How to lose a potential hotel customer

Today I was looking at some hotel options for a stay on a tropical beach in February. I found a very nice resort that has good reviews and I checked their availability online. I wanted to book two rooms for 6 nights each through, but received a message that there was no room available during that period. That happens sometimes, but I also know that if you go to the hotel website you still might be able to get rooms. On the hotel site I found that for 5 out the 6 nights there were two rooms available, just for one night they had only one room available. So I sent the hotel a message asking if there would be a solution for this, as we would very much like to stay here. The reply: “Sorry sir, we cannot accept your booking. For one night we indeed have no rooms available, only a deluxe suite. Thanks for you interest in staying with us.” The message was signed by the resorts Reservation Assistant.

Now what would you have done if you would have been the manager of this hotel? The reservation assistant probably cannot be blamed for this, but I think she made a big mistake: the hotel just lost a booking for 12 room nights because of her reply. If I had been in charge of this hotel the solution would have been very simple: I would have sent a message in which I would thank for the booking and say that unfortunately for one night no room is currently available, but that the customer would get a free upgrade for this night to a suite in case by the time of arrival there would still be no vacancy. Simple as that. There is always a chance that someone cancels during the next 6 weeks, and if not you only miss the extra income that you potentially could have earned by selling the suite for that night. Now the resort for sure misses out on 12 room nights… Not the smartest way to earn money in my humble opinion.

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  1. you dont understand the hotel business. the rev.assistant made no mistake.

  2. @anonymous Please explain. Why does not accepting a booking for 12 days make sense if the opportunity cost is a one night upgrade? Maybe if the suites are normally fully booked that could be a reason, but even at Christmas they have vacancies there. Is the hotel business really that different from other industries? I doubt it.

  3. Mac, we are about to leave for Den Haag, just wanna wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! Talk to you later, Lingxiao

  4. I’ve been reading a few posts and really and enjoy your writing. I’m thinking of linking to your posts from my site , just let me know if it’s feasible , thanks !