(Closed) Blocking hotels – can someone please explain?

posted 5 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
Member
12568 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Call local hotels and tell them you want a block.  You typically do not have to pay.  Hotels will hold X many rooms at a preferred rate until a specific date.  After that date, the rooms go back into the general pool.  You can always add more room, too!

FWIW – I’m in NoVA too, and we didn’t pay anything for our room blocks!

Post # 4
Member
1896 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

You just call the hotel and tell them you need to block out X amount of rooms.. you do not pay. the guests will pay the room, and the hotel might give them a deal on the room. All they do is make sure that you have X amount of rooms so if your guests decide to utilize the hotel, then they will be guarenteed a room.

We have guest driving from 5 mins- 3 hrs away. im making sure we block out enough rooms so everyone can drink and not drive.

Post # 5
Member
1549 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Most hotels do not require you to pay to hold a block. They will give you a secured rate for all a specfic number of rooms. Your guests will they contact the hotel and say that they would like to book a room in your block. Just make sure to let guests know that there will be a deadline they need to book before. I know with the Marriott, they will hold 30 rooms without you needing to put down a deposit. 

Post # 6
Member
9147 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Depends on the hotel.  Some will allow for you block some rooms for a certain number of days at a discounted rate for free.  Others require a deposit to hold the rooms.  Also, some hotels require that the bridal bouple pay for any unsold rooms that were blocked.  Call the hotels you are thinking of using and ask to speak with someone who is in charge of room blocking for events.

Post # 7
Hostess
13662 posts
Honey Beekeeper

You don’t need to pay to block rooms. We chose two hotels (at two different price points) and called them approximately six months before the wedding to block off some rooms. We just estimated based on how many guests we were expecting. For example, you could block of 10 rooms at one hotel and 10 at the other (if you choose to do two).

The hotel will keep those rooms blocked off until about four weeks before your wedding. So, guests can call and get into your room block (often at a discounted rate) until that four-week mark, when the hotel will release the rooms to the public. Your guests can still book at the hotel after that point, but they can’t be guaranteed a room in your block or at your discounted rate, if you have one.

Usually, any rooms that aren’t booked are simply released and are no obligation to you. Individual hotels can give you the details. Alternatively, if your block fills up, you can often add more rooms to it.

In short, it’s a pretty easy process and is no cost to you, so it’s a great way of providing accommodations for your guests!

Post # 8
Member
3569 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Yes basically you just call them and they block up a number of guest rooms until a certain day for you. I would call multiple hotels, because in my experience some of them told us we have to pay fee for unblocked rooms and we did not want to be on the hook for that. One of the hotel also agreed to wave the fee because we have our block so early, they just made us to agree to let it go at certain date.

Post # 9
Member
100 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

You shouldn’t need to pay money to reserve a block of rooms. Here’s how it worked for us:

1. We figured out roughly how many rooms we’d need, and the dates we’d need them for. We needed about 12 rooms, so we blocked 15. Since we knew some folks would want to come in a few days early, we blocked the rooms for two nights before the wedding through one night after.

2. After checking Yelp, hotels.com, tripadvisor, etc. for good options, we picked the hotel we thought was the best. (There weren’t a lot of options in our area, or else we might have narrowed it down to two or three and gone from there.) We called them and set up a time to come in and have a look at the rooms.

3. Once we checked out the rooms and decided for sure that we’d go with that hotel, they reserved the rooms for us and gave us some little cards to include in our invites. Done!

The rooms were held up until a month before the wedding, and then any unfilled rooms were released. People could reserve after that point, of course, but they wouldn’t be guaranteed a spot.

Some things to consider: If you’re doing out of town bags, will the hotel let you drop them off early? Will they throw in a room for you and your new husband for free if a certain number of your guest rooms are filled? Do you want to make sure the room block includes rooms that can connect together?

Post # 11
Member
911 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - The Down Town Club, Philadelphia

Ok, I just did this. So, first things first: Pick at least two hotels in the immediate area. You know your guests – one should be a very reasonable price point, the other can be “nicer”. 

Call the hotels and ask to speak to their “Group Rate Specialist” – sometimes this is the manager. He/She is going to ask you how many rooms you think you need. So, figure this out before you call.

Hotels can give you a special rate one of two ways, depending on their policy.

1. They will offer you a discounted rate, with a code that you give to your guests. They will hold the agreed upon # of rooms up until a “deadline” date (typically about a month before), and then those rooms are released. It is up to your guests to book their rooms. 

OR

2. They will ask you for your credit card to hold the rooms, and you will be financlally responsible for any room that hasn’t been booked. This really only happens at small hotels and/or bed & breakfasts. Your guests still get a code to book their rooms, but you are ultimately responsible if they do not.

Obviosuly, you want to ask for option #1. Make sure you ask about the financial responsibility. Don’t just assume.

Also, sometimes the code is only valid if you call the hotel, and not valid online. Make sure you find out all the paramaters. 

Post # 12
Member
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I was shocked how easy blocking rooms was. Basically I told them what I wanted, they told me what they could offer (shuttle service, price points, how many free rooms for things booked, etc), and then they sent me a document with all that outlined. I did have to sign it, but there was no obligation on my part to hit any minimum.

I did 3 different hotel blocks with 20 rooms initially booked at each (all of our guests are out of town). They expire 1 month in advance, and when we get close to the 20 rooms full before that, they add more to “top it up” to 20 open held rooms.

 

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