Regret No Day Visitors

Dear Jill and Joe Public

Yes, unfortunately we have had to close our gate to day visitors. This was after very careful consideration and after just one-too-many problems. What is interesting is that our regular guests have supported this move entirely.

So, why would we seem to be so unaccommodating and so inhospitable? After all, a potential day visitor could be a potential guest.

Well, to begin with, to try and control the number of visitors each day we implemented a R50 charge per car and we limited the number of vehicles to 5 at any one time. But sadly even with this measure in place, the day visitors didn’t really play a fair game.

On arrival at our gate day visitors are informed that facilities are for in-house guests only. But, this didn’t stop families from taking their picnics and setting up camp at the swimming pool. Or having large children jumping and breaking the playground equipment. Or packing their rods and enjoying a bit of trout fishing! While this seems so arbitrary, when it happens time and time again, and impinges on our own guests’ experiences, then something does have to change. Consider too that many day visitors come into the resort, log into the free Wi-Fi, take over the lounges and aren’t really even aware of their infringement on someone else’s stay.

We also ran a Snack Menu for some time. During our peak periods we are feeding well over 180 people 3 meals per day. Approximately 140 adult eaters, about 25 under 6’s and about 50 staff. Our kitchen is incredibly busy and when day visitors didn’t get their snack menu order in 20 minutes many would huff and puff and disappear without paying the bill. So, it is important to really focus on what you do and do that well. We aren’t in the fast food business and we needed to stop complicating systems and ensure our own guests were well fed and watered.

But, the final straw came when a day visitor family arrived at The Cavern and to start their merry day, they had a short walk through the Forest. They then proceeded to the dining room and helped themselves to the lunch buffet. When the Head Waiter spoke to them, they brushed him off saying they were staying in Room 65. A very nice looking family, well-dressed, with grandparents and parents and children. They then shopped at our small curio store and it was only after I challenged them on the lawn did they finally admit that they were actually not in-house guests and that they would pay for the meal they’d just taken. Who does this?

In a resort where we run an inclusive tariff, it’s tricky keeping track of those masquerading as guests. So, after considering the facts and actually remembering that our guests have paid for their special getaway, we closed our gate.

A recent Google commentator wrote: NOT for day visitors. But they only tell you so when you arrive at the gate. Yes, laws for signage mean that we are not able to erect signs down the road. But, my wonder is always, why wouldn’t you first phone and check?

During quieter periods we do welcome families but we ask them to meet the Receptionist on the lawn and they are taken on a small introductory tour. It is amazing that even when this is set up how many people duck and dive. Why?

So, if you are a potential guest and really are considering a visit, phone us. We’ll arrange a meeting, we’ll take you on a walk about, show you some rooms and you’d be very welcome to stay for coffee.

Jill & Joe Public are tricky to control and I suppose when Jill & Joe continue to disappoint then changes do need to happen. This may not make everyone happy but we are working hard at ensuring that our guests have a fabulous stay and sometimes that means others may be excluded.

Best wishes


25 thoughts on “Regret No Day Visitors”

  1. Audrey van Coller

    Well written, Megan. A very sensible decision. If any of your previous guests wanted to bring people and book into lunch they could always phone and make arrangements with you.

    1. Megan Carte Bedingham

      Dear Audrey
      Thank you! We will always try and help families out and do enjoy extending to those that can’t always stay with us. Arrangements can definitely be made!
      Best wishes,

  2. I strongly support your decision as some people don’t know how to behave. It also increases your security in this day and age.

    1. Megan Carte Bedingham

      Many thanks, Peggy.
      It is a hard one but I think we have done what is best for our guests.
      Very best wishes to you,

  3. Rigby & Linda Heenan

    As a regular guest, I fully support the decision taken by the Cavern to focus full attention to the in house guests. This ensures the unique character of what makes The Cavern ever so very special

    1. Megan Carte Bedingham

      Dear Rigby & Linda
      Thank you for your supportive comment. So important.
      Our best wishes,

  4. As annual guests, you have our full support with this decision. We love the fact that the resort facilities are limited to guests… it protects the old fashioned family vibe that keeps us coming back year after year!

    1. Megan Carte Bedingham

      Thanks Sandra.
      We are so grateful to all our happy returners! It is what keeps this place incredibly special.
      Best wishes to you and all the family,

  5. A well thought through decision. How unfortunate that good systems get abused by thoughtless, selfish people. Keep on looking after your guests who appreciate the accommodation, care and good food

    1. Megan Carte Bedingham

      Thanks Cissy. So important to look after those that have chosen to be our guests!
      Our best wishes to you,

  6. Think your decision is best for everyone!!! Also for safety of your family and guests. Hope to come for a getaway soon.

    1. Megan Carte Bedingham

      Many thanks, Candice. Sadly that is also a consideration in SA today….
      We look forward to welcoming you back!
      Best wishes, Megan

    1. Megan Carte Bedingham

      Thanks Jireh. Sadly there are always those that push the boundaries…
      Take care & our best wishes,

  7. An amazing resort at which I have stayed about 10 times since my 1st stay in the early 1970’s as a teenager then with my own family some years later. Would love to come and visit when next in the area, if possible, with a pre-phone call. Keep up the resort of many happy returns 🙂

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