Italian island offers to refund hotel stays if it rains

Helen Coffey

One thing you can’t guarantee on holiday is the weather – except if you stay at one enterprising Italian island.

Elba, off the coast of Tuscany, is so confident of its sunny skies that it is offering to refund visitors for their hotel stays if it rains during their holiday.

The “Elba No Rain” campaign launched at the beginning of May, promising to reimburse guests for a night of their trip if it rains for more than two consecutive hours on any given day.

The whole hotel stay will be refunded if it rains for more than two hours on every day of a guest’s visit.

There is, of course, some small print to take into consideration.

The offer only applies until 31 May, and then from 15 September to 31 October 2019; it only counts if it rains for more than two hours between 10am and 8pm; and breakfasts and dinners are not included in the refund.

While this is the first time that all hotels have been included in the initiative, some were already offering a similar weather promise last year. However, only one refund had to be paid; this May, no payouts have yet been required.

Part of the reason is Elba’s position as a relatively small island – weather moves quickly, with strong winds moving clouds on before they can settle. While it does rain, it’s rarely for a long stint.

“In the last five years, in April, May, we had only two days with more than two hours of rain during the daytime,” Claudio Della Lucia, an associate tourism manager for the island, told The New York Times.

The island is best known for being Napoleon’s place of exile from 1814-15. Visitors can stop by the National Museum of Napoleonic Residences in the town of Portoferraio to find out more, should the “Elba No Rain” guarantee ever fail.