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Since con-goers are often looking for something different that your average hotel guest, your average online hotel review may not be helpful for conventions. So....

 

What did everyone think about their hotels this year (and how about last year too, although that's as far back as we should go since hotels changed staff/services a lot pre/post covid.

 

2022: Renaissance Hotel (becoming Westin)

It's one of the co-HQ hotels. So it's very close to the con (across the park) and also seemingly where most of the guests stay (I ran into two on elevators).

The staff at the hotel were very friendly/helpful.

(They're remodeling some rooms so some of this may be changing)

The hotel is reasonably modern and the room furnishings (including the bathrooms) were nice. The bed was comfortable. The rooms have a fridge (though not a fridge/freezer) and coffeemaker. They did not have microwaves, they say there's a public microwave in the back of the club but I can't imagine taking a microwave dinner across the hotel. Wifi was free for con attendees (there's otherwise a $12/day charge) and they also gave us a $10 credit for their little onsite convenience store. Nice and reasonably sized bathroom (with those silly sliding barn doors I hate). Everything was clean.

Elevators were fine. Never had to wait more than 30 seconds for one.

There's a nice little Chinese garden hidden just off the side of the hotel which is great for cosplay photography.

I couldn't hear other rooms but I could hear what was going on in the hallways. I was woken up at least once about 2-3am by a sudden party/orgy/multiple murder in the hallway (I didn't bother to see which). It's a closely located co-HQ hotel which means the atmosphere is a little more raucous.

Like half the hotels near the convention center it has a Starbucks in the lobby.

Spot Hero had good rates on the garage under the hotel

 

2021: Grand Hyatt

About a 5 block walk from the convention center.

An older but modernized hotel. Rooms are nice. Fridge/freezer, again no microwave. Free wifi. Comfortable beds. Bathroom was nice but a little small.

Basically no crowds. No wait for elevators/front desk/etc.

Staff were friendly.

Vibe in the hotel was very laid back compared to other convention hotels, which I liked. The rooms and hallways were quiet, the lobby was quiet. It was a nice respite from the convention center. Starbucks in the lobby.

This is one of the cheapest hotels in walking distance and honestly a really good value if the longer walk (5-ish blocks) to the convention center doesn't bother you.

 

 

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I've been meaning to start a thread like this, but you beat me to it. :)

 

 

Moxy DC

      

   I stayed in this hotel last year as well. It's about a 6 to 8 minute walk from the Convention center (about more of a block away from the Marriott Marquis). When you walk in to check in, the whole lobby is like you're entering into a Bar with a game lounge (there was a full-blown party going on just last night).  The room of this hotel is what I will describe as "efficiently sized", meaning it's just big enough to suit an individual's basic needs. The room I stayed had a full-sized bed, a nightstand, a 42 inch tv on the wall, and a chair. There were also 3 wooden hangers, and a fold-out round table all hung on wooden pegs against the wall. You can ask for a mini fridge if your room don't already have one. The bathroom was really modern looking, but 2 of its 4 walls are all glass from floor to ceiling. The glass is not completely transparent, but you can still see through it.  It's like the type of glass that are used like a shower door or a skylight for example. The room also had free Wi-Fi, too (but it wasn't working for me this year for some reason).

The bed was comfortable, the place was surprisingly quiet, the bathroom really clean, and the AC worked pretty well, too.

Anyway, if you're by yourself and don't carry much luggage, the room was just enough. I would not recommend this place if you do carry a lot of stuff, there's just no space. Also, if you even think of having a roommate, it either better be a spouse or someone you're really closed to because of the lack of privacy when it comes to the bathroom. I mean, you can see someone sitting on the toilet from your bed, but the shower?! The glass wall is literally a foot away from your bed and what you can see through leaves little to the imagination (especially if the body in the shower presses against the glass, then you might as well have someone completely naked standing right next to you).

 

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Courtyard by Marriot (it's listed as "Courtyard Washington Downtown Convention Center" on the Hotels page)

It's literally just across the street from the L street doors/exit under the bridge. It's front door is also facing the back door of the Marriott Marquis (Otakon HQ Hotel) so, as long as it's not the wee hours of the night where the backdoor might be locked, you could technically go from the Courtyard straight into the Marquis to utilize the underground Connector entrance with minimal "walking outside" (I mean...you'd still need to walk outside more than if you actually bagged a Marquis room...)

Also, fun fact: Courtyard apparently shares the same building as Residence Inn. I do not know quite how rooms are arranged though with/in the building itself, ie: Residence Inn room VS Courtyard room, on different floors? I don't know...

Personally....we had some issues with the front desk staff this year when checking in (the tl;dr version is they said the room was ready but not "feather free" like we requested and the front desk staffer "pretended" to check on the status of the room when they didn't even pick up their phone to call/check....eventually found out the room had been "feather free" & ready the whole time)

But we had stayed in this hotel in 2021 and from what I recall they were VERY accommodating & nice and we didn't have any issues with the front desk staff that year [that I can recall]. So I presume we just lucked out...

The room in my opinion was, I guess average? We had a double bed room. It was not too big & you can walk around it but I think they might have gone a little overkill in chairs. There were two large 'couch-size' single chairs that took up one side of the room and a desk chair that is too big in that you can't really push into/under the desk.

I guess if you consider it floor space-wise it's a bit on the cramped side. Ignoring the closet you can maybe find floor space to lay down 3 large sized suitcases without causing other people needing to constantly push them out of the way or walk OVER them to move/access all parts of the the room.

Speaking of the closet, it's big enough that maybe 2 adults could walk into it at the same time (lol). The door swings open btw-- past hotels I've stayed in the closet has a sliding door instead or were more like cabinets so that seems like a difference point...

 

Wi-fi is free and I -personally- did not notice any issues with connecting to it nor it's speed...There's a mini fridge but has this feature I felt was annoying in that it's not really "on" unless you hit the "Quick Freeze" button where it turns on for only 2 hours at a time after which it seems like it's off. I know it's meant to save power but I never felt like it got really cold inside the thing (though I did somehow manage to freeze some Yogurt way in the back lol...)  There is a standard coffeemaker (didn't use it though). There is no microwaves in the room, instead there is one downstairs in the "Marketplace" area (which contains some food/snacks/drinks that you can purchase). Used the microwave a few times--it was surprisingly clean considering it's a "public" one? The only thing that seriously bugged me about it was that it didn't have a turntable in it.

Anyhow, back in the room, there's a personal safe in one of the cabinets below the HDtv (the mini fridge being in the other "cabinet" under the tv).

The bathroom is pretty large considering the rest of the room feels small (based on my earlier estimate of how many suitcases you can lay on the floor without blocking walking area badly). You could literally have one person occupying the toilet, one person in the shower, and possibly another 2 people doing their business at the sink (although it's only 1 sink) and still have room to move around. Our only gripe is the sink pressure leaves something to be desired (it's a bit small/weak especially when we tried to wash/rinse an empty Chobani yogurt cup for instance.

 

Erm....can't think about anything else to add...if I had to give it rating out of 5 I'd maybe say...somewhere between 3.5-4 but we're going to stick with it for now just because of the location more than anything -and it's cheaper than Marquis or Renaissance- which is the two other hotels we've tried before for Otakon.

Edited by Ikano
darn typos
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On 8/1/2022 at 4:56 PM, Attendee7000 said:

I couldn't hear other rooms but I could hear what was going on in the hallways.

Also stayed in the Renaissance, and concur on the noise. We actually had a group right outside our door at one point at like 1 in the morning, it was quite loud from inside our room. Didn't love it given the time of night, but at one point they suddenly stopped so I imagine another room must have said something to them. We've been in Renaissance each year since coming to DC and generally never have complaints (besides the sliding bathroom door, which like you I hate, lol). My only issue this year is that the room we ended up in had only a single semi-transparent shade to pull down over the window and we couldn't pull the curtain the length of the window, so we could still pretty clearly see all the city lights from outside at night when we were trying to sleep. We never had this experience before this year. Otherwise my friend and I have always found the hotel to be clean and comfortable, and the staff friendly and helpful.

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Unfortunately, we are all at the mercy of the other guests in the hotels.

I think it was pre-pandemic where the couple in the next room decided to have a fight. Screaming and throwing things at 2 in the morning. Another time, I was stuck next to a party room where they were making noise until about 3 AM. Other times you have people talking full volume, or yelling in the hallways. The doors and walls don't muffle that much.

The Marriott Marquis has a couch and table located in a space near the elevators. A few years back some group decided to have a party there and you could hear the noise down the hallway. If I was the person in the room that adjoined it, there would have been words. This year it looks like moved the couch to the wall so nobody could sit there. It is a shame there are so many selfish individuals who don't respect their fellow guests.  🤬

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Stayed at the Henley Park, 

Very welcoming, and how quiet and photogenic the hotel is.  The room was a bit awkward, no dresser just two nightstands, the closet had two outward opening doors, the hallway was long and the bathroom was huge.   The queen bed was comfortable enough and even being next to the elevator it was quiet.  You have to request a when you get in and its the luck of the draw.  The coffeemaker was a kerig type, and there wasn't a huge amount of space in the room when you have two cosplayers with a lot of stuff in the room. 

We chose it due to the proximity the main entrance to the Mariott Marquis and being able to potentially get into another air-conditioned space that has the underground access tunnel, and it did serve that purpose on Friday. On Saturday though the outside lines defeated the purpose about not getting overheated before even getting into the convention.   The walk to get into the conference when things were working, was just down the drive to the crosswalk, across the street, then halfway down the block you can dart into the Marquis and enter that way. 

Still with the service I would highly recommend it, they even offer the fancy tea service in the afternoon. Only real caveat is if you are disabled there happens to be a step at their entrance door, so I don't know about any other accommodations they have for wheelchair use. 

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I stayed at the Morrison-Clark both this year and last year.

Pros: 5-minute walk to the convention center, even less to the Marriott Marquis. Very quiet. I've never seen any congestion in the lobby or had to wait for the elevators. Mini-fridge. Free wifi. You can request "down alternative" pillows, which was great for my allergies. There is a CVS like a block away for when you need to frantically buy more bobby pins for your wig or band-aids for your blisters from wearing stupid cosplay shoes or a replacement for the lipstick that fell out of your purse at the con, not that any of this has happened to me. There is parking (though it's valet, which is not my favorite) and I think it's included in the price, although I didn't drive this year so my memory is a bit fuzzy.

Cons: There's no coffee shop or hotel store and no coffee makers in the rooms, so you have to go elsewhere for your caffeine. The hotel restaurant is sit-down/table service only and a bit slow, so if you want to grab a quick breakfast before the con, you also have to go elsewhere for that. No microwaves, no freezers. The regular rooms are small; we were able to have four suitcases in there without tripping over them constantly, but the floor space is at the expense of furniture - no desk and only one nightstand (where am I supposed to put my glasses?). There are bigger rooms, though, if you're willing to pay more.

Minor inconveniences: They have ironing boards but it's on request only. There are a bunch of steps up to the front door; they have a ground-level side door with a (very slow) wheelchair lift (and they do let you use it if you're not in a wheelchair - we used it last year just to get our suitcases up there), but again, you have to ask to use it.

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My first time at Otakon and my first post here.

AC Hotel

Pros: WiFi was good. It had a huge TV. The room was clean. The bathroom was nice. Very close to the convention center; I was able to pop back for a shower before the rave. Good little fridge. Bed was okay. Lots of outlets. 

Cons: I had a horrible view of another building. Many non-Otakon guests who must of thought we were crazy. Elevator was slow/broken/overcrowded and no stairs. Nothing for white noise, it was too silent for me. Bar, lounge and lobby were tiny. I didn't see much fraternizing among Otakon guests. Coffee machine was poor.

If it was the only option, I would stay there again. But I really want to stay someplace where I can meet and hang out with new friends! 

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40 minutes ago, Michael said:

Cons: I had a horrible view of another building. Many non-Otakon guests who must of thought we were crazy. Elevator was slow/broken/overcrowded and no stairs. Nothing for white noise, it was too silent for me. Bar, lounge and lobby were tiny. I didn't see much fraternizing among Otakon guests. Coffee machine was poor.

Out of all the years I have been to Otakon, only one time was there a white noise machine in the room. I don't know if it was left by a guest, in the room for a specific reason (e.g. close to the elevator, vending room, etc.), or supplied by the hotel for the previous guest. For a while I needed one to sleep and brought my own unit.

The coffee machines are usually just ones to make a single cup of coffee from a disposable packet (giant tea bag equivalent). Not really top tier coffee, but a basic cup. My roommate complains about the water coming out tasting like coffee, but in all fairness it is not a 'tea' machine.

Edited by Clutch
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1 hour ago, Michael said:

Many non-Otakon guests who must of thought we were crazy.

I always consider shocked passerby to be part of the fun.

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On 8/2/2022 at 5:59 PM, Clutch said:

Unfortunately, we are all at the mercy of the other guests in the hotels.

I think it was pre-pandemic where the couple in the next room decided to have a fight. Screaming and throwing things at 2 in the morning. Another time, I was stuck next to a party room where they were making noise until about 3 AM. Other times you have people talking full volume, or yelling in the hallways. The doors and walls don't muffle that much.

The Marriott Marquis has a couch and table located in a space near the elevators. A few years back some group decided to have a party there and you could hear the noise down the hallway. If I was the person in the room that adjoined it, there would have been words. This year it looks like moved the couch to the wall so nobody could sit there. It is a shame there are so many selfish individuals who don't respect their fellow guests.  🤬

This a thousand times. My room was next to a party room. It's actually not terrible as long as they kept the door closed and kept it inside. The hallways carry noise way down and there's very little insulation against sound. I am all for parties but when it's late please don't do it in the hallways, keep it in the room please.

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On 8/4/2022 at 4:29 PM, Michael said:

 Many non-Otakon guests who must of thought we were crazy.

 

Waaaaaay back in 1995 or 96, I was AnimEast in New Brunswick. The hotel was hosting the con as well as a wedding on that Saturday of that weekend. The reactions of people looking at the cosplayers was... unique, especially (if I'm remembering this correctly, it's been 25+ years) someone who was playing as Little Red Riding Hood's Wolf dressed as Grandma, but with something bursting out of the chest or stomach. I think it was one of those moments where everyone in the wedding party pulled the 'We'll wait for the other car.'

Then there were the early years at the BCC when Otakon only used half the building and there were other events going on at the same time. The one year there was a... congregational convention?... I just remember a lot of dour people in suits giving disapproving looks to the attendees.

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On 8/8/2022 at 6:42 PM, Revan said:

Waaaaaay back in 1995 or 96, I was AnimEast in New Brunswick. The hotel was hosting the con as well as a wedding on that Saturday of that weekend. The reactions of people looking at the cosplayers was... unique, especially (if I'm remembering this correctly, it's been 25+ years) someone who was playing as Little Red Riding Hood's Wolf dressed as Grandma, but with something bursting out of the chest or stomach. I think it was one of those moments where everyone in the wedding party pulled the 'We'll wait for the other car.'

Then there were the early years at the BCC when Otakon only used half the building and there were other events going on at the same time. The one year there was a... congregational convention?... I just remember a lot of dour people in suits giving disapproving looks to the attendees.

Something similar I believe happened at Otakon'95 as well. This was the year when was at the "Scanticon" on Labor Day weekend. I heard there was a wedding reception going on somewhere else in that complex and some of Otakon's cos playing attendees kind of crash the party. 

 

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5 hours ago, .taro. said:

Did anyone take advantage of the badge pickups stations for those who stayed at the Marquis or Renaissance?  How was the process for you?

 

I was at the Marriott Marquis, and it was fairly painless. I went down the 2 escalators, showed them my vaccination card, my driver's license, and my badge (I get it mailed.) and got the band. Took only a few minutes including the escalators. The only downside was they didn't have the 18+ bands there, and when I asked the person about it they said they should have thought to bring some to this station.

Edited to add: This was at about 4 on Thursday.

Edited by Revan
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6 hours ago, .taro. said:

Did anyone take advantage of the badge pickups stations for those who stayed at the Marquis or Renaissance?  How was the process for you?

 

My friend went and grabbed his badge downstairs and we went with him. It was super painless! The rest of us had our badges mailed but we did take advantage of the Marquis exclusive pickup for vaccination wristbands upstairs. We went by a few times and the line was fairly long but was moving super quick. By the time everyone arrived and we were ready to go, no one was there and it was super quick and easy! We had no issues getting ours and I think having a separate area for badge/vaccination pickup is nice! I'm not sure if vaccinations will be required next year or, if not, badges could also be moved to have specific areas for people staying at the specified hotels, but I would love for it to continue to be a thing given how easy it was!

 

-------

 

That aside, my review for our hotel (Marriott Marquis) is nothing but positive. We used the Bonvoy app and set up to arrive early since our ride was only able to drop us off at around 1:30. Our room was ready for us by 1 and had all our requests available (King bed, atrium view, extra foam pillows for my bad neck, and other amenities) and the check in process was super nice and easy since all we needed to do was go to the Bonvoy member area and have our mobile key activated. We made a few requests throughout the weekend (extra blanket, extra towels) and they were at our room within 15-20 minutes max. Every time we had food delivered it was delivered to our room and we were given a courtesy call beforehand to make sure that we were there. One time we weren't and I asked them via the app if they could just hold it at the front desk and that we were running late. They had no issue with this and replied quickly! The staff was all incredibly nice and super helpful! I had a few last minute things delivered via amazon to the hotel and one ended up with FedEx and the others were just at the front desk. We leave the hotel early every year (Sunday night) and so far we have had no issues with this. The hotel staff is always understandable, kind, and the checkout process is a breeze! They are always super kind to let our ride pull up and off to the side while they wait for us to come out with our things. All and all, my stay at this hotel has always been positive and the only super minor negative issue I had with it was my own fault (one of the front doors was exit only and I did not realize this and had to go around lol)

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