Hotel Room Blocks – Everything You Need To Know

Author: Maddy Springer   Date: December 2019

What is a hotel room block?

A hotel room block is a section of ten or more rooms in a hotel that are reserved for a specific group or event. Frequently these will be referred to as room blocks or hotel blocks, all of these terms are correct. In order to get a room that has been reserved, a guest must be part of the group the room block was reserved for. Hotel blocks are a great tool for traveling in large groups for this reason.

Do I need a room block?

This answer can change based on many different factors. First is the number of rooms you would be needing in your hotel block. As a general rule, hotels will not allow for blocks of less than ten rooms. For groups requiring fewer than ten rooms, individual reservations are the better option.

An additional question to ask is if you want all of your travelers to stay in the same hotel. Having everyone in the same hotel makes many travel issues easier. It is much easier to organize transportation if all pick-ups and drop-offs are in the same location. You know what amenities everyone will have access to. There is a clear answer as to whether or not you need to provide breakfast, if there will be wifi, and what conference spaces are available.

However, having everyone in the same hotel can have drawbacks. There is less flexibility when using one hotel. Some of your travelers may like to sit in the lobby talking late into the night and would prefer that the hotel have a bar. Others may not care about the bar, but are insistent on having access to breakfast and a gym in the morning. It is important to note that if traveling with a large enough group, it is possible to have room blocks at multiple hotels to present your travelers with some degree of choice. It is up to you to prioritize what is most important when deciding if you should get a hotel room block.

It is also important to consider the time frame you have to plan. Ask yourself how long you have to make reservations, and how likely it is that your travelers will respond in the necessary time frame. Some types of travel make this much easier than others. It is far easier to get conformations for a business trip than it is to get a confirmation from your Great-Aunt Helga for the family reunion.

Does booking rooms as a room block save money?

Most of the time, yes! Hotels often give discounts on rates for rooms booked as part of a block. It can also save money in other ways by making billing and accounting easier, and paying less in processing fees. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. Hotels are private businesses and most of the price is going to depend on what attrition rate is decided on, mitigation clauses, and allowable shrinkage. All of those factors are agreed upon during contract negotiation.

Do I need to be a lawyer to negotiate hotel block contracts?

Absolutely not! If you are willing to put in the time and the effort to read your contract and learn their terms and conditions, you should absolutely try to negotiate. Ask for what you want, within reason. The larger the number of rooms in your block, the more negotiating power you have. Don’t be afraid to shop around too. If you aren’t completely comfortable with legalese and contracts, that is alright! Not many people are. Hotels can be expensive, and mistakes can make costs rise quickly.  If you decide that you want help in this process contact us and one of our professional negotiators will help you ensure that your travel experience is the best it can be!