mean we ignore safety, nor does it make us exempt from owing a duty of care to each person who joins us on an organised itinerary. Your safety is paramount and we therefore take our own measures to maximise safety. We do this in line with legal requirements pertaining to duty of care. We apply Codes of Practice to the procedures carried out by our outdoor staff. We assess, manage and communicate risk. We try to make people aware of the importance of mountain safety and to highlight their responsibilities when part of a group.
Our Codes of Practice should not really be taken into consideration by you when deciding to join an organised itinerary, for at the heart of our procedures are basic mountain safety measures, which should be undertaken by every individual when preparing for a day in the mountains. Finally, during your stay you act at your own risk on any ideas, information and opinions you might acquire from our hosts or from material prepared by us to help you get the most from the area. Thank you for your understanding on all of the above.
Our Day Off in Sils
Wednesday is our day off in Sils. There are no organised walks nor Office Hour. However, there is somebody to meet and settle in new arrivals. Breakfast is served as normal. Dinner is available at the Hotel Maria, but not as part of your half-board holiday price (i.e. at a supplement). Many guests use this as an opportunity to eat out locally in one of Sils’ restaurants.
Seasons & Services
There is generally a period at each end of the season when local services (e.g. certain bus routes, lifts, local businesses, mountain huts, suppliers of activities) are not as intensive as they are in high season. As it happens, in Switzerland local services are generally pretty good even in May, June and September, so during these quieter periods – whilst some local businesses might remain closed – guests are barely compromised and ‘seasonality’ has a minimal bearing. Moreover, we offer our full programme of organised walks throughout the season, so if you are coming to Switzerland exclusively for the walking, you are sure to thrive. Finally, in all our destinations, early season is accompanied by an exquisite profusion of flora.
Transport during your holiday
Collett’s has vehicles in each of its destinations but it is simply not possible for us to provide all our guests with transport to and from our organised walks. Naturally, we regularly use local transport or cable cars to good effect, notably in the Swiss Alps, Austrian Alps and the Italian Dolomites, where local services and facilities – and the number of walks that you can do from the villages themselves allow us to do many wonderful walks without using a car.
If you decide to have a car with you, you will be able to join all the organised walks of your choice, whilst simultaneously being free to visit, say, Innsbruck and other places of interest a short drive away. Our destinations are majestic; driving conditions are generally excellent and every journey should be a pleasurable part of your day. Naturally, having a car also gives you complete flexibility on your days of arrival and departure. Collett’s sends directions to your destination about 3 weeks before your holiday.
That said, we think you can have a great walking holiday in Switzerland without a car. There are many walks from the doorstep and also, with the use of local lifts and public transport (cheap and reliable), we create numerous itineraries that will suit non-drivers, whether they join our organised walks or choose to do self guided walking.
In resort, we also operate a guest car share system, which works well, but can occasionally fall short of guaranteeing your participation on a certain organised itinerary for which transport is required. Obviously, whenever possible our own vehicles help, but they are often committed to airport transfers or elsewhere. Of course, having a car guarantees (1) your participation in each and every organised walk, (2) access to all featured places of interest and activity suppliers and (3) flexibility on your days of arrival and departure. For regular self guided via ferrata, having a car is almost essential.
Special Dietary Requirements & Severe Allergies
We are happy to cater for ‘special’ dietary requirements and minor intolerances (vegetarian, gluten free etc.) Our kitchens are of a domestic standard and we endeavour to maintain good food preparation practices.
However, due to the limited size and specifications of these kitchens we would advise anyone with a ‘severe food allergy’ which, represents a health threat, serious or otherwise, that we cannot guarantee that traces of some commonly used ingredients (such as nuts, mushrooms etc.), will not make their way into meals, which are not meant to contain such ingredients. Our booking conditions require all guests to inform us at the booking stage of any matters concerning diet or allergies. However, if your intolerance or allergy represents a health threat of any sort, we would strongly recommend that you are carrying the necessary medication during your stay with us.
Collett’s Mountain Holidays Booking Conditions
1. CONTRACT: Please read these booking conditions carefully as they, together with the specific information in your booking confirmation, form an important part of your contract with Collett's Limited (company number : 03467538 whose registered office is at Market House, 10 Market Walk, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1JZ) trading as Collett's Mountain Holidays.
2. PRICES: We reserve the right to alter any of our advertised prices. Our prices were set on 31 October 2019, and the reference exchange rate was 1.159 (as published by the Financial Times). You will be advised of the current price of the holiday that you wish to book before your contract is confirmed. All prices quoted are fully inclusive of non-optional charges.
3. SUPPLEMENTS: We reserve the right to apply a supplement to your holiday after you have booked in the event of increases to the costs of supplying your holiday, which might result from changes in the cost of fuel or other power sources, accommodation costs, costs of compliance with local rules and laws, exchange rate fluctuations and/or government action (including changes in any levels of taxation such as VAT). Supplements will not be applied within 20 days of your arrival date.
4. MAKING A BOOKING AND PAYMENT: When you have chosen your accommodation and you make a request to us to book it, you must pay a deposit of £100 (or £150 for our Ski Safari, Camino de Santiago, Kitzbuhel to Cortina, Mountains to the Med, and all Hut to Hut holidays), or if you are booking within 8 weeks of your arrival date the full cost of the booking. Your booking is only confirmed and a contract between us will only exist when a) your party leader has ticked the box on our client portal confirming that they accept our terms and conditions; b) we have received in cleared funds a deposit of £100 or £150 (as appropriate) per person; and c) we have issued our confirmation by email. Please check your confirmation carefully and report any incorrect or incomplete information to us immediately.
5. FINAL BALANCES: If you have paid a deposit, the ‘final balance’ of the cost of your holiday is due 56 days (8 weeks) before departure. If the balance is not received on time, we will remind you that it is overdue. If you then do not pay within 7 days of this reminder we reserve the right to cancel your booking and retain your deposit.
6. INSURANCE: It is essential that you take out adequate and valid insurance, which should include (without limitation) cover against the cost of cancellation by you, assistance (including repatriation) in the event of accident or illness, and third party liability for injury and damage. We recommend that your policy is as extensive as our recommended insurance policy, details of which can be found on our website. Insurance premiums in respect of travel insurance purchased from us are non-refundable and non-transferable.
7. BOOKING CHANGES: After our confirmation has been issued, any requests for changes must be sent to us in writing by e-mail or post, by the person that made the booking. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate your request but we will try to do so. If you change the number in your party, the accommodation price will be re-calculated. If the party size is reduced, this is likely to mean the remaining members paying more due to under-occupancy.
8. CANCELLATIONS: If you want to cancel your booking, the person who made the booking must send this in writing to us, by email or post. You will be charged a cancellation fee as follows: If you cancel (this is the date on which we receive your written notice of cancellation during the hours of 9am to 5.30pm):
More than 57 days before your arrival date: deposit only;
Between 56 and 43 days before your arrival date: 25%;
Between 42 and 29 days before your arrival date: 50%; and
Within 28 days of arrival date: 100%
Charges are shown as a percentage of your total holiday cost (including any excursions).
9. YOUR RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR BOOKING: When you make a booking you guarantee that you have the authority to accept and do accept on behalf of your party the terms of these booking conditions. This means that you are responsible for making all payments due, notifying us if any changes or cancellations are required and for receiving the confirmation and keeping your party informed.
10. OUR LIABILITY, CONDITIONS of CARRIAGE & LIMITATIONS: (a) Our obligations, in providing any accommodation or service included in your holiday, are to take reasonable skill and care to arrange for the provision of such accommodation or services. Therefore, providing we have selected our providers with reasonable care and skill, we will have no liability to you for anything that happens at the accommodation or any acts or omissions of the provider or other service providers. We will also have no liability in the following situations: (i) where the accommodation or services cannot be provided as booked due to circumstances beyond our control or which amount to "force majeure" (including, without limitation, terrorist activity, natural disasters and adverse weather conditions); (ii) where you incur any loss or damage that could not have been foreseen at the time of your booking, based on the information provided by you; (iii) where you incur any loss or damage that relates to any business activity; (iv) where any loss or damage relates to any services which do not form part of our contract with you. (b) Our liability, except in cases involving death, injury or illness, shall be limited to a maximum of 2 times the cost of your holiday with us. We shall have no liability where the cause of the failure to provide, or failure in, your holiday or any death or personal injury you may suffer is not due to any fault on our part or that of our agents or suppliers, because it is either attributable to you, or attributable to someone unconnected with your holiday and is unforeseeable or unavoidable, or is due to unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised, or an event which neither we, nor our agents or suppliers could have foreseen or forestalled. We will only accept liability for negligent acts or omissions of our employees, suppliers, sub-contractors, servants or agents providing they were at the time undertaking work authorised by us. (c) Our liability will also be limited: in accordance with and/or in an identical manner to the contractual terms of the companies that provide us with third party services (such as accommodation and transport) and these terms are incorporated into this contract; and by any relevant international conventions which apply to, or govern, any of the accommodation or services included in your holiday with us. Other than as set out above, and as is detailed elsewhere in these booking conditions, we shall have no legal liability whatsoever to you for any loss or damage.
11. ROOM ALLOCATIONS: All accommodation is allocated by us. We will not accept liability for any complaints based on one bedroom being deemed less attractive than another on account of its size, views, character and/or location. The provision of a bedroom with a balcony will only be guaranteed if a balcony is requested verbally at the time of booking by you, then, if available, in writing on the booking form and finally confirmed in writing by us. We reserve the right to change your accommodation, provided the accommodation allocated is of the same or superior category to that originally booked.
12. SPECIAL REQUESTS: Any specific requests by you, such as matters concerning diet or allergies, must be advised to us on the booking form. Whilst endeavouring to fulfil all such requests, we shall not be liable to you if we fail to do so.
13. IF WE CHANGE OR CANCEL YOUR BOOKING: We may occasionally have to make changes or cancel your booking and we reserve the right to do so at any time. Changes If we make a major change to your holiday, we will inform you as soon as reasonably possible if there is time before your departure. You will have the choice of accepting the change of accommodation, or you can take any alternative accommodation we are able to offer you (you will pay the increase in cost if the replacement is advertised at a higher price than your original booking, or receive a refund of the difference if it is less expensive), or a refund. These options don’t apply for minor changes. Examples of minor changes include, but are not limited to, change of accommodation to another of the same or higher standard, temporary withdrawal of facilities or seasonal unavailability of amenities. Cancellation We will not cancel your travel arrangements less than four weeks before your departure date, except for reasons beyond our control (also known as force majeure) or failure by you to pay the final balance. If your holiday is cancelled you can either have a refund or accept an offer of alternative accommodation of comparable standard from us, if available (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value). Any amendment or cancellation fees you incur in terms of other arrangements you have made with other providers under separate contracts are not claimable from us. Please note that if a change or cancellation occurs because of circumstances beyond our control, for example as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, war, riot, industrial dispute, actual or threatened terrorist activity and its consequences, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, adverse weather conditions, flood, epidemic or pandemic illness and all similar situations we will have no further liability to you. No compensation, costs, damages, losses, expenses or any other sums, including the cost of securing alternative transport or accommodation will be paid by us.
14. BEHAVIOUR: When you book a holiday with us, you accept responsibility for the proper conduct of all members of your party during your stay. We reserve the right at any time to terminate the stay of any party member(s) whose behaviour is such, in our reasonable opinion, as to cause or to be likely to cause danger, upset or distress to anyone else or damage to property. Full cancellation charges will then apply and no refund will be given. Furthermore, we shall be under no obligation whatsoever to pay compensation or meet any costs or expenses (including but not limited to alternative accommodation) you may occur as a result of your stay being terminated. In addition, you agree to fully reimburse any accommodation provider concerned for the cost of any damage you cause to the accommodation in which you are staying before the end of your stay if the cost has been established by then or as soon as it has been established if later. You must also indemnify us for the full amount of any claim (including all legal costs) made against us by the accommodation provider or any third party as a result.
15. FINANCIAL PROTECTION: The monies you pay to us for your holiday are protected by means of an ABTA bond provided by Travel & General Insurance Services Limited. This means that, if in the unlikely event of our insolvency your holiday can't be provided, you will receive your money back or, if your stay has started, arrangements will be made for you to be able to continue as planned.
16. DATA PROTECTION: Please be assured that we have measures in place to protect the personal booking information held by us. This information will be passed on to the principal and to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements. The information may also be provided to public authorities such as customs or immigration if required by them, or as required by law. Our policy can be viewed at www.colletts.co.uk
17. ABTA: We are a Member of ABTA, membership number W6883. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. We can also offer you ABTA’s scheme for the resolution of disputes which is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. If we can’t resolve your complaint, go to www.abta.com to use ABTA’s simple procedure. Further information on the Code and ABTA’s assistance in resolving disputes can be found on www.abta.com. You can also access the European Commission Online Dispute (ODR) Resolution platform at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/. This ODR platform is a means of notifying us of your complaint; it will not determine how your complaint should be resolved.
18. SKI SAFARI: Your guide, itinerary and accommodation shall be supplied by MSA srl trading as Arabba Holidays, for which Collett's Limited acts as an agent. Consequently each Ski Safari is neither run nor controlled by Collett's Limited and we are therefore not responsible/liable for its provision or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by Arabba Holidays. You therefore acknowledge that Collett's Limited acts as the disclosed agent of Arabba Holidays, and you agree that in the unlikely event that you need to make a claim, you shall make this against Arabba Holidays, and not Collett's Limited.
19. CONDITIONS OF SUPPLIERS : Many of the services which make up your holiday are provided by independent suppliers. This is particularly relevant to all our “Point to Point” holidays where your transport (unless provided by us), accommodation and food will be supplied by third parties (whose identities are available at www.colletts.co.uk/thirdparties) and for whom Collett's Limited acts as an agent. You therefore acknowledge that Collett’s Limited acts as the disclosed agent of these third party suppliers. Those suppliers provide these services in accordance with their own terms and conditions which will form part of your contract with us. Some of these terms and conditions may limit or exclude the supplier's liability to you, usually in accordance with applicable International Conventions. Copies of the relevant parts of these terms and conditions are available on request from us or the supplier concerned.
20. LIFT CLOSURES: We will not be held responsible for the closure of lifts during the winter season for any reason. In the event of lack of snow, we cannot be held liable, but will endeavour to make mutually suitable arrangements, and these may incur additional costs to you.
21. EXCURSIONS: Excursions or other tours that you may choose to book or pay for whilst you are on holiday are not part of your package holiday or contracted arrangements provided by us. All excursions are supplied by third party suppliers and are subject to their own terms and conditions. They do not form part of your holiday and are not governed by the Package Travel, Package Holiday and Package Tours Regulations 1992. For any excursion or other tour that you book, your contract will be with the operator of the excursion or tour and not with us. We are not responsible for the provision of the excursion or tour or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the operator.
22. DELAYED TRAVEL: Collett’s can take no responsibility for repercussions concerning delayed flights or other travel arrangements. If your flight, bus or train is delayed, your allocated transfer will wait for up to 60 minutes – but no longer. We cannot wait any longer because our drivers are on time limits. So, if the delay exceeds 60 minutes, we either (1) allocate you to a later Collett’s transfer free of charge subject to seats being available or (2) in the event of there not being a later transfer, we will endeavour to book you a taxi transfer, although this will be at your expense. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding in the event of your transfer being delayed due to the delayed flight of other guests.
23. PASSPORT, VISA & IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS : Your specific passport and visa requirements, and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements.
24. ACCURACY: (i) We make every effort to give accurate information on our website but cannot be liable to you in the event of changes, which occur after information has been published on the website; and (ii) Any view expressed on the website is the personal view of a member of our staff. Whilst our staff will express personal opinions based on first-hand knowledge of the resort, the final choice of holiday remains yours. We will not accept responsibility for any verbal statement made by a member of our staff unless it is confirmed in writing prior to the start date of your holiday with us.
25. COMPLAINTS: In the unlikely event of any dissatisfaction with the accommodation or any of the services provided during your holiday, the matter must be reported immediately to our resort manager who will endeavour to put things right. You should also try to find a solution whilst you're on holiday. Unless the opportunity for rectification of complaints is given to our resort manager whilst you are in the resort, we will not accept responsibility at a later date. We will not accept liability for complaints unless a complaint form has been obtained from the resort manager by you, and then completed and signed by both you and the resort manager. If we are unable to resolve the complaint satisfactorily during your stay, please follow this up within 28 days of your return home by writing to Tom Collett at 3a Market Hill, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1HQ giving your booking reference and all other relevant information. We will not accept liability for complaints made outside this period. Please keep your letter concise and to the point. If you fail to follow the requirement to report your complaint in resort we will have been deprived of the opportunity to investigate and rectify it and this may affect your rights under this booking. Please also see clause 17 above on ABTA.
26. DISPUTES: Any dispute or claim arising out of this contract that can't be settled between us can be referred by you to ABTA’s dispute resolution (see clause 17) or court.
27. JURISDICTION: You agree that the courts of England and Wales have exclusive jurisdiction and that English law shall apply.
28. FOREIGN & COMMONWEALTH OFFICE TRAVEL ADVICE: You should always check FCO advice on travel to the country you are visiting prior to travelling at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
29. WEBSITE DISCLAIMER:The information contained on www.colletts.co.uk ('our website') is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by Collett’s Mountain Holidays and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to our website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on our website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of our website. Through our website you are able to link to other websites which are not under our control. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them. Every effort is made to keep our website up and running smoothly. However, we take no responsibility for, and will not be liable for, our website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond our control.
Our offices are open today from 9am to 5.30pm. To book, please call 01799 513331, Or click here to make an enquiry. We will reply within 24hrs. Or 48hrs at the weekend.
Queries relating to passports or visas should be directed to the Swiss Embassy: Tel 020 7616 6000 https://www.eda.admin.ch/london
For general information on EHIC cards and healthcare whilst travelling visit www.bit.ly/HealthcareAbroad
For pre-travel information visit www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo
Or use the ABTA information line on 020 3117 0599 or visit www.abta.com