Post # 1
just confirmed date and venue for June 2011 wedding. when do i look into hotel room blocks?
if i am anticipating 125 guest (95% out of town) how many rooms do i block? what’s a reasonable price per room.
Appreciate any tips anyone can provide.
Post # 3
Hey there I blocked rooms for our April Wedding in November last year. I started out with just two hotels and 20 rooms at each hotel. That way I could give people and option. Both were priced different. I ended up having to increase one hotel to 50 rooms and added a 3 hotel of 10 rooms. You can call the hotels and ask for a list of the rooms that have been booked. I did this about 3 times, so when I saw rooms booking fast we added more to the block.
I would say you need to have a hotel that offers around the $100 price range and then a second one that is either more or less depending on the location.
Post # 4
you can always block early. are you planning on blocking at one hotel or two? if you call the hotel and tell them how many you’re anticipating, they can usually help you. we are having 50% of out guests come from out of town, and we reserved 10 rooms at one hotel and 20 at another. price per room totally depends on location! we are blocking at the hilton in st. paul minnesota and they offered us $100 a night which is reasonable in that area. i would shop around first and see what hotels will offer you. note that some hotels will make you pay for any additional rooms in your block that are not reserved!
Post # 5
Oh yes, we had 220 guests. Some found their own hotel rooms, some stayed with family in town. In all I booked 80 rooms. 60 were king beds and the others doubles.
Post # 6
I started the room blocking process 9 months out which seemed early, but I’d rather have first pick than scramble to find a hotel that could do it! I say start early.
I used hotelplanner.com and found it easy to use and was very impressed with the rate quotes I got back.
Talk to the hotels when you inquire about blocks and ask their opinion for how many rooms to block. The hotel we are using suggested a number after I told them how many out of town guests we thought we’d have. They said we could always add a few more rooms to the block if needed. You may find the hotel you choose does things in a similar fashion.
As for a reasonable rate, I don’t know about Chicago, but perhaps some others can give you advice on that. 🙂
Post # 7
I would check with hotels that you are considering, but most will probably tell you to wait until January 2011 to book your blocks. Most hotels do rate increases/changes after they have done their yearly budgets, and will not allow you to book a block since they won’t have any idea of what their rates will be.
It never hurts to make some calls though; call and ask to speak to the sales manager and see what they say.
As far as how many rooms to block and rate- I would try to get some flexibility in your blocks where they allow you to add more rooms if you overbook your block- maybe start with 15 rooms/hotel. Pick a couple of hotels and give your guests a range. Also, where are the hotels located? Are they downtown? Keep in mind that summertime metropolitan hotel rates are going to be pricey (~$300 for nicer hotels), so if you can get ~$150 I feel that’s reasonable. Try to also take your guests into consideration- are they used to paying that much for a hotel room? That can help you figure out what a reasonable rate is.
Also, try to call around and get quotes from different hotels- sometimes hotels will offer you lower rates if you can say, “Well, XX hotel right across the street offered us $XX/night for rooms, what can you do?” They DO shop other hotels in the area so they know what the competition is offering, but sales managers tend to be competitive with one another and might budge on a rate if you tell them their competition is offering you a better rate.
(I worked for Marriott hotels for about 4 years FYI) 🙂
Post # 8
wow! awesome! never posted anything before on a board – thanks for the quick response time ladies.
great info and tips.
Post # 9
Well, reasonable price per room generally varies from place to place. Generally a wedding block rate will be similar to the AAA rate, so you could look up the hotels you’re considering online and ask them what that rate would be. Probably about $20 less per room. I would also try to pick some mid-range hotels. You don’t want people to feel pressured to stay at the Hilton, but you don’t want Motel 6 either. Try to give them a few hotels with a range of price points to choose from.
I blocked my rooms about 6 months out. I have 100 people coming, and about 80 are from out of town. When I told the hotels this, they said they didn’t really change their block based on the number of people expected, but would expand it if lots of people were booking. So they only put aside 10 rooms, but once they get up to 6 or 7, they’ll set aside some more. Even if our guests booked 50 rooms, they would still all get the same rate. I did this at two hotels, so there are about 20 rooms “reserved” but more will be added automatically if it seems like they’re filling up.
Whatever you do, MAKE SURE that you will not be on the hook to pay for any rooms that aren’t booked. Most places won’t do this, they’ll just release unused rooms back to the public about a month out. But every once and a while there are oddball hotels that try to scam people by charging the bride for unused rooms. If they try to tell you that this is how it works, go elsewhere. There are plenty of hotels that won’t charge you a thing to block rooms.
Post # 10
we booked ours about six months in advance with no problem, but we are in a much smaller city than you. my advice is to definitely go LOOK at the hotels you’re considering. ask to see the different room types, the bathrooms, and the amenities like pool, workout room, etc. since you’re more or less endorsing the hotel for your guests, it’s good to know where you’re sending them!
don’t be afraid to shop around. if you can take a saturday, for example, and jet around to a few different hotels to check them out, you’ll probably find a variation in quality of the hotel versus price and will be able to make a decision.
Post # 11
we’re having thee worst experience with this. I booked 10 rooms for 2 nights each at a nice hotel, the closest to our venue where I figured all wedding party & family members could stay. We invited 175 guests so I thought this would be fine to start.
We booked 5 rooms. We got screwed – nobody’s fault except my own – by not guaranteeing the night 2 days before. That night 2 days before got booked up thus not offering our discounted rate. Everyone wanted to get into town early and thus spend their whole weekend at another hotel.
Be careful – read the contract & don’t assume people won’t be super cheap.
Post # 12
Hi – sorry about your hotel room block experience. i just want to make sure i understand.
Assumming your wedding was on a Saturday you did the hotel room block for Friday arrival – Sunday departure (2 nights)? However most guest came in Thursday and since the discounted rate didn’t count that Thursday night to Friday – most of your guest stayed at a different hotel?