1. “On sold out nights, a hotel always has an extra room available just in case.” False! When I worked at a hotel front desk many years ago we often had people requesting a room when we were in a sold out position. In their desperation they would say “I know you have a room that you don’t rent out to anyone in case of an emergency”. If hotels have an opportunity to sell all their rooms and fill the hotel they will (and do)
2. “It’s 2am and I have a guaranteed reservation. You still have my room right?” If it’s a sold out night there is a strong likelihood that they have given away your room unless you have called to confirm your arrival time. Every day hotels have ‘no show’ guests with reservations. In order to fill the hotel on sold-out nights the hotel will overbook. Calling ahead helps ensure your room is ready when you arrive.
3. “I’m bringing you more rooms for my group this year therefore I should get a better rate right?” Not necessarily. Depending on when your group is scheduled to arrive the hotel might need to displace another group. Sometimes needing less rooms from a hotel will actually give you a lower rate as it fits better into the booking pattern.
4. “Don’t hotels understand how important my business is? While we all feel ‘of value’, each time (each year) we approach a hotel, we must reposition our worth to the hotel. Especially if your pattern is during a compressed time in a city. It takes a strong relationship to ensure that the hotel will take your business if another group of higher earning potential wants your dates.
5. “Who do you report to again?” Ownership and management of hotels change regularly. Most branded hotels are owned by separate ownership groups and are not corporately owned. Often hotel owners own multiple competing brands. This becomes important to be aware of when booking multiple bedroom blocks.