When planning a wedding or another important event, you may have guests arrive from out of town for the occasion. If so, you or your planners should set up a room block as a courtesy for your guests. Before doing this, it helps to have a general understanding of some of the industry terms you might hear.
Contracted Room Block
A contracted room block is an agreement made between you and the hotel in which the hotel provides a special rate and number of rooms over specific dates. You, the client, are financially responsible for meeting a revenue minimum from your guests’ room reservations. This is a good option if you know a large number your guests will be needing overnight accommodations.
A hotel may offer a courtesy block in lieu of a contracted room block. Courtesy blocks provide a special rate for you and your guests, but do not guarantee a specific number of rooms. This is a good option if you won’t have many guests visiting from out of town and if you don’t want to be responsible for meeting a minimum number of rooms or revenue.
Applicable to contracted room blocks, attrition is the percentage a hotel will allow you to go below your contracted terms should you not meet the minimum revenue.
With these terms in mind, below are some factors to consider.
If you know you’ll need a lot of guest rooms for your out-of-town arrivals, consider what events are happening in the area before finalizing your wedding date, if at all possible. Hotel rates and availability will be greatly impacted by major concerts and conventions in town. For example, Claremont Club & Spa is located just steps from the UC Berkeley Campus, and we often sell out for events like graduation weekend and home football games.
Think about your guests’ needs when choosing a hotel or hotels. Consider travel time to your wedding venue (if not getting married at the hotel), convenience to airports, on-property amenities (pools, spas, and restaurants are great things for your guests to have access to for down time), and proximity to local attractions. Many guests will want to utilize the trip as an opportunity to see the destination, in addition to celebrating you.
Read the contract! It sounds silly, but it’s important to understand what you’re being held responsible for. Are you on the hook for 5 rooms on Friday and 10 rooms on Saturday? The last thing you or the hotel wants is an unexpected cost days before your wedding. Thankfully, we have a dedicated sales manager who handles wedding and social room blocks, so he can walk you through this entire process and ensure you are comfortable with the contract before signing.