Things to consider when finding that Cast and Crew Hotel
Tips and resources for group travel.
Unless you are filming in Los Angeles or New York, the chances of using a hotel for part or all of your cast and crew are pretty good. Even if you film in a major hub like Atlanta, you will most likely need a hotel for a few of the crew and cast that flew in from out of town.
Below, I have listed some things to consider when booking that hotel.
How close is the hotel to the majority of the filming sets? In an ideal world, you want to find something that is relatively close.
Are there walkable places close to the hotel? If you will have cast or crew staying there without a car, it’s a good idea to find something that is walking distance to restaurants or grocery stores.
Have you checked the reviews on Google or Yelp? Occasionally a hotel will look nice on Expedia, however, there could be a roach or bed bug problem revealed from reviews online that will give you the information needed to avoid it.
Do the hotel rooms have kitchenettes or refrigerators? Depending on how long you will be there, this is sometimes a very helpful amenity for some cast and crew.
What other amenities are at the hotel? When researching, look to see if the hotel has a gym, pool, hot tub, bar, laundry, restaurant, paid breakfast, or complimentary breakfast. It’s a good idea to know to what extent your cast and crew be satisfied with living in a hotel for a week or months.
What is the room like? Is the bed comfortable? Is it dated? Is it noisy outside? What about the cigarette smell? Many of these factors can be hard to determine without a physical visit to check out the room.
Is the hotel nice enough to put cast and crew in the same hotel? Occasionally, certain cast members will mandate in their riders a 4 or 5 star hotel. If you are putting your crew up in a 3 star hotel you may have to have two or more hotels for your project. You could also potentially put up most of the day players that don’t mandate 5 star hotel experience in the crew hotel to cut down on cost. If you can put everyone in the same location, it makes it easier for transportation logistics.
Can you get a group discount? For most hotels, if you book at least 10 rooms you should be eligible for a group discount. I typically talk with the group sales manager at the hotel and try to negotiate the best rate possible. Occasionally, they will even comp a room if I book a ton of rooms.
What is the parking situation? If you are having to pay an additional $20-$25 a day for parking that can add up real fast.
How is the availability at the hotel? Occasionally, it can be challenging to find the right hotel when booking something that overlaps a holiday or a certain season. Typically, the group sales manager is able to check availability and can tell you if they believe it will book up soon. This is important to know since you may have to add rooms for cast members who you may not know if they are local or not.