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Frequently Asked questions

Covid-19

The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the travel plans of a large number of members. The questions and answers outlined below may help you understand what is a complex and changing situation. Please be reassured that if you have an upcoming booking which is likely to be affected by COVID-19, we will contact you in advance of your departure date.

Secret Escapes is following government guidance across all regions where we offer travel.

What happens if my trip is affected by COVID-19 restrictions?

Most governments now have stringent travel restrictions in place until further notice.

If it becomes likely that your trip will be impossible due to COVID-19, Secret Escapes (or a partner operator responsible for your trip) will contact you to discuss your options. A clear process has been developed to help customers in this situation and you do not need to do anything, you will be contacted. Please look out for messages from us and check your spam / voicemail regularly. Affected bookings are being prioritised by departure date.

If however, you do want to speak to us, please fill in the form on the contact us page to help us help you most efficiently.

What is the best way to get a response to my enquiry?

There is a high volume of customer enquiries at this time, so please use the form on the contact us page to reach us. This form has been designed in response to COVID-19 to give us all the information we need to respond to you quickly and efficiently. Please submit one form per booking. All enquiries are prioritised by date of travel.

If you submit an enquiry, please monitor your email (including spam folders) and voicemail.

Why is it taking time for Secret Escapes to respond to my query?

As you can imagine, this pandemic has created issues with high numbers of bookings and our Customer Services teams are working around the clock to reassure members and resolve their issues. We apologise if you have found it hard to reach us. New processes and an expanded team are helping us look after more and more people each day.

Members are being contacted in date order, with priority being given to those with the most imminent travel dates. As governments extend restrictions, new groups of members will be affected. We will respond to everyone as quickly as we can.

I have an upcoming trip and I haven’t heard from you. Why not?

We are contacting members in advance of departure dates, so please check your spam folder and voicemail. If you have not yet been contacted by us, this should happen shortly.

If you want further clarification, please fill in the form on the contact us page. Your imminent departure date should see your enquiry prioritised.

If my trip is cancelled due to COVID-19, can I get a refund?

Secret Escapes offers two types of travel: Hotel-only trips and Package trips (any trip where travel (air, rail etc.) is included). Your options will vary depending on the type of trip that you have bought:

Hotel-only stays: With hotel-only trips, Secret Escapes acts as an intermediary and the contract is between you and the hotel. If you have purchased a non-refundable hotel-only stay via Secret Escapes, then it is up to the hotel whether they will offer a refund or not. Secret Escapes is unable to refund any stay without the permission of the hotel. If the hotel does agree to a refund, Secret Escapes will assist members as appropriate. In these situations, hotels should refund 100% of the cost of the trip to customers. Secret Escapes continues to reimburse its hotel partners as per the normal payment cycle. The good news is that almost all of our hotel partners are open to members postponing and rebooking their stay, so your trip need not be lost. If you have booked a 'Refundable' hotel-only booking that is now impossible due to COVID-19, we will contact you to discuss your options.

If you have a hotel-only booking in the UK, Germany, France or Austria with a check-in date during November 2020, please be aware that we have already sent you an email regarding your options. Please check your email inbox and spam folder.

Package stays: Two groups of package stays are available on Secret Escapes. The first group is offered by trusted partner operators. If your trip is one of these, then the operator responsible for your trip will contact you to discuss your options. As with hotel-only stays, in these cases Secret Escapes operates as an intermediary and the contract is between the member and the operator. The operator often has the most up-to-date information in these cases.

The second group of packages on the site is offered by Secret Escapes itself. With these trips, the Secret Escape team will contact you. You will be offered a credit note to cover the complete value of your trip, for use on any upcoming offer on the site. Any part of the credit note that has not been used will then be refunded to you as cash on the expiry date. Only bookings affected by COVID-19 (ie those falling on dates where government restrictions are in place) will be credited or rebooked.

How do I know who is responsible for my trip and for looking after me?

Secret Escapes does not own its own hotels, so it acts as an intermediary between its members and carefully selected travel partners. Secret Escapes only works with reputable operators and it quality checks them regularly, using member feedback.

Where you book a hotel-only stay, the contract is between the customer and the hotel and with some package tours, the contract is between the customer and the tour operator. In some instances Secret Escapes is the operator. You can find your travel provider on your booking confirmation. In the event of your trip being disrupted you will be contacted by either Secret Escapes or the operator of your trip.

If you purchased your trip through Secret Escapes, we will do whatever we can to help you. However, the operator of your trip (be it Secret Escapes or a partner) will always have the most up to date information.

Why am I being asked to rebook my hotel-only stay?

In this unprecedented situation, Secret Escapes has created a rebooking system in partnership with its hotels, to help members protect their stays. If your stay is impacted, we recommend contacting your hotel directly to arrange this.

I have already independently agreed on a rebooking with the hotel. Should I also contact Secret Escapes?

If you have come to an arrangement with your hotel directly, we would really appreciate it if you could notify us of your new dates. This will avoid us trying to make a duplicate booking with the hotel on your behalf.

The hotel is telling me that Secret Escapes should be refunding me, not them. Who is responsible?

Secret Escapes is contractually unable to refund customers without the explicit permission of the hotel. In cases where hotels have allowed us to refund on their behalf, we may be able to do so.

Secret Escapes has promised me credit in my account but it still hasn't arrived. Why?

Credit notes are now being rolled out to package customers whose trips have been impacted by COVID-19 outbreak. There was a short initial delay in issuing these credits, whilst Secret Escapes sought confirmation from travel bodies that your money remains protected under the ATOL scheme We are now confident that this is the case. If you receive a credit note, please make sure you keep a copy of it and the email it comes in, as they are evidence of the on-going protection of your money.

What if my hotel shuts, so I have nowhere to stay?

If your hotel shuts in response to COVID-19, but is not located in an area where official advice is advising against travel, your hotel should be in touch to discuss options. If you are worried, please use the form on the contact us page to inform us and we will try and assist you.

What if the country I'm planning to visit refuses entry to people from my country?

It is unclear how and when countries will release travel restrictions. Should a country change its rules or bar travellers from other countries in a way that affects your booking, Secret Escapes or your travel provider will contact you to discuss your options. If you have booked a hotel only deal, we advise you to monitor impacted destinations closely up to your date of departure, via your government's foreign travel advice site.

I have booked a hotel, but not flights, with Secret Escapes in a country subject to restrictions from COVID-19. What are my options?

For all hotel-only bookings impacted by COVID-19, we are working with hotels to postpone stays and rebook members later in the year. If your trip is affected, we will contact you. If you have been contacted by your hotel and you have made a direct arrangement, please use the form on the contact us page to update us of your plans. If you bought your flights separately, you will need to follow up directly with your flight provider or explore your options with your travel insurance, so you know your rights if you are prevented from travelling.

What happens if an airline cancels my flight?

If your flight has been bought as part of your Secret Escapes booking and is impacted by airline changes, we or your travel provider will be in contact with you to discuss options If you did not book your flights with Secret Escapes, you should check the terms and conditions of the airline you're flying with and your travel insurance policy, so you know your rights if you are prevented from travelling.

I bought a Roomer insurance policy to protect my trip and have had an email cancelling my policy. What is happening?

Secret Escapes was very disappointed not to have been consulted before Roomer emailed members, apparently reneging on its agreement. We have made repeated attempts to get updates from Roomer but no new information has been forthcoming. We will continue to press but in the meantime, we are working with all Roomer-affected bookings to offer rebooking on alternative dates, to protect those trips. If you are a Roomer-affected member and you already have preferred rebooking dates in mind, please use the form on the contact us page to notify us when you would like to travel.

Why is Secret Escapes refunding package bookings in the form of a credit and not as a charge back to my bank/credit card account?

Secret Escapes is acting in accordance with advice outlined by ABTA which recommends the refunding of package bookings into credit, with any remaining credit being converted to cash at the end of 12 months.

Can Secret Escapes help me get back from abroad if I can no longer leave my holiday destination?

At Secret Escapes, we (and our operator partners) do everything we can to help customers who encounter difficulties whilst abroad. If you do have problems during a trip, your in-country team will be focused on supporting you. Secret Escapes gained experience of this type of problem during the locking down process and the team were able to help many customers get home safely. Whilst local law dictates what happens in different countries and the FCO are best placed to offer support on the ground, we are committed to doing everything we can to help our customers.

How are you making travel safe for members?

Keeping members safe is our top priority, so all our hotel partners are committed to complying with public health policy, as directed by their local authorities. There may be differences in public health policy across regions and countries.

What impact will social distancing have on my trip?

As hotels begin to open up, some facilities may be closed or restricted to ensure customer safety. Where we know that this is the case, we reference it in the specifics of the offer. However, we expect this may change or flex over time and on a hotel-by-hotel basis, so we are advising all booked members to contact hotels before their trip to get clarity on what is and isn't accessible.



Cancellation Policy

Refundable Hotels

How do I cancel?

For 'Refundable' hotel bookings, you can cancel your booking up to 8 or 30 days before your check-in date to receive a full refund (depending on the sale you've booked). To cancel your reservation, please go to our contact us page, scroll to the bottom and select ‘Refund Request’.

If you have booked a 'Refundable' hotel booking that is now impossible due to COVID-19, we will contact you to discuss your options.

For hotel bookings, how can I tell if I have an 8 or 30-day cancellation period?

To find out the cancellation terms of your refundable booking, please check your booking confirmation. This can be found in your emails, or on your account on the Secret Escapes site.

For hotel bookings, can I cancel within 8 or 30 days of check-in?

For hotel bookings, if you are within 8 days or 30 days of check-in and therefore outside the refundable cancellation policy, it will be up to the discretion of your individual hotel if they are willing to offer a refund. Please contact your hotel directly to request this, or contact your insurance provider. Your hotel's details can be found on your booking confirmation.

If you have booked a 'Refundable' hotel booking that is now impossible due to COVID-19, we will contact you to discuss your options.

How do I change the date of my hotel only booking?

If your 'Refundable' booking is more than 8 days or 30 days away, please cancel your stay and rebook on your new dates.

If your 'Refundable' booking is less than 8 days or 30 days away, please contact the hotel directly to request a date change.

Do I have to have a COVID-19 reason to qualify for cancellation?

Not at all. While COVID-19 is the cause of some cancellations, we understand that you may need to cancel your trip for other reasons. Whatever these may be, please contact us using this form before 8 or 30 days from check-in and we will aim to get back to you as quickly as possible.



Refundable Holidays

How do I cancel?

'Refundable holidays' also carry the refundable label. However, with these deals, you can cancel your booking up to 60 days before departure to receive a full refund. To cancel your reservation, please contact the supplier directly. These details can be found on your booking confirmation.

If you have booked a 'Refundable holiday' and your trip is now impossible due to COVID-19, your supplier will contact you directly to discuss your options.

Can I still cancel if my holiday is less than 60 days away?

Between 15 and 59 days before departure, 50% of the booking is chargeable. For less than 15 days before departure. 100% of the booking is chargeable.

If you have booked a 'Refundable holiday' and your trip is now impossible due to COVID-19, your supplier will contact you directly to discuss your options.

Can I only cancel if it has to do with COVID-19?

Not at all. While COVID-19 is the cause of some cancellations, we understand that you may need to cancel your trip for other reasons. Whatever these may be, please contact us using this form and we will aim to get back to you as quickly as possible.

How do I change the date of my refundable holiday booking?

If your 'Refundable holiday' booking is more than 60 days away, please cancel your stay and rebook on your new dates. If your 'Refundable holiday' booking is less than 60 days away, please contact the supplier directly to request a date change. These details can be found on your booking confirmation.



Flexible Holidays

How do I change my dates or destination?

'Flexible' holidays and non-cancellable, but you can change the date or destination of your booking up to 60 days before departure. To change your reservation, please contact the supplier directly. These details can be found on your booking confirmation. Please note that, should costs be higher for the alternative dates or destinations selected, these must be paid at the time of amendment. All other terms and conditions apply.

If you have booked a 'Flexible holiday' and your trip is now impossible due to COVID-19, your supplier will contact you directly to discuss your options.

Can I only change the dates or destination if it has to do with COVID-19?

No - while COVID-19 is currently a main factor for our members needing to change their bookings, we understand that you may need to change your trip for a number of other reasons. Whatever these may be, please contact us and we will aim to get back to you as quickly as possible.



Customisable Holidays

What is the cancellation policy for 'Customisable' deals?

'Customisable' deals are partially refundable:

  1. If travel (flight / train / ferry) is included:
    • 29 days or more before the departure date, the cancellation cost is 35% of the holiday cost (or loss of the full deposit if higher).
    • 28 days or less before the departure date, the cancellation cost is 100% of the holiday cost.
  2. If travel (flight / train / ferry) is not included:
    • 14 days or longer before the departure date, the cancellation cost is 0%
    • Eight days to 13 days before the departure date, the cancellation cost is 50% of the holiday cost
    • Seven days or less before the departure date, the cancellation cost is 100% of the holiday cost.
Please note that for 'Customisable' bookings only the lead booker can ask us to cancel the trip or to remove one of the named customers from the booking.

How do I cancel my 'Customisable' booking?

To cancel your 'Customisable' booking, please log in to your Secret Escapes account, click on your name in the top right hand corner of the site and click on 'My Bookings'. Select your 'Customisable booking' to enter 'Your trip view'. From here, click on 'Cancel booking'. You'll then be able to see how much we can refund you based on the terms and conditions laid out above. If you still wish to proceed, please tick 'I agree with the cancellation' and we will then process this for you.

If you have booked a 'Customisable' booking and your trip is now impossible due to COVID-19, we will contact you directly to discuss your options.

Can I change my 'Customisable' booking?

To amend your 'Customisable' booking, please log in to your Secret Escapes account, click on your name in the top right hand corner of the site and click on 'My Bookings'. Select your 'Customisable' booking to enter 'Your trip view'. From here, click on 'Change booking' and enter your amend request into the free-text box, before clicking 'Request changes'. Our customer services team will review your request and contact you with options. Please understand that it is often not possible for us to do so as changes may depend on availability and the terms and conditions of our Travel Providers. Any request for a change to a confirmed booking must be made by the Lead Name on the booking and we may require this to be confirmed to us by email.



About Secret Escapes

How does Secret Escapes work?

At Secret Escapes, we think booking a holiday should be an enjoyable and stress-free experience. So we created a website where we hand-pick high quality hotels and holidays with added inclusions and curate unique offers which are available only to our members. Every day we add new inspiring travel ideas to the site and to make it even easier for you to find the perfect getaway, we'll email you with properties we think you'll love.

It's worth noting that the availability of our lowest advertised rates may be limited, so don't miss out. By carefully selecting hotels and holidays for members, Secret Escapes acts as an agent for the suppliers, tour operators and hotels featured on the site, except for 'customisable' holidays.

Why book with us?

Our ethos from day one has been to offer incredible value on luxury hotels and holidays, at home and abroad.

As a member of Secret Escapes, you can rest assured that all our luxury properties are specially selected for discerning travellers. This means that you don't have to scroll through endless average hotels to find a nice one you like. Our rates are only visible to our members, which means hotels give us great prices and added inclusions. This way you always get great rates on great travel and you don't need to shop around to find your perfect getaway. We also try to make sure that all of our members see the value of booking with us. All of our offers are hand-picked by our team of travel experts, and we always try and secure little extras, like room upgrades, spa treatments or discounts, welcome gifts or even evening meals and cream teas - anything to make your stay extra special.

What is my relationship as a customer with Secret Escapes once I’ve booked?

Here at Secret Escapes, we act as a travel agent and, for certain deals, as a tour operator to select and showcase unbeatable hotel offers and holidays around the world. Once you've made a hotel only booking on our website, your agreement is directly with the hotel: we sell their product, but it is ultimately up to them to ensure you get what you've paid for. This is also the case for package bookings with our partners, your agreement is with the supplier.

For 'customisable' and in-house Secret Escapes packages, your agreement will be with Secret Escapes. You can find your supplier information on your booking confirmation.

Where do you get your star ratings from?

Each hotel's star rating is set by an independent organisation, to reflect and classify its standard of hospitality in its own country; in the UK, these organisations are The AA, Visit Britain, Visit Scotland and Visit Wales. We carefully hand-pick the properties you see on our site, and while a five-star hotel in London may differ from a five-star hotel elsewhere in the world, we analyse reviews and feedback to ensure each property continues to meet our own high standards - and exceeds yours.



Your Account

Who can join?

Everyone, we love you all.

What do I get when I join?

We offer our members discounts on hand-picked boutique hotels and unforgettable holidays – luxury travel for less.

How often will you send me emails?

Normally, we send members a daily round-up of incredible deals. You can opt out of any Secret Escapes emails at any time – there's also a preferences selector, so you can take a break from our daily emails and just receive our weekly summary.

How can I change my newsletter subscription settings?

We understand that you may not want to hear from us all the time, especially if you have just been away. To change your subscription settings, simply log in to the site, click on your name in the top right-hand corner and select 'Subscriptions' from the drop-down menu. From here, you can choose how often you hear from us and what we send you - you can always change these back if you change your mind.

How can I change my email address?

To change your email address, log in as normal, then please click on your name in the top right-hand corner of the site and select 'Personal Details' from the drop-down list. At the bottom of this page, you can replace your current email address with your new one before clicking 'Confirm'.

How can I change my password?

To change your password, access the site using your email address only. Once you're on the site, click your name in the top right-hand corner of the page, and click on 'Forgot your password', followed by 'Reset my password'. You'll then be sent an email to your registered email address with steps to reset it.

How can I access my booking confirmation?

Once you have made your booking, we will send a booking confirmation to your registered email address. If you happen to misplace your email or, for some reason, you didn't receive one, you can access your confirmation by logging in to your account, clicking on your name in the right-hand corner of the site and selecting 'My Bookings' from the drop-down list. From here, you can either request for your booking confirmation to be resent, or print your details.

How can I add favourites to my account?

To 'favourite' a sale, simply make sure you're logged in to the site and click on the small heart in the right-hand corner of each sale card on our current sales page. To see all your favourite properties, click on 'My favourites' in the right-hand corner of the site, just under your name.

How can I set a reminder for upcoming sales?

At the bottom of the site or search results, you can see 'upcoming sales'. To set a reminder for these and ensure you secure the best dates, simply click on the 'Set reminder'. We'll then send you an email to let you know once the sale is live on the site so you don't miss out.

How can I delete my account?

To delete your account, please log in to the website, click on your name in the top right-hand corner, and select 'Personal Details' from the drop down menu. At the bottom of this page, please click on 'Delete my account'. We'll be sad to see you go.



Vouchers

How can I buy a gift voucher?

To treat a globetrotting loved one to the gift of travel, head over to our gift voucher page , select the amount you wish to purchase and choose which format you'd like to buy it in; either a sleek, physical gift card, or for last-minute panics, an online e-voucher.

How can I add a gift voucher to my account?

To redeem your gift voucher, sign in to the site, click on your name in the top right-hand corner, and select 'Gift Vouchers' from the drop-down menu. You will be able to enter the code displayed on your gift card or e-voucher into the box, before clicking on 'Redeem voucher'. Your redeemed voucher will then appear below and the credit will automatically be added to your account.

How do I pay with a voucher?

Once you have added your gift voucher to your account, it will appear in your 'Credits' section. These credits will be automatically applied to your booking when you check out.

How do I send a voucher to someone as a present?

When purchasing a gift voucher, you'll have the choice to either send it as a 'Presentation gift card', or for last-minute purchases, as an e-voucher. You'll be asked to either add a home address for the gift card or an email address for the e-voucher. Please allow five working days for the gift card to arrive.

Can I spend more than the value of my voucher?

Of course! If the total cost of your holiday is greater than the value of the gift card, the remaining balance can be paid via another payment method.

My gift voucher has expired - what shall I do?

Most of our vouchers have a year validity. If your gift voucher has expired, you will unfortunately no longer be able to use it as a valid payment option. However, if you feel you have extenuating circumstances, please contact our customer services team using our contact us form.



Credit Referrals

Where can I find my credit?

To find your credit, simply log in to your account, click on your name in the top right-hand corner of the page and select 'Credits' from the drop-down menu. Please note, to use your credit on a 'Customisable' package, please use the contact us form so that our customer services team can help you with this.

How do I share Secret Escapes with my friends?

We love it when our members share their inspiring trips with family and friends - so much so that we offer booking credit for any successful referral (that is, when your referral link is used to sign up to Secret Escapes). You'll receive £5 credit when five people join, £25 credit when 25 join, and £50 credit when 50 join. We'll even gift you £25 credit for each initial purchase your friends make with us. To find your unique referral link, simply log in to the site, and click on 'Invite friends' in the top right hand corner of the site.

What happens if more than one person recommends Secret Escapes to someone, who gets the £25 credit?

The person eligible for the £25 credit is the one whose email and referral link were used by a new member to sign up with us.

Will there be a cash alternative to £25 credit for recommending a friend?

No - the £25 credit can only be used towards purchases on Secret Escapes, and cannot be exchanged for cash.



Our Deals

What are the different types of hotel and holiday offers you sell?

We have a range of different products on the site to meet the needs of our members at such an uncertain time. Each different product type can be identified by a coloured icon on the site:

Refundable

This collection of hand-picked hotels around the world are fully refundable up to 8 days or 30 days before check-in. They don't include travel, but often include added inclusions, such as dinner, spa treatments, wellness discounts and more. For more information, please check the offer details of your favourite offer.

Refundable Holidays

With these package deals with travel included, you can cancel up to 60 days before departure to receive a full refund. They are provided to us by trusted third-party suppliers and tour operators. For more information, please check the offer details of your favourite offer.

Flexible Holidays

With these package deals with travel included, you can change the date or destination of travel up to 60 days before departure. They are provided to us by trusted third-party suppliers and tour operators. For more information, please check the offer details of your favourite offer.

Customisable

With our 'Customisable' range, you can choose the dates, hotel and flight times to suit you. These deals are partially refundable and are operated by Secret Escapes. Please check our cancellation policy section or the offer details of your favourite offer for more information.

How do you calculate the price and the discounts?

All of our sales are sold at members-only rates. The top rate advertised is the highest possible saving you can achieve with a particular offer and usually represents the lowest price you could pay. The 'up to' price reductions are valid when the sale goes live.

We advertise the price after checking and re-checking our rates numerous times before a sale goes 'live'. When a sale begins, we always ensure that our 'lead-in' rate - the price advertised at the top of the offer page - constitutes at least 10% of our total number of available dates for that sale.

Naturally, this leading 'best' rate advertised is usually the most popular, and often sells out before the remaining dates. Therefore, you may notice that a few days after the sale goes live, we're advertising a slightly higher 'lead' rate. This is only when the original rates have sold out. Full details on how our prices are calculated are available in the 'Offer details' section of each individual offer.

You should note that packages - offers that include travel - are priced per person, not per room.

Can I book a single room?

Single rates are sometimes available for selected hotels. To find out whether we offer single occupancy rates on the hotel or holiday you're interested in booking, click on the 'Offer details' section for the offer you want to book and navigate to the 'Single Policy' tab. Here, you'll find out whether we have single occupancy rates for that specific hotel.

All of our deals can also be booked for one traveller.

Does the hotel allow pets?

Some hotels we offer are happy to have furry friends accompany you on your trip. This information can usually be found in the 'Offer details' or 'Good to know' sections of the hotel sale. You'll either see a sentence saying 'This hotel is pet-friendly subject to availability', or 'Pets are not allowed in this hotel.' Regardless, we recommend contacting the hotel directly before you book, to ensure that your pet will be allowed to stay, in order to avoid potential disappointment.

Can I bring the whole family?

Sometimes our hotels give you the option to bring the family along with you, and this information can be found in the 'Offer details' section, under the 'Sleeps how many?' tab. You can also find out quickly by looking at how many people icons are shown on the offer, next to the words 'Sleeps up to'. Often an infant can be brought along free of charge, but children over a specified age will usually require an additional bed (this may come at an additional cost) - please be aware that at least one adult is usually required in the room. Unfortunately, due to occupancy rates, it is not possible to book adjoining rooms.

Are your hotels and holidays accessible for members with disabilities?

The easiest way to find out if a hotel is accessible, or has provisions for your particular needs, is to contact the hotel directly. This also applies to holidays provided by our trusted third party suppliers. In some situations, a supplier may be able to adapt a tour to your particular needs, but unfortunately this cannot be guaranteed. If you need information on whether a Secret Escapes 'customisable' package is accessible, please fill in the form , stating your query in as much detail as possible, and we will do our best to find a solution for you.

How do I know how much luggage is included?

For holidays with travel included, you'll be able to find the included luggage allowance in the offer bullet points, in the offer details and in the 'Travel details' tab for each sale.

Can I add on a special request?

We know that many of you are travelling to celebrate a special occasion and we'd love to help you to add the finishing touches. We recommend contacting your hotel or holiday supplier directly with your request, as they are best placed to make the magic happen.



Deposit Deals

What is a 'deposit-only' offer?

A ‘deposit-only’ offer means you can spread the cost of your break by paying only the deposit upfront – the remaining balance is then payable at a later date before you travel. This enables our members access to more amazing holidays, because planning and paying for a holiday can take time.

Why can't I pay the full amount?

Some of our trips are 'deposit-only' holidays to give our members the chance to secure an inspiring holiday without having to pay the full amount up front. The remaining balance is due at a later date and is to be paid directly to the holiday supplier (for bookings with our partners) or to Secret Escapes (for 'Customisable' deals or Secret Escapes packages). The exact payment date will be stated on your booking confirmation. You are welcome to pay the balance before the due date if you contact the supplier or Secret Escapes directly. The supplier details can be found in your booking confirmation.

What happens if I don't pay the rest of the money by the time it's due?

To offer members the best range of package holidays, we both operate our own trips and work with selected trusted partners. For package bookings operated for us by partners , you'll pay a deposit to Secret Escapes, the operator will then liaise with you directly before you travel regarding the remaining balance. This is a non-refundable deposit, meaning if you don't pay the additional balance, you'll lose the deposit. For 'Refundable holidays' , if your booking is cancelled due to travel restrictions, you deposit will be refunded. For 'Customisable' package bookings:

  1. If travel (flight / train / ferry) is included:
    • 29 days or more before the departure date, the cancellation cost is 35% of the holiday cost (or loss of the full deposit if higher).
    • 28 days or less before the departure date, the cancellation cost is 100% of the holiday cost.
  2. If travel (flight / train / ferry) is not included:
    • 14 days or longer before the departure date, the cancellation cost is 0%
    • Eight days to 13 days before the departure date, the cancellation cost is 50% of the holiday cost
    • Seven days or less before the departure date, the cancellation cost is 100% of the holiday cost
Please note that for 'Customisable' bookings only the lead booker can ask us to cancel the trip or to remove one of the named customers from the booking.

What does paying the deposit guarantee me?

Paying the deposit secures a place for you – it's as simple as that. Once a deposit has been paid, you have entered into a legal contract with the tour operator or Secret Escapes (for 'customisable' bookings) and must follow their T Cs – just as you would if you had paid the full cost upfront.

How do I pay the balance?

The supplier or Secret Escapes will contact you when the balance is due – you will pay the remaining balance directly to the supplier or Secret Escapes, depending on the package type you have booked.

If the deadline for my second payment is due but I am still unsure if I can travel, do I need to pay this or can it be extended?

Once you've paid for the first part of your holiday to Secret Escapes, the supplier, tour operator or Secret Escapes will liaise with you directly before you travel regarding the remaining balance. Any extension regarding the remaining balance will be at the discretion of the supplier, tour operator or Secret Escapes. Please bear in mind that deposits are non-refundable, meaning if you decide not to pay the remaining balance, you will lose the deposit.



Booking

I don't live in the UK, can I make a booking with you?

You can - if you live in one of the other territories in which we operate. We have sites in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. You can also find most of the Secret Escapes sales on the TravelBird website, which operates in all of these countries plus Austria and Finland.

Why can't I see your prices?

You need to be logged in to see our prices. Once you are logged in and have selected the offer that's caught your eye, the price should appear to the right of the images, with the full details of the offer.

How do I buy?

You can buy just as you would on any other travel website. Simply find your favourite offer, select your preferred dates and click the 'Book' button. You'll then be sent to the booking page where you can add your payment details and purchase the offer.

What payments methods do you have available?

Members can pay for their booking using credit or debit card (Visa, Maestro, Mastercard accepted) or via PayPal. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept bank transfers or American Express payments.

What fees are included in the total price?

We do our best to keep fees and taxes to a minimum, but sometimes we have to charge a booking fee. If a booking fee applies, it will be included in the prices you see on our website, and will be shown in the breakdown in your booking confirmation.

What is the booking fee?

A booking fee is an administrative fee charged by Secret Escapes when you pay for your hotel or holiday with us. This fee helps us provide customer support and helps us cover the cost of transactions on our website.

I need help to make my booking

If you need a hand with your booking, drop us a line on our contact us page and one of our customer services team will be happy to help.

Can I add someone to my booking?

If you wish to add someone to your booking, please use our contact us page to provide more detail. Our customer services team will then be in touch to let you know if it's possible to add someone and to provide a quote and options for you to proceed with.

Will I require a visa to go on holiday?

Some countries will require UK nationals to arrange a visa before travelling. For up to date information, please visit the country's government website. Please make sure you have arranged all the necessary travel documentation before travelling.

Will Brexit affect my holiday plans?

To stay informed about how the UK leaving the EU could affect you when travelling in Europe and the steps you need to take, please visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

Do I need to book travel insurance?

We would always recommend you book travel insurance whenever you book a break. We understand that travel insurance is the least glamorous aspect of buying a holiday, but it is one of the most important steps in ensuring your holiday is a great success. We recommend that all of our members purchase adequate travel insurance for the type of trip they book - whether it's a foreign holiday or a UK break. Depending on your level of protection (and we'd always recommend a comprehensive plan), travel insurance covers you against cancellations, healthcare, family emergency, baggage loss, supplier failure and a whole host of other potential issues. It’s always best to be on the safe side...



Package Bookings

Am I covered by ATOL?

Secret Escapes is required by law to ensure that we sell packages (holidays with travel included) that are financially protected. So, if you've bought a package holiday with us, you are covered. Where you have purchased a package that includes flights, you will be protected under the ATOL scheme and you will receive an ATOL certificate with your booking confirmation. You will find the appropriate ATOL reference number of the relevant tour operator on your travel documentation, and in the 'Offer details' section of the holiday you have booked. If you have purchased a 'Customisable' package that does not include a flight, your money will be protected in a trust account managed by Serenity Travel Trusts until your holiday is over. If you've booked a hotel-only deal with us (with no travel included) you are NOT covered by ATOL. You should take out adequate travel insurance. Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But, ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for more information about financial protection. Read more information about ATOL certificates.

My holiday includes flights - when do I get my exact flight times?

We always strive to ensure our members have all the information they need ahead of booking with us, and will display the latest, most accurate travel times as supplied to us by our tour operator for our partner packages. However, exact travel times are unfortunately out of our control and may be subject to change according to the tour operator's terms and conditions. Once your booking has been confirmed, you will receive updates about your final travel times from the tour operator directly. If you book one of our in-house 'Customisable' packages, you'll be able to choose flight times that suit you. For more information, please see our terms and conditions.

I’m not happy with the flight times I’ve been given - what can I do?

As we're usually acting on behalf of a supplier or tour operator when offering holidays that include flights, we cannot control the flight times or offer alternatives ourselves. If you've booked a holiday through us with one of our trusted partners and are not satisfied with the times of travel, but these are as was advertised when you made your booking, we are unfortunately not able to help further. If, however, the flight times have changed since you placed your booking and do not fall within the suggested parameters, please contact the supplier or tour operator directly. If you book one of our in-house 'Customisable' packages, you'll be able to choose flight times that suit you.



Customer Services

How can I get in contact with Secret Escapes?

There is a high volume of customer enquiries at this time, so please use the form on the contact us page to reach us. This form has been designed in response to COVID-19 to give us all the information we need to respond to you quickly and efficiently. Please submit one form per booking. All enquiries are prioritised by date of travel. If you submit an enquiry, please monitor your email (including spam folders) and voicemail.

How can I leave feedback for you?

We really value our members feedback and we want to hear about your experience with us, good or bad. To send us your comments, please use our contact us page and a member of our customer services team will be in touch as soon as possible.

Who should I contact in case of problems before, during and after my trip?

If you have any queries or concerns during your trip, please speak to a hotel representative or your tour operator directly for the speediest resolution; do also get in touch with us so we can assist you to the best of our ability. If you have any concerns about a new booking, feedback about your holiday experience or you have a query about a Secret Escapes package, please let us know by filling in the form on our contact us page

What if I have a complaint while I’m away?

If you're unhappy with any aspect of your hotel or holiday, please take this issue up with the hotel management, your tour operator or the resort representative directly. They will be able to address any issue you may have on site, and we will assist you as much as possible with reaching a satisfying resolution. In rare cases, you may feel that we did not accurately advertise a hotel or holiday, and that you did not receive what you bought. Again, please start by notifying the hotel management, tour operator or resort representative for a speedy resolution. Of course, please also contact us with your feedback by using the form on our contact us page - we're here to provide you with a truly enjoyable luxury escape, and we need to know if you feel we haven't done this. If you have an issue with any booked travel, such as delays or cancellations, please contact the tour operator directly or Secret Escapes if it's a 'customisable' package; an emergency contact number will be provided on your booking confirmation.

If I contact Secret Escapes, will I receive acknowledgement, even if there is not a final resolution?

We understand that it can be frustrating to have to wait for answers regarding your questions or concerns. If you have an ongoing case with our Customer Service team, they will endeavour to keep you informed regularly regarding the progress of your case. The length of time between contact, and progress towards a final resolution may depend on the complexity of your query and your departure date. Whatever happens, we will try our hardest to have your query resolved as soon as we possibly can.

How do I know an email is from Secret Escapes?

In this day and age it can be difficult to tell when a communication from a company is genuine, so here's how you'll know it's us: All communications from Secret Escapes will come from 'Secret Escapes'. If you have made a booking, your booking confirmation will come from service@email.secretescapes.se and will hold your transaction ID. If you have contacted our Customer Service team, the communication will come from a @secretescapes.com address for UK-based members.

At the bottom of the communication, you will find the following sentence: 'Secret Escapes Ltd a company registered in England Wales under number 07026107, registered office 120 Holborn, London, EC1N2TD © Secret Escapes 2020' Emails from us will often have a Secret Escapes header. We will never ask you to make a payment via Email or SMS.

Where can I get a VAT invoice?

For hotel and package bookings with our trusted partners, Secret Escapes acts as an agent between the customer and the hotel or tour operator, and therefore cannot issue an invoice for a sale made by the hotel or tour operator. Should you require an invoice displaying the VAT paid, this can only be obtained directly from the hotel, which, legally, is the entity that provided the service for you. Of course, through our selection of partners, we always try to ensure that customers receive an invoice at check-out. However, Secret Escapes is first and foremost a portal for leisure travellers, which is why individual hotels may not issue an invoice displaying the VAT for business travel. Unfortunately in this case, Secret Escapes cannot intervene because of its intermediary role. Secret Escapes can only issue a separate invoice displaying the VAT for either Customisable bookings (where Secret Escapes is the tour operator) or for any applicable booking fees or card surcharge. To obtain this, please fill out our contact form.