(Closed) Reserving a block of hotel rooms?? Any advice/tips?

posted 8 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
Member
2015 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I would definitely suggest doing room blocks, but keep in mind that you might not get the best rate, as a lot of hotels do online specials that are cheaper, but they’ll give you a little bit of a discount.

We honestly just picked three hotels that were closest to the venue. We spread the word that if anyone found a cheaper hotel online, they should book it. Most of our guests used the room block, and some didn’t. The hotels held the rooms up until a few weeks before the wedding.

Post # 4
Member
2186 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

i picked hotels that were convienient and close to the venues. i checked online to see their prices then called them to see what they would give me – i used the prices online for leverage. i got blocks that equaled the online special that they were running! 🙂 good luck – some places though its less about haggling for price and more about making sure enough rooms are reserved for your guests.

Post # 5
Member
50 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Another thing you may want to think about is different price ranges for your hotel blocks if you are doing more than one. In my case that meant a pricier hotel for some coworkers, family and a less expensive option for friends just out of college. Within a price range we were able to negotiate prices based on competitors.

Post # 6
Member
331 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

My mom called the hotels about the room block. The lady initially said 109 (I think), my mom said I wanted her to call other places too, lady asks if I want it under 100, says she can do 99. Mom called back later, said I wanted it under 100 with tax, lady said she could do 95. No advice on negotiating other details…

Post # 7
Member
56 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’m actually in the middle of doing this!  I went through http://www.hotelplanner.com, and it’s worked out well for me.  Basically, different hotels put in bids for your room block/preferred dates (and any extras you need, such as transportation from the airport), and you can pick which ones you want.  After getting a few bids, my Fiance and I went around and checked the hotels out before signing up for a block from the select few.

Post # 8
Member
1585 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I just picked up the phone and called some hotels by where we are getting married.

They set up a group rate for us.  Group rates usually work better because you are not gaurenteed to fill up a certain ammount of rooms like you are with blocks.

The people booking these hotel rooms just have to call the hotel and tell them what group you are with and then you get the price.

One hotel I booked said that 10 rooms need to be booked under my “party” before the discount would count.

Post # 9
Member
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I highly recommend seeing if your local convention & visitors bureau will help you.  They can put out an RFP – request for proposals – and all of the hotels in the area that want business can respond to it.  The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau was absolutely terrific in this respect.  It was an automated system & I didn’t have to call a zillion hotels & take notes, etc.  I ended up getting a Marriott room block for $99/night, plus we negotiated a lower cost for parking.  

Post # 10
Member
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

my experience was very similar to the other posters — i just called around to the sales departments of the hotels in the area and asked about a room block or group rate.  most gave about a $10-15 discount from their published prices and gave us a code for guests to mention.  i only ran into one hotel that required the rooms be filled or we would be responsible for paying for them — make sure you check your contracts carefully!  with the others, the unbooked rooms simply go back into the general hotel pool (and price) a month before the date. 

 

Post # 11
Member
7053 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I’m doing 2 ways to save for our guests. Am negotiating with a nearby hotel that is relatively new, really nice, beachfront, and even has a morning breakfast included.  And also through the booking site for the resort we’re staying at .

Imho, not having the wedding at our resort, gives us more negotiation leverage for prices. For example, in order to even have the reception at the resort we are staying at, we had to book a minimum number of nights stayed by guests (their magic total was 20 nights).  At their price.  A rather inflated price imho, but they tried to include things like resort logo beach towels for favors.

To think I almost gave in to them just for the darn towels! 

Post # 12
Member
4480 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

We called a few that were near the venue and compared rates. Usually they will hold the rooms until a few weeks before the wedding, and people have to book by then or else they will be released.

Post # 13
Member
215 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I sourced this job out to my groom and dad (great way for them to bond).  just remember that if it’s even an semi-destination affair, wherever guests stay you will also be staying so make sure that the bridal suite and accommodations are right for you guys too.

Post # 14
Member
955 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

All of the other ladies’ advice is great! I just called around to a bunch of different hotels that were located near our venue. I was able to reserve 30 rooms until the day before the wedding for a discounted rate (and no extra $$ if the rooms were not all booked).

Just a warning…we only reserved 10 rooms at our actual venue because we would have to pay for any rooms that they held that were not actually booked. We didn’t want to get stuck paying $160 for a bunch of extra rooms so just keep that in mind too 🙂

Post # 15
Member
50 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

A room block is when you reserve a number of rooms at a hotel for out of town wedding guests. The main reason you do this is that hotels will give a discount when all the rooms are blocked at one hotel.

Room blocks are nice because sometimes the hotel will give you a free room with 10 rooms booked. So you can get your room for free. Some will give free tickets to use at their restaurant for breakfast. Finally some will provide a free shuttle with 10 rooms booked. That way your guests can have transportation if they are big drinkers

Plus, wedding guests tend to like to stay with other guests so they can hang out.

When blocking rooms, most hotels will let you block up to 20 rooms a night without any deposit or formal contract. They will “hold” these rooms till about three weeks before the wedding and any unreserved rooms will be released to the general public for sale.

Here is a set of articles that you can read to get more information about blocking rooms at a hotel for a wedding: http://grouptravel.org/wedding/frequently-asked-questions-faq-about-blocking-hotel-rooms-for-a-wedding/

If you need a larger number of rooms to be blocked, hotels will ask you to sign a contract and may charge you for rooms that are not reserved.

As a general rule, you want to book with a hotel that does not charge you for rooms. When booking, ask the hotel for an open or courtesy room block. They will usually put aside ten rooms for you and when those ten are reserved, then they will add another ten rooms to your block.

Just make sure that you send invites six months in advance so guests have time to plan and book. Hotels do sell out fast during wedding season so the earlier you can get wedding guests to book, the better.

In your letter, rather than saying, we have blocked/set aside rooms at these hotels, you can say: “We have arranged special rates with the X, Y, and Z hotels. Please make your reservation by X date to ensure you receive the special rate. Here is the group code you can use when calling to make the reservation”

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