Well, we are into a new year, and we hope a sunny new season for you all as visitors too the islands, but covid remains.
After the first lockdown in 2020, we re-opened the Lewis Longhouse a month after the Scottish government advised it was safe to do so. We spend time making sure we were ready to implementing new safety measures and to do some things differently over coming months as we played our part in safeguarding against covid-19.
That hasn't changed as we look forward to moving out of the latest lockdown into the rest of 2021 - our team has worked hard with all new measures, guests have been comfortable with the few changes in how we do things - so you can be confident to enjoy an island break away,
In this new post-covid era, we added to our already excellent cleaning standards to assure you as prospective guests that our Lewis Longhouse is as safe as possible. The Longhouse has always maintained the highest housekeeping standards, commented upon by many guests, before and since we re-opened. All cleaning, and now disinfecting too, before guests arrive adheres to Government cleaning protocols to minimise risk to yourselves, our housekeeping team and our local community. We've used the best of cleaning guidance available to us.
The islands remain cautious in re-opening and adjusting to these constantly changing times. We ask for your understanding as we get used to it all. Our Cancellation terms are as flexible as we can make them to do the right thing for our guests and our local community as travel restrictions continue to change.
This year more than any other, you have a part to play in helping everything run smoothly by respecting local customs, the islands' environment, and the latest Scottish Government guidance while out and about. The beaches, moors and coast will be open as always but some tourist facilities, restaurants, activities and attractions may not re-open this year.
But, we remain very happy to help guests however we can in planning your holiday so you enjoy your stay on Lewis to the full. You will still get our warm Hebridean welcome, albeit from a social distance!
Linda & Paul x
The cleanliness of our home has always been paramount to us. We have long adopted a deep-clean approach often noted by guests. Now we have developed new cleaning plans for enhanced cleaning regimes and review our Risk Assessment regularly following the latest advice and working with the team. Our team is small and will work at a distance from each other around the house, wearing PPE where appropriate. We have always provided cleaning products which do not contain bleach and guests will be welcome to use these freely.
We will take extra care of high-touch surfaces, from door handles and light switches to kettle and crockery. We will also ensure the cleanliness standards against a rigorous checklist. Bedlinen and towels are laundered to the highest standards and in accordance with the latest virus-control procedures. We will have enough pillows, cushions, duvets and other decorative soft furnishings to alternate them week on week for guests, bagging and storing in between to eliminate the virus.
Guests are welcome to arrive after 4pm on the arrival day, while departure is by 10am on the final day. For now, we will have to ask guests to strictly adhere to departure and arrival times as housekeeping team will be hard at work then to clean the house for your arrival.
Guests and housekeeper do not need to meet. Keys are collected from our keysafe for a contactless arrival and keys/safe will be carefully disinfected. We may offer a socially distanced welcome from our housekeeper after you have settled in. Otherwise, at minimum, she will call to ensure you are settled in and to check all is in order.
Indoors, we maintain our usual high standards of decor and facilities. All kitchenware and crockery is dish-washed between each group of guests but not sanitised so you may wish to rewash items in hot, soapy water before use. Kitchen gadgets not used frequently will be kept in the utility room cupboards so you know to clean before use. To help with our efforts to protect everyone, we must ask guests to strip their beds, remove rubbish to the bins and open a few windows to let fresh air to help keep the house covid-secure between guests.
The Lewis Longhouse is well equipped with shelves of books, along with dvds, board games and local information leaflets. We have kept these available, but as we won't be able to sanitise each individual item during a changeover, tdvds, board games and leaflets stay in their storage box upstairs and we ask guests to sanitise before use and wash their hands after. Important information about the property is mailed to guests in advance and also left on a tablet in the house.
Please note: We have long adopted a deep-clean approach between all guests. Now we do this with viricidal cleaners and disinfectants certified to eliminate, and defend against, Coronavirus. And we follow a strict cleaning protocol throughout the house to make the most of these. Our first Covid risk assessment has helped inform this cleaning protocol.
Some useful guidance for visitors: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-consumers/pages/tourism-and-hospitality/
The Longhouse, on the Isle of Lewis, is set low on the hillside 50m walk from the beach with wide, uninterrupted views east, south and west. Soak up the views and watch the skies change through floor-to-ceiling windows, south over the bay and reeds beds, east to stunning sunrises over that bay or west to a sunset over the moors.