Hotels have connecting rooms for a number of reasons, with the key reason being guest safety and enjoyment. Connecting rooms can also offer hotels an additional means of keeping occupancy rates high, while also making extra money. In many cases, connecting rooms for families and friends will be more affordable and private than a two-room suite, sometimes costing half as much.
One study found that connecting rooms over a weekend cost $1,484 while a suite cost 2,665. Hotels are always about the guest experience, and offering connecting or adjoining rooms can help that.
What are Adjoining or Connecting Rooms?
An adjoining or connecting room in a hotel is a room that adjoins or connects with the other through a door. The two rooms are separate rooms that can be purchased separately and used by two different families, couples, or guests, with the connecting door closed and locked at all times.
Or, they can be used by a group of people that want to have a two-room hotel experience with an open-door policy in between.
It is common for families to get connecting rooms so that the parents can sleep in one room and the children in another, with an open door so the parents can keep an eye on the children. Friends, weekend getaways with the girls, parties, weddings, and more are many reasons why guests might book connecting rooms.
There are many reasons why people would intentionally book connecting rooms.
Why Hotels Don’t Book Connecting Rooms
As much as hotels may want occupancy rates to stay high, they don’t always have the open-door policy on connecting rooms that you might expect. Yes, they want both rooms booked, but they don’t always guarantee them. In fact, when you call to book a connecting room, that will be the first thing you hear.
There is no reason to this method other than hotel booking rates. One strategy that hotels have when booking is to book as many rooms as they can every night, with the expectation that some guests will cancel. So, when a hotel tells you that they can’t guarantee a connecting room, this is likely the most common reason why.
Most hotels won’t know until 24 hours or 48 hours in advance what their occupancy for any given night will be. Many won’t even know occupancy rates until the day of because guests cancel at the last minute every day, even when the cancellation policy period has run out.
The connecting room that you want may get booked to someone else at the last minute. It is a very difficult thing to guarantee.
That is not because the hotel needs the connecting room, but because they need the room, period. So, although they will always want to make your reservation, they will not be able to guarantee things like a connecting room until the last minute.
Why Hotels Offer Connecting Rooms
It is not just an old-fashioned concept to have a connecting room. That’s not why hotels have them. It seems counterproductive to have a service that can’t be guaranteed. The hotels offer them because they know it’s good for the guests.
It’s just not always good for the hotel to guarantee them. At the same time, adjoining or connecting rooms offer an additional layer of security for those guests. Hotels want their guests to come back. They may not be able to guarantee you a connecting room.
But, if they can tell you when you check-in that there is one free, they know the chances of you coming back just got better. Hotels offer connecting rooms because they make everybody happier in the end. It only gets wrinkly when they can’t guarantee them, although that is changing for many brands.
How to Book Connecting Rooms for a Hotel
There are ways to book hotel rooms and get what you need, even with the “we can’t guarantee it” clause. One way to do so is with a loyalty program hotel, and more and more brands are doing this. When you have a loyalty card, it won’t guarantee you a connecting room.
But, a loyalty card with a hotel brand is going to have the socially intrinsic perk of loyalty built-in. You may be more likely to get a connecting room if you can establish loyalty to that brand. It may not be guaranteed, but when it comes time to room blocking and selection by management, loyalty members are likely to get first pick.
Another way to get connecting rooms is to talk to the hotel directly about the request. With so many bookings online today, it is very easy to get lost in the automatic digital information shuffle. If you talk to the hotel directly, you will stand out as the guest that called about this issue.
Be polite, without laying it on too thick, and explain why you need it and how important it is to you. Hotels call you guests for a reason and really do care about these concerns. You also may want to book your hotel time around the busy seasons like the holidays and long weekends.
If you are looking for connecting rooms on New Year’s Eve, for example, even booking one year in advance may not cut it for you.
Unless you book it with a brand that offers guaranteed connecting rooms. Some do now because they know how important this feature is to guests. Hilton is one brand that has a guaranteed Connecting Room program that you can book directly online, choosing, and guaranteeing your connecting room.
Hotels offer connecting rooms because they know guests need it and because it helps everybody when those needs are met. It’s easier than you think to get connecting rooms, you just have to work a little bit harder sometimes at it than standard online booking formats used today.