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Booking a hotel for a group - 5 tips

Most people will have attended a conference or event where a hotel has been booked for them, but have you ever thought about the work that goes into the actual booking

process? Or have you ever turned up at check in at a hotel to find that your booking is not in the system?

Here are just a few tips to help you with your bookings

1) How many hotels have the amount of rooms you are looking for within the area? If you are booking a hundred rooms in a city like London there will probably be ample rooms with that much capacity but what about somewhere smaller like Norwich? I will always look at the number of large hotels with that many rooms firstly in an area.I will then immediately put a couple of suitable options on hold by asking the hotels to keep them for me for at least 48 hours. This should be free of charge and will give you time to call any other hotels that may still be available knowing that you at least have somewhere to stay.

2)Negotiate the price. Often the price for a group booking will be much cheaper than for an individual room but this is not always the case. For instance if I wanted to book forty rooms in York on a Saturday night for next August I already know that York will be busy every Saturday and that if a hotel provides me with that many rooms they may end up with empty rooms on the Friday and Sunday. That is the reason some hotels have a minimum two night stay over a weekend. If you are thinking of having dinner as a group why not ask if the hotel would take a one night booking if you booked a meal for forty people in the restaurant?

3)Send an email with the request but always telephone if you do not receive a reply. Often I will email eight or nine hotels with the same request but only receive replies from two or three of them. I will wait for about five or six hours and then telephone the hotels that have not replied. I will then chase up with another emails and then other telephone calls. It should not be like this but I console myself that if nobody can get through maybe the hotel still has rooms available.

4)Keep the hotel informed. If a hotel is holding rooms for you and you are still waiting for an answer as to whether the booking will go ahead then let the hotel know. Most hotels if you explain the circumstances will understand and keep an option for a few extra days.

5)Rooming lists. These are very important and should be received by the hotel as early as possible.I will always point out any lead guests and VIPs for the best rooms. I will also let the hotel know which guest to speak to in case of any problems. I telephone hotels on the date of arrival to check that every guests name is on the hotels system and marked for arrival. There is nothing worse than providing a hotel with a rooming list and then every guest is listed under a lead name and all the guests are standing in reception without room keys.

I hope this advise is of use to you.

I have been booking hotel rooms for over twenty years within the UK and I am now based in Yorkshire. If you require a hotel booking and especially if you are ever struggling to place a booking as the hotels all seem to be fully booked it is always worth phoning us for help on 01709 874085.

We offer a free booking service and all payments are due directly with the hotels.

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