The top 10 things no one told you to negotiate in your hotel contract

Who KNewHotel contracts are intimidating. They’re designed that way.  Think about it from the hotel’s point of view.  The contract covers base fees, and everything over and above what’s agreed upon are “extras.”  The hotel makes more money from all those extras … even as they drive your budget into the stratosphere.

Sure it’s essential to have an attorney on hand to review the terms of the contract.  But it’s equally essential to have CDL at your side at the negotiating table – making sure you get the best deal possible by taking advantage of all the concessions that hotels offer to sweeten the deal … but never offer unless you know to ask.

In last month’s article, we looked at the first five negotiating tips.  Here are five more.

6. Reduced or Waived Resort Fee

Many hotels tack on an additional resort fee to the base room rate to cover the use of swimming pools, sports facilities and other amenities.  Sometimes the fees can be upwards of $50 per room per night!  Make sure these added fees are discussed and eliminated or reduced during negotiations with hotel management.

7. Extended Group Rate

Attendees often arrive early or stay on after the event with friends or family.  Impress your client by negotiating an extended group rate for three days before and after the event.

8. Discounted Staff Rooms

Coordinators, planners, and production staff play an integral role in your event, and they need a place to work.  Negotiate the staff space you need at a 50% discount on the regular rate.

9. Complimentary VIP Amenities

Hotels know how to impress their most important clients – make sure they impress yours with a full range of complimentary VIP amenities such as cheese plate and designer sparkling water, local organic produce or even a few bottles of craft beer…   Whether it’s a boss or a key client, let them know they’re special!

10. Discount on Published Banquet Menus

Published banquet menus are designed for “one-off” events like wedding receptions and local meetings – not conferences spanning multiple days with significant room occupancy.  A reasonable 15% off the menu rate can really help your budget in the long run.