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Information provided yesterday from MattTheMinion in another thread:

"Yeah it's going slower than we hoped, as one of our key hotel contacts went on vacation last week. 

Most of the room block allocations are for where we put staff and guests and the like, so you guys won't notice much of a difference - although it may open up more rooms in some hotels. 

When we are ready to announce it we plan to give you some lead time to be ready."

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I decided to not wait and immediately booked directly at that Marquis.

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I decided to not wait and immediately booked directly at that Marquis.
The convenience is worth the extra cost IMO. It's no longer on my mind to try and get one of rooms in the reserved block.

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1 hour ago, Daniel Perales said:

Sigh. 

So people are already jumping the gun and not give Otakon a chance to negotiate with the hotels for a lower rate. So much for patience.

 

 

I think one reason is that some of these hotels only stay up for less than 30 seconds. I remember last year how quickly Marriott was gone and I was using 4 computers at the time. Plus what helped is that nobody showed up in my office at the time so I was able to grab it. One year I lost Days Inn back in Baltimore because some clients came in 2 minutes before they went up and they needed to talk with me. I'm worried that I won't get it this year as people are aiming for that one.

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2 hours ago, Daniel Perales said:

Sigh. 

So people are already jumping the gun and not give Otakon a chance to negotiate with the hotels for a lower rate. So much for patience.

Booking hotels early isn't a knock on Otakon's system, it is just a failsafe due to the extremely high demand for rooms at the Marquis.  Besides, any hotel rooms available for booking now is not a part of the Otakon block- those rooms are already reserved and it is just a matter of Otakon deciding where to put staff / guests / etc. before opening the block for attendee booking.  Obviously we all want the Otakon rate at the Marquis, but given that the rooms are limited some people are okay paying the regular hotel rate just for the guarantee of that sweet air-conditioned tunnel access.

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If I can't get the Marriott them I will probably stay at the Cambria again. Awesome hotel

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On 9/5/2017 at 10:11 AM, DeathJester said:

Booking hotels early isn't a knock on Otakon's system, it is just a failsafe due to the extremely high demand for rooms at the Marquis.  Besides, any hotel rooms available for booking now is not a part of the Otakon block- those rooms are already reserved and it is just a matter of Otakon deciding where to put staff / guests / etc. before opening the block for attendee booking.  Obviously we all want the Otakon rate at the Marquis, but given that the rooms are limited some people are okay paying the regular hotel rate just for the guarantee of that sweet air-conditioned tunnel access.

Unless Otakon already negotiated for a set number of rooms beforehand, you can't assume. Also, even if they did, why should any hotel give Otakon a discount rate if they have no incentive to do so? I mean, if they see that people are willing to pay standard rate for a room no matter what, 

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1 hour ago, Daniel Perales said:

Unless Otakon already negotiated for a set number of rooms beforehand, you can't assume. Also, even if they did, why should any hotel give Otakon a discount rate if they have no incentive to do so? I mean, if they see that people are willing to pay standard rate for a room no matter what, 

Actually you can assume because a) the Marquis is already showing as "Unavailable" for next years Otakon's dates and b ) Otakon Staff has already been talking about the hotel situation three weeks ago.  The reason hotels give conventions special rates is because they make more money through discounted volume than by charging the higher margin standard rate and having the hotel be half empty.  A handful of people booking outside the group rate is not going to make every hotel pull out of providing convention discounts.

Edited by DeathJester

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18 hours ago, DeathJester said:

... the Marquis is already showing as "Unavailable" for next years Otakon's dates

 

Holy moly, that didn't take long.

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I wonder if people will cancel their direct bookings once Otakon's Rate goes up? I suspect that Marriott may have put the lock on those dates because it's still negotiating with Otakon or a lot more people than I thought jumped the gun and booked directly.

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A lot more people than you thought probably booked already.  There wasn't a charge to do so, and it ensures that you'll get a room if you miss out on the chaos.

 

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I'm content waiting for the Renaissance. My experience this year convinced me to forego the tunnel and stay at the hotel that hung over a dozen anime wall scrolls all over the lobby and had anime-themed drink discounts. Bottoms up!

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8 hours ago, KyoKyo said:

I'm content waiting for the Renaissance. My experience this year convinced me to forego the tunnel and stay at the hotel that hung over a dozen anime wall scrolls all over the lobby and had anime-themed drink discounts. Bottoms up!

Same! The Renaissance felt really welcoming to Otakon, a good enough experience to forego the tunnel convenience.

That said, I'm starting to get a little impatient about how long it's taking for the hotel blocks to open up. I keep checking every day and nothing. I'm surprised at how long it's taking!

Edited by LittleHobbit13

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Out of curiosity, does anyone have any experience with the Henley? I was just looking at the different hotels and saw this one a block away from the convention center. Out of curiosity I started to book it for the Otakon 2018 dates, and it came up for $199 / night. (Cheaper than the Mariott even with the Otakon rate.) It even has an afternoon tea service! (Though I don't know if they'd appreciate me there in t-shirt, shorts, and sandals sipping my Dragon Pearl Jasmine and nibbling on finger sandwiches.)

Some downsides that I can see are 1) that it looks like they only have single bed rooms even if you have 2 adults. (I'm told I have a tendency to snore - loudly, or so I'm told -, so I don't think my brother would appreciate me sounding "like a jet engine" at point blank range.) and 2) I've seen stories of bedbugs there. (Though these look like they're a couple of years old, so the situation may be rectified.)

So, anyone have information on them?

 

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Just a note about jumping the gun on hotel reservations: If you book outside the block, the hotel may not honor your reservation. I've seen this happen with previous Otakons, where people got a reservation at the Days Inn or Holiday Inn before the block was announced, only to find out their reservations would not be honored because they did not use the official booking system. I've seen this happen at other conventions as well.

That being said, while I'd like to get the Marriott so I don't have to risk being in the rain like I did this year, I'm not opposed to booking at the Embassy Suites again. Staff was super-nice, two-room suites, and free hot breakfast and booze. They even asked for my cell number and texted me throughout the weekend to check up on my stay.

I don't know if I'll be able to make it next year, tho. If things go well next month, I'll be a new mommy and exposing a newborn to all that wouldn't be a good idea.

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3 hours ago, Tigress said:

Just a note about jumping the gun on hotel reservations: If you book outside the block, the hotel may not honor your reservation. I've seen this happen with previous Otakons, where people got a reservation at the Days Inn or Holiday Inn before the block was announced, only to find out their reservations would not be honored because they did not use the official booking system. I've seen this happen at other conventions as well.

That being said, while I'd like to get the Marriott so I don't have to risk being in the rain like I did this year, I'm not opposed to booking at the Embassy Suites again. Staff was super-nice, two-room suites, and free hot breakfast and booze. They even asked for my cell number and texted me throughout the weekend to check up on my stay.

I don't know if I'll be able to make it next year, tho. If things go well next month, I'll be a new mommy and exposing a newborn to all that wouldn't be a good idea.

I don't understand how the hotel could differentiate between a con goer or a busniess person or someone on vacation maybe people booked with a "so called con provider" that wasn't legit thus the reservation didn't actually exist

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13 hours ago, Tigress said:

Just a note about jumping the gun on hotel reservations: If you book outside the block, the hotel may not honor your reservation. I've seen this happen with previous Otakons, where people got a reservation at the Days Inn or Holiday Inn before the block was announced, only to find out their reservations would not be honored because they did not use the official booking system. I've seen this happen at other conventions as well.

 

Maybe you thinking that some hotels would actually overbook for certain dates, which tends to happen. I think if you book a room using web sites like Hotel.com, Priceline, and other legitimate hotel room brokers (if that's the right term for them), and paid in advance for said room, you're set. Otherwise, I think it would still be a "first come, first served" basis.

 

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14 hours ago, Tigress said:

Just a note about jumping the gun on hotel reservations: If you book outside the block, the hotel may not honor your reservation. I've seen this happen with previous Otakons, where people got a reservation at the Days Inn or Holiday Inn before the block was announced, only to find out their reservations would not be honored because they did not use the official booking system. I've seen this happen at other conventions as well.

That was an issue of those hotels being overbooked in general, not that they refused to honor independent bookings.  If anything the direct hotel bookings are given preference since they can not push the blame on the third party convention booking, but in practice it is just first come first served and its up to the hotel manager to offer a make-good package.  That is why I always get to hotel check-in early so that I am never at risk for an overbooked hotel.  This tends to be a rare case now because group sales and general hotel bookings are now querying the same database- hence why the Marquis is suddenly "unavailable".

 

On 9/15/2017 at 2:53 PM, ChaosFinaleX said:

I wonder if people will cancel their direct bookings once Otakon's Rate goes up? I suspect that Marriott may have put the lock on those dates because it's still negotiating with Otakon or a lot more people than I thought jumped the gun and booked directly.

Anyone that manages to secure both the Marquis direct booking and the Otakon rate will surely cancel the more expensive direct booking. 

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1 hour ago, DeathJester said:

That was an issue of those hotels being overbooked in general, not that they refused to honor independent bookings.

Yes, I remember back in 2004 - 2005 era, I went back to work after Otakon, and learned that a colleague of mine had legit direct reservations at the Holiday Inn Saturday night because they were visiting a local University, and got turned away (late Saturday evening arrival) because the place was 100% sold out by Otakon and other direct bookings.  The Holiday Inn got them a room somewhere else further away.

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Hmm. I am interested in the Renissance. I always love hotels that really go all out for anime conventions.

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Based on the way the Renaissance welcomed us as a group - and my family in particular - they are my choice. Granted, nothing's been announced yet.

 

We just need to remain patient. The rooms will be announced and - quickly - a chunk of them will be gone. But there are so many hotels around the area (from walking distance to Metro distance) we are all bound to have options.

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I'm beginning to feel that the Renaissance is going to be what the "Day's Inn" was when Otakon was in Baltimore. :) In other words, it's going to be the second most wanted hotel to stay in compared to the Marriott.

 

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2 hours ago, Daniel Perales said:

I'm beginning to feel that the Renaissance is going to be what the "Day's Inn" was when Otakon was in Baltimore. :) In other words, it's going to be the second most wanted hotel to stay in compared to the Marriott.

Personally, I consider the Renaissance to be the Holiday Inn of the DC hotels (as in it being the ideal hotel of choice for those with taller vehicles that can't get into parking garages).

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I'm just glad I live in the DMV area and I can have someone drop me off at the nearby Metro Station.

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On 9/19/2017 at 10:25 PM, TnAdct1 said:

Personally, I consider the Renaissance to be the Holiday Inn of the DC hotels (as in it being the ideal hotel of choice for those with taller vehicles that can't get into parking garages).

I normally drive to Otakon, but this time I took Megabus since I wasn't sure how's the parking situation was over there. I probably take the bus again or the train via Amtrak next year. 

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On 9/22/2017 at 10:46 AM, Daniel Perales said:

I normally drive to Otakon, but this time I took Megabus since I wasn't sure how's the parking situation was over there. I probably take the bus again or the train via Amtrak next year. 

Most of the hotels don't have their own parking garages, so a lot of my friends used Parking Panda. Given that the closest parking garage was only $15 cheaper than valet, I just bit the bullet and sprang for the hotel's valet service. The hotel staff even escorted me down to the parking garage on Sunday morning so I could load my stuff.

As for the overbooking issue, I think the issue a few years ago was that Otakon's booking service had an exclusive contract with the hotels for that weekend and any reservations made through the booking service HAD to be honored or the hotel would be in breach of contract. So if people trying to book outside the service found their reservation cancelled. The most similar issue was with AWA and the host hotel, where some employees mistakingly took reservations before the room block was announced or via a booking service. As a result those reservations were cancelled by the hotel.

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On 9/20/2017 at 3:59 PM, ChaosFinaleX said:

I'm just glad I live in the DMV area and I can have someone drop me off at the nearby Metro Station.

Well I do too, but I opted to get a place to stay because Otakon is kind of my time to get away from daily life and I like to be immersed in it. Also, during the rainstorm we had on Saturday night, Lyft was charging over $80 to get a ride home. So yeah, glad I opted to stay nearby instead.

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On 9/24/2017 at 12:07 PM, windseeker said:

Well I do too, but I opted to get a place to stay because Otakon is kind of my time to get away from daily life and I like to be immersed in it. Also, during the rainstorm we had on Saturday night, Lyft was charging over $80 to get a ride home. So yeah, glad I opted to stay nearby instead.

Oh yeah. Same here. Despite living so close, I prefer to stay close to the conventions. Conventions in general are vacations for me.

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On 9/24/2017 at 12:07 PM, windseeker said:

Well I do too, but I opted to get a place to stay because Otakon is kind of my time to get away from daily life and I like to be immersed in it. Also, during the rainstorm we had on Saturday night, Lyft was charging over $80 to get a ride home. So yeah, glad I opted to stay nearby instead.

 

9 hours ago, ChaosFinaleX said:

Oh yeah. Same here. Despite living so close, I prefer to stay close to the conventions. Conventions in general are vacations for me.

You guys aren't alone here. Even if Otakon's now closer to me than Anime USA (a con where I spend the day there and then head home at night), that doesn't mean I'm stopping my tradition of getting a hotel room for Otakon weekend.

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Any more updates on when hotels might go out? 

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Last I heard we are closer to announcing, as most of the stuff on our side has been shifted the way we want it.

I think we are just waiting on confirmations all around that we are good to go, and to make sure we give folks enough lead time to be ready for it. 

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4 hours ago, MattTheMinion said:

Last I heard we are closer to announcing, as most of the stuff on our side has been shifted the way we want it.

I think we are just waiting on confirmations all around that we are good to go, and to make sure we give folks enough lead time to be ready for it. 

Awesome. Thanks Matt. Appreciate the updates. 

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