This document outlines what Hot Chocolat On the Road (“HCOR”) provides when you sign up for an HCOR tour, and what you agree to do while on tour with HCOR (“Tour Conditions”). By signing up for a tour with HCOR you are agreeing to these Tour Conditions so please read the document carefully before you complete your reservation request.
Tour price guarantee: Our tour prices do not include airfare, and are subject to change without notice due to the unpredictability of currency rates and trip costs. However, your price for the tour you’ve selected will be locked and guaranteed the moment we receive your deposit. For current tour prices, visit hotchocolat.net or call chef Michael D. Poole at 206-714-0179.
Included in the price of each tour: Sightseeing tours by an HCOR guide, and local guides when appropriate, including admissions to sights seen as a group; all breakfasts and one dinner (as determined by HCOR); accommodations each night, often in family-run hotels in the historic heart of each city; all transportation within the city (does not include optional activities or independent travel during the tour); all HCOR guide, and local guide. and.
Itineraries are subject to change: Paris is full of surprises, and we need to be flexible enough to take advantage of whatever comes along so that we may provide you with the best possible tour. Uncompleted portions of the tour itinerary are not cause for refund.
Tour payments: To reserve a seat on a HCOR tour you must agree to these Tour Conditions and provide us with a deposit of $500 per person. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express for all tour payments. We also accept personal checks, bank drafts or money orders in US dollars drawn on a US or Canadian bank. Your final tour payment is due in our office on or before October 1, 2019, prior to the start of the tour, in one payment. Your final payment due date will be listed on your initial confirmation letter and tour invoice. Missing the final payment deadline may result in your being removed from the tour. If you sign up for a tour less than 60 days before its departure, the entire tour price must be paid, and is non-refundable after 7 days.
Solo travelers and single supplements: If you are traveling solo, you need not pay the mandatory single supplement often required by other tour companies. You will most likely room with another tour member of the same sex. If you wish to guarantee a private room, we offer a limited number of optional single supplements for an additional fee. (Refer to your tour’s web page at hotchocolat.net for current single supplement prices.) If a private room is not available when we receive your tour order, we will notify you immediately, and you will have the option to cancel your reservation. Please note that a single supplement guarantees a private room — not a larger or nicer room, as European single-bed rooms are generally the smallest and most basic rooms the hotel has to offer! Single supplements are refundable if cancelled at least 60 days prior to tour departure; those cancelled later will be forfeited, unless you booked a tour less than 60 days before its departure date, in which case, the single supplement becomes non-refundable after 7 days, but may be creditable in the event of a medical or family emergency.
Returned payments: If a payment to HCOR is returned unpaid for any reason, we will assess a $35 returned-item fee per occurrence. The fee(s) will be added to the applicable tour balance, and must be paid in full prior to your tour departure.
Cancellations, refunds, and credits: Your tour deposit is 100% refundable for 30 days from the date it is received, unless noted otherwise. Deposits made 60–90 days before a tour departs become non-refundable on the final payment due date. If you book a tour less than 60 days before its departure date, the entire tour cost becomes non-refundable after 7 days, but may be creditable in the event of a medical or family emergency. Once your deposit refund date has passed, your deposit will not be refunded under any circumstances.
All payments to HCOR become non-refundable on your final payment due date (60 days before departure). We may provide you a credit for future travel with Hot Chocolat Paris or Europe Tours if you cancel your reservation for a creditable event, as outlined below, before the tour begins. If you cancel your reservation for a creditable event 31–60 days before the first day of the tour, your credit will be equal to 100% of your original tour price. If you cancel your reservation for a creditable event 1–30 days before the first day of the tour, your credit will be equal to 50% of your original tour price. The credit is not transferable and will expire on December 31, two years following the year of the originally scheduled tour (e.g. if you receive a credit for a tour set to depart in 2020, you may use that credit toward any tour(s) departing prior to December 31, 2022). This is not insurance and is not intended as a substitute for comprehensive travel and health insurance!
If we cancel a tour you have reserved, the entire amount you have paid to HCOR for the applicable tour will be refunded to you within 14 days after the tour’s cancellation, as required under Washington State law. Or, you may choose to transfer within two weeks to another tour with seats available (see “Transferring to another tour,” above). Once this occurs, HCOR and its representatives have no other obligations to tour members on cancelled trips including any additional costs or fees related to the issuance and/or cancellation of airline tickets or other travel reservations not made by HCOR.
Creditable medical or family Emergency (“Creditable Event”): HCOR may provide you a credit for future travel with Hot Chocolat Tours if one of the following creditable medical or family emergency events requires you to cancel your reservation. A creditable event must first occur less than 60 days prior to your tour’s start date. It is HCOR’s sole discretion to determine if your situation is a Creditable Event. For these purposes, we consider your traveling partner to be someone who shares the same accommodations with you and a family member to be your spouse, step-child, or blood relative in the first degree.
- You, your travel partner or a family member dies or suffers an unexpected and disabling injury or illness requiring hospitalization or urgent medical care prior to joining the tour.
- You, your travel partner or family member suffers a certifiable personal disaster (such as your home floods or burns down, or you are a victim of a serious crime) necessitating a change in travel plans.
- You or your spouse are called into active military service or have leave revoked.
- Loss of employment.
Credit request process: If you need to cancel your tour you must notify HCOR immediately in writing: sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailed to Chef Michael D. Poole, PO Box 18587, Seattle WA 98118. Cancellations become effective on the date received by HCOR and are governed by the HCOR Tour Credit Terms and Conditions. If you wish to request a credit for a creditable event and you have comprehensive travel insurance, you must first file a claim with your insurance provider before requesting a credit from HCOR. HCOR will only process your request for credit after you have filed a claim with your insurance provider and can demonstrate the final insurance payment or settlement. You also must provide the following documentation along with your cancellation notice: For an unexpected illness or injury, we require you to provide a letter from your attending physician, on the physician’s letterhead, verifying the specific reason and date of the onset of the condition given for advice against traveling; in the event of a death, we require a death certificate or obituary; due to a crime, flood, fire or accident, you must provide a copy of a pertinent police, fire department or investigative report; for unexpected loss of your job, we require a letter signed by your employer specifying the date of termination, on the company’s letterhead (including contact information).
Tour forms, obligations, and risks: To travel on a tour, and to qualify for cancellation credit, all tour members are required to review and accept a Release and Waiver Agreement prior to the beginning of a tour. Omitting important information, or altering the Release and Waiver Agreement, will render it invalid, and could result in expulsion from a tour at your own expense.
Participation: Although we want everyone to have a good time, it sometimes happens that someone participating in a tour can misbehave or do things that are incompatible with the safety, comfort, or convenience of other members of the tour. In those circumstances we have the exclusive right and discretion to expel someone (even you) from a tour at any time.
Tour member expectations:Hot Chocolat tours are physically active, our hotels are centrally located but may provide fewer American-style amenities, and our people policy emphasizes NO GRUMPS! These are essential characteristics of the Hot Chocolat tour experience. On any Hot Chocolat tour, you assume certain obligations and responsibilities to HCOR and your fellow tour members, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Carry or roll your own luggage for up to 15 minutes over uneven pavement from the bus to the hotel (not applicable on 7-day city tours), then haul it up as many as five flights of stairs to reach your room.
- Be comfortable on your feet with brisk two-hour walking tours, climbing lots of stairs, hopping on and off public transportation, plus standing and walking for up to four hours inside museums and outdoors in all weather conditions.
- Sleep in hotels with no (or inadequate) air conditioning, possible street noise,. and slow Wi-Fi connections or Wi-Fi only in common areas.
- After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate Paris on your own.
- Our tour guides cannot provide assistance for any of these activities! Tour members requiring help must be accompanied by an able companion who can be entirely responsible for providing the assistance. (If you have concerns about the physical demands of our tours, please call us!)
Smoking policy: No smoking or vaping is allowed on any transportation, in the hotel, or where other tour members are present.