Here’s a few tips to making the most of your group reservation:
Plan your group vacation as far out from your arrival date as possible. By booking so far in advance that will insure that you have the number of rooms needed. Also, the chances are better that the rooms will be in close proximity to one another.
Speak with the resort’s group sales coordinator. A group sales team member is specially equipped to handle the special handling of groups. They have been trained and possess the unique ability to handle all aspects of a group event. Some resorts have specialty coordinators within the group sales department such as a sports coordinator, family reunion coordinator, corporate business coordinator or a wedding coordinator.
Let the booking agent know exactly what kind of resort will best suit your group. Sports teams, youth groups need to avoid resorts that cater to an older, less active guest. Often, resorts that do cater to a less active clientele have smaller pools and the amenities are not geared towards merriment. Resorts that welcome a youthful crowd tend to have extensive pool amenities, arcades and youth activities.
Be clear on what’s included in your “group” rate. Is breakfast or dinner included? Ask, as a member of a group, do I still have access to all the resort’s amenities? In some instances, group packages can be tailored to fit your group’s needs and vacation wants. Simply, ask.
Decide on how your group’s rooms will be paid. Who pays for what and when? The group leader is the one who plans and negotiates but is not always the one who pays. If that’s the case, let the resort know that individuals will be paying their own room tabs.
Forward reservation information to group members. Once all the kinks have been ironed out and you and the resort are on the same page, send instructions on how to confirm their reservations to group members. If a code is needed to book your group’s reservations, make sure members have the code and know it has to be used. Make sure the rate is clear, along with the deposit amount due. It’s best to include a total amount including taxes and any fees. And, make the deadline for confirming the reservation clear and understandable.
Send in a rooming list. As the date for your group members to confirm their reservations gets closer, send the resort a rooming list. This list of who stays where will assist the resort in accommodating the group members better and, also, lessen accounting headaches for you and the group sales coordinator.
Know the cancellation policy. Be as knowledgeable as possible on the resort’s cancellation policy. Make sure you know when you can cancel without penalty. And, what is the penalty should cancellation occur past that date?
With all your ducks in a row, everyone in your group will have a great time. And, just to show how much they appreciate all your efforts, you’ll be in charge of next year’s group event.