They have heard both good and bad things about blocking rooms from other brides so their concern is certainly valid.
Listed below are the pros and cons of blocking hotel rooms for wedding guests at an all-inclusive resort.
While you are free to make up your own mind, we think you will agree with our conclusion that the pros of blocking hotel rooms outweigh the cons.
Pros Of Reserving A Block Of Hotel Rooms At An All-Inclusive Resort
One of the biggest advantages of getting a block of rooms at an all inclusive resort is that your wedding can be entirely free. Depending on how many rooms you and your guests take up, your entire ceremony, cake, photos, and reception can be free. Take a look below at the Moment in Paradise wedding package offered at the SugarBay resort and spa.
As you can see from the image, the wedding package includes a wedding planner (a big perk), the officiant, a scenic ceremony, wedding cake, flowers and more.
Some resorts offer free hotel rooms if a certain number of rooms are being reserved by wedding guests. As an example, a resort may say that they will give one free room for every 20 rooms reserved under your wedding room block.
The free rooms can be used by your parents, family or even your bridal party. The complimentary room ratio (a.k.a. comp ratio) is usually discussed when getting group hotel rates at the resort. To learn more, read our article “How To Get A Free Hotel Room When You Block Rooms For Wedding Guests”.
Every Wedding Guest Pays The Same Amount
At a destination wedding we attended last year, every guest had booked their own room and they all paid different amounts depending on the rate they were quoted. Some had paid $250 per night and others had paid $419 a night for the same exact room. When the hotel was asked why the rates were so different, their response was that their rates change based on availability.
The only way to ensure that all your wedding guests get the same rate is to reserve a block of hotel rooms at an all inclusive resort. Doing so guarantees that all guests have the same cancellation policy, the same deposit (usually one night) and the same room rate. Plus, the group rate at an all-inclusive resort will be around 10% less than what your guests can get on their own.
If you block rooms, your guests will only have to put down a small deposit when they reserve rooms. If they book on their own, they are required to pay for everything up front.
Rooms Where You Want Them
Do you like a certain part of the resort more than another? Is there a place that is more convenient or serves as a better location at the resort? If you block rooms for a wedding, the sales managers can keep everyone’s rooms near each other and in the area of the resort that you like.
The wedding we referred to earlier where the rooms were not blocked had another problem. The couple getting married did not have a good idea of how many people were actually coming.
Some said they were coming but did not make the reservations till late, others cancelled without telling them, and another set of guests just showed up without rsvping. Getting wedding favors, planning a reception, and booking a caterer are all but impossible if you don’t have exact counts of how many people are going to show up.
If you block rooms at the resort, you can always call and find out how many rooms have been reserved under your room block. This will give you an idea of how many people will be attending.
Everyone Stays At The Same Hotel
If everyone books their own rooms, they will all book rooms at different hotels all over the place. Imagine how much of a headache it would be to coordinate everyone for a pool party or an excursion. With a room block, everyone is at the same hotel/resort and organizing is simple.
Another advantage of staying at the same hotel is that it is so much easier to greet wedding guests as they arrive.
No Fear Of Being Sold Out
Ever been to Barbados in peak season? Just about every hotel and resort is sold out. If you don’t block hotel rooms, there is a danger that guests that try to book even a month or two out will not be able to because everyone is sold out.
If you block rooms at a resort, there is no danger of the resort being sold out. When you block rooms, they are taken out of general inventory and are not available to the public. Only after your cut off date (usually 30 days before the wedding), do they get released to the general public.
Cons Of Reserving A Block Of Hotel Rooms At An All-Inclusive Resort
Loss of Deposit
Depending on the kind of wedding package you reserve, there may be a deposit of $500 or $1000 to secure the room block. If a certain number of rooms are not used, or if you cancel your wedding, the deposit is generally non-refundable.
However, when you are blocking rooms, make sure to only block a small number of rooms that you know you can fill. Then, as the room block fills up, ask the resort to add X number of rooms to it. You can continue to add as more people reserve rooms. This way, you never have to worry about losing your deposit.
We all get those emails with last minute deals from travel websites. In some cases, those last minute deals turn out to be cheaper than the group rate you and your guests are paying at the resort.
Why would a resort do that?
Because they have to fill rooms and if on a certain weekend they are very slow, they will dump their inventory at fire sale prices.
If you see this happening, then call the sales manager at the resort and insist that they match the rate being offered or else your entire wedding party will be cancelling reservations and remaking them at the discounted rates.
Not Everyone Cares For An All Inclusive Resort
By booking rooms at an all-inclusive resort, you are in effect telling guests that they have to stay there. Some guests may not appreciate being forced into paying for an all-inclusive food and drink fest, especially if they don’t expect to do much of the latter.
Reserving a block of hotel rooms at an all-inclusive resort generally solves more problems than it causes. The biggest drawback is the deposit that you have to put up. Otherwise, booking a block of rooms can be quite advantageous for the couple getting married and their guests.
What Should You Do Next?
Get a block of hotel rooms for your destination wedding by filling out this group booking form. There are no fees, and the service is completely free.