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Booking Conditions

One thing to understand: Fire

The Dome Garden Domes are rented out as self-catering units with wood burning stoves for heating water & space and various wood burning devices for cooking a making tea.
Whilst we will give you every assistance to make your wood-fired adventures as safe and successful as possible, there are limits. If you do not feel comfortable controlling either a fire, yourself, your children or your fellow companions please book into the Lodge Rooms where you can experience almost everything that the domes have to offer but without the fires. Either that or just don’t light the fires.

We can take NO responsibility for any accidents incurred as a result of careless use of stoves and fire pits – not for generally silly behaviour. You MUST look after yourselves and your children who may not be accustomed to either the fires or the woodland environment. You must not light fires after excessive amounts of alcohol or drugs (well, other than aspirin!)
If you have any questions about this then please call and we will talk you through it.

1. Bookings and payments.
All bookings are dealt with by email, by hand. For clarity, and to avoid confusion or doubt, booking emails will be prepared according to the details submitted by you via email. So, please check your booking email carefully to ensure you are coming to the right accommodation on the right day.
A non-refundable, initial payment of around 50% of the total cost of your stay must be made within 2 days of the date on your booking email. Failure to transfer funds will result in your accommodation risking being re-let.

If you decide against it – once we have gone to all the trouble to prepare your invoice, book you in, change all the colours on our spreadsheet, send you loads of emails and generally sort it all out (no pressure there then!) – please remember, it would be courteous to tell us you have changed your mind, rather than letting it flail about in the wind until we next scour the bookings to see who’s bailed. This is not an automatic system and we are human and we do get upset – so we do now have a list of people who have behaved badly in this respect! They are unlikely to find themselves a priority next time!

Once you have paid your ‘Non-Refundable booking deposit’, your accommodation will be taken off the list and the remaining payment must be settled at least 8 weeks before your stay. You will also be liable for the second payment after 8 weeks before your stay. The balance is also non-refundable – unless we can relet your space should you cancel. If you don’t cough up within a reasonable time of the second payment deadline, again, your accommodation will be put up to be re-let and there will be no refund of your deposit. We will eventually send you a reminder and try to get it out of you one way or another – and we are very reasonable – but there do have to be limits.
Obviously, in the case of a stay booked within 8 weeks the whole amount becomes due at the time of booking to confirm your stay.
We do reserve the right to refuse a booking for any reason that we won’t necessarily disclose (but in practice it will only be if we have good reason to think you might behave badly! )

2. Early Parole for Bad Behaviour.
Talking of bad behaviour, please be nice when you are here. We will be and you’ll find all our other guests will be too – so we expect you to return the compliment. Anything less and the risk of early release from The Dome Garden, with no refund, looms darkly over your head.

3. Cancellations.
The 50% booking deposit is non refundable, as is the second payment – which means what it says on the tin. So we won’t give it back if you cancel and you will still have to pay the second amount if you cancel after the 8 week deadline.

Obviously, if you pay for your stay but don’t turn up we won’t give you your money back either.

“OOCH!” you may say.” That’s all a bit harsh!” Well, unlike many hotels, it is not our policy to overbook. That means, if we think we are full, we will turn people away. At the peak of the summer season we can be doing that at the rate of about 20 people a day! We don’t have a waiting list, which means we can’t get them back so, if you don’t follow through, we all lose!!

Finally if, heaven forbid, we are forced to cancel your booking for any reason – and it will be a very serious reason – then the limit of our liability will be the amount you have paid for the holiday.

We will be upset. You will be upset.

But please remember sometimes these things happen and if they do we will have done everything humanly possible to avoid it and it really will have been a last resort. On the two occasions it has happened (in Seven years and nearly 10,000 bookings) we have begged forgiveness on our knees and offered extraordinarily favourable rates for a return attempt!

4. Group bookings
Well-behaved small groups of up to 20 are always welcome at the Dome Garden but there are a couple of ground rules. This section has got bigger following busy seasons with lots of groups (and equally applies to all our guests) so here goes…

  1. Do not come if you want to make a tons of noise. That’s quite important.
    The site is not very big, so lots of jumping around may well impact on anyone else sleeping in the nearby domes.
  2. If you are a very big group – i.e. over 30 – you will need to book the whole site, otherwise other guests will feel swamped.
  3. For all groups using two or more domes, to keep the site invigorated and to avoid the aforementioned swamping effect, we do ask you to include two of our lovely cafe meals for each person – most people opt for pizza night and one breakfast. The food is very nice and better value than any of our neighbours – so we hope it’s not a hardship.
  4. Hen nights and Stag nights and birthday parties. We don’t have anything against Hens or Stags per se but, whilst there is lots to do during the day, there are no big city attractions for hens or stags late into the evening.
    The site works perfectly for the “busy, active day followed by quiet glass of wine around the fire” type of hen or stag or birthday weekend but absolutely not the right place for the “get drunk, start singing and run about late at night!” type of weekend.
  5. No decorating, daubing or dragging along anything inappropriate or inflatable. You might think it’s awfuly funny but…
  6. There is a planning restriction on amplified music across the site. We may have been a bit unclear about this in the past. This means no amplified music across the site… (and yes that includes ipod docks…)
  7. At night, noise travels far enough to disturb our neighbours (about 200 metres away through the woods). You will therefore need to be quiet outside from much after 11pm – and behave like mice, inside the domes, by midnight. (Which doesn’t mean chew on the curtains)
  8. You need to respect the domes and treat them properly (which also means don’t chew on the curtains!). Do not alter the structure of the domes or interfere with any of the hanging mechanisms of any of the beds or the bolts that hold the whole thing together.
  9. Bring your Mum. Or at least imagine you have done. It might give you some perspective on how to behave.
  10. Make sure you’re all up for it and tell people what they’re letting themselves in for. If the idea of lighting a fire to make a cup of tea in the morning fills all your pals with horror, you’re not going to have any fun are you?

5. Prices
The pricing policy at the Dome Garden is to make prices comparable to those of our competitors in the Glamping Fraternity! Which means all the better Yurt Villages and some other specialist outdoor campsites. The only thing we’ve done is add a little premium for the ensuite facilities that we think are worth every penny.
Our prices are, to all intents and purposes, inclusive so they include:

  1. your dome.
  2. a starter pack of firewood for stoves and fires.
  3. bed linen (but not towels) for the number of people you have booked for,
  4. eggs from chickens. Again on a fair use policy – and only if they’re laying and only if you can find them, and only if the kids in the other tent haven’t nicked them all at 5am! Although there are less chickens than guests most of the time… (luckily!)
  5. booking fees
  6. late arrival fees (yes, some people do charge for being stuck in traffic!)
  7. making your bed fee (that’s the best one – £5 a head in one place we know of)
  8. per person add ons and alteration fees, (what?)
  9. personal visitor charges (stop it)
  10. any other sneaky little charges that you suddenly end up with elsewhere.
  11. Anything else we can think of from time to time – or you might even suggest – which might make your stay better and that we can provide without much cost – like baby changing facilities and sterilisers or baby monitors and phone chargers.

6. Not included

  • Cleaning. The domes and the kitchen equipment will be clean and lovely when you arrive. And we do hope you will leave them like that when you leave. If you don’t it will still be cleaned by our staff when you go but we will levy a cleaning charge if you leave an excessively dirty dome (£25) and another (£15) if you don’t clean the kitchen equipment.
    There will be yet another fee if you attempt to re-hang the beds, tamper with the rigging (removing any nuts or bolts – yes, people do) or move all the furniture to another dome because your friends are there!
  • Rubbish. Recycling is a big deal In the Forest Of Dean. By order of the local council, all rubbish must be sorted and taken to the recycling centre around the corner. We can help with bags, as well as advice on how to do it, but if you choose to leave your rubbish with us, there is a £25 charge per sorted bag. If it’s just all dumped in one bag there is another £25 charge for us to do it instead – which we think is reasonable because it’s a really horrible job!
  • Damage. If you break things, we do expect you to pay for them unless they are very small. Sorry! So please tell us if anything goes wrong. If we think it is our fault we’ll pay – if it’s yours we’ll expect you to fork out!
  • Towels. Oh how many people forget towels every year? This is one of those things we decided not to stock. Given the nature of the site they would probably be used for anything but cleaning hands by the end of a weekend. So do try and remember them – or it’s air drying for you!

7. Extras
Whilst we want to include as much as possible we also want you to be able to get other things you need. So, these can all be added directly to you bill and charged to your card when you leave:

  1. Breakfast and lots of other meals. Preferably with some notice but also on the day if you are feeling peckish and we have room – and food.
  2. Pizzas from our fabulous pizza oven which you can make yourself (pizzas that is not the oven). Two days of the week normally – currently Tuesday and Saturday. It’s not free but not dear either.

8. Cash
We hate cash. So when you arrive we will ask to swipe a credit or debit card pre-authorisation (£250)to cover any incidental costs along the way. You can then use this for anything from internet shopping, to cuddly toys or a bottle of Dome Perignon. It covers more regular stuff like breakfast too.
That way you don’t have to keep producing a card or a wallet every five minutes and you might actually feel like you are on holiday!

9. American Express?
Nope, too expensive as it costs us a fortune. Or so we thought! But it’s not true, so yes, Don’t Leave Home Without It – but like all credit card payments here we’ll stick you for the coommission 3% on normal cards and a whopping 4% on AmEx. Debit card anyone?

10. Pets
Pets love chickens – some even like munching little kids. So, sadly, no dogs! Honestly, so please dont be cross with us. Every dog that’s ever made it past the gate goes for the chickens.

11. Alteration costs
If, after confirmation of the booking, you would like to make some alterations, we’ll do our best to accommodate whatever you have in mind. If it’s less than you originally booked we might be reluctant to give you anything back as it might fall into the cancellation bracket. Whatever it is, talk to us. There’s normally a solution.

12. Where are we?
Head West ‘til sunset – as it says on the website. We accept this is not really very helpful – especially if you are in Wales. But we’re a bit cagey about where we are for everyone’s benefit. Mile End will get you close but everyone gets directions with the booking so, as with the Amex Card, “dont leave home without it. etc etc

If you’re coming from the East the best way is via Gloucester and then Huntley (on the A40) which avoids a toll on the Severn bridge and is the prettiest route.
From the West you come up through Monmouth and turn right up into the Forest of Dean past Coleford and then do a bit of a shimmy. From the North, M50 and Ross is the route. Proper details can be found here.

13. Coming and going
If all has gone to plan we will be expecting you, so no vouchers or tickets or anything like that. If there is a problem we can identify it very quickly. You will need to produce a credit card/ debit card or in extreme cases a wedge of cash (£200) as a security deposit. If the Dome’s ready then anytime after lunch should be ok but as a rule aim for 4.00pm. Either way let us know your plans before you arrive and we’ll clairfy the position. The worst case will be you can go off and explore for an hour or two while we sort things out.
On the way out, 10.30 is reasonable – lunchtime is pushing it – especially if we have lots of other people coming in.

14. Bring your guitar?
There’s a very nice fire pit in the middle of the garden just below the pizza oven and we are huge supporters of acoustic music. So, if you have an instrument and want to play – either to yourself or for the benefit of others – then you’re welcome to bring it along. There’s definitely a free glass of wine in it for you (or a slice of pizza if you’re lucky enough to be under age) – two if you’re any good!

Singing doesn’t happen every week, far from it, and this is not Butlins, so don’t expect us to don our Red Coats and break into song for you, but when it does crop up we love it and it can go on until 11pm. So, if you hate music and chatting and stuff like that – or you believe your children should be protected from it at all costs – just ask for the far domes when you book. Either that or think about a week in a monastery.

15. Force majeure
We don’t really like this bit but it has to be in here! If the implementation of the agreement is entirely or partially, temporarily or permanently, prevented due to circumstances beyond the control of Dome Garden, including but not limited to threat of war, staff strikes, blockades, fire, floods and other disruptions or events then you don’t get anything back and you can’t complain! If that does happen we’ll be having a worse time than you anyway!

If it was within our control then we will say sorry and give you your money back. If at all possible we’ll also try and fix whatever it was that went wrong in some way – although we’re just guessing about what that might be now aren’t we?

16. Liability
We accept no liability for theft, loss or damage, of whatever nature, during or as a result of a stay at Dome Garden.
This is particularly important relating to bikes – You must bring a proper lock for your bike and you must use it all over the forest. There are thousands of bikes in this neck of the woods and as a result the whole area is a target for bike thieves. So, if yours is particularly tempting, you will need to protect it.
We are in the process of designing bike safe bars but in the meantime you must take responsibility for them – especially if they are hired from someone else. And never, ever, leave them in the carpark while you just “pop back in” for something. There’s every chance it won’t be there when you get back.

17. Complaints
If, despite all our best efforts, you have reason to be unhappy you must first talk to the duty manager and give them a chance to fix the problem. They will bend over backwards to remedy the situation – if that’s not far enough then you can address the management through and we (I) will take the matter up personally.
But be warned if you don’t follow this simple procedure there will be no offers of refunds or compensation. So don’t go home all smiley and then write to us later to say you were unhappy!

18. internet review sites
We need to be very clear about this. We do not pay for positive reviews on the various review sites. Nor do we pay people not to post negative reviews. We find it particularly unpleasant to be blackmailed with threats of negative reviews in exchange for refunds to spurious complaints… (Yes, it has happened. So we now have a policy of pursuing people through the courts who first ask for money and then post negative reviews which are either exaggerated, distorted or downright non existent. Grrr…)

19. Assumption of Risks.
Remember that you will be lighting fires and staying in the heart of a big forest with many potential risks (and delights, it has to be said) so you must take care of yourself, your companions and your children. If you are cycling, climbing trees or just wandering in the forest be careful, keep aware and don’t get lost.
It is your responsibility to supervise any children. You might consider taking out travel insurance against the risk of accidents and your stay being cut short. Especially if you are not a UK resident…

20. Day visitors
You’re welcome to bring the odd person in to admire your Dome but you must let the Manager know of their presence and they must leave at the end of the day. If they don’t we may charge them an overnight fee. (Oooh!)

21. All here?
There may occasionally be things that, through no fault of our own, we can’t provide that we said we would. (We might also add things we haven’t mentioned too) We will therefore not guarantee that everything on the website will always be here. Most practically that means the chickens have been eaten by foxes – as unfortunately happened at the beginning of 2014(eek!) and again at the end of the 2017 season) – or, in times of extreme drought, outside fires will be temporarily suspended. In the most extreme cases it may mean – clearly for some bizarre reason – we may have a reason to cancel your booking or a part of it. In 2012 one of our dome covers was badly damaged by a freak storm so we had to cancel someone’s weekend. In such cases not only will we have tried everything imaginable to find a solution, but we will be deeply sorry too. However, our liability will be limited to a pro rata refund for time you were unable to be here and will not allow for any consequential loses on your side…

22. Where’s everybody gone?
Just occasionally, despite our best efforts at 100% occupancy, it may be quiet here. In fact you and your companions may be the only humans in the garden. It doesn’t happen in the holiday seasons but in odd midweeks just off the peak seasons there are occasional islands of calm. We love it like that and if you do too, try asking when you book and we’ll be able to tell you when it is most likely to happen! No guarantees but it’s worth a go.

23. Lastly
As with our sister company, Simply Yurts, there is a final condition of booking that all our guests do their utmost, whilst they are here, to have the nicest time possible in this unique and beautiful place.

The Head Gardeneer
Dome Garden

Instagram: @thedomegarden