Hotel Fulli-fornia
September 16, 2022 8:28 PM   Subscribe

I want to get into this fabulous little (44 rooms) fancy hotel in a smaller Midwestern city for an art expo next month. Difficulty level: Two night minimum and it's supposedly sold out.

Silly me, I didn't know they started booking so far in advance for this thing. As I read the webpage, it looks like they may demand two nights' minimum during special events, but I only want one. One is there, but two is blocked out.
I do know from my travels (and have actually used this tactic a few times to get into "full" places successfully) that a hotel is never full, just perhaps some rooms are out of commission like a broken sink or a broken closet door, but nothing wrong with the bed.
The articles I've seen just say, "Call the manager and talk to him" which I am willing to do, but would love your input.
Thanks in advance.

PS Staying two nights there is not possible for many reasons.
posted by Rumi'sLeftSock to Travel & Transportation around Decorah, IA (7 answers total)
A nicely worded email may work but certainly a phone call is best. If the first person, or first manager says no, you could hang up and call again and hope to speak to a different person? You could offer to pay a higher rate for the room?
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 9:27 PM on September 16

44 rooms is a small hotel. They could well be really sold out, but I would try anyway. First, I would call directly during regular business hours and try to sweet talk them. I don't think there are magic words. I would be honest and explain how you heard great things about the hotel, you mistakenly waited too long and can they do anything for you.

Second, if that was unsuccessful, I would try the same thing during off hours. See if the 2nd shift manager goes for it. Third, I would try a friendly or friend travel agent to suggest if they give you a room they will try to steer future business their way.

Finally, money does talk. Make a reservation elsewhere but nearby and try to walk in and see if there's a cancelation or if your friend Hamilton or two Hamilton can stir a room loose.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:41 PM on September 16

Having worked in the hotel business for twenty years, I can tell you hotels do absolutely sell out. They are probably actually over sold depending on how they manage their inventory. If you really want to risk it, show up at one A.M. as they may be willing to sell you the room of someone else who has not shown up yet.
posted by oldnumberseven at 11:32 PM on September 16 [6 favorites]

it looks like they may demand two nights' minimum during special events, but I only want one. One is there, but two is blocked out.

You're saying a one-night slot is available for the date that you want but you can't book it because of the two-night minimum? Then yeah, I'd call them and see if they're willing to let you book that, because it sounds like otherwise it's going to have to stay empty?
posted by trig at 1:20 AM on September 17 [6 favorites]

Definitely call. Online booking tools, even hotels own booking sites are sometimes are off.
If you are desperate for a room there and can afford to do so, offer to pay two nights but stay only one night.
posted by 15L06 at 3:13 AM on September 17

It is unclear whether the hotel is enforcing the two night policy or just that they reserve that right. Could be this is a nin issue. At any rate the reason hotels have minimums is so they don't have unsellable rooms. If they already have a single night vacancy they will usually be delighted to rent the room for a single night.
posted by Mitheral at 7:24 AM on September 17

Response by poster: According to the desk clerk, who presumably was trained properly, I'd get charged for 2 nights no matter what. The solution I can live with seems to be to book a year out for next year. Meanwhile, we did find a kinda cool condo on the water, thank you Internet and Air B n B.

This formerly small art expo has really blown up since I began going 20-25 years ago!
posted by Rumi'sLeftSock at 10:55 AM on September 17

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