13 Essential Hotel Contract Clauses

Everything and anything is negotiable, however, don't be GREEDY! Only ask for what is important for your group. You will gain more respect from the hotel plus you will have additional negotiable items in your back pocket if you need to compromise on certain clauses or requests from the hotel.

Be sure to also understand what is important to the hotel; what are their needs? Use this essential contract clause list to prepare your next agreement and rest knowing you're covered in case of most unforeseen circumstances.

  1. Cancellation and attrition fees should be paid only on lost hotel profit not lost revenue. Be sure to deduct the complimentary room revenue and any other discounted rates for staff rooms, etc.
  2. In the unlikely event of having to cancel your meeting ask for a "re-book" clause just in case.
  3. If the Group risks incurring attrition fees, request the paid amount be credited to another similar program placed within a given period of time.
  4. Ensure that you have a financially reciprocal cancellation clause in your contract. Too many groups have been left high and dry when the hotel cancels their contract at the last minute.
  5. Make sure that the meeting room names are written into the contract and cannot be re-assigned without written approval from the Meeting Planner.
  6. Use a "no walk" policy written into the contract. However, if walking an attendee becomes necessary then make sure that hotel needs to notify the Meeting Planner as soon as the issue becomes a problem. Meeting Planner can then submit a list if VIP's who should not 'walked" under any circumstance.
  7. Include a clause which ensures that at the date of the contract being signed, the hotel has no plans for renovations/remodeling (other than emergency repairs) that could impact your meeting. If this occurs, then expect that the hotel outline the scope of the project and how they plan to minimize any impact to your group.
  8. Ensure you include a clause that outlines the hotel's Crisis Management Plans in case of an emergency. Also include what measures are in place to protect the individual's personal contact information.
  9. Include a clause that addresses "noise and disturbance" during your meeting. This helps both parties by giving the hotel an opportunity to make every effort to address the situation, or if it does impact the meeting negatively, then an appropriate financial credit should be applied to the Master Account.
  10. Make sure no penalties will be incurred if you intend to bring in your own Audio Visual Company.
  11. Don't forget to negotiate food and beverage prices, especially ask for a concession on the price for a gallon of coffee which can exceed $100/gallon in some metropolitan areas.
  12. Neither Group nor the attendees will be responsible for additional surcharges or service fees not included in this Agreement without Group and the attendee's written consent.
  13. Request that Hotel adjusts the group rate to the same as any web published rates.

If any of these clauses are keeping you up at night, call the professionals. To PLAN Ahead is here to assist you with contract negotiation, meeting planning, site selection, speaker coordination or anything in between. View the TPA Advantage here.