A Hotel’s Best Kept Secret

Blocking hotel rooms for our guests seemed to be a very overwhelming item on our checklist. Mr. Taffy and I had been putting off hotel research for weeks. Ann Arbor has an enormous selection of accommodations, and we didn’t know where to begin comparing so many choices! After calling two hotels, I discovered a feature that quickly made some accommodations stand out from the rest. Ladies and Gentlemen, behold the free hotel shuttle service!


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This may not be exciting to some, but I was thrilled to learn about this feature.

This is the first time that I have had to reserve a block of hotel rooms for anything, and did not know that some hotels offered this type of service! Am I the only one who has never heard of this?

Why is the shuttle a great feature for us?

There are a few hotels and B & B’s within walking distance to our venue, but they are quite pricey and don’t have many rooms. We decided to pass the info for these hotels to our guests as an option, but to reserve a block at a hotel within driving distance, where more rooms are available and the prices are more affordable. Some guests will be staying multiple nights, and we would like to make the trip as easy on their pockets as we can! The only issue with a driving-distance hotel was finding transportation to the wedding, something that we are unable to provide ourselves. Some out of town guests will have a car, but many others will be flying in and will be without transportation. The hotels we were considering would be a reasonable cab fare away, but we wondered if there might be a better solution.

Enter the free hotel shuttle service!

The hotel that we chose offers a hotel shuttle to all guests free of charge. They even told me that they could coordinate a shuttle at a certain time and take all of the guests to the venue together! There is no extra charge for scheduling a shuttle, and the hotel manager assured me that the shuttle would leave on time. We can leave information on the shuttle departure in our OOT bags and on our wedding website, to ensure that the guests know when to meet in the lobby. The guests can call the shuttle themselves when they are ready to leave the reception. We will also be providing contact information for taxi services for guests, but we figure the shuttle will take the same amount of time, but cost nothing. :)

Once we knew that this service existed, it was a snap to find the perfect hotel and block our rooms. If you are beginning to think about searching for hotels, make sure to ask about this helpful service!

Have any bees used their hotel’s shuttle service for their guests? If so, did it run smoothly?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Taffy

Location:
Ann Arbor
Wedding Date:
May 2009
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comments

  1. Member
    pinotnoir 799 posts, Busy bee @ 3:28 pm

    We didn’t have a shuttle option provided by the hotel (we hired an outside vendor) but we recently went to a wedding in Birmingham where they provided a free shuttle. It was GREAT! We used it for both the rehersal dinner and the wedding as well as an afternoon out on the town! Your guests will love this!

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    boothbride, Guest @ 3:33 pm

    Hey Miss Taffy!
    Can you tell me what hotel has the free shuttle? We are getting married in Ann Arbor also and are looking for transportation for our guests.
    Thanks!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Emily, Guest @ 4:02 pm

    We did this exact same thing with our wedding! It was so fantastic, because after our guests had um….. partied…. some a bit too hard… they were able to hop in a car that someone else was driving to get them safely in a bed. We were able to set up our shuttle to run back and forth *all night long*, so it started as soon as the ceremony was over and ended when the groom and myself hopped in the last car at the end of the night. A second bonus? Guests only have to worry about finding 2 locations (ceremony and hotel) because the shuttle takes care of the rest. Such a great option for guests.

  4. Member
    springroll 716 posts, Busy bee @ 4:52 pm

    I love the idea of a shuttle. I, too, would be excited :)

  5. Member
    mdarrah 1205 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:54 pm

    I HIGHLY recommend the Homewood Inn in Ann Arbor!!!! The favorite wedding I’ve been to was in Ann Arbor and everyone stayed at the Homewood Inn and Suites, including the bride and groom! The blocked rate was about $120 a night and that’s a bedroom and a livingroom/kitchen! The hotel people were so helpful and kind and all around it was a great experience.
    As far as the shuttle goes, we walked to the church (the little Episcopal church next to the tridge) and then a bus shuttled us to the reception (barn in the boonies) and then back to the hotel. Almost everyone availed themselves of the generosity of the bus and it was great.

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Margaux, Guest @ 10:02 pm

    Hotel hunting can be daunting and after seeing the same thing over and over without many (or any) ‘extras’ we stumbled upon the Embassy Suites! For those of you that haven’t found a hotel yet, check it out-ours recently underwent a major mod renovation and looks awesome and has extras galore! Even though it doesn’t have an airport shuttle, it has an in-town shuttle that will take guests within a 2-mile radius of the hotel, made-to-order breakfast with Starbucks coffee, and (Insert drumroll here) a nightly managers reception featuring comp’d drinks and appetizers! Cha-ching! AND-it was about $50 less per night than the other hotels in the area.

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    aylee, Guest @ 10:05 pm

    That is awesome! I would be excited as well with that option! I’m still not at that point in my wedding planning, but I don’t think the hotels in the area where we’re getting married offer them. We’ll see..

  8. Member
    taffy 3081 posts, Sugar bee @ 10:46 pm

    @boothbride: Sure! It’s the four points by Sheraton, off of State st. Here’s the link:
    http://www.fourpointsannarbor.com/

    @Mrs. Pinot Noir: That’s great that you had a good experience! :) I was so happy to hear about this option.

    @Emily: I will definitely ask about the back and forth idea! And yes, we were so excited that the guests won’t have to worry about directions. :)

    @mdarrah: I will have to check it out! :)

    @Margaux: Thanks for the tip! :)

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    Suzanno, Guest @ 1:36 pm

    I have used all kinds of hotel shuttles over the years; it seems to me that more hotels offer them than not Of course, the atmosphere of the shuttle depends on your hotel – generally you get the small bus, or an Econoline van. They will run you to the airport and back, or anywhere within a limited area in most cities, and will pick you up on call. Most shuttles do run only specific hours – although the concierge will tell you that after midnight (for instance) you will have to call a cab because their shuttle is no longer running.

    The only downside with using a shuttle for your wedding guests is that, of course, the shuttle is a service provided for all hotel guests. So it might make stops along the way, to take other guests to their destinations, and of course when your guests call for their ride home it may be off picking up someone else. As long as everybody understands that, it is a great option.

  10. Member
    Champ627 3 posts, Wannabee @ 3:55 pm

    My main concern about the shuttle is the capacity. The hotel we plan to use also has a shuttle service, but it only accomodates 8 – 10 passengers at once. With a wedding of 100+ people, that can leave for some frustrated guests. I suppose on the other hand, however, that it wouldn’t take more than everyone waiting for the valet to arrive with their car.

  11. Guest Icon Guest
    A Hotel’s Best Kept Secret » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog, Guest @ 1:56 am

    [...] Read m­­ore f­rom­­ th­e original s­ourc­e: A Ho­t­e­l’s Be­st­ K­e­pt­ Se­c­re­t­… [...]

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    angela, Guest @ 1:41 pm

    Does anyone have any advice on coordinating the shuttle bus to the reception hall? We have about 100 guests staying at the hotel, and a bus that is able to take 30 guests at a time. I’m wondering if we should have a sign up sheet of a time schedule so that guests are evenly distributed onto the shuttle. I’m worried that everyone will wait until the later shuttles, and they will be filled up, pushing our transportation time too late and overlapping with the time dinner is supposed to be served. Any suggestions?

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