What Exactly Is Mt. Baker Lodging Anyway?
We feel that it is important for Guests and potential Guests to note what Mt. Baker Lodging is, and perhaps just as important to note what it is not!
To assist in making your stay as enjoyable as possible, we’ve compiled an information sheet including a Q&A segment. Persons who have stayed at private vacation properties in the past will readily identify with, and greatly appreciate, the extras that a stay with Mt. Baker Lodging has to offer! If, on the other hand, this is your first experience staying at a private vacation property, you will find it to be unlike a stay in a hotel, motel, or inn.
Our policies are quite different. Therefore, your expectations should be different and, (so as to avoid confusion later) it is an excellent idea to print this out and take it with you as a point of reference during your stay!
Setting The Mood
Think: “Cabin in The Woods… Not Penthouse at The Hilton®”. The terms “butler”, “valet” “concierge”, and “daily maid service” are not a part of the picture. There is no cell phone or television reception up here in the mountains. Just think; (as scary as it might sound) you may actually have to sit around the living room and talk to one another… just like they did back in the good ole days! Ok, if you r-e-a-l-l-y get bored, all vacation properties are equipped with VCR’s, (some also have DVD’s and/or cable access… please inquire) so feel free to bring movies (or they can be rented locally). Please be mindful that you will be staying in someone’s 2nd home, not some large commercial conglomerate. Most of our Clients have scrimped and saved for years in order to purchase and maintain their humble abode. They are now offering it for you and yours to enjoy, just as they have done with their families and friends. You are expected to treat their property with the utmost respect at all times during your stay.
WHAT WE ARE
Mt. Baker Lodging is an AGENCY that rents “privately and individually owned”, “self-catered”, “fully equipped” cabins, cottages, condos, and chalets… all of which span a distance of approximately eight miles along the Mt. Baker Highway (I-542), in and around the communities of Glacier and Maple Falls, at the entrance to the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The Mt. Baker Ski Area is located approximately 17-miles from the closest accommodations. The distance in-between is national forest, with no public overnight accommodations.
Privately and Individually Owned:
This means that Mt. Baker Lodging does NOT own any of the vacation properties that it represents, nor does it provide any of the furnishings, decorations, and accompaniments that are included as a part of the rental. All furnishings, including indoor, outdoor, and recreational appliances, amenities, and accompaniments (such as cookware and linens) are provided by Mt. Baker Lodging’s Clients (the property owners), and in some instances, the resort-recreational developments in which the properties are located. Although Mt. Baker Lodging strives to offer only well-maintained vacation properties in good, clean, and sanitary condition, all properties are rented as-is, where-is, and no refunds will be issued based upon our Guest’s dissatisfaction with furnishings, accompaniments, or other similar criteria.
All vacation properties are located on private property… some distance from the Mt. Baker Lodging office. There is no on-site Mt. Baker Lodging manager or maintenance person, except at the Mt. Baker Lodging office in Maple Falls. This means that food service, room service, and daily maid service is NOT a part of the picture in the standard rental. Guests who desire extra services such as private catering can make such arrangements through Mt. Baker Lodging (or independently, if they so choose) at additional cost, at least 14-days prior to their scheduled date of arrival. It is also important to note; some of the private vacation properties that Mt. Baker Lodging represents are located in private gated developments (such as Mt. Baker Rim, Snowline, and Snowater). These private developments employ on-site managers who work directly for the community homeowner’s associations, and are responsible for regulating and enforcing their development’s rules and regulations (in addition to many other tasks). They are NOT, however, responsible for providing services to Mt. Baker Lodging’s Guests. Therefore, if you require assistance during your stay, please contact the Mt. Baker Lodging office, NOT the development manager’s office, as they will be unable to assist you! Guests who desire daily maid service can make such arrangements through Mt. Baker Lodging (at additional cost) at least 7-days prior to their scheduled date of arrival. To facilitate scheduling, all such matters are best discussed well in advance.
For those of you who have previously stayed in private vacation properties, you’ll be delighted to note that (unlike most vacation rentals) all Mt. Baker Lodging vacation properties are equipped with standard bed and bath linens, and basic cabin cookware for our Guest’s use. All linens are provided by our Clients, (the property owners) appropriate to the designated occupancy limits of the vacation property. Additional linens and beach towels are NOT available. When your supply of fresh linens is exhausted, you are most welcome to use the washer/dryer that is included with most (but not all… please inquire) rentals. You are also most welcome to bring additional linens (including beach towels) with you. With regard to bed linens, (unlike most vacation rentals) you’ll be pleased to discover that the beds are already made!
Basic cabin cookware is included in all Mt. Baker Lodging vacation rentals, appropriate to the designated occupancy limits of the property. If you are planning to prepare and serve an upscale gourmet feast or traditional holiday meal, you are most welcome to bring your own specialty cookware, serving dishes, and the like… but please note that such items are generally NOT provided as a part of the rental of your “Cabin In The Woods”.
When grocery shopping for your stay, don’t forget spices and condiments (e.g.: salt, pepper, sugar, coffee, etc.) as, per local Health Department regulations regarding product tampering, they are NOT provided as a part of the rental. For our Guests’ convenience, Mt. Baker Lodging provides a “starter supply” of bath soap, dish soap, dishwasher detergent (in properties equipped with dishwashers), laundry detergent (in properties equipped with washing machines), dryer sheets (in properties equipped with clothes dryers), toilet tissue, paper towels, coffee filters, and garbage bags. Please note that “starter supplies” are NOT unlimited. If your stay is extended, (or you just have a propensity for going through a lot of a given item) you’ll want to plan ahead to bring additional supplies with you, as appropriate. Most supplies can also be purchased locally.
Firewood is provided in most (but not all… please inquire) vacation properties that are equipped with woodstoves or wood burning fireplaces. However, due to local fire and insurance regulations, we are NOT permitted to provide matches, fire starter, or candles. Please prepare accordingly.
WHAT WE ARE NOT
Mt. Baker Lodging provides a very unique lodging experience! However, we are NOT a hotel, motel, B&B, or inn, and do not operate as such. Our policies differ greatly with those of most traditional lodging accommodators. As an agency, all rental monies are collected in advance on behalf of and disbursed to our Clients (the property owners). Guests are STRONGLY advised to review our Reservation, Cancellation, Rescheduling, and Limited Refund Policies in advance of placing a reservation, so as to avoid confusion and possible disappointment later!
A COUPLE OF ITEMS OF NOTE:
Check-in Time is 4:00pm (or after) at our office in Maple Falls, not in the developments themselves. Keys and gates passes (if applicable) are dispensed from this location only, and are NOT dispensed early. Therefore, please don’t show up early, as it may lead to a long wait. Remember, “just stopping by to pick up keys” is called checking-in!
Guests: Please be prepared to show two forms of identification at check-in. This can include (a) a valid state or provincial driver’s license, (b) a valid state or provincial identification card, (c) a valid passport, (d) a valid military ID, AND a valid credit card (with picture ID preferred).
If the Registered Guest is intending to have someone other than themselves pick-up the keys/passes on their behalf, they are required to contact us in advance. For security purposes, keys/passes to our Client’s private vacation properties are NOT dispensed to just anyone walking through our front door! Prior arrangements must be made. PLEASE PLAN AHEAD.
If part of your Guest party is spending the day in the national forest or up at the ski area, please instruct them NOT to clog up the development entrances with their vehicles, while another party member back-tracks to our office in Maple Falls to pick-up the keys/passes. Instead, request them to meet you in the Glacier or Maple Falls villages, where they can stop, stretch their legs, and relax. There have been several recent occasions, when near accidents were caused by Guest party members who were waiting and consequently tying up the entrances to the gated developments creating traffic jams and the like. The entrances can become precarious at the best of times… please, please don’t add to the confusion.
Check-out is 11:00 am (sharp). In consideration of future Guests and housekeeping, please prepare accordingly. All keys/gate passes must either be returned to the Mt. Baker Lodging office in Maple Falls, (not the development manager’s office) by 12:00 noon, or at our Courtesy Drop Box at Graham’s Store (not Graham’s Restaurant) in Glacier by 11:30am. Keys and/or gate passes not returned in accordance with the above will result in an automatic charge equal to the cost of one (1) additional nights stay, including tax, and the Guests will be subject to immediate eviction.
A complete set of Check-Out Procedures is included with the Confirmation Documents. They are very basic, but please review them carefully! Every once in a while we receive a complaint from a Guest that… “boy, we didn’t think that we were going to have to do all of the housekeeping” The short story is – you don’t! We only ask that you perform the basics; start (not finish) a wash load of soiled laundry, clean your dirty dishes, close and lock the windows, turn down the thermostats, and turn off the lights… all very basic stuff! Now, when you’re asked to get down on your hands and knees to scrub the bathrooms, kitchens, etc… that’s called housekeeping! That’s what the real housekeepers do and is what is covered under the Cleaning Fee. However, if you decide not to do the check out procedures or not to leave the property in same general and good habitable condition (as when you arrived) there will be additional cleaning charges of $50.00 per hour with a one (1) hour service minimum.
There is no cell phone reception up here in the mountains, and many of the vacation properties that we represent are located in dimly lit, gated communities. If you and other members of your party are not properly prepared in advance, this can be a very frustrating experience for everyone that shows up in the late evening and early morning hours. Therefore, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you communicate directions to other members of your party in advance of your stay. Please pack a flashlight for your convenience if you feel the need.
Upon placing a reservation, Guests are sent via e-mail (hard copy is available upon request) a Confirmation Document that includes an attached file in PDF format with directions to our office, directions to the vacation property, the emergency after-hours telephone number to our office, the telephone number to the vacation property, the gate access code (if the vacation property is located in one of the gated communities… except Snowater), check-out procedures, our Pet Policy (if the vacation property is pet friendly), community rules and regulations, and other important information. You’ll want to forward this information to all members of your party that may be arriving separately. DON’T LOSE THESE ITEMS! Upon arrival at our office, we can distribute a maximum of 2-sets of keys (and gate passes, if applicable) for each property. PLEASE PLAN AHEAD.
HERE’S THE FUN Q & A STUFF!
Believe it or not, these are really questions that have been asked!!
Q: Wow, I’m not really comfortable with the Guest Rental Agreement. Can I make a reservation without it?
A: Absolutely not! The Guest Rental Agreement is a legally binding document that was designed for insurance purposes. Yes it’s heavy-duty, after all, attorneys get paid big bucks to write this kind of stuff. The Agreement is very similar in concept to a car rental agreement. Again, it’s an insurance requirement that was designed to cover potential losses against our Clients (property owners) and their self-catered vacation rental properties. Just like at the car rental agency, no endorsement by our Guest equals no keys dispensed!
Q: I need to cancel, but I only made the reservation yesterday, so I won’t be charged for anything… right?
A: Sorry, NO. Unlike most hotels, motels, and inns, it doesn’t matter when the reservation was placed, the same guidelines apply. If you make a last-minute reservation in the morning and then cancel out in the afternoon, you run the risk of losing the entire rental amount, unless the vacation property can be re-rented.
Q: But… but… but they let me cancel with 24-hour notice at the last hotel that I stayed at!
A: Yes, that is indeed standard policy with most hotels/motels. Remember, Mt. Baker Lodging is an agency, NOT a hotel. We do not own the vacation properties that we represent AND we have strict contractual obligations with the people who do.
Q: I reserved two vacation properties and now I need to cancel them both… so that was actually only one reservation and I’ll only be charged for one cancellation… right?
A: WRONG. Since all Mt. Baker Lodging vacation properties are individually owned, every booking is considered to be a separate reservation, regardless of the quantity of vacation properties reserved. Therefore, eight vacation properties cancelled equal eight reservations cancelled, and the usual per-property Cancellation Policy applies.
Q: I reserved two vacation properties and now I need to cancel one of them… can you apply the money from the cancelled property to the one that I intend to keep?
A: Yes we can, provided that the cancellation occurs a minimum of 21-days prior to our Guest’s scheduled date of arrival, less a $65.00 Cancellation Fee. Less than 21-days can’t be cancelled without forfeiting either the Advanced Lodging Reservation Payment (equal to the cost of 1-night’s stay, including tax) or the entire rental amount (depending upon the time frame) unless the cancelled vacation property can be re-booked. Again, every vacation property booked is considered a separate reservation, and the usual Cancellation Policy applies.
Q: Can I just pay when I get there?
A: Sure you can, but remember, (under 14-days) you don’t have a confirmed reservation until it’s been paid-in-full. So, if you come all the way up here and we’re sold out by the time you arrive, or you’re running late and arrive after regular office hours, you probably won’t have a place to stay!
Q: I would really prefer to pay cash. Can I do this?
A: For the safety of staff, we do not accept cash. A credit/debit card is required for a reservation.
Q: The size of our party has changed… can we downgrade to a smaller (less expensive) vacation property to save some money?
A: Yes you can, as long as the change is received a minimum of 21-days prior to your scheduled date or arrival, and is then subject to current availability of unreserved properties. Please be advised, however, that such changes are subject to a $25.00 non-refundable Re-scheduling Charge.14-days or less = NO changes.
Q: I need to change the dates of my reservation… can you do this for me?
A: Yes we can, subject to current availability for your desired dates, plus a $25.00 non-refundable rescheduling fee. Please note that if the change results in a reservation of lesser value, Guests are NOT entitled to a partial refund of the difference in cost. In addition, if the change results in a reservation of a higher dollar value, Guests are required to pay the difference in cost.
Q: I will be checking-in late in the evening (after regular office hours)… how do I pick-up the keys/passes?
A: By advance prior arrangement only, Mt Baker Lodging will arrange for late key/pass pick-up at our office, PROVIDED that (a) the reservation has been paid-in-full, and (b) the Guest Rental Agreement has been received in advance of Guest arrival. Remember: No Payment and/or Rental Agreement = No Keys. Guests must contact our office during regular business hours on their scheduled arrival date for information regarding late check-in. Guests who fail to do so will likely end up without a place to stay, and no refunds will be provided.
Q: I can’t complete my stay; can I get a refund for the unused portion?
A: Not unless the vacation property can be re-booked for the entire duration with a 2-night minimum, in which case the $65.00 Cancellation Charge applies. Remember, whether you’re canceling one night or you’re canceling the entire reservation, you’re still canceling. A cancellation is a cancellation.
Q: Only three members of my party were able to show up, but the vacation property that we reserved sleeps ten persons… can I get a pro-rated refund?
A: You’re kidding, right? Although designated maximum occupancy limits are strictly enforced, nightly rates are based by-the-property, not by the number of occupants. If the vacation property sleeps up to 12-persons, but only 1-person shows-up, the rate is still the same. Kind of like buying two hamburgers at the restaurant, and trying to return one for credit because you couldn’t eat it! Good luck with that one!
Q: Gee, I really didn’t like the color of the carpeting, the furnishings were not to my liking, and there was no Cuisinart®… can I get some money back?
A: No. However, Guest Comment Forms are provided for your feedback. This is your conduit to our Clients (the property owners who provide the furnishings and accompaniments). We strongly encourage you to fill them out (properly) and turn them in. Believe us when we say that… “if it’s really worth the time to say it… it’s worth taking the time to write it!” Good and bad, all WRITTEN Guest comments are forwarded directly to our Clients. We mean no disrespect, but with approximately 95+ vacation properties being handled through a very busy office, your verbal comments will most likely be forgotten before you get 5 miles down the road!
Q: We found a spider in the sink. Now we can’t stay, so can we get some money back?
A: (we l-o-v-e this one!) The short answer is no. Here’s the deal; you’re staying in a “Cabin-In-The-Woods”. Spiders, mosquitoes & other insects, and small critters are an integral part of the national forest. There were here long before we were, and they’ll most likely be here long after we’re gone. If you have a real problem with “critters”, staying in a vacation property that is located at the entrance to the national forest is probably not going to be your best choice. The critters have agreed, for the most part, to put up with us… now we have to put up with them! Plan ahead; bring some spray and/or repellent with you.
Q: The power went out during our stay, so can we get some money back?
A: Again, you’re staying in a “Cabin-In-The-Woods”! Our rural environment subjects us to a more rough-and-ready lifestyle than a lot of city folks are accustomed to. It’s part of our scene; you trade off some of the smog, chaos, and congestion for a slice of some of the most beautiful land on earth. Along with that trade-off comes a few minor irritants; occasional power outages, road construction delays, freak weather patterns, and the like. Just like the rest of us, you need to prepare accordingly. Bringing along a flashlight with a few extra batteries, for example, is prudent advice. In so far as refunds are concerned, the answer is no. We are not in a position to provide any sort of refunds for circumstances that are completely out of our control. When we learn how to control Mother Nature, we’ll probably be in a better position to provide refunds for these sorts of occurrences. Until then, you may wish to consider purchasing travel insurance!
Q: I stayed in one of your vacation properties last weekend, and left my prized widget behind. Can you retrieve it and send it back to me?
A: First: Mt. Baker Lodging and its Clients assume no responsibility for items left behind by our Guests. If housekeeping can readily locate the item, we will gladly send it back to our Guest. There is a $25.00 Service Charge, plus shipping, for all items returned. Alternately, we can hold it (without assuming responsibility) at our office for up to 30-days and you can come-and-get-it. Please be advised that after 30-days, it goes in the trash or is donated to one of the local charities.
Q: I want to have it shipped back to me, but why does it cost so much?
A: As you may have noticed, we’re tucked away up here in the sticks. It’s a 60-mile round-trip into Bellingham, where packaging materials are readily available and where shipping takes place. Now, if we have to pay someone to drive your widget into town, purchase the necessary packaging materials, package up the item, transport it to the shipping location, pay for shipping, then drive back to our location…. it costs Mt. Baker Lodging time and money. Here’s the bottom line. “We’re really sorry that you forgot to take your widget with you when you left, and we’ll be more than happy to send it back to you, but we’re not willing to pay for your mistake”.
Q: Why was I charged for additional cleaning?
A: This one’s easy! You did not leave the home in the same general good habitable condition as it was when you arrived or you didn’t follow the Check-Out Procedures that were (a) sent to you with your Confirmation Documents, (b) provided to you again at your time of check-in, (c) posted in every vacation property, and (d) posted in the Guest Services binder located in every vacation property. Follow the simple procedures and you won’t be charged – guaranteed!
Q: Why was I charged for breaking the @#$%^&!
A: Another easy answer! Because you or a member of your party broke the @#$%^&! Guests are directly responsible for the vacation property and its contents throughout the duration of their stay. Please review the terms and conditions of the Guest Rental Agreement that must be endorsed as a condition to your stay.
Q: But it was like that when we got there!
A: Famous last words! Look, we’re not trying to call you a fibber, but (normal wear and tear excluded) it is extremely unlikely that this is the case, as all vacation properties are inspected both immediately prior to Guest arrival, and immediately subsequent to Guest departure. In any event, it is the Guest’s responsibility to report any and all deficiencies UPON ARRIVAL – NOT DEPARTURE and/or after being charged! Again, please review the terms and conditions of the Guest Rental Agreement.
Additional Information for your Stay
Designated Maximum Occupancy Limits are strictly enforced. Guests found in violation are subject to immediate eviction with complete forfeiture of all rental monies paid. So please call us (800-709-7669) if you have any changes with the number of your group.
There is no cell phone reception in our mountain area. This is why we suggest that you distribute the materials we send with your confirmation email (i.e. maps and directions) to all members of your party.
There is no TV reception in our mountain area, so feel free to bring (VHS) videos or DVDs, per your cabin/condo rental amenities. DVDs and VHS movies can be rented locally.
Due to local Health Department regulations regarding product tampering, we are unable to provide any form of “food product consumables”. This includes spices (e.g. salt, pepper, coffee, etc.) and condiments. You’ll want to bring these items with you.
“Basic Cabin Cookware” and utensils are provided, appropriate to the designated occupancy limits of the vacation property. Specialty/holiday cookware is NOT provided. However, you are most welcome to bring your own.
Bed & bath linens are provided, appropriate to the designated occupancy limits of the vacation property. When your supply of bath linens is exhausted, please feel free to use the washer & dryer provided as part of your rental*. Additional linens, including beach towels, are not available. *In vacation properties thusly equipped.
A “starter supply” of laundry detergent*, dish soap, dishwashing detergent*, liquid hand soap, bath soap, toilet paper, & paper towels are provided for your convenience. If your stay is extended, or you just have a propensity for going through a lot of a given item, you’ll want to bring additional supplies with you. *In vacation properties thusly equipped.
Due to Fire Department regulations regarding child safety we are unable to provide matches and candles in our vacation properties.
If your vacation property is hot tub equipped, there will be a cable /chain or locking door for child safety. The key is either located on a stick on top of the refrigerator, or on your key ring for the property. Please remember to re-secure the lid or door when you are done.
Due to local health department regulations, hot tubs are pre-set to operate between 98° and 102°. This may be a bit too cool or too hot (but the baby bear thinks it’s just right!) for some folks, but is a situation under which we have no control.
Pets are permitted only in vacation properties that are specifically designated as pet-friendly. Pets found at vacation properties that are not “pet-friendly” will subject the Guest(s) to immediate eviction, with complete forfeiture of all rental monies paid, plus, a $250.00 cleaning charge will automatically be assessed to the Guest’s credit card.
All vacation properties are non-smoking! Ash urns are provided at exterior door entrances of all vacation properties. Properties found to have been smoked in will subject the Guest(s) to an immediate $250.00 cleaning charge assessed to the Guest’s credit card.