Fifteen Beacon Sells Rooms Twice a Day

Fifteen Beacon, a 60-room luxury boutique hotel in Boston, has found a way to sell some of its rooms twice a day. Not for indiscreet trysts, but for professional meetings. It’s pretty simple. Certain hotel suite parlors are converted to meeting space by day. Then, they can be cleaned up and sold as sleeping space at night. Voila. Double the money for the real estate.

It’s obviously not practical for every property. But, when it works, why not?

“We try to maximize revenue where possible,” says General Manager Amy Finsilver. “The parlor of our suites can accommodate six to 12 people. The room is always set up. If we’re not using it as a one-bedroom or two-bedroom suite, we can sell it as a meeting room.”

Offering a small meeting room gives guests an alternative to meeting in a less-than-private lobby or the too-personal individual guestroom. In the parlor rooms, meeting attendees have a private bathroom, phone, fireplace, a flat screen TV for projecting presentations. A concierge at the hotel functions as an office assistant, handling printing, shipping and other administrative needs.

“We’ve done financial groups and pharmaceutical meetings. We have attorneys who do their litigation prep here. Or companies who set up a war room for business,” says Finsilver. “We have a huge international clientele and a local legal and financial community. We do business lunches where companies use a parlor room as a board room.”

The 13-year-old property isn’t, officially, a meetings hotel. In fact, its 50-50 corporate and leisure business. But, it’s found a way into the meetings business. In addition to selling suite parlors as meeting rooms, the restaurant sells its wine cellar as a meeting alternative. “The wine cellar can accommodate up to 40 for a sit-down event. And, we have meetings there a few times a month,” says Finsilver.

Meetings are sold by a private events coordinator, who may funnel restaurant business into the meeting rooms. “If she gets a call for a meeting, function or a dinner group that’s small,” says Finsilver, “she’ll refer it to use one of our parlor rooms. These are kind of like a hidden gem. They’re nothing we’ve had to sell. People know about it through word of mouth.”

The hotel builds incremental f&b business and expands its customer service offering room service from its award-winning steakhouse. Guests can order directly from the menu.

“We charge [for rooms] two different ways,” says Finsilver, noting rooms may be pro-rated if the room is resold that night. The hotel’s ADR is $370, with suites starting at $1,200. The hotel usually sells about one meeting per week, but can handle up to three per day.

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