If you’ve tried to block rooms at a hotel, then you know that most hotels will add some kind of attrition clause holding you financially responsible for rooms that were not reserved.
In addition, most hotels require a deposit along with the room block contract.
Is there are way to not have to pay a deposit and not have to sign an attrition clause in a contract.
Sure there is. It’s called a courtesy room block.
What Is A Courtesy Room Block (a.k.a open block)?
There are two types of room blocks.
The traditional room block requires a hefty deposit if you block hotel rooms for a family reunion. You would also have to agree to some sort of an attrition clause that specifies how much you would pay the hotel if you did not reserve a certain portion of the room block.
The other kind of room block is a courtesy room block. This is the kind of room block that does not require a deposit of any kind and there are no attrition clauses to worry about either. In fact, many hotels don’t even ask you to sign a contract with a courtesy room block.
The restriction with a courtesy room block is that the hotel will release the rooms that are not reserved 30 to 60 days ahead of the family reunion. Make sure to tell your attendees to make group reservations early and this restriction should not affect you.
How To Get A Courtesy Room Block For A Family Reunion
Getting a courtesy room block is actually quite simple. If your family reunion dates and location have been decided already, then fill out our group hotel rates form.
Make sure to add the following in the comments section when filling out the form:
Submit your request and watch hotels respond by email almost instantly.
But Can’t I Just Call Hotels Directly?
Sure you can. However, our experience tells us that most family members do not call enough hotels to get competitive quotes and end up paying more in the process.
With our automated system, you can expect dozens of hotels to respond to your request instantly.
Plus, you have the added benefit of saving time. You won’t be calling hotels individually and playing phone tag just to get group rates.
Finally, the service is completely free with no catches. The only thing you have to decide on is how many rooms to block.
How Many Hotel Rooms Should I Block?
Since you don’t know how many of your out-of-town guests will be attending the family reunion, you should start by blocking a minimum number of rooms.
If you’re expecting 50 out-of-town guests, then start by blocking 10 to 20 overnight rooms by way of a courtesy room block.
If you fill up these rooms, you can always call the hotel to increase your room block.
What If The Hotel You Want Does Not Offer A Courtesy Room Block?
If the hotel you prefer does not offer a courtesy room block, then try the following:
1. Will the hotel offer a courtesy room block with a discounted rate that was only available till the hotel was booked at 80% capacity?
2. If you’re going to be spending money on catering for a family reunion banquet, then use this as a bargaining chip towards convincing the hotel to offer you a courtesy block.
3. Try asking the hotel if they will offer your group a discounted rate without holding any rooms. Look up hotel rates online and ask that they match the lowest rate available. If the hotel agrees to do this, then encourage your family reunion members to book rooms as soon as possible. Make sure to post the telephone number or the reservations link on your family reunion website.
What Are Some Of The Perks Of Blocking Hotel Rooms A Family Reunion?
Points for the planner
This is not a very well known perk, but may hotels do offer rewards points to family reunion planners. Every major hotel chain has some kind of rewards program so make sure to ask about it at the time of contracting. You can use the points for your personal use or share them with other family members. In the case that the hotel agrees to giving rewards points, make sure to get the details in the room block contract.
Free hotel rooms
Many hotels will offer a complimentary hotel room for every [x] number of rooms reserved. This is referred to as the comp ratio in the hotel industry. Many family reunions will give the complementary room to the family reunion planner as a gift for the time they spent planning.
Free WiFi, Breakfast, Shuttle Service
Many hotels will give one or all of the above for free if you select their hotel to host your family reunion. Even if the hotel agrees to one of the above, it can lead to significant savings for the family.
While the above three perks are extrememy important, they are by no means the only ones. For a complete list, read Perks For Blocking Hotel Rooms For A Family Reunion.
A courtesy room block is the absolute best way to reserve a block of hotel rooms without the hassles of deposits and attrition rates.
What should you do next?
Ready to get a courtesy room block now? Get started with our group request form. You are five minutes away from getting the lowest group rates for hotels.