What is a Hotel Courtesy Block vs a Guaranteed Block?

person opening a hotel room door

Hotels have different policies on the number of rooms they’ll reserve for a block — and also what they require from you as the host. Your customized proposal from us will outline your best hotel block options, but here is a short summary of the difference between hotel courtesy blocks and guaranteed/contract blocks:

  • Courtesy Room Definition: A courtesy room is defined as a block of rooms held for your group with a cut-off date (usually 30 days prior to check-in). On that cut-off date, the hotel releases any unbooked rooms in your hotel courtesy block back into their inventory without financial obligation for you.

The Pros: A courtesy block hotel offers no financial obligation, which saves you money if you don’t have as many bookings as you expected. In other words, you won’t have to pay for those unbooked rooms yourself. Courtesy room blocks are particularly popular for weddings.

Cons: Rooms are held, but not guaranteed. The hotel can sell out and/or offer them to another group.

  • Guaranteed or Contract Block Definition: This type of block is used for a guaranteed number of rooms. Your group will be required to pick up a percentage of rooms, also known as a hotel attrition rate (typically 70% to 90%). For example: If you contracted for 20 rooms x 2 nights, and the attrition clause’s rate is 80%, then your group would be responsible for filling a total of 32 room nights by the cut-off date (usually 30 days prior to check-in). If those 32 rooms aren’t filled, you can be charged for those unbooked room nights in your block.

    Pros: Rooms are guaranteed for your group and can’t be given away to others outside of your group. Hotels offer more upgrades and special promotions for guaranteed room blocks. These blocks are great for high-demand destinations and dates.

    Cons: You are obligated to fill a percentage of the rooms. 

The various types of blocks depend on your dates of stay, preferred hotels and event location. No matter what, your room block expert will explain your final hotel agreement, and answer any questions along the way.

 

COVID-19 UPDATE: Please note that we are working with our hotel partners to make sure any guaranteed block contains a clause voiding the contract in cases where guests cannot travel due to the pandemic. This way our clients aren’t liable for national and/or global circumstances out of their control.