Our Smoking Policy
We ask those guests who simply must smoke to please do so off the villa property. Here’s why…
We have a pretty strict non-smoking policy, and we are aware that it presents a challenge for some guests. We get asked questions about it periodically, so here are some details of the policy and the background behind it.
Our No-Smoking Policy in included in our Terms and Conditions, which you can see in detail at this link here.
The policy is as follows:
• For the comfort of Guests this is a NON-smoking home.
Smoking is NOT permitted ANYWHERE on the property, including the lanai, pool deck and grounds. The introduction of offensive odours due to smoking, whether smoking is engaged in on the property or not, is NOT permitted (ie Heavy smokers should choose a different property). Note that Central Florida periodically experiences drought, and the property has forested area adjacent to it. Smoking is permitted in the subdivision of Thousand Oaks. If you must do so, please enjoy a stroll away from the property while you smoke.
Every so often, we will receive a question from a guest along the lines of; Hello Rob, Is it okay if my mom smokes on the property? She’s very responsible, and it won’t be a problem, I promise.
Such questions put us in a really tough spot… We wan’t to say ‘yes’ but experience has taught us that everyone is better off if we just enforce the policy. So why is our smoking policy so strict? Why don’t we allow smoking outside the villa, such as on the lanai for example?
There are many reasons, and in no particular order; here they are:
The Danger of a Forest Fire
When we first purchased our property, the area was experiencing a bad drought. The forests surrounding our villas were bone dry. The threat of a forest fire was very real, and imminent. Native forest with decades-old trees are just feet away. Just as fires aren’t permitted in parks during times of high risk, smoking is not permitted on our property because of the increased risk of a forest fire starting from ashes, or a carelessly thrown cigarette. In a regular home in a regular setting, this wouldn’t be an issue, but we have to appreciate, and respect, the reality of our villas’ locations.
The Litter & Trash
Many smokers throw butts or cigarette packaging anywhere without concern. They think no one cares, or will notice, but we do! We have high standards, and tossed butts are unacceptable trash which must be picked up by hand, and we do! On just about every trip to the properties ourselves, we crawl around on hands and knees, picking up the mess left behind by smokers, either on our property, or what has blown in from others. Once you’ve done this a few times, you come to understand that anything that can be done to minimize that work is a good choice.
The Smell & Lingering Odors
As a non-smoking home, our guests expect it to be clean and free of odours. Heavy smokers bring strong smells in the home, even if they only smoke inside. Smoke lingering on people and their clothes is inevitable when someone smokes. Unfortunately, it is true that smoking diminishes one’s sense of taste and smell, so smokers don’t appreciate how even smoking outdoors will create odors in our home that our non-smoking guests will easily notice.
Doors Propped Open
Often, when smokers ‘step outside’ to smoke, they will prop a door open so they can maintain contact and conversation with those indoors. This presents a challenge because the smoke can then drift inside, small Florida critters (of which there are many, and they’re FAST) will sneak inside, and the Air Conditioning in the house will be working overtime to compensate for the increased heat and humidity coming inside (which quickly becomes surprisingly expensive – a guest staying for a week who does this three or four times a day will cost us easily $120 extra on the electrical bill).
No matter how careful someone is, the chance of doing damage when one ‘plays with fire’ is much greater than if one does not. And if only one smoker in ten has an accident, and we have 50 guest groups in a year with a smoker, that is five times every year we will have some type of damage at the property, even though most ‘never had a problem’. “But why can’t I smoke in the pool area? It’s outside…” a smoker will ask. Imagine our disappointment to find our new $1200 outdoor chairs marred by a cigarette burn or two. That smoker ignored our rules, and ruined the beauty of a new set of furniture for us and all our future guests. We’re sure this wasn’t done intentionally, and they were likely ‘being careful’ but why should this be acceptable?
Collected Ashes and Butts
Many guests collected their butts in a coffee container, or something similar. While we appreciate this effort, these containers often end up inside the home, where their smell lingers and permeates the furniture and carpet. Often, containers like this are thrown into or emptied into the trash, which is a fire hazard, but can lead other guests who may find them to question why, and our own integrity in maintaining a non-smoking home.
For all of these reasons, we prefer non-smoking guests in our homes. If a member of your party simply must smoke, please have them do so off the property. Going for a stroll is healthy, and smoking off-property provides a small opportunity for clothes, skin & hair to air out before re-entering the home. It will tend to keep ashes away from the forest. Hopefully this helps minimize strong odours and the extra work we do to eliminate them.
Your appreciation, understanding and adherence to this policy while staying with us is greatly appreciated!
(We understand that there are some guests who consider our policy unreasonable (and we’re heard from them!), but this is a value judgment based on their own desires. The policy simply is what it is, and guests are free to choose to stay with us or not. We are not responsible for what assumptions some guests may or not make about their stay, or whether they read the rules prior to arrival. Our policy is detailed in our terms & conditions, and guests are required to acknowledge separately that they have read and accepted them when booking. If a guest wants a home where smoking is permitted on property, they can certainly choose a different home. We regret not being able to host them, and will hopefully be able to do so in the future.)