When hosting an event, whether it be a wedding, bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah or social event, you will want to set up a block of hotel rooms for your guests. Having a discounted block of hotel rooms is convenient for your guests and takes the burden of planning off their shoulders. If you are having an event off site, you may want to consider transportation to and from your venue from the hotel.
When hosting an event at the Tiffany Ballroom or Zachariah’s, setting up a block of hotel rooms is easy with our on-site accommodations. The Four Points by Sheraton Norwood provides discount accommodations for those hosting an event on property at an earlier date than those with off property events. This ensures your guests have ample time to get their room.
The Contract for Block of Hotel Rooms
When setting up a block of hotel rooms there are typically two types of contracts: courtesy block and clause-based block. The Four Points by Sheraton Norwood offers on site events a courtesy block. With a courtesy block of rooms, a set number of rooms is put aside for your event. These rooms are held until 5 weeks before your event with no financial obligation to the host. Any rooms that have not been reserved at the cutoff date will fall back into the hotel’s general inventory and be sold at the best available rate. Typically, once you fill a certain percent of the original block, you can request to add additional rooms into the block. At the Four Points by Sheraton Norwood, we can continue to add rooms to the block with no financial obligation until the hotel reaches an overall 80% occupancy or until the 5-week cutoff date has been reached.
Clause-based block involves a financial obligation. Typically, this contract is used when you are setting aside a large block of rooms and the hotel needs to guarantee they will be sold. When setting up this block, you sign a contract guaranteeing a certain number of rooms in the block will be booked and are financially responsible if they do not block. Usually, you are required to fill 80% of the rooms blocked off, but this number can vary by property. If you do not meet the guaranteed number of rooms contracted, you owe the difference between the number of rooms booked versus the guarantee. A clause-based contract is a good choice if you are booking for a busy weekend in the area where the hotel may sell out, or if you are certain you’ll be able to meet the requirements of the contract.
The Details of a Courtesy Block of Hotel Rooms
When setting up your block of hotel rooms, consider who on your list may want to stay overnight. Count anyone that lives more than 30 minutes away, your bridal party or those that will not want to drive after the party. This count gives you a general idea of how many rooms you may need.
Many hotels have a maximum number of rooms you can hold for a courtesy block; and that is ok. Make sure you understand how your guests book, any code or name they need to mention when booking and what the cancellation policy is for the rooms. Confirm the date that guests need to book by for the discounted rate; and how you should go about checking to see the block pick up. Ask about how the hotel handles additional room requests. Do they automatically add rooms to the block if it is filled; or do you have to request additional rooms be added?
Once your block of hotel rooms is set up, email the information to your bridal party and close friends and family who you know are booking. If you have not sent out Save the Dates yet, this is great information to include. Also add this information to your wedding website. Make sure to include the hotel information, the rate, the cutoff date for booking and the steps guests need to take in booking their room.
At the Four Points by Sheraton Norwood in MA, guests need to call the hotel directly and reference the name of the event. If you know you’ll need more than your original block of rooms, encourage (or directly ask) your bridal party and immediate family to book early so that you have ample time to add additional rooms to the block if needed. If you know of any big events happening in the area, make sure you alert your guests that the hotel may sell out so that they can plan accordingly.
If you are looking for a great hotel for your guests to stay, whether you are having your event with us or somewhere else, we are happy to help! Call us at 781-255-3159 or contact us to get started.