accommodations & hotels

March 3, 2010

After reading and learning about weddings over the past few years, I knew that accommodations were potentially something I had to add to my to-do list. Very often friends and relatives are flying in from all over the country and will need recommendations for where to stay, etc. Plus, if you’re going to have lots of people wanting accommodations, it’s practical and courteous to reserve “blocks” of rooms at nearby hotels so that 1) everyone will be able to find somewhere to stay and 2) you can reserve rooms at a discount.

It turns out that we won’t have very many out of town guests, so we’re not reserving room blocks or anything like that. However, we did want to reserve rooms for the bridal party the night before and for us to get ready the morning of the wedding.

I haven’t actually had to book hotel reservations very many times in my lifetime, so I started researching on my favorite website for everything & anything: Yelp. I searched for Temecula hotels and just read a ton of reviews and then started comparing prices and options. Since we’d be spending a good amount of time getting ready in these rooms, I wanted to make sure there’d be enough room and so I looked for suites.

There were some really, really nice resort type hotels near my venue (South Coast Winery, Inn at Churon Winery, Temecula Creek Inn), but they were a little too pricey- like $200+/night. I’m sure they’re goooorgeous, but no can do. I also saw a couple of Bed & Breakfasts (b&bs! like Loma Vista or The Castle) but I think they were more quaint/cottage-y and most of them didn’t have multiple rooms with more than one bed.

Sooo, I ended up looking at these hotels:

The Marriott Springhill Suites (Yelp)

The Marriott was new (+1) and got good reviews… plus the pictures were nice! But… as I was researching, it didn’t seem like they had the rooms we needed available. Boo.

Embassy Suites (Yelp)

The Embassy Suites were another that came up on the reviews/travel sites. The prices were reasonable, but the pictures are kind of … well, I didn’t really want my getting ready pictures in them. Aha… next!

Hampton Inn (Yelp)

I ended up making my decision based on what was available and started the process of booking rooms at the Hampton Inn and Suites. I initially had a not-so-favorable opinion of them because I called on a Sunday and the person at the front desk told me that there was no way to ensure a later check out (we needed this to get ready). I completely understand that she can’t predict room availability since it’s so far out, but since I’m looking for rooms for my BRIDAL PARTY to get ready on my WEDDING DAY, I was almost 100% sure that a manager would have made an exception.

She told me to call back the next day, and I had a much better, happier experience. Sadly, the two two-queen suites weren’t available anymore (things change so fast!), but the representative was very knowledgeable and made suggestions for alternative plans. We ended up booking two rooms- one two-queen suite for the guys and then one king suite for the girls. Both have queen size pullouts so everyone should fit nicely. Yay!

So, a few lessons learned:

  1. Availability changes on a day-to-day basis
  2. If you can’t get what you want (and it’s a reasonable request), talk to a manager. Oftentimes they’ll accommodate!
  3. Every hotel I talked to gave a small discount for AAA. If you already have AAA, why not take advantage of it?
  4. At least for me, booking rooms thru it’s website didn’t seem to yield different rates than an Expedia.com search (and Expedia was hard to navigate for me).

We also had to find a hotel for some of our vendors that will be sleeping over in Temecula… part II coming up!

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