There are so many hotels nowadays that it’s tough to wade through the different brands without feeling lost.
It’s common to ask yourself “Which hotel should I book. What hotels offer the best amenities?
Which amenities will my out of town classmates want in a hotel or use the most?”
The goal is for you to select a hotel that is close to the school, is clean, spacious, and offers a great value (in the form of amenities) for the price paid.
How Do You Find A Hotel Like That?
Finding a hotel for your classmates should not be very difficult. Start by getting group rates from hotels near the school. While that sounds like it’s going to take hours, it is quite easy to do. Instead of calling hotels individually, just fill out a Group Hotel Rates form and have hotels email you their group rates.
Compare Hotels Based On More Than The Price Per Room
When comparing hotels, remember that price is not the only factor you should look at. Take into consideration that some hotels offer free breakfast and free WiFi whereas others don’t. Also, keep in mind that distance is a big deal as well.
A cheaper hotel that requires a cab ride to/from the reunion will be more expensive than a hotel that is within walking distance even if the latter has a higher room rate per night.
Listed below are the most important amenities to look at when comparing hotels for class reunion attendees
1. Free WiFi
WiFi should be free at every hotel. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Many higher end hotels still charge a ridiculous fee of $10 or more per day to use their WiFi. Try very hard not to book your room block at a hotel that charges for WiFi as you will just irritate your class reunion guests.
2. Indoor Pool
Having a pool at the hotel where your class reunion is being held is extremely beneficial. Since many of your classmates will be traveling with family, a pool provides a great place where kids can hang out and adults can linger on the side catching up with classmates.
In fact, many class reunions will even schedule an informal hang out time at the pool so everyone can get together after dinner.
Also, many hotels have poolside rooms. Ask the sales manager if they can reserve these rooms for your group so everyone can get together in the pool area and hang out without disturbing other hotel guests.
3. Free Airport Shuttle
You can save some serious cab fare if your hotel provides free shuttle service to your college and airport. If a round trip to the school is $40, then that’s what each classmate saves by staying at this hotel.
This is an amenity that can lead to substantial savings versus hotels that don’t offer the complimentary shuttle.
4. Refrigerator and Microwave
Leftover food, milk, and insulin shots all require a refrigerator. Many of your classmates will be traveling with family and will require milk to be kept cool and leftover food to be warmed. Others may need a refrigerator just for their medicine.
While some hotels will charge you up to $20 a night to have a fridge and microwave in the room, a lot of two and three star hotels already have them in their hotel rooms (no charge). This is another amenity that, if available, leads to increased satisfaction on the part of your class reunion attendees.
5. Pet Friendly
We love our pets and nowadays, we travel with them too. It would not be unusual for a few of your classmates to bring their pets along with them. If your hotel does not accept pets, then these folks may have to stay elsewhere, possibly ruining their trip.
6. Hospitality Suite
Most hotels will provide a complimentary room (Hospitality suite) for your classmates to hang out in if you block hotel rooms. This room can be as small as a regular hotel room or it can be one of their meeting rooms. The room serves as a good hub where people can hang out during their downtime. Many get together to play cards or checkers. Some hotels also allow you to bring in food into the hospitality suite so make sure to ask.
7. Free Breakfast
Want to save over $10 per person per day. Then block hotel rooms at a place the provides a complimentary full hot breakfast. Even if the room rate is a few dollars higher, the free breakfast will more than make up for the hassle of having to go out for breakfast everyday. Many chains like Best Western, Hilton Garden Inn, and Homewood Suites will offer a full hotel breakfast free of charge. When getting Group Hotel Rates, mention that you will give preference to a hotel that will provide a free full hot breakfast.
8. Free Parking
Parking fees can run as much as $40 a night in bigger cities like Boston and New York. Even in smaller cities, the cost for parking can be quite substantial when you factor in the number of people attending the class reunion. In negotiating group rates with a hotel, try to get the parking fee waived. Doing so will lead to substantial savings.
While not specifically an amenity, the location of the hotel in relation to the class reunion is very important. Most people prefer hotels within walking distance to the school itself. If that is not practical, then consider using a hotel that is within a few miles.
10. Rooms Near Each Other
Most hotels have the ability to “pre-block” group rooms near each other. While this may seem insignificant at first, having rooms nearby is quite beneficial as it lets classmates get together at night without having to traipse all over the hotel. Remember that some hotels (Especially in New York City and Las Vegas) have over a thousand rooms so if your classmates are in different wings, they may never see each other.
We’ve learned all the amenities that are important when comparing hotels for a class reunion. Keeping these amenities in mind will ensure that classmates will be staying in a location that is convenient, and comfortable.
What should you do next?
Get group rates for hotels for your next class reunion.