7 Hotel Terms You Should Know

While we would always encourage you to look first at Christian retreat and conference centers in your area, there may be times when you will be booking a hotel for your meeting. Like most other industries, hotels have a language all their own.

With that in mind, here are 7 hotel terms you should know:

  • Back of the house – The areas of the hotel that are generally off limits to guests. These areas include kitchens, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, service elevators, etc.
  • BEO – Banquet Event Order – The document created for every event on-site involving a meeting setup or catering. Read these BEO’s very carefully before signing as they contain all the details (setup, menus, catering  pricing, guarantees, etc.) for your event. Hotel staff will be working from the BEO’s as they service your event. Be sure that any verbal changes are added to the BEO’s. Otherwise they will could fall between the cracks.
  • CSM – Convention Services Manager – Typically once you have signed your room contract, you will be handed over from sales to operations. In doing so, the CSM becomes your primary contact and many meetings live or die based on the relationship between the meeting planner and their CSM.
  • MOD – Manager on Duty – Since the hotel general manager cannot be there 24/7, every hotel should have a designated manager on duty. This is the person with overall responsibility for the hotel in the GM’s absence.
  • Rack rate – The highest published rate the hotel will charge for a sleeping room.
  • Run of house – Typically when booking a block of rooms, the hotel will usually call it run of house. This gives the hotel maximum flexibility when selling rooms to your group. They can simply sell whatever rooms are available. Should you want, or require, more definition in exactly what room types will be in your room block, be sure to get that spelled out in your room contract.
  • Walk – This refers to what happens when a hotel is oversold and there are no rooms available. Unlike airlines, who will typically ask for volunteers when a flight is oversold, hotels do not ask for volunteers. Instead, when the guest shows up at the front desk they are informed there is not a room available. The guest is then “walked” to another hotel, hopefully nearby. Standard procedure for hotels is to honor all guaranteed reservations by paying the costs for the guest to stay at another hotel. Be sure to inquire about the hotel’s walk policy before signing your contract. If necessary you could then try and negotiate more favorable treatment for your attendees.

Obviously this is not an all-inclusive list. Are there any hotel terms we’ve missed that you think would be important to know?