Hotel-Oh Well…

So… As I have learned already on this wedding journey, things do not always go as planned. You may remember that Mr. Aardvark had so awesomely offered to handle the hotel for our out of town guests. I thought it was all done and dusted.

We were going to set aside 30 rooms with the intention that we would add more if needed. Chances are they would be needed, because at our tally, we had between 50-60 roomfuls of people coming from far enough away to want a hotel room. However, not wanting to be on the hook for unsold rooms, we aimed low.

The hotel we were working with seemed ideal. The location was PERFECT, like walking from all of our venues perfect. The price per night was good. On top of all that, it was not a chain and it was one of the fancier hotels in Battle Creek! However, a few days after receiving our contract (but before the please-return-by-X-date-to-ensure-your-rooms date) I got a phone call from the event coordinator…

They had double booked the rooms and there were, in fact, only 16 rooms left in the WHOLE HOTEL! Whhhaaat??

Yes. There was a large group that had grown and now there were only 16 rooms! I was bummed out. Mr. Aardvark was furious! He does not get mad very often. I think I can count on one hand the times I have seen him actually, truly pissed. Well, ladies, this was one of those times. Something about being given the run around, and having our deal pushed aside in favor of a bigger client really got to him. (I have to say his passion for standing up for the little guy is kinda hot and part of why I am marrying him.)

We talked briefly about keeping the 16 rooms for our “VIPs” (read: bridal party and parents) due to the fact that, the day I received the contract, I went out and had the text parts of our invitations printed (what?? I know it’s crazy early… but I am DIYing and have hear it takes ages and things can (did) go wrong so I wanted to get started). Not only had we printed 100 “Rooms have been reserved for you at Hotel Wegiveyourroomsaway” but we had also spent a very.long.time. trimming to size and corner punching them. (Not going to lie, our invites are shaping up to be pretty badass. Can’t wait to show them off!)

Invites
Poor Mr. A is covered in corners from punching out our invite.

His hands are also starting to cramp.

We (I) figured we could keep these hard earned info cards and just put another little card saying “we also have rooms here bla bla bla” in there somewhere. However, as the debacle continued, the service deteriorated and replies got slower and slower. We decided to drop the first hotel altogether and find someone else.

There were a handful of options close to our venue, some of which I crossed off the list right away because they were SUPER sketchy. (Like gross mattress in the back corner of the parking lot/four ownership changes in six months/ cop cars there all the time-sketchy.) But then, Papa Aardvark had an idea. There was a newly remodeled hotel downtown. It was not as fancy as the first but may have been worth a shot. He went to check it out, and lo and behold, it was really nice! AND we could reserve rooms without being on the hook if they did not all book! AND it was less expensive than the other hotel! AND our e-mails are responded to right away AND our phone calls answered!

You can bet your bippy Mr. Aardvark took care of business (again) and got a signed contract out right away! I also took care of business and reworked our info card for the invites.  We have not printed this set yet but we will soon and have another long night of trimming and punching ahead of us! Those cards will inform guests of the lovely Downtown Baymont Hotel in Battle Creek.

Baymont
Lovely! Not super fancy, but cool and nice and a great price! Perfect!

My dad took, and sent, lots of pictures when he was there checking it out. It has an indoor pool and hot tub, rooms with kitchenettes, rooms with Jacuzzis, and is still walking distance from our venues. I am really pleased with how this all worked out. I will say again, “if this is the worse wedding-planning problem we have, we are doing great!” It just proves the point that Plan-B stands for Plan-Better.

Have any of your vendors given you the run-around? Did you let them push you around or move on to bigger and better things? Tell us about it!

BLOGGER

Mrs. Aardvark

Location:
Beaver Dam, WI
Wedding Date:
April 2012

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  1. Member
    HummusGal 178 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:31 am

    The “new”, renovated hotel looks like it has tons of character! I like your take on the whole situation… Plan B = Plan Better, I’ll have to remember that as we continue planning!

  2. Member
    mole 1242 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:18 pm

    Glad that things worked out for the better! Your new hotel looks so nice.

  3. Member
    ladyfingers 1257 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:28 pm

    Man, I swear, hotels are the worst of the vendors for so many people I talked to. Our hotel was fine, I guess, but so completely and totally unresponsive from the very beginning. Not quite as bad as yours, though, I’m sorry you had that hassle! Your post brings up a great point, though, for blocking rooms – always ask for an OPEN ROOM BLOCK, and ensure and double ensure you won’t be responsible for rooms that are held but not booked. An open room block basically means they’ll honor your rate up until the cutoff, for as many rooms as you need, but after the cutoff, the rate doesn’t apply and guests can only book as rooms are available. They usually hold a token number of rooms they replenish until your deadline, then they release any unbooked to the public. For us, they started us with 4 rooms and added another 4 once those were booked, then another 4, etc.

  4. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 12:33 pm

    Glad you got this figured out, I do agree that Plan B usually ends up better in the long run.

  5. Member
    sunhat 1453 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:59 pm

    Glad you found a great plan B! Our hotel for our guests isn’t anything super fancy but it is nice and convenient. The only annoying thing is that the rate they locked in for our guests is more expensive than what my guests are able to book it for online! Super weird. We are trying to get that issue cleared up now.

  6. Member
    jaguar 6145 posts, Bee Keeper @ 3:01 pm

    Sounds like your second option is way better. To be honest, as long as it’s a safe area with a comfy bed, it doesn’t matter WHERE guests sleep – they’re going to be exhausted after dancing the night away at your shindig!

  7. Member
    parasol 2955 posts, Sugar bee @ 5:13 pm

    First of all, that first hotel sounds totally unprofessional and downright infuriating! But even though they were completely inappropriate, I’m so glad you don’t have to deal with them and give them anymore business, and that you found someplace so much better!

  8. Member
    MissCT 335 posts, Helper bee @ 11:22 am

    I love the picture of the room you have. It looks so cozy. I would definitely stay in a place like that as a guest, and feel lucky!

  9. Member
    cinnamonbun 1116 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:09 pm

    Our hotel were a-holes to us too! We had a contract that had a cut off date 1 month from the wedding. We sent out invites 2 months before with that info on it. A few days after mailing the invites, we got a call saying they were cancelling our rooms because no one had booked. We ended up sending our guests elsewhere, but not after we sent hotel #1 some angry emails and many days later received replies along the lines of ‘oh, well, a big group just cancelled, so you can have your room block again’. BS, I say!

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