Should You Buy Out a Hotel for Your Destination Wedding?
Congratulations! You’ve decided to have a destination wedding. Gathering your loved ones for a celebration outside the confines of familiar terrain, whether in the United States, on a tropical island, or in a foreign country, is sure to produce unforgettable memories for all concerned. Regrettably, it may also present uncertainties for individuals who aren’t as at ease with travel. One fantastic technique to alleviate concerns? Purchasing a resort or a hotel for your wedding.
The only individuals on the site during a full buyout will be guests of your event. With a destination wedding, this takes the worry out of travel and lodging for guests, ensuring resort personnel has more time and energy to dedicate to the event, and can alleviate health worries in a post-pandemic environment.
However, this can be a costly endeavor, so you should balance the benefits and drawbacks of purchasing a hotel for your wedding before making a final decision. We consulted three seasoned specialists to better grasp both sides of the coin: Jean-Claude Messant of Royal Mansour Marrakech, Baltazar Gomez of Paradero Todos Santos, and Michelle Rago of Michelle Rago Destinations. Continue reading for their thoughts.
Advantages of a Full Hotel Purchase
- You will have complete access.
“It makes the most sense for a couple to entirely purchase out a hotel for their destination wedding when they want to take advantage of features that cannot be privatized during regular occupancy, such as the restaurants or spa,” Messant adds. When the resort is exclusively yours, your group will be able to enjoy the experience of each place without limitations, which is especially handy during a multi-day event. You’ll also ensure that you and your guests have the greatest rooms and suites.
- You will have greater creative freedom.
“A full buyout gives couples the opportunity and flexibility to completely embrace their wedding ideas,” Gomez explains. “The exclusivity allows a hotel team to deliver 100 percent personalized service,” says Messant. This could imply that catering is more willing to stray from their normal meal selections, or that the floral team is eager to put in the extra hours to achieve the high-impact ceiling installation you desire. A buyout will also provide you with more options for setup and storage. Because other visitors will not be using common spaces or booking smaller ballrooms, your event providers may take up the space—and keep any ongoing work concealed away until the big reveal.
- Certain restrictions will not apply to you.
When a resort has wedding and non-wedding guests to cater to, Gomez says they may impose certain restrictions on your event, such as curfews and limitations on the use of certain high-traffic common areas, such as restaurants, pools, and outdoor patios. In a full buyout, however, the rules are more flexible. Celebrations can run longer and can take place in more desirable areas because the resort is only concerned with the satisfaction of one party: yours.
- You will have the entire staff’s attention.
“It’s tough to obtain a hotel’s undivided attention if there are other visitors,” Rago adds. “However, if you are the only group on-site, you will have complete access to all of the teams.” This is useful at every stage of the planning process, from getting guests from the airport to last-minute repairs for wedding-day crises. Guests who want to take use of resort facilities like surf lessons, spa treatments, or yoga courses won’t have to worry about making a long-term reservation.
- The right to privacy is guaranteed.
You don’t have to be a celebrity couple to want to keep your wedding day as private as possible. If you don’t want strangers gawking at you as you walk down the aisle (which happens far too often at beach weddings) or attempting to disrupt your ballroom reception, a full buyout may be the way to go.
- Health issues are easy to address.
Concerns concerning emerging COVID strains, mask use, and vaccine and booster requirements may develop in a post-pandemic scenario. Taking the required precautions to safeguard your guests’ health and safety while traveling to a destination wedding will be easier if your guests are the only ones present at the hotel throughout your celebration.
Cons of a Full Hotel Purchase
- You will very certainly be required to meet certain minimums.
Your resort may demand a minimum spend in areas like as food and beverage, spa services, and room bookings to make a full buyout financially feasible. The property may also necessitate a multi-night stay. Before you commit to the notion of a full buyout, make sure your budget can withstand the additional costs.
- You may impose new fees.
Who pays for the guests’ rooms if you ask them to stay at a specified hotel? While some experts believe it is customary etiquette for the hosts of a resort buyout (i.e. you) to host the entire experience and cover all costs, others believe it is entirely acceptable to ask visitors to pay their own way when it comes to accommodation prices. If you’re not going to pay for rooms other than your own, make sure your VIPs are happy with the amount beforehand.
- Guest selections can’t always be controlled.
Rago warns against simulating a buyout (i.e., filling all the rooms) without actually subscribing to the resort’s terms. “You don’t really have control over whether your guests book there or not,” she explains, which could result in one or two rooms remaining empty and being rented by people who aren’t attending your wedding. Even though these guests will be in the minority, the hotel must continue to operate as usual to accommodate them.
- RSVPs may need to be secured sooner.
A hotel will require many months’ notice to close for a full buyout. If your guests will be paying for their own accommodations, you may need to urge them to commit to arriving earlier than you would have otherwise. This will be less of an issue for a small wedding, but with more guests comes greater uncertainty about timetables.