Post # 1
I want to send out an e-mail to several hotels near our venue to ask them about accomodations, policies, etc. Half of our guests will be out of town, so I’m guessing we will need about 15 rooms. I want to know prices, room blocking policies (i.e. what if all the rooms don’t get blocked), policies on delivering Out of Town bags, and shuttle services (I’ve read about these being offered, but don’t know if it’s unusual to ask about this).
I’m thinking about sending out generic e-mails, something like this:
“To whom it may concern,
I’m contacting you to get information about booking rooms for out-of-town guests for our May 6, 2012 wedding. I am anticipating needing approximately 15 rooms for Friday, May 4-Monday, May 7.
I would like to know your current policies regarding blocking rooms. Do you offer a group rate? How long will you hold rooms? What is the procedure if all the rooms are not booked?
Do you offer a delivery service for welcome bags? If so, is this service complimentary?
Do you offer a shuttle? What areas does this service, and is there a cost associated with this?
Thank you in advance for your time,
Any suggestions for anything else I should be asking, or any revisions that you would recommend? Is this too long winded, or is this a reasonable e-mail?
Post # 3
I wouldn’t send an e-mail. I would set up a spreadsheet with the info you are seeking and then call each hotel individually and speak with their group sales department.
Post # 4
Thanks! I’m such a nervous phone person, so I was trying to chicken out and send an e-mail lol
You’re right though, my best option is to suck it up.
Any suggestions for what accomodations you would expect? I’m kind of in uncharted waters here and don’t really know what I should expect from the hotel.
Post # 5
I have done a lot of room blocks for work events, and now my wedding. What to expect varies a lot on the class of hotel you are booking and the region. Some examples:
For my wedding, we have a room block of 10 rooms at the hotel we are holding the wedding for 50% off the rack rate (from $795/night to $395/night). We also have a block of 10 rooms at the travelodge across the street from the hotel for 25% off the rack rate ($225 to $195). Neither hotel required me to guarantee the room block and the rooms will be released if not booked within 30 days of the wedding.
The Marriott next to our wedding required a full guarantee of all blocked rooms and required a minimum of 10 rooms to start a block.
For work, I always book Hyatts and they will usually do a block for 5-10 rooms minimum. While they encourage a guarantee of 50% of the rooms, sometimes you can talk them into waiving that guarantee (it is in the sales manager’s discretion).
Be prepared to tell them how many rooms you want. Ask them for availability and pricing (blocked rooms are always discounted). Ask them what ammenities it includes. Ask them if they offer comps (such as free breakfast, a discount on hotel dining or free wifi). Then ask them their guaranty policy.
Post # 6
Make sure to ask if you get “comped” rooms if you book a certain amount. We got a “comped/free” night, for every 30 nights our guests booked. That is 30″nights” not rooms- so it really added up! we eneded up getting 3 free rooms- AND they let us use it on our bridal suites.
Ours has a shuttle that goes within a 5 block distance(it’s downtown)-but it does not offer airport pick-up, which I kinda would of liked.
Their welcome bag policy changed after we booked(thank goodness!)- but it was orgially free, and you could leave them at the front desk(we still get to do it this way). NOW they changed it- and it is $2.50 a bag, and they must get delivered, and they deliver them between 3-9pm??? I thought this was a strange time frame? Most people will be at the wedding by then!
Most importantly- negoitate the nightly rate- depending when your wedding is, they might be realy hurting for business. I talked my girl down from $189 a night, to $109 a night!
I also hate talking on the phone! Most hotels(major chains) like hilton, hampton, mariott have an online form you must fill out with your request, then they will call you and discuss details
Hope this helped!