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Guaranteeing the exact room booked?

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warfieldinn

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I'm sure that many of you have encountered this dilemma. A guest calls and books room 1. We confirm and all is set. The guest is scheduled to arrive on Saturday for one night only. Another guest calls and would like a room for Friday and Saturday. There are two people who want separate beds and the only room that would work is room 1. Room 2 is a little smaller but will work for the Sat. night couple.
Do you call the Sat. guest and tell them in advance that they will now be in room 2 or upon arrival inform them?
I am thinking of adding a line on my confirmation email that we can not guarantee the EXACT room that was booked but we will make every effort to meet your needs.
Looking for suggestions on how you have handled this and if you have a policy that the guest will know in advance.
Fern
 

wendydk

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Here, guests get exactly the room they booked, unless is an upgrade from our shared to a private bath. I would call the guest in question and ask them if they would mind switching. Have done that before, and offered either a small discount or flowers, whatever in exchange for the switch,
 

EmptyNest

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Sorry but I don't like playing that kind of game. If the guest books a specific room..the guest gets that room. First come..first serve. We may not make as much in the end, but playing the old 'switch a roo' is not kosher in my book.
If there were some sort of emergency or a real and I mean really good reason for a switch, like someone else said, you should offer some sort of compensation..a small discount, or something like that.
If from now on, you want to put that kind of clause on your web site and in your confirmation letters, you can but don't expect folks to like it. :-(
 

warfieldinn

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good feedback. thanks.
The big issue has come when someone books a room on the second or third floor only to find out that steps are a challenge. The room on the first floor is usually the last one booked because the bathroom is outside of the room. Most people are fine with that kind of switch because it is an upgrade.
 

EmptyNest

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good feedback. thanks.
The big issue has come when someone books a room on the second or third floor only to find out that steps are a challenge. The room on the first floor is usually the last one booked because the bathroom is outside of the room. Most people are fine with that kind of switch because it is an upgrade..
You need to make it abundantly clear on your website that those rooms are on the 2nd and 3rd floors and that you have no elevator:-( They have to make up their own minds..which they want to deal with...going up stairs or walking a few steps to the bathroom. For me...I'd take the stairs:)
 

wendydk

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My site's Rooms page states "Second floor rooms are accessed via a steep staircase. If you have mobility issues, please call us prior to booking".
 

Breakfast Diva

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If they have booked a specific room, then it's theirs. They could be a couple that can't sleep if they don't have separate beds, but they booked that specific room for a reason. The only way I would consider moving them is to call them and offer them an upgrade and see if they want it. Don't say you'll lose other business if they don't move. They shouldn't feel pressured to move. I would never just move a guest to another room. If you do add to your website that their exact room was not guaranteed I think that you would lose more people that way by them just not reserving with you.
Here's an extreme case of putting the bottom line ($$$) over the guest's needs. I just heard from an innkeeper friend that she had referred a guest for 1 night before their stay with her to another B&B because she couldn't accommodate them for all the nights they wanted. They booked the 1 night at the other B&B, then the innkeeper called the guest a week or two later and told them that she had to have that room because another guest wanted to extend their stay. They were told that they now had a reservation at xyz B&B instead and their deposit was already transferred to the new B&B. Of course this was totally unexceptable!
 

Morticia

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We state on the online form and in our confirmation that we reserve the right to move one nighters if we have to. And for the guest to please note if they must have 2 beds, first floor, whatever amenity they may have chosen the room for (other than looks).
We always upgrade or at least keep the same level of accommodation when moving someone.
I moved one guest for one night who was blocking a 9 night reservation and told her before she arrived. Not a problem. Other guests I have called first (they had booked more than one night but I needed the room for a 6-nighter). They got a $30 upgrade on top of their discount. These have all been repeat guests, the ones I hate to move because I know they love 'their' room. It HAS gotten me better business in future bookings because they've all taken the upgraded room next time.
Other than that, I don't move guests around once they're booked. I've found that what happens is the guest I moved them for cancels and it makes me look like an idiot.
 

Morticia

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good feedback. thanks.
The big issue has come when someone books a room on the second or third floor only to find out that steps are a challenge. The room on the first floor is usually the last one booked because the bathroom is outside of the room. Most people are fine with that kind of switch because it is an upgrade..
warfieldinn said:
good feedback. thanks.
The big issue has come when someone books a room on the second or third floor only to find out that steps are a challenge. The room on the first floor is usually the last one booked because the bathroom is outside of the room. Most people are fine with that kind of switch because it is an upgrade.
I have had guests state 'please don't move me!' or 'ok to move me' in the notes of their rez. My problem with moving guests out of the room with the bath across the hall is that it is the only bathroom with a tub and sometimes guests just want the tub!
 

warfieldinn

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The only difference between these rooms is that one is a little smaller and could not accomdate a cot. Room 1 now has a "day bed" in addition to the Queen for families or singles. When the room was booked, it only had a Queen.
The former manager would book rooms without really asking or thinking about what the guest needs, which is why I am running into some issues.
 

seashanty

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my rooms were all so very different, i would never move someone unless there was a serious issue for another guest - and even then it would have to be with the other guest's permission and with some kind of acknowledgement or amount off for the guest being moved.
 

gillumhouse

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We had blocked all rooms to go to a motorcycle race. Carolyn calls - can I have my room this weekend? She is a repeat, knows the house...She is coming Friday/Saturday OK. Next day, Pete calls (another frequent guest). Can I have my room this weekend? Problem - it is the same room! Carolyn, would you be willing to take the private bath room for the same price? Pete called and I would rather give you the big room IF it is OK with you. If not no problem. Oh give him the room!
Unbelievably one of the two rooms that is shared bath is the favorite room of at least 3 of my regulars. I would never move - even to an upgrade without asking. And yes, I have sobbed a few times when a 1 night screwed up a longer stay.
 

JBloggs

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Hey Fern, cool name
I would call them or email and ask their permission to move them to a better/upgraded room? Otherwise what they booked is guaranteed theirs per your confirmation. UNLESS you have that stipulation in your policies - we have the right to move you to a similar room. If your place is like ours, they SPECIFICALLY picked that room, since all rooms are different.
 

warfieldinn

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Hey Fern, cool name
I would call them or email and ask their permission to move them to a better/upgraded room? Otherwise what they booked is guaranteed theirs per your confirmation. UNLESS you have that stipulation in your policies - we have the right to move you to a similar room. If your place is like ours, they SPECIFICALLY picked that room, since all rooms are different..
Joe
These guests might not have actually picked this particular room They are guests for a wedding and in all likelihood, they just called and asked for a room and were assigned to this one.
I'm new at running an Inn and much of the information here has been a great quickstart guide for me.
Thanks
 

JBloggs

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Hey Fern, cool name
I would call them or email and ask their permission to move them to a better/upgraded room? Otherwise what they booked is guaranteed theirs per your confirmation. UNLESS you have that stipulation in your policies - we have the right to move you to a similar room. If your place is like ours, they SPECIFICALLY picked that room, since all rooms are different..
Joe
These guests might not have actually picked this particular room They are guests for a wedding and in all likelihood, they just called and asked for a room and were assigned to this one.
I'm new at running an Inn and much of the information here has been a great quickstart guide for me.
Thanks
.
warfieldinn said:
Joe
These guests might not have actually picked this particular room They are guests for a wedding and in all likelihood, they just called and asked for a room and were assigned to this one.
I'm new at running an Inn and much of the information here has been a great quickstart guide for me.
Thanks
In that case, I would make a little annotation on the booking - I make many notes, some just useless information, but sometimes it can come in handy. I have had guests who pick a room for the name, or a specific piece of furniture or any number of reasons.
Once I thought perhaps I need to change the name of the room that gets booked so often for the name in particular to the most expensive room.
My mind never stops.
It WOULD be easier if all the rooms were the same, for us anyway.
 

warfieldinn

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For the most part, all of the rooms on the second floor are the same. All have Queens and private bath, similar furnishings. The difference is usually the size of the room which can not be determined from our website. Most people traveling for a wedding are happy to have any room as we sell out fast for weddings and there are so few options nearby.
 

JBloggs

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For the most part, all of the rooms on the second floor are the same. All have Queens and private bath, similar furnishings. The difference is usually the size of the room which can not be determined from our website. Most people traveling for a wedding are happy to have any room as we sell out fast for weddings and there are so few options nearby..
warfieldinn said:
For the most part, all of the rooms on the second floor are the same. All have Queens and private bath, similar furnishings. The difference is usually the size of the room which can not be determined from our website. Most people traveling for a wedding are happy to have any room as we sell out fast for weddings and there are so few options nearby.
A few of us have added floor plans to our websites. In your off season when you have some time, it is kind of fun. For me, I wish guests would ask pertinent questions - which room is the coolest or the warmest (in winter), when they hear front of the house they think street noise and there isn't it. When they think back of the house they think lack of view.
We can provide the info as accurate as possible and let them make the decision. Yes, weddings, always a challenge with those guests. Put that disclaimer on the confirmation like you mentioned, if the rooms are all similar. But twin beds vs queen is a huge factor imo. First floor vs stairs is also huge.
I stayed at a BnB in PA that had these super narrow enclosed stairways - two flights worth, and I am tall and thought, sheesh no mention of this on the website at all. I had to curve my body inward to haul my bag up the stairs. I think it was not mentioned on purpose, but get an elderly person in there and they would cause a stink. Worst part was the poor innkeeper having to go up and down these stairs - they lived next door in a small cottage and the laundry room was in the attic above the other two flights of stairs.
 

Samster

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I think that one of the reasons that many people stay at B&B/inns so that they can choose the room that they like. For me personally, this is the case. I stayed at a place last Fall where you send a reservation request and then the innkeepers reply back with what room they have booked you into. Frankly, I didn't care for it but the room was one that I might have chosen, so I stayed there. But, there were some other rooms that I liked better and it turned out that they were available for my 2 day stay. The innkeepers told me that they liked having the control over which rooms were booked which is why they do a reservation request and it worked well for them. Is this another case of "absence of proof is not proof of absence"? I think so. Being able to select your rooms just seems to be one of the great options at a B&B.
 

Proud Texan

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Sorry but I don't like playing that kind of game. If the guest books a specific room..the guest gets that room. First come..first serve. We may not make as much in the end, but playing the old 'switch a roo' is not kosher in my book.
If there were some sort of emergency or a real and I mean really good reason for a switch, like someone else said, you should offer some sort of compensation..a small discount, or something like that.
If from now on, you want to put that kind of clause on your web site and in your confirmation letters, you can but don't expect folks to like it. :-(.
catlady said:
Sorry but I don't like playing that kind of game. If the guest books a specific room..the guest gets that room. First come..first serve. We may not make as much in the end, but playing the old 'switch a roo' is not kosher in my book.
I would think a large percentage of guests wouldn't mind switching if all rooms are basically the same OR if they are being offered an upgrade or discount. Let it be their decision. It can be a win-win situation if you let it.
We had this very situation arise just last night. When the "one-nighters" arrived, I asked them if they would like to sneak a peek at our other cottage. They liked it and when I offered it to them at a 10% discount, they jumped on it. This left the original cottage open for the two-nighter.
It's only NOT kosher, IMHO, when you switch the room without giving the guest the option.
 
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