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JBloggs

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Care to share how you deal with groups.
Has it been successful or will you change any of the ways you book and accept group bookings for 2011?
 

Alibi Ike

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What I found helpful last year, but there are always 'deviations', was to collect half up front, with the balance due 30 days prior to arrival. Speak with one member of the group as the overall coordinator BUT get everyone's email and send the policies to everyone, not just the coordinator.
That is one kind of group, something like a family reunion.
The other kind of group is a wedding where none of the guests may be related but they are coming for the same purpose and are being 'organized' by someone to stay in one place. How we do that scenario: one person holds the rooms on their credit card for a set period of time (you decide). Each room is paid for by the individual guest, not the coordinator (unless the coordinator agrees to be responsible for all payments, then see above). Deposit taken, 30 day cancellation, policies go to every person booking.
All groups on weekends must book 2 nights. Must book all rooms even if they don't use them (which is why it is better to get full payment from one person instead of each room). Mid-week (business groups) can be one night. Groups are served a cold buffet because it's easier for me to not have everyone seated at once and groups are like herding cats to get them to stay put.
 

InnBloom

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What I found helpful last year, but there are always 'deviations', was to collect half up front, with the balance due 30 days prior to arrival. Speak with one member of the group as the overall coordinator BUT get everyone's email and send the policies to everyone, not just the coordinator.
That is one kind of group, something like a family reunion.
The other kind of group is a wedding where none of the guests may be related but they are coming for the same purpose and are being 'organized' by someone to stay in one place. How we do that scenario: one person holds the rooms on their credit card for a set period of time (you decide). Each room is paid for by the individual guest, not the coordinator (unless the coordinator agrees to be responsible for all payments, then see above). Deposit taken, 30 day cancellation, policies go to every person booking.
All groups on weekends must book 2 nights. Must book all rooms even if they don't use them (which is why it is better to get full payment from one person instead of each room). Mid-week (business groups) can be one night. Groups are served a cold buffet because it's easier for me to not have everyone seated at once and groups are like herding cats to get them to stay put..
Alibi Ike said:
What I found helpful last year, but there are always 'deviations', was to collect half up front, with the balance due 30 days prior to arrival. Speak with one member of the group as the overall coordinator BUT get everyone's email and send the policies to everyone, not just the coordinator.
GOOD ADVICE! I always forget the "policies to everyone" part, and it ALWAYS bites me in the butt! This is one of my new year's resolutions, to get better at handling groups.
On a slightly different note, but still relevant to groups: We had a wedding party here over the New Years holiday. Great piece of business, 3 days. But of course, as is ALWAYS the case with groups, not everyone was a B&B person. But still, all was well. The hard part was the folks that didn't stay here but stayed somewhere else. They always managed to get over here to hang out with their family.
Can anyone share wording that they use to limit the use of the house to guests of the house??
 

Alibi Ike

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What I found helpful last year, but there are always 'deviations', was to collect half up front, with the balance due 30 days prior to arrival. Speak with one member of the group as the overall coordinator BUT get everyone's email and send the policies to everyone, not just the coordinator.
That is one kind of group, something like a family reunion.
The other kind of group is a wedding where none of the guests may be related but they are coming for the same purpose and are being 'organized' by someone to stay in one place. How we do that scenario: one person holds the rooms on their credit card for a set period of time (you decide). Each room is paid for by the individual guest, not the coordinator (unless the coordinator agrees to be responsible for all payments, then see above). Deposit taken, 30 day cancellation, policies go to every person booking.
All groups on weekends must book 2 nights. Must book all rooms even if they don't use them (which is why it is better to get full payment from one person instead of each room). Mid-week (business groups) can be one night. Groups are served a cold buffet because it's easier for me to not have everyone seated at once and groups are like herding cats to get them to stay put..
Alibi Ike said:
What I found helpful last year, but there are always 'deviations', was to collect half up front, with the balance due 30 days prior to arrival. Speak with one member of the group as the overall coordinator BUT get everyone's email and send the policies to everyone, not just the coordinator.
GOOD ADVICE! I always forget the "policies to everyone" part, and it ALWAYS bites me in the butt! This is one of my new year's resolutions, to get better at handling groups.
On a slightly different note, but still relevant to groups: We had a wedding party here over the New Years holiday. Great piece of business, 3 days. But of course, as is ALWAYS the case with groups, not everyone was a B&B person. But still, all was well. The hard part was the folks that didn't stay here but stayed somewhere else. They always managed to get over here to hang out with their family.
Can anyone share wording that they use to limit the use of the house to guests of the house??
.
InnBloom said:
Can anyone share wording that they use to limit the use of the house to guests of the house??
For me it is always case by case. I don't have a blanket statement that covers guests of guests, just a tolerance level.

Guests of guests may not leave their cars here unless the guests are removing the same number of cars. Guests of guests may not stay the night or be served breakfast. If they have a cup of coffee, no big deal. If they clean out the guest fridge & pantry, big deal. If I find them poking about, out they go. If they get noisy and paying guests can't use the common spaces, out they go.
The worst are the parents of the bride & groom. They think they are being Lord & Lady Bountiful by offering their guests the use of my space. No, sorry. You needed to host your after hours somewhere else, not here. In which case, I would explain that nicely and suggest some restaurants. Which, we all know doesn't work because that person will then feel slighted in front of family & friends and need to do something to save face. Which generally means being nasty to 'the help' (me).
 

Don Draper

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Here is a copy of the confirmation we used for a whole-house wedding party last year (thank goodness this was all family of the MOB and not the bride/groom themselves as I think they are always more stressful). This woman booked the whole house in February for the August wedding. We tried multiple times to get her to just have her relatives book their individual rooms so we could extend our normal deposit/cancellation policies. She refused, she wanted to book for everyone and then sort them out, so we took a very hard line.
SHE ended up trying to test every single item on the confirmation, multiple emails about canceling/changing, using the deposit for another stay, etc. Almost weekly emails with her for 6 MONTHS. What a giant PITA, for a weekend when we would have been full with "regular" people and not had to deal with any of this. At the end of the day she didn't use one room and canceled it late enough that she ate the deposit for it. Luckily the guests were pretty nice, a little high maintenance but nothing like the worst we've seen.
Here's the confirmation, which we know use as standard for any booking of 3 or more rooms:
Code:
Dear PITA,[/FONT]
Greetings from xxx Inn!

We are pleased to accept your group reservation, and this email will serve as your confirmation.

THIS EMAIL CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION! PLEASE READ ENTIRE CONFIRMATION UPON RECEIPT.

Units: All 9 Guest Rooms
Guests: 18
Check-In: August 6, 2010
Check-Out: August 8, 2010
Staying: 2 night(s)
Room Rates:
Rates listed are per night, double occupancy and do not include 10% sales tax:
Rooms 1-4 $185.00/night
Rooms 5-9 $165.00/night

A non-refundable 50% pre-tax deposit in the amount of $1565.00 will be applied to your credit card to secure your rooms.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Deposit is non-refundable. Changes or cancellations to existing reservation made before July 23, 2010 will not incur any additional fee. Changes or cancellations to existing reservation made on or after July 23, 2010 will incur full room(s) charges.

Guests are welcome to pay separately when they arrive; however as the sole guarantor of this reservation you remain responsible for any fees or charges incurred by guests including but not limited to late check-in, early check-out, no shows and any loss or damages incurred during guests' stay.

We ask that you provide us a list of guest names and personal emails by July 23, 2010. Please let us know who will be staying in each room. At that time we will send each guest a personal email confirmation with our check-in/check-out policies as well as any information they might need for their travels. At that time we can also inquire about individual food allergies/aversions, which we will need to know to plan breakfast.

Please note that the X, Y, and Z guest rooms can each accommodate a third guest (13 years of age or older) for a $25/night fee. Please let us know by July 23, 2010 if any or all of these rooms will have a third guest so we can make appropriate arrangements.

Use of the xxx Inn guest rooms, facilities, common areas, property and grounds is limited solely to registered guests staying at the Inn.

CHECK-IN TIME: We are a private home, and do not maintain a 24 hour check-in desk. Rooms are guaranteed ready after 2 pm, and check-in is no later than 6 pm.

Check-out is 11 am. Late check-out subject to fee.


CHILDREN: Our Inn is appropriate for children ages 13 and older only. Arriving guests not adhering to this policy will not be permitted to check in and will be held responsible for full room charge.

Breakfast Info, Directions, Travel Links, etc. were then added to the confirmation
 

Joey Camb

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We are are now insisting on mobile numbers for every group member as we had a group and some were arriving on the friday and some on the sat this chap was supposed to be in the friday group and 9pm still not come all members of the group who were with us rang him rang his wife all sorts no answer didn't turn up till the next day and we waited up till 11pm for him and no appology or anything (and a right christian group too!) so vowed not to be bitten in the arse again.
 

Alibi Ike

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Here is a copy of the confirmation we used for a whole-house wedding party last year (thank goodness this was all family of the MOB and not the bride/groom themselves as I think they are always more stressful). This woman booked the whole house in February for the August wedding. We tried multiple times to get her to just have her relatives book their individual rooms so we could extend our normal deposit/cancellation policies. She refused, she wanted to book for everyone and then sort them out, so we took a very hard line.
SHE ended up trying to test every single item on the confirmation, multiple emails about canceling/changing, using the deposit for another stay, etc. Almost weekly emails with her for 6 MONTHS. What a giant PITA, for a weekend when we would have been full with "regular" people and not had to deal with any of this. At the end of the day she didn't use one room and canceled it late enough that she ate the deposit for it. Luckily the guests were pretty nice, a little high maintenance but nothing like the worst we've seen.
Here's the confirmation, which we know use as standard for any booking of 3 or more rooms:
Code:
Dear PITA,[/FONT]
Greetings from xxx Inn!

We are pleased to accept your group reservation, and this email will serve as your confirmation.

THIS EMAIL CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION! PLEASE READ ENTIRE CONFIRMATION UPON RECEIPT.

Units: All 9 Guest Rooms
Guests: 18
Check-In: August 6, 2010
Check-Out: August 8, 2010
Staying: 2 night(s)
Room Rates:
Rates listed are per night, double occupancy and do not include 10% sales tax:
Rooms 1-4 $185.00/night
Rooms 5-9 $165.00/night

A non-refundable 50% pre-tax deposit in the amount of $1565.00 will be applied to your credit card to secure your rooms.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Deposit is non-refundable. Changes or cancellations to existing reservation made before July 23, 2010 will not incur any additional fee. Changes or cancellations to existing reservation made on or after July 23, 2010 will incur full room(s) charges.

Guests are welcome to pay separately when they arrive; however as the sole guarantor of this reservation you remain responsible for any fees or charges incurred by guests including but not limited to late check-in, early check-out, no shows and any loss or damages incurred during guests' stay.

We ask that you provide us a list of guest names and personal emails by July 23, 2010. Please let us know who will be staying in each room. At that time we will send each guest a personal email confirmation with our check-in/check-out policies as well as any information they might need for their travels. At that time we can also inquire about individual food allergies/aversions, which we will need to know to plan breakfast.

Please note that the X, Y, and Z guest rooms can each accommodate a third guest (13 years of age or older) for a $25/night fee. Please let us know by July 23, 2010 if any or all of these rooms will have a third guest so we can make appropriate arrangements.

Use of the xxx Inn guest rooms, facilities, common areas, property and grounds is limited solely to registered guests staying at the Inn.

CHECK-IN TIME: We are a private home, and do not maintain a 24 hour check-in desk. Rooms are guaranteed ready after 2 pm, and check-in is no later than 6 pm.

Check-out is 11 am. Late check-out subject to fee.


CHILDREN: Our Inn is appropriate for children ages 13 and older only. Arriving guests not adhering to this policy will not be permitted to check in and will be held responsible for full room charge.

Breakfast Info, Directions, Travel Links, etc. were then added to the confirmation.


I like that bit about 'sole guarantor'.
 

InnBloom

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Here is a copy of the confirmation we used for a whole-house wedding party last year (thank goodness this was all family of the MOB and not the bride/groom themselves as I think they are always more stressful). This woman booked the whole house in February for the August wedding. We tried multiple times to get her to just have her relatives book their individual rooms so we could extend our normal deposit/cancellation policies. She refused, she wanted to book for everyone and then sort them out, so we took a very hard line.
SHE ended up trying to test every single item on the confirmation, multiple emails about canceling/changing, using the deposit for another stay, etc. Almost weekly emails with her for 6 MONTHS. What a giant PITA, for a weekend when we would have been full with "regular" people and not had to deal with any of this. At the end of the day she didn't use one room and canceled it late enough that she ate the deposit for it. Luckily the guests were pretty nice, a little high maintenance but nothing like the worst we've seen.
Here's the confirmation, which we know use as standard for any booking of 3 or more rooms:
Code:
Dear PITA,[/FONT]
Greetings from xxx Inn!

We are pleased to accept your group reservation, and this email will serve as your confirmation.

THIS EMAIL CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION! PLEASE READ ENTIRE CONFIRMATION UPON RECEIPT.

Units: All 9 Guest Rooms
Guests: 18
Check-In: August 6, 2010
Check-Out: August 8, 2010
Staying: 2 night(s)
Room Rates:
Rates listed are per night, double occupancy and do not include 10% sales tax:
Rooms 1-4 $185.00/night
Rooms 5-9 $165.00/night

A non-refundable 50% pre-tax deposit in the amount of $1565.00 will be applied to your credit card to secure your rooms.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Deposit is non-refundable. Changes or cancellations to existing reservation made before July 23, 2010 will not incur any additional fee. Changes or cancellations to existing reservation made on or after July 23, 2010 will incur full room(s) charges.

Guests are welcome to pay separately when they arrive; however as the sole guarantor of this reservation you remain responsible for any fees or charges incurred by guests including but not limited to late check-in, early check-out, no shows and any loss or damages incurred during guests' stay.

We ask that you provide us a list of guest names and personal emails by July 23, 2010. Please let us know who will be staying in each room. At that time we will send each guest a personal email confirmation with our check-in/check-out policies as well as any information they might need for their travels. At that time we can also inquire about individual food allergies/aversions, which we will need to know to plan breakfast.

Please note that the X, Y, and Z guest rooms can each accommodate a third guest (13 years of age or older) for a $25/night fee. Please let us know by July 23, 2010 if any or all of these rooms will have a third guest so we can make appropriate arrangements.

Use of the xxx Inn guest rooms, facilities, common areas, property and grounds is limited solely to registered guests staying at the Inn.

CHECK-IN TIME: We are a private home, and do not maintain a 24 hour check-in desk. Rooms are guaranteed ready after 2 pm, and check-in is no later than 6 pm.

Check-out is 11 am. Late check-out subject to fee.


CHILDREN: Our Inn is appropriate for children ages 13 and older only. Arriving guests not adhering to this policy will not be permitted to check in and will be held responsible for full room charge.

Breakfast Info, Directions, Travel Links, etc. were then added to the confirmation.


I like that bit about 'sole guarantor'.
.


yep, me too. And I like the part about giving me email addresses for all of them so I can send THEM the policies, etc. I always mean to do that and often forget. And that's the part that makes groups so difficult, when the folks who are along for the ride haven't been part of making the booking and understanding check in / check out / smoking / etc. policies.
 

InnBloom

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Here is a copy of the confirmation we used for a whole-house wedding party last year (thank goodness this was all family of the MOB and not the bride/groom themselves as I think they are always more stressful). This woman booked the whole house in February for the August wedding. We tried multiple times to get her to just have her relatives book their individual rooms so we could extend our normal deposit/cancellation policies. She refused, she wanted to book for everyone and then sort them out, so we took a very hard line.
SHE ended up trying to test every single item on the confirmation, multiple emails about canceling/changing, using the deposit for another stay, etc. Almost weekly emails with her for 6 MONTHS. What a giant PITA, for a weekend when we would have been full with "regular" people and not had to deal with any of this. At the end of the day she didn't use one room and canceled it late enough that she ate the deposit for it. Luckily the guests were pretty nice, a little high maintenance but nothing like the worst we've seen.
Here's the confirmation, which we know use as standard for any booking of 3 or more rooms:
Code:
Dear PITA,[/FONT]
Greetings from xxx Inn!

We are pleased to accept your group reservation, and this email will serve as your confirmation.

THIS EMAIL CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION! PLEASE READ ENTIRE CONFIRMATION UPON RECEIPT.

Units: All 9 Guest Rooms
Guests: 18
Check-In: August 6, 2010
Check-Out: August 8, 2010
Staying: 2 night(s)
Room Rates:
Rates listed are per night, double occupancy and do not include 10% sales tax:
Rooms 1-4 $185.00/night
Rooms 5-9 $165.00/night

A non-refundable 50% pre-tax deposit in the amount of $1565.00 will be applied to your credit card to secure your rooms.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Deposit is non-refundable. Changes or cancellations to existing reservation made before July 23, 2010 will not incur any additional fee. Changes or cancellations to existing reservation made on or after July 23, 2010 will incur full room(s) charges.

Guests are welcome to pay separately when they arrive; however as the sole guarantor of this reservation you remain responsible for any fees or charges incurred by guests including but not limited to late check-in, early check-out, no shows and any loss or damages incurred during guests' stay.

We ask that you provide us a list of guest names and personal emails by July 23, 2010. Please let us know who will be staying in each room. At that time we will send each guest a personal email confirmation with our check-in/check-out policies as well as any information they might need for their travels. At that time we can also inquire about individual food allergies/aversions, which we will need to know to plan breakfast.

Please note that the X, Y, and Z guest rooms can each accommodate a third guest (13 years of age or older) for a $25/night fee. Please let us know by July 23, 2010 if any or all of these rooms will have a third guest so we can make appropriate arrangements.

Use of the xxx Inn guest rooms, facilities, common areas, property and grounds is limited solely to registered guests staying at the Inn.

CHECK-IN TIME: We are a private home, and do not maintain a 24 hour check-in desk. Rooms are guaranteed ready after 2 pm, and check-in is no later than 6 pm.

Check-out is 11 am. Late check-out subject to fee.


CHILDREN: Our Inn is appropriate for children ages 13 and older only. Arriving guests not adhering to this policy will not be permitted to check in and will be held responsible for full room charge.

Breakfast Info, Directions, Travel Links, etc. were then added to the confirmation.


Thank you for sharing that! It seems pretty exhaustive to me....covers everything I can think of!
 

Tom

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Here is a copy of the confirmation we used for a whole-house wedding party last year (thank goodness this was all family of the MOB and not the bride/groom themselves as I think they are always more stressful). This woman booked the whole house in February for the August wedding. We tried multiple times to get her to just have her relatives book their individual rooms so we could extend our normal deposit/cancellation policies. She refused, she wanted to book for everyone and then sort them out, so we took a very hard line.
SHE ended up trying to test every single item on the confirmation, multiple emails about canceling/changing, using the deposit for another stay, etc. Almost weekly emails with her for 6 MONTHS. What a giant PITA, for a weekend when we would have been full with "regular" people and not had to deal with any of this. At the end of the day she didn't use one room and canceled it late enough that she ate the deposit for it. Luckily the guests were pretty nice, a little high maintenance but nothing like the worst we've seen.
Here's the confirmation, which we know use as standard for any booking of 3 or more rooms:
Code:
Dear PITA,[/FONT]
Greetings from xxx Inn!

We are pleased to accept your group reservation, and this email will serve as your confirmation.

THIS EMAIL CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION! PLEASE READ ENTIRE CONFIRMATION UPON RECEIPT.

Units: All 9 Guest Rooms
Guests: 18
Check-In: August 6, 2010
Check-Out: August 8, 2010
Staying: 2 night(s)
Room Rates:
Rates listed are per night, double occupancy and do not include 10% sales tax:
Rooms 1-4 $185.00/night
Rooms 5-9 $165.00/night

A non-refundable 50% pre-tax deposit in the amount of $1565.00 will be applied to your credit card to secure your rooms.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Deposit is non-refundable. Changes or cancellations to existing reservation made before July 23, 2010 will not incur any additional fee. Changes or cancellations to existing reservation made on or after July 23, 2010 will incur full room(s) charges.

Guests are welcome to pay separately when they arrive; however as the sole guarantor of this reservation you remain responsible for any fees or charges incurred by guests including but not limited to late check-in, early check-out, no shows and any loss or damages incurred during guests' stay.

We ask that you provide us a list of guest names and personal emails by July 23, 2010. Please let us know who will be staying in each room. At that time we will send each guest a personal email confirmation with our check-in/check-out policies as well as any information they might need for their travels. At that time we can also inquire about individual food allergies/aversions, which we will need to know to plan breakfast.

Please note that the X, Y, and Z guest rooms can each accommodate a third guest (13 years of age or older) for a $25/night fee. Please let us know by July 23, 2010 if any or all of these rooms will have a third guest so we can make appropriate arrangements.

Use of the xxx Inn guest rooms, facilities, common areas, property and grounds is limited solely to registered guests staying at the Inn.

CHECK-IN TIME: We are a private home, and do not maintain a 24 hour check-in desk. Rooms are guaranteed ready after 2 pm, and check-in is no later than 6 pm.

Check-out is 11 am. Late check-out subject to fee.


CHILDREN: Our Inn is appropriate for children ages 13 and older only. Arriving guests not adhering to this policy will not be permitted to check in and will be held responsible for full room charge.

Breakfast Info, Directions, Travel Links, etc. were then added to the confirmation.


Thanks. We have been moving toward this. In the business only 1 1/2 years so still learning.
What I find is that people who genuinely want to stay and have a good time understand that you are ... mom and pop opening your one-of-a-kind house for them ... and they don't have a problem with some financial commitement.
The ones that argue are the ones that you need the policies for in the first place. Someone who complains about a deposit and long cancellation for booking your entire inn on a peak season weekend is exactly who would call a few days before to cancel most of the rooms.
What I would add is that any group deal only applies to the full booking. I'll give 10% off a full 5 rooms, but drop one room and it goes to rack rates.
Still, I have seen a lot of families here. I feel sorry for the good heart who wants to get everyone together and the princess of the family or the s.o.b-in-law or whoever just won't commit, or complains about the price, or complains, complains.
Sometimes they must think I am a shrink, for what I am told about ... well, family. All I can try to do is make them happier when they leave than when they arrive. So far, so good.
O.K. Groups are difficult.
 

Alibi Ike

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Here is a copy of the confirmation we used for a whole-house wedding party last year (thank goodness this was all family of the MOB and not the bride/groom themselves as I think they are always more stressful). This woman booked the whole house in February for the August wedding. We tried multiple times to get her to just have her relatives book their individual rooms so we could extend our normal deposit/cancellation policies. She refused, she wanted to book for everyone and then sort them out, so we took a very hard line.
SHE ended up trying to test every single item on the confirmation, multiple emails about canceling/changing, using the deposit for another stay, etc. Almost weekly emails with her for 6 MONTHS. What a giant PITA, for a weekend when we would have been full with "regular" people and not had to deal with any of this. At the end of the day she didn't use one room and canceled it late enough that she ate the deposit for it. Luckily the guests were pretty nice, a little high maintenance but nothing like the worst we've seen.
Here's the confirmation, which we know use as standard for any booking of 3 or more rooms:
Code:
Dear PITA,[/FONT]
Greetings from xxx Inn!

We are pleased to accept your group reservation, and this email will serve as your confirmation.

THIS EMAIL CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION! PLEASE READ ENTIRE CONFIRMATION UPON RECEIPT.

Units: All 9 Guest Rooms
Guests: 18
Check-In: August 6, 2010
Check-Out: August 8, 2010
Staying: 2 night(s)
Room Rates:
Rates listed are per night, double occupancy and do not include 10% sales tax:
Rooms 1-4 $185.00/night
Rooms 5-9 $165.00/night

A non-refundable 50% pre-tax deposit in the amount of $1565.00 will be applied to your credit card to secure your rooms.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Deposit is non-refundable. Changes or cancellations to existing reservation made before July 23, 2010 will not incur any additional fee. Changes or cancellations to existing reservation made on or after July 23, 2010 will incur full room(s) charges.

Guests are welcome to pay separately when they arrive; however as the sole guarantor of this reservation you remain responsible for any fees or charges incurred by guests including but not limited to late check-in, early check-out, no shows and any loss or damages incurred during guests' stay.

We ask that you provide us a list of guest names and personal emails by July 23, 2010. Please let us know who will be staying in each room. At that time we will send each guest a personal email confirmation with our check-in/check-out policies as well as any information they might need for their travels. At that time we can also inquire about individual food allergies/aversions, which we will need to know to plan breakfast.

Please note that the X, Y, and Z guest rooms can each accommodate a third guest (13 years of age or older) for a $25/night fee. Please let us know by July 23, 2010 if any or all of these rooms will have a third guest so we can make appropriate arrangements.

Use of the xxx Inn guest rooms, facilities, common areas, property and grounds is limited solely to registered guests staying at the Inn.

CHECK-IN TIME: We are a private home, and do not maintain a 24 hour check-in desk. Rooms are guaranteed ready after 2 pm, and check-in is no later than 6 pm.

Check-out is 11 am. Late check-out subject to fee.


CHILDREN: Our Inn is appropriate for children ages 13 and older only. Arriving guests not adhering to this policy will not be permitted to check in and will be held responsible for full room charge.

Breakfast Info, Directions, Travel Links, etc. were then added to the confirmation.


Thanks. We have been moving toward this. In the business only 1 1/2 years so still learning.
What I find is that people who genuinely want to stay and have a good time understand that you are ... mom and pop opening your one-of-a-kind house for them ... and they don't have a problem with some financial commitement.
The ones that argue are the ones that you need the policies for in the first place. Someone who complains about a deposit and long cancellation for booking your entire inn on a peak season weekend is exactly who would call a few days before to cancel most of the rooms.
What I would add is that any group deal only applies to the full booking. I'll give 10% off a full 5 rooms, but drop one room and it goes to rack rates.
Still, I have seen a lot of families here. I feel sorry for the good heart who wants to get everyone together and the princess of the family or the s.o.b-in-law or whoever just won't commit, or complains about the price, or complains, complains.
Sometimes they must think I am a shrink, for what I am told about ... well, family. All I can try to do is make them happier when they leave than when they arrive. So far, so good.
O.K. Groups are difficult.
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Tom said:
Sometimes they must think I am a shrink, for what I am told about ... well, family. All I can try to do is make them happier when they leave than when they arrive. So far, so good.
Do you also hear, 'But don't tell so and so I said that'?
 

Paradise

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What I found helpful last year, but there are always 'deviations', was to collect half up front, with the balance due 30 days prior to arrival. Speak with one member of the group as the overall coordinator BUT get everyone's email and send the policies to everyone, not just the coordinator.
That is one kind of group, something like a family reunion.
The other kind of group is a wedding where none of the guests may be related but they are coming for the same purpose and are being 'organized' by someone to stay in one place. How we do that scenario: one person holds the rooms on their credit card for a set period of time (you decide). Each room is paid for by the individual guest, not the coordinator (unless the coordinator agrees to be responsible for all payments, then see above). Deposit taken, 30 day cancellation, policies go to every person booking.
All groups on weekends must book 2 nights. Must book all rooms even if they don't use them (which is why it is better to get full payment from one person instead of each room). Mid-week (business groups) can be one night. Groups are served a cold buffet because it's easier for me to not have everyone seated at once and groups are like herding cats to get them to stay put..
Alibi Ike said:
What I found helpful last year, but there are always 'deviations', was to collect half up front, with the balance due 30 days prior to arrival. Speak with one member of the group as the overall coordinator BUT get everyone's email and send the policies to everyone, not just the coordinator.
GOOD ADVICE! I always forget the "policies to everyone" part, and it ALWAYS bites me in the butt! This is one of my new year's resolutions, to get better at handling groups.
On a slightly different note, but still relevant to groups: We had a wedding party here over the New Years holiday. Great piece of business, 3 days. But of course, as is ALWAYS the case with groups, not everyone was a B&B person. But still, all was well. The hard part was the folks that didn't stay here but stayed somewhere else. They always managed to get over here to hang out with their family.
Can anyone share wording that they use to limit the use of the house to guests of the house??
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"Can anyone share wording that they use to limit the use of the house to guests of the house??"
Facilities & amenities are for use of registered guests, only. Thank you."
 
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