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16 hours ago, ashlynx said:

Also, it was $20 a day, but it didn't roll over (I didn't even get to use my thursday money, I had no clue it expired until it was too late), but the breakfasts were also like, $20 each, so it's not like everyone in the room could get something. I wouldn't have been expecting a *good* breakfast at Comfort Inn, just a free one.

My guess would be that it didn't roll over because it was meant as a replacement for the Comfort Inn's free breakfast, once each day.  Again, the amount was probably set by Comfort Inn because they were the ones footing the bill due to having to re locate you because they overbooked themselves. If you had more than 2 people to your room, they probably should have given you more for that daily stipend, but that is poor choosing on Comfort Inn's part I bet.

If Comfort did have you reported as only 2 ppl in the room, well, again my BF and I got delicious breakfast every morning at $10 each, $20 total, each morning from the Renaissance.

It does sound like the Renaissance front desk people either weren't informed or didn't know the procedure at first though. that part is on them, sure.

You have your reasons to be frustrated for sure! If you want to try the Comfort Inn next year, I do wish you luck and a good stay!

But just be forewarned that, having stayed with both places, I think the issues stemmed from Comfort Inn's overbooking and lack of knowing how much to give you for the stipend. So, next year if you stay with them, you might run into very much of the same if not bigger issues. They aren't very attentive to detail over there. Again, if you want amusement read my Otakon 2017 hotel review... and picture watching a valet almost run into oncoming traffic with your car repeatedly and then successfully running it into a few parked cars. Yeah, that happened to us there. Wasn't funny at the time, but I guess distance allows me to laugh at it a little now..   lol.

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On 8/16/2018 at 5:17 PM, Poliwhirl said:

My group stayed at the Grand Hyatt Washington this year.

The Good:

- It was a quick walk to the convention center and to various food places in the area

- Staff was very polite and made check-in/out a breeze! They also didn't give us any trouble about having five people in the room, surprisingly.

- Housekeeping was also really nice. We had the privacy doorhanger up on our room, but they happened to see us as we were leaving the room, so they asked if they we wanted anything. Kindly gave us a few extra towels <3

- Lots of elevators, so for once, we didn't have to take the stairs just to get our luggage back to the ground floor on the last day lol

-Huuuuge lobby space, plus another level under that with more couches where their meeting rooms are located, so it's easy to find a place to settle down and play board games since the rooms are too cramped for that

The Bad:

- As mentioned, the room was kind of cramped. Plus everyone's luggage, swag, shoes, cosplay gear, and other miscellany taking up what little extra space there was, we were just trying not to trip over each other.

- No continental breakfast :c

Altogether, pretty good! I do think a better room could be found for the price they charged, especially since all that extra money seems to have been used on their fancy lobby, but it's still a pretty nice hotel and I had a great experience with the staff. The one thing I'll note is that there is a Japanese restaurant named Umaya around the corner from the hotel (we could see it from our room window). Don't fall for it! The food is overpriced and nothing amazing.

Oooh I stayed at the Grand Hyatt with my group too! We also had 5 ppl, and they didn't say jack diddly sh*t! I can echo what PoliWhirl say in terms of their staff... Super nice and accepting of us crazy kids/young adults lol in our cosplays of characters that I bet they've never seen before. It's a bummer that there was no free breakfast with the room, but my room was decently big enough for us 5. I slept on the floor because by the time I got back from the day's festivities each night both beds were occupied/claimed. lol. I had no problems with that. Next year my group might wanna do an AirBnB or something in the area if we can plan it in time. There's also a new closer Residence Inn by Marriot (Residence Inn Convention Center) opening on September 1st (or something early September) that I hope Otakorp partners with for con-rate rooms. They have all suites (Studio/1BR/2BR)... ..Anyway, my hotel experience this year was great. Better than last year when we stayed in the Comfort Inn Convention Center in 13th St NW or w/e it was.

Edited by GasparAKAShiggitay
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I stayed at the Cambria. Nice rooms. The walls are thick. You cannot hear anything unless you open your door. Nice rooftop. The staff is amazing. And the Breakfast Buffet is on 16 dollars a person and free wifi, free coffee and tea in your room and microwave. Greatest perk next door to a supermarket and starbucks.

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My group and I stayed at the Marquis the first year Otakon was in DC, and last year we stayed at the Renaissance. Now that we stayed at both, we were bouncing back and forth about which one to book for 2019. We ultimately decided on the Renaissance. Here's why:

Marquis (2017)
+ Tunnel directly into the con (wonderful to not walk outside all weekend in the heat or if it rains)
+ Room was clean and decently sized
+ Easy access to our room on the 2nd floor with a separate staircase so we could avoid the elevator
+ Mini fridge
- No microwave
- Our two rooms were nearby but did not connect (made coordinating plans and food harder)
- Room was noisy from atrium
- Hotel room walls seemed thin (my sister could here people partying pretty late in the room next to her)
- Staff couldn't quite handle luggage storage on Sunday
- Valet was EXPENSIVE (we arrived VERY late Thursday and hadn't used a parking reservation app before, so I bit the bullet but wouldn't do that again)

Renaissance (2018)
+ King bed rooms connect (I rarely ever see this. It's usually a king room connecting to a double bed room - this was a huge plus to us)
+ Large countertop in the room (TV was hung on the "wall" freeing up valuable space) with a place to eat at the end (this may seem silly but we bring most of our food -- breakfasts, snacks, sandwich ingredients, beverages, dessert -- so having somewhere to organize it all and not have it on the floor is a great convenience for my group)
+ Quiet rooms (didn't hear a peep the whole time)
+ Staff was friendly and baggage hold was a breeze
+ Full-length mirror outside of bathroom
+ Room had an office chair on one end of the counter and a loveseat with coffee table near the windows, perfect for when we ate without getting food on the bed
+ Booked parking via Spot Hero about 4 blocks away and it was a breeze
+ Mini fridge
- No microwave (BUT as we checked our bags on Sunday to be held in the 2nd floor conference room, we saw about 5 microwaves lined up on carts - not sure if they were for public use. We will definitely ask about those next year....game changer!)
- Had to walk outside in the humidity in full cosplays and it was raining on Sunday after the con ended
- No anime-themed decor in the lobby in 2018 (was bummed about this since I was excited to see it from what I heard they did in 2017...here's hoping it's back for 2019!)
- Starbucks was very rattled the only time we visited (Sunday morning). Not sure how an eatery in a convention center hotel is unable to handle an large influx of patrons...

As you can see, at least for our group of four, the Renaissance wins hands down. Of course, every group's needs are different but what honestly sold me was the connecting king rooms and the extra counter space. Plus it's a short block away...can't beat that!

Also.... A tip for anyone using Spot Hero or Parking Panda reservations who may not be familiar.... Don't assume the parking attending knows how to handle pre-paid parking reservations. We arrived after our starting time and departed almost two hours before our departure time, and the attendant asked how much I paid. He honestly doesn't need to know how much I paid, so I didn't provide that information at first. He asked several more times before I finally answered. He insisted we were there multiple days. I agreed and reiterated that it was included in our reservation and we were leaving before our cutoff time, plus it was paid in full. He muttered something and finally let us leave. After we left, my husband (who was driving; I was in the passenger seat) told me he saw the attendant trying to calculate the price difference between what I paid on Spot Hero and their daily full-price rate, as if he'd try to charge us the difference. If you arrive and leave within your allotted time, DON'T FALL FOR IT!

I hope this helps anyone wondering between the Marquis and Renaissance who haven't stayed there before. ^_^

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7 hours ago, MalefiStitch said:

- No anime-themed decor in the lobby in 2018 (was bummed about this since I was excited to see it from what I heard they did in 2017...here's hoping it's back for 2019!)

There's a couple of possible reasons for the lack of decor. While some people think that was due to Viz not being there this year, I personally think it was due to the fact that the hotel was holding a couple of events the same time as Otakon this year (especially a business convention on Thursday that used the lobby floor), which would make it hard for the Renaissance to set it up again this year.

Quote

- Starbucks was very rattled the only time we visited (Sunday morning). Not sure how an eatery in a convention center hotel is unable to handle an large influx of patrons...

If there's one weakness of the Renaissance, it's that the choices definitely felt lacking in terms of getting something for breakfast, with me opting to getting a donut at the convention center instead.

Personally, I have a couple of extra pluses in terms of the Renaissance based on my two years staying there.

  1. It's across the street from an outdoor parking lot, which would make it (and the upcoming Conrad, which will be right next to the lot) an ideal hotel for those travelers with cars that are too high for the parking garages.
  2. The side elevators on the southern part of the main building is a hidden blessing there, with them being close to the hotel exit (making it easy to carry luggage to and from the car) and making Sunday morning check out easier (when I checked out, that side elevator was completely empty).

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Stayed at the Cambria Suites this year! I'm only able to compare it to the Renaissance since I stayed there last year.  There wasn't anything crazy good or crazy bad about it so I had to dig deep for some points haha.
 
Pros: 
- Room was pretty spacious.  We stayed in the King Bed Suite and had no problems fitting all our stuff and had extra room to move/ lounge around.  For the same price/ room type last year, we just had space in front of the bed and bathroom to move in the Renaissance.
- Accommodating Staff.  Towels, blankets, etc.  were always brought up promptly and the concierge reactivated our room keys at no charge to check out when we were a little behind packing the car.  Same with Renaissance.
 
Cons:
- Distance.  It's about a 10 minute walk because it's 2 blocks behind the convention center, meaning we had to walk all the way alongside the building to get to the main entrance.  Renaissance was a 2 minute walk in comparison.
- No local groceries.  Had to travel out to get supplies for the room.  The closest CVS/ Walgreens were in Chinatown so about 15-20 minutes away.  
 
Side Notes:
- Union Market was on the way to the con and THE BEST THING.  Their breakfast sandwiches were really good and so were their lunch/dinner options.  It was perfect for grabbing a quick bite on the way to and from the con.  
- They use one bar/ lounge for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so expect to go out if you want some sports bar deals, such as the ones in the marriott and renaissance.
- The shower did not have a closable door, so water would spill on the bathroom floor a lot.  But on the flipside, the Renaissance didn't have a locking bathroom door, so people could walk in when you were using it, while the Cambria bathrooms did.
There is a supermarket right next door. Its called Giant

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I stayed at the Marriott Marquis for Otakon 2018.

Reserved a room from Thursday, August 9th to Monday, August 13th on the Experient site for Otakon, emailed confirmation said the final total charged would be $1,005.65 so I put $1,010 into my checking account since I withdrew the remaining amount I had for spending during Otakon in cash.

Well when I got to the Marquis to check in on Thursday, I handed over my debit card to the front desk and was being told "Sir, your card is being declined."  and I was like "What??? Why???" and the front desk person said "We're trying to charge your card $200." and I said "What??? What's the $200 for???" and was told "It's for incidentals." I said "Put a block on all incidentals please, the amount I have on my card is enough to cover the final total I got in my confirmation email." I was asked "What amount was in your confirmation email?" I said "$1,005.65." and I showed the front desk person my confirmation email from Experient, I was then told "Sir, that amount should've been $1,205.65." I stated again "Please put a block on all incidentals." and the front desk person told me "Sir, we can't do that, Marriott corporate policy requires a incidentals deposit of $200, if you cannot pay the incidentals deposit, you cannot check in." I then immediately took out my cell phone and called my dad up and explained what was going on, my dad asked to talk to the front desk so I gave my phone to the front desk. My dad and the front desk had a 5 minute conversation then I was given back the phone and my dad told me he would use his card to pay the deposit, I thanked him and hung up. The front desk gave me my keycard and I went to my room.

This required deposit of $200 was NOT stated anywhere on the Experient site so I was not expecting to arrive at the hotel and suddenly be required to pay two hundred dollars additional just to check in. This required at-hotel deposit needs to be put on the Experient site for the Marriott Marquis.

Also, the Marriott took a long time to refund this deposit to my dad, my dad told me that his card wasn't refunded until September 5th and I checked out on August 13th.

Other than the required $200 deposit, my stay at the Marquis was really nice. I liked being able to take the elevator down to the meeting level that has the underground connector to the convention center and using the underground connector especially since it was really hot during Otakon 2018.

The room was really nice, the bed was very comfortable. However when I got back to my room late at night, usually around 2 or 3 AM, I heard people yelling, laughing and then loud music playing, I tried sleeping as best as I could despite the loud noises.

Would I stay at the Marquis again? Potentially yes if I have enough to cover the room and this deposit.

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On 9/15/2018 at 12:48 PM, KSweeley said:

Well when I got to the Marquis to check in on Thursday, I handed over my debit card to the front desk and was being told "Sir, your card is being declined." 

Never ever ever ever use a Debit Card for any kind of reservation based service.  Credit Cards can get temporary holds to ensure that you have enough available on your credit line to cover the future add-on charges.  However, Debit Cards are tied directly to the funds in your bank account so there is no credit line to "hold" the funds to check your available balance.  Experient does not mention the $200 deposit because it is a standard practice for many reservation systems to charge an amount up front on debit cards.  Hotels require a deposit to ensure you can cover the incidentals, Car Rentals will hold the deposit to cover any overages, even some Gas Stations will hit your bank for $50~$100 dollars before letting you fill up on a debit card.  There are different rules and protections between debit and credit purchases which is why things are more lenient when making credit purchases so always put your hotel on a Credit Card.

 

Edited by DeathJester
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On 9/26/2018 at 3:09 PM, DeathJester said:

Never ever ever ever use a Debit Card for any kind of reservation based service.  Credit Cards can get temporary holds to ensure that you have enough available on your credit line to cover the future add-on charges.  However, Debit Cards are tied directly to the funds in your bank account so there is no credit line to "hold" the funds to check your available balance.  Experient does not mention the $200 deposit because it is a standard practice for many reservation systems to charge an amount up front on debit cards.  Hotels require a deposit to ensure you can cover the incidentals, Car Rentals will hold the deposit to cover any overages, even some Gas Stations will hit your bank for $50~$100 dollars before letting you fill up on a debit card.  There are different rules and protections between debit and credit purchases which is why things are more lenient when making credit purchases so always put your hotel on a Credit Card.

 

Unfortunately, I do not have a credit card at all. My credit is very crappy due to having thousands of dollars in medical debt earlier in my life so I am currently not eligible to receive any credit cards. I only have a debit card due to having a checking account.

Edited by KSweeley

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5 hours ago, KSweeley said:

Unfortunately, I do not have a credit card at all. My credit is very crappy due to having thousands of dollars in medical debt earlier in my life so I am currently not eligible to receive any credit cards. I only have a debit card due to having a checking account.

I've noticed that incidental deposits seem to vary from hotel to hotel. The Holiday Inn Express that we stay at during Nekocon merely asks for a credit card in case of damages but does not apply any charges to your account. However we  stayed at a LaQuinta a few weeks back that asked for a $250 deposit for incidentals that took 2 weeks to reimburse. 

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