If you’re planning a trip or event that will require reserving a block of hotel rooms for your group or your guests, you may think all you have to do is pick up the phone and do so. While that’s definitely a part of the booking process, it’s not all you need to know to negotiate or book a block of rooms. Follow these tips for a stress-free reservation.
Start Researching Bookings As Soon As You Know Your Event Date
Weekends, especially during wedding season and summertime, are busy for hotels, so as soon as you know your event’s date and an approximate number of how many people you might expect to attend, start finding out what’s available. Book the block of rooms sooner rather than later to avoid having to scramble at the last minute to find lodging for guests.
Ask About “Shrinkage” or “Commitment” Clauses
When you reserve a set of hotel rooms for your guests, say, for a wedding, you’re doing so in advance of people booking the rooms, and as the date draws nearer, any un-booked rooms can mean a loss of profit for the hotel. Understandably, many hotels will issue fees if a certain number of rooms go un-booked. Your target percentage here should be somewhere between 10 and 20 percent—for instance, if you reserve 20 rooms, and 2-4 rooms remain un-booked by the time your event comes around, you won’t be charged a fee.
These fees can also be called “Minimum Commitment” fees. If the hotel you’re considering has that policy in place, aim for an 80-90 percent minimum commitment—in other words, you won’t be charged a fee if you get 80 percent or more of the rooms booked. You can negotiate these terms with the hotel you want to work with.
Find Out How Guests Can Ensure They’re Booked Properly
Ask the hotel (or hotels) you’re reserving rooms at what the process is for guests booking their room in your block. Will they need an online code to book in the proper area/to receive the group rate, or should they call the hotel directly? You should also ask about whether guests’ rooms will be in the same area of the hotel—you don’t want to assume that all of your loved ones will be in close proximity only to find out that the “block” of rooms you reserved are located all over the hotel.
Learn What Amenities Are Included
Generally, a hotel’s standard amenities will carry over to your booked block of rooms. However, sometimes additional amenities or bonus features may be included when you book a block of rooms. Ask about any special amenities that may be available for you and your guests—you might be pleasantly surprised.
Communicate Reservation and Booking Information to Guests
Once you’ve got one or more hotels’ rooms blocked off for your guests, it’s important to fully inform everyone about cost, location, and how they can reserve their rooms. Many couples find that the best way to do this for their wedding is by posting information on their wedding’s website, but you can also send out emails with the information or include the details in the event’s invitation. Hosting your wedding at a hotel has many benefits, but having convenient access to your block of rooms is an added bonus.
Booking a block of hotel rooms isn’t a difficult task—it just takes a little bit of researching and asking a few questions to make sure the process goes smoothly. To learn more about reserving accommodations for your event, contact Barcelona Suites today.