Best Western is more of a hotel booking service than a chain. It’s not a management company, hotels are generally independently owned and also independently operated. Best Western has an online course that front desk agents have to go through, and someone on property has to be certified in their reservation system and also certified in housekeeping.
Best Western doesn’t run the hotels, and the brand standards – despite in recent years adding ‘brand descriptors’ (for legal and internal political reasons they couldn’t call these separate brands) “Plus” and “Premier” – are fairly lax compared to major chains like Marriott and Hilton.
Still, there are standards, and there are rules.
Only I would find the full .pdf interesting reading. But I’ve pulled out some of the highlights, “Best Western Secrets Revealed” if you will.
- Best Western’s ‘walk policy’ (how they handle guests when the hotel is oversold) is fairly standard.
Each Member shall honor room reservations made with either an advance deposit or credit card guarantee or a 4pm/6pm hold if accepted by the Property, at the rate confirmed at the time of booking. If for any reason a room is not available, the Member shall arrange for comparable accommodations in the area, if possible at a nearby Best Western; if not, at a comparable hotel or motel. The room shall be provided at no charge to the guest for the first night’s stay. Transportation and a telephone call to notify the guest’s home or office of the change shall also be provided without charge.
They don’t require further compensation, such as how Starwood Preferred Guests requires that when an elite member of their program is walked that member also receives points equivalent to a free night’s future stay at the property.
- “Kids stay free”
Children 12 years old or under stay free when accompanied by a parent or grandparent in the same room.
This could be handy in regions of the world, like Europe, where extra person charges are common.
- Hotels must pay travel agents a minimum of 10% commission.
All Members shall accept reservations from bona fide travel agents on a year-round, space-available basis and pay at least the standard 10 percent commission on the gross room rental, except for bookings on special package pro grams made at net rates as specified by Best Western.
- Best Western bans porn.
Each hotel shall,
uniformly prohibit the offer, sponsorship or provision of any entertainment which could be classified as adult, pornographic, lewd, sexually explicit or obscene. Prohibited enter tain ment shall include, without limitation, the showing of or offer to show any movie or film with an “X” or similar rating or any movie or film that is equivalent to “X” rated and the offering of nude dancing or modeling.
Remember that Mormon-controlled Marriott is only getting out of the porn business because it is no longer profitable, since in the internet-age people bring their own..!
- Complaints to corporate result in a fine for the hotel – based on the number of complaints received about a property (that corporate chooses to resolve).
Here’s the schedule:
(For hotels with more than 200 rooms, the number of free complaints go up as do the fines.)
Complaints related to force majeure events and property policy must be answered by the property within 7 days.
If everyone on a sports team or attending a wedding sends in a complaint that only counts as one complaint.
- Free parking shall be provided. I imagine the New York City hotels (and other major city downtown properties must be excluded by exception).
- You can have as many toiletries as you want.
Additional complimentary toiletries shall be available on-site to guests, on request, 24 hours daily, free of charge. The following items, if not provided in guestrooms, shall be available at reception: razor, shaving foam, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, sanitary napkins (an acceptable solution is to offer sanitary napkins via a vending machine in a public restroom) and sewing kits.
- Stephanie Rosenbloom writes in the New York Times that bath tubs are on their way out in hotel bathrooms… but apparently not at Best Western.
All bathrooms shall provide a tub/shower combination of ceramic or other approved materials with a non-skid surface or device
- About the television remote? “The remote control must not be attached to anything.” Glad we cleared that up!
- A hotel is compensated for award nights by the chain at 30% of its average daily room rate (but in no case less than $30). If the hotel is 95% full, then award nights are compensated at 90% of the hotel’s average daily room rate.
- Hotels used to only be required to make 2% of their rooms available for award redemption. In July 2011 that requirement was bumped up to 4%
- Hotels are only fined for offering better rates outside of BestWestern.com within 30 days of check-in.
The head of a loyalty program once called me ‘his WikiLeak’. If you have any other internal documents you’d like the gist of, distilled, please do share them.