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2017 Rental Policies

We require a Vacation Rental Agreement (“VRA”) under the North Carolina Vacation Rental Act be electronically agreed to in order to confirm a reservation. All our vacation rental homes are operated under legal permits issued by the towns of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock and town regulations pertaining to rentals are addressed in the Addendum to the VRA. Click here to see a copy of the VRA.

RENTAL PERIODS. We have a 5-night minimum during the busy summer season (mid-June through mid-August). Two-night minimum rentals are available the rest of the year, except major holidays require a 3-night minimum rental. However, please inquire – often shorter stays become available even during the summer because of scheduling and we will attempt to accommodate your needs whenever possible. Sorry, but we are unable to accept one-night rentals at any time

SORRY, NO PETS. We love animals, but to respect our owners and tenants who are allergic to pet dander, pets are absolutely NOT allowed in any of our vacation rental homes. If we find evidence that a pet has been on the property during your stay, you will be responsible for any additional cleaning, spraying for fleas, and actual damages caused by the pet.  Tenant will be responsible for a $300.00 pet fee in addition to the charges for actual damages and clean-up.  Tenant’s breach of this provision of the VRA shall be considered material and is not covered by Property Protection.

TENANT RESTRICTIONS. Our rental homes are for families and mature persons at least 25 years of age, and proof of age may be required at check-in at our discretion. We do not allow house parties, youth groups, fraternities, sororities, weddings, or receptions in our rental homes. We do not rent to students or groups of students under any circumstances, even if a parent or legal guardian makes the reservation and/or pays the rent. If it is discovered that such groups have rented one of our vacation homes, all monies will be forfeited and tenants will be required to vacate the rental home immediately

RATES. Rates vary according to the season and are higher on major holidays. A 6.75% sales and 5% occupancy tax is required in addition to the rent. 

PROPERTY PROTECTION:  In lieu of a refundable Security/Damage deposit, we have included in each reservation Property Protection by Rental Guardian Insurance Company which covers up to $1,500 in accidental damages, subject to exclusions and limitations. Click here for more details. Or you can get more info on the booking page.  Any damages exceeding $1,500 will be the responsibility of Tenants.  Exclusions within the coverage specifically limit Tenants' coverage and do not cover or release Tenants from liability for loss or damage due to the following:  (a) intentional, willful, reckless, or malicious acts of Tenants or others on the premises during the tenancy; (b) damage by pets; (c) theft from the premises of either Owner's property or property belonging to Tenants or their guests; (d) gross negligence of Tenants or intentional misuse or abuse of furnishings, appliances, equipment, or other amenities provided with the home; (e) damage caused while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; (f) damages to real property resulting from operation of any motorized vehicle by Tenants or their guests.  Property Protection does not cover items including but not limited to canoes or kayaks taken off the property.  The coverage, as well as the exclusions contained therein, provided to Tenants shall extend to all members of Tenants party and guests thereof.  In order to receive coverage under the Property Protection, all damages must be reported to Distinctive Mountain Lodging with 24 hours of occurrence or before check out date.

Once your reservation is confirmed, your rates will not change. However, online rates are subject to change without notice.

TO BOOK A HOME:

You can check availability, get a rate quote and book online 24 hours a day. Or you may call 828-625-9500 between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. seven days a week to make a reservation. Please read the web page for the home(s) you are interested in before calling, as we have included lots of details in our property descriptions, and we keep our descriptions as up to date as possible. However, if you have a question that is not addressed in the description of the property, we’d be happy to chat on the phone.

An advance rent deposit of 50% of the total rent, reservation fee, Property Protection and taxes and electronic agreement to our contract are required to confirm a reservation. If you book online, you may pay and agree online.  If you book by telephone, we will charge your advance rent payment to your credit card and email you the contract to agree to electronically, which you must do within 24 hours.  Your reservation is not confirmed until you have paid your 50% advance rent payment and agreed to the contract.  Once your reservation is confirmed, you will receive an email confirmation and directions to your rental home.

If your reservation is made LESS than 31 days prior to arrival, you must be paid in full to confirm the reservation and lock in your rates.

If your reservation is made MORE than 31 days prior to arrival, you must pay your final balance due 31 days prior to arrival. You will be notified by email when your final balance has been charged.

NOTE: Please read your VRA and confirmation carefully. You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the information contained in these documents. The VRA binds you to a specific property for a specific period of time.

OTHER CHARGES/FEES. There is no departure cleaning fee as long as a few minor housekeeping items are completed prior to departure, and the rental home is properly secured and everything returned to its proper place. However, if excessive cleaning is required beyond our standard cleaning, you will be responsible for an excessive cleaning fee (described below under Care and Cleaning).

If you lose your key and/or are locked out of your rental home, we will send a staff member to meet you at the home with a second key. There is $25 fee for this service, which must be either charged to your card or paid to the staff member in cash.

TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE.  We are pleased to offer our tenants Rental Guardian Trip Cancellation and Travel Insurance.  You can get information about these policies on the booking page, or click here.

MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY LIMITATIONS. Maximum occupancy limits in vacation rental homes are set by the towns in which they are located. See the individual webpage for each house for its maximum occupancy limit. It also appears in the VRA. Exceeding the maximum occupancy limits will result in rent forfeiture and the immediate eviction of tenants over the limit. Also, since most of our houses have septic tanks, exceeding the maximum occupancy could result in failure of the system resulting in the tenant being responsible for any repair or clean-up costs incurred.

ALL OUR VACATION RENTAL HOMES ARE NONSMOKING. Smoking inside our rental homes is strictly prohibited. If evidence of smoking is found, you will be responsible for a $100 clean-up charge. Do not leave cigarette butts inside in trash cans, or we will assume you smoked inside.

WHAT WE PROVIDE AND WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING. Each vacation rental home meets our basic requirements and is fully furnished, but is decorated according to the individual owner’s taste. Kitchens are stocked with basic cookware and dinnerware for the maximum occupancy and a small supply of cleaning products. Bed linens are provided and beds will be made prior to your arrival. We also provide two sets of towels per guest, a bath mat in each bathroom, two kitchen towels and two cloths and two pot holders. A small, starter supply of paper and soap products and garbage bags is provided, which is usually sufficient for a 2-night stay. If staying longer, tenants will need to bring additional amounts of these supplies or purchase them locally. We have a large Ingle’s grocery store in Lake Lure. We do not supply personal laundry detergent. Some houses with wood burning fireplaces and outdoor fire pits supply firewood; some do not. Tenants must also bring charcoal and lighter for those homes that have charcoal grills. See the Details section of each house’s individual web page for what each house provides.

CANCELLATIONS/TRANSFERS. If you find you must cancel your reservation, you must notify us in writing MORE than 60 days prior to your arrival date in order for your advance rent payment to be refunded, minus a $50 cancellation fee and the non-refundable reservation fee.

If you find you must cancel your reservation LESS than 60 days prior to your arrival date, please notify us in writing as soon as possible. We will make every effort to re-rent your home. If re-rented for the same dates and at the same rate, your advance rent (minus cancellation and reservation fees) will be returned to you within 31 days after we have been paid in full by the tenant who re-rented your rental home. If, after diligent effort, we are unable to re-rent your rental home, the full advance rent payment will be forfeited. We highly recommend the purchase of Rental Guardian Trip Cancellation Insurance as we do not allow refunds for family emergencies, death, road conditions due to weather, etc. Trip Cancellation Insurance can be purchased as an option on the booking page.

If a reservation is transferred from one vacation rental home to another as a result of changes in tenant’s needs, there is a $50 transfer fee. However, requests for transfers must be made in writing 60 days prior to arrival. Requests for transfers made less than 60 days prior to arrival are treated as cancellations. Unlike hotels, our vacation rental homes are each individually owned and have no correlation to each other.

WEATHER AND ROAD CONDITIONS

Weather conditions in the mountains of North Carolina are unpredictable. Please remember that the mountains get rain, fog, sleet, ice and occasionally snow. Road conditions may become hazardous before or during your stay. For this reason, a 4-wheel drive vehicle and the ability to drive in ice or snow may be necessary. It is the tenant’s responsibility to be fully prepared for such conditions and NO refunds, changes in properties, allowances or date changes resulting from these conditions will be allowed.

CHECK-IN: Check-in is after 4:00 p.m. at your rental home.  We encourage you to arrive before dark if possible.  We ask that you call us 30 minutes to an hour prior to arrival, and we will either meet you at the home to check you in or give you the code to the lockbox where the key is kept, depending upon your arrival time and our schedule that day. You will be provided with a map of the area and all the information about the home you need to ensure that you have an enjoyable, stress-free vacation. If you find you will arrive after 9:00 p.m., please let us know and we will make special arrangements for a late check-in.

We are happy to make special arrangements to accommodate check-ins on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Requests for early check-ins will be considered on a case-per-case basis in the Low Season. Please contact our office no earlier than the day before your arrival to request an early check-in. We will attempt to accommodate you depending upon our schedule that day, but please understand that an early check-in can never be guaranteed because of unforeseen circumstances. HOWEVER, EARLY CHECK-INS ARE NEVER POSSIBLE DURING JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST. PLEASE DO NOT ASK DURING THESE BUSY TIMES.

We will make every effort to have your rental home available by the 4:00 p.m. check-in time. However, on rare occasions, it may be necessary to delay check-in for an hour or so because of last minute emergency repairs, or because excessive cleaning after the previous guest is required.  No refunds or discounts will be given for a late check-in.

CHECK-OUT. Check-out is by 10:00 a.m. sharp so that we can accommodate the next guests. Unlike hotel rooms, houses require several hours for cleaning and maintenance between guests. Even if your home is not rented the night you check-out, we still may not be able to accommodate a late check-out due to our schedule as we manage several homes. Therefore, late check-outs will be charged the applicable daily rate to the credit card on file unless prior arrangements are made.

When checking out, please follow the check-out instructions posted in each home (see Care and Cleaning below), return the key to the lockbox and give us a call as you are leaving your rental home.

PARKING. Due to our mountainous region, parking is limited. Tenants must observe the parking limitations of each property as shown on the house’s webpage under Details and as stated in the VRA and must not park in undesignated areas or block access to other properties or roads.  NOTE:  There is no public overnight parking in Lake Lure, Chimney Rock, or Bat Cave.

TRASH REMOVAL. Garbage pick-up days are posted at each rental home. Please put the garbage out the night before pick-up day as garbage pick-up is usually very early in the morning. ALL GARBAGE MUST BE BAGGED, TIED AND LIDS SECURED ON CANS. Critters are a real problem in the mountains so please do not leave any garbage outside cans. If you have excessive garbage, please call us at 828-625-9500 and we will pick it up.

NO FIREARMS OR PYROTECHNICS. Town regulations prohibit the use of firearms and pyrotechnics.

LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONES CALLS, WI-FI AND PAY-PER-VIEW TELEVISION. All homes have free Wi-Fi and telephones that allow local calls only. However, Wi-Fi can be spotty at times in this mountainous area and we cannot guarantee that you will be able to connect. Unlike larger cities, download times may be slow.  Cell phone service is also spotty and cannot be guaranteed, although most phones have coverage. TVs have blocks against pay-per-view television programs.

MECHANICAL FAILURES/REPAIRS. Please immediately report inoperative equipment to Manager and we will make every effort to have repairs done in a timely manner during reasonable hours. Please do not wait until departure to tell us something is not working. Each home has smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. While we systematically change the batteries, please notify us immediately if they are not working properly so we can address the problem. We have a very competent and reliable staff on call to ensure that your stay is stress free, however, speed of service cannot be guaranteed due to the location and remoteness of our area. Mechanical failures of appliances, air-conditioning or heating systems, hot tubs, satellite/cable service, fireplaces or any other appliance that fails to operate properly during your stay are beyond our control and no refund or rent reduction will be given. Power outages occur frequently in the mountains. No refunds will be issued for minor disruption of any utilities including, but not limited to, power outages, water outages, etc. These failures are beyond our control and no refund or rent reduction will be given.

Please note: Most of the homes in this area are on private wells and septic systems. Please do not flush improper material at any time and use garbage disposals sparingly. Private wells sometime have a harmless, but distinctive odor.

HOT TUBS. If your property includes a hot tub, special instructions for its use apply, which will be provided to you at check-in. Tenants will be responsible for the costs of repairs due to damages, abuse of the hot tub or the cover, or failure to comply with stated hot tub instructions which results in draining and/or excessive cleaning outside our regular maintenance for normal use. This means that if the hot tub water is smelly and looks like pea soup after your departure, you can expect to be responsible for an extra $100 charge. All hot tubs are serviced immediately before and after your stay, and if you are staying a week, will be serviced mid-week. If tenant abuse results in the malfunction of the hot tub, tenants will be responsible for the cost of the repair. If you follow our simple rules, you should not have a problem with the hot tub. Please note that some people, especially children, are sensitive to the chemicals used to keep a hot tub clean and sanitary. We are not responsible for personal reactions to hot tub chemicals. Children less than 12 years of age are not allowed to use the hot tub.

CARE AND CLEANING. All of our properties are professionally cleaned and inspected prior to your arrival. However, no one is perfect and sometimes a housekeeper may miss a small item. Please report any cleaning issues to Management within 90 minutes of arrival so that we can send out a housekeeper to make it right. Most homes have locked owner’s closets, and we ask that you respect these spaces as they are not included in the rental.

Please respect the owner’s property by taking care of it as if it were your own. Do not rearrange the furniture or move any articles from their original position. If you do move things, put them back in their original position before departing. Housekeepers are not able to move furniture. Guests are expected to keep the home neat during their stay and a small amount of basic cleaning supplies is provided. We do not charge a departure cleaning fee, but do require departing guests to load the dishwasher and turn it on (detergent for one load provided), bag all garbage (a few bags are provided), tie securely, and place in outside cans, and strip beds and place soiled sheets and towels in specified areas, start a load of towels in washer (laundry detergent for one load provided) and in general leave the property tidy.

Additionally, if guests use the outdoor grills, they must be cleaned after use and, if gas, the gas must be turned off at the propane tank. Covers on hot tubs and fire pits must be secured. We have found that tenants prefer to do a little tidying upon departure in lieu of paying a cleaning fee. However, your signature on the VRA authorizes us to bill you an appropriate amount for additional cleaning beyond the standard clean as a result of your occupancy. The tenant who signed the VRA is responsible for the actions of all guests occupying the home.

ITEMS LEFT BEHIND. Please ensure that you have removed all personal items prior to departure. We cannot be held responsible for tenants’ failure to do so. And don’t forget your chargers! We keep items left behind for two weeks, then donate them to a local charity. Due to our remote location, packaging and shipping forgotten articles is unusually difficult. Therefore, if you request us to package and return items left behind, there will be a $20.00 service charge in additional to shipping charges.

Thank you for choosing Distinctive Mountain Lodging, and we hope that you have a wonderful, stress-free stay.