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Expert September 2019 Manitoba

Booking hotel block

Kelly, on January 21, 2019 at 11:06 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 8

Wanna pick some people's brains here. I've never booked a block of hotel rooms before and wanted to know if my experience here is the norm.

Our wedding venue is about an hour outside the city, so we wanted to have rooms available at a nearby hotel in case people wanted to stay in town near the venue.

I called a hotel, and asked them to explain how it works. She explained the ins and outs of it and then said "is that what you want to do?" and I said yes. Then she said she needed my credit card information for the booking. Is that normal? When I asked her why she would need my credit card, she said as insurance for them. But that doesn't make any sense to me because if guests book a room there, and end up being no shows...wouldn't that guest's card be charged for the room because they will have given that info at the time of booking?

And, if the rooms aren't booked a month before the date, they're released and available for anybody to book, so I don't really understand under what circumstances they would need to ever charge my card.

I'm also sketched out because they said they'd email me information with how guests book and receive a discount, and they never did. So I emailed them, but never heard back. I'm going to call them this afternoon because its been a few weeks now.

Has anybody had a similar experience? Is that normal procedure for booking a hotel block? Or is this as weird as I think it is?


Latest activity by Jenn, on January 21, 2019 at 18:15
  • J
    Curious August 2019 Ontario
    Jenn ·
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    No that is not required, when you block rooms for your wedding they will block them off for you and the hotel will charge the couple that are staying there.
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  • Leah
    VIP April 2019 British Columbia
    Leah ·
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    I've experienced this before, but in other instances, I was just asked for my contact information and wedding details. Every hotel is different. There's also a site called "Where Will They Stay" that will make the arrangements for you. We used them before, but I also contacted some hotels myself. Also in this day an age with folks wanting to make their own arrangements and possibly stay in short term vacation homes, we decided to offer hotel discounts at varying price points, and forego the actual hotel blocking.

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  • Julia
    Frequent user August 2019 Alberta
    Julia ·
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    I booked rooms at 2 hotels and was not required to provide anything beyond my name, phone number, email and booking dates. Guests must phone the hotel to book at the group rate, it can not be booked online. My rooms will be released 1 month prior to the wedding.
    Also...if blocking rooms in a small town with minimal it early!! I basically got the last available rooms in town almost 8 months prior to the wedding lol
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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    Some hotels need a "hold" on rooms which is why they might require your information. I think this is usually applicable in guaranteed blocks like Peggy mentioned.

    We did a non-guaranteed block so on September 19, all un-booked rooms are released back into their room inventory. When a guest goes to book the room, the hotel grabs their credit card information so their card acts as the "hold" on their room.

    We also booked our wedding at the same hotel so when we put our deposit down, they didn't ask for the information again for a room block, but they did have our information from our deposit if that makes sense.

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  • Leanne
    Expert September 2018 Ontario
    Leanne ·
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    I blocked out rooms at two different hotels...everyone was coming from out of town to our wedding and I gave a "nice" hotel option and a "budget friendly" option. Both hotels required a credit card number up front. Neither hotels charged our credit card, didn't even put a hold on it, it was strictly for securing the rooms. They both gave us deadlines that the rooms needed to be booked by and then they were released to the public.

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  • Sharlene
    Expert August 2019 Alberta
    Sharlene ·
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    We have rooms blocked at two different hotels for our guests. When people book the rooms a credit card is required to "hold" the room. The hotel block expires on June 1st. Our wedding in on August 3rd.

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  • Peggy
    Super May 2019 Alberta
    Peggy ·
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    It depends, really - There are two ways hotels do room blocks.

    1 - Guaranteed blocks. This is where you, as the host, are guaranteeing that X number of rooms will be booked. Let's say 10 rooms. If only 6 of the rooms are booked, you are on the hook for the other 4. This type of block is usually held for you right up until the event date.

    2 - Non guaranteed blocks - This is where you, as the host, are NOT guaranteeing that X rooms will be booked, and are NOT on the hook for any costs if the rooms aren't sold. This type of block is usually only held until about a month before your event - this is so the hotel has a chance to book the rooms with other guests, if you don't fill them all.

    So that's the first thing I would find out - is this a guaranteed or non guaranteed block? If it is non-guaranteed, they should not need any credit information.

    I blocked rooms at 2 hotels, both Hilton brand (one Garden Inn sub brand and the other Homes2Suites sub brand). I did not have to put credit card information down.

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  • Stephanie
    VIP May 2019 Ontario
    Stephanie ·
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    No.... that's not what happened for us. We booked a block of 20 rooms and the venue just said they would hold those rooms for us untill a month before the wedding. Didn't have to give any credit card details to reserve that seems really weird to me...
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