No, you are not free to have complete and total run of the house.
A reasonably comfortable bed, an area for storage, a climate control system of some sort, and a place to cleanse yourself and use a toilet are the basic necessities you expect when staying in a room at a hotel or resort property — and you expect to get a certain amount of value for the money which you spend on the room rate.
What Is a Run of House Hotel Room Rate?
Moreover, hotel rooms vary wildly — from a basic room on the ground floor of the property with an exterior door to the parking lot to a mountain view room to an ocean view room with a balcony to a spacious suite to an opulent presidential suite or penthouse suite. Would you rather a king bed or two queen beds? What about the amenities in the bathroom? Do you prefer being near an exit or tucked away in the quietest corner of the property?
Most importantly, how much money are you willing to spend — or save — on the room rate?
For some guests, money is no object with regard to comfort and convenience — but what if you want to try to save as much money as possible?
You might encounter something called a run of house or run of the house room rate, which is offered by some lodging companies — especially for group rates. This room rate affords you the opportunity to pay for the room rate of a basic room — but you do not get to select the type of room, as the actual room will be determined and assigned to you by members of the staff at the hotel or resort property, as they have complete discretion over which room to assign to you.
So what do you get when you pay a run of house room rate? Anything from the basic room for which you are paying to possibly scoring an upgraded room with a view, a suite, or — well — who knows?
However, if you have a family of four who needs a room with two queen beds, do not be surprised if you wind up with a room with a double bed with a run of house rate.
Advantages of Run of House Hotel Room Rates
The advantages of run of house hotel room rate include:
Usually the lowest room rate of any room in the hotel or resort property
Could possibly be assigned a significantly more expensive room than what is the original rate
Good for large groups of which requirements are flexible
Ideal at a hotel or resort property whose least desirable room is still a comfortable room which is well equipped
Most ideal for a solo traveler who wants to save money and whose taste is not discriminating
Disadvantages of Run of House Hotel Room Rates
The disadvantages of run of house hotel room rate include:
Uncertainty and risk as to what room will be assigned
No choice of amenities or options for the room
Not ideal at all for guests who have specific minimum requirements
The rate might not be refundable without a penalty
Final Boarding Call
If you do not mind the risk and uncertainty of what type of room you may be assigned — and if all hotel rooms look the same while your eyes are closed and you are asleep — run of house room rates can potentially save you a significant amount of money…
…but if certain aspects of a room at a hotel or resort property are appealingly important — or, worse, a definite deal breaker — you might want to avoid paying the run of house room rate and seek out other discount rates, promotions, or coupons which could potentially save you money.
Either way, ensure that you do your research before committing to reserving your next room at a hotel or resort property. As one example, you can find out about run of house room rates from specific lodging options simply by using your favorite search engine to find reviews and discussions in forums — many of which include photographs.