Question about staying at a non-partner hotel
So I was looking at the list of partnered hotels, and sadly their prices are all way too high for me. I went to hotels.com and managed to find the Hampton Inn Pittsburgh Greentree at 555 Trumbull Dr for $100 a night (versus the $144 minimum listed on this website.)
If anyone knows the area or that hotel at all, could anyone provide me some feedback? I already booked a room (with free cancellation up until check-in date) just in case, but I'd really like to know as much about it as possible.
I would be willing to room with someone but I have serious concerns about rooming with a stranger, and would prefer to be with someone I know or just by myself.
Thank you in advance to anyone who takes the time to read and respond!
It's probably 15-30 minutes away, so you'll have traffic and parking at AC to deal with,
and I expect somebody else to chime with a quasi-guilt trip about not supporting the
partner hotels (but given how much we fill them up, I don't see that as that big an issue).
the main thing about staying at a non partner hotel is youll probably be a fair distance away and will need to commute back and forth daily. Now if everybody didnt stay at a partner hotel the con wouldnt succeed because part of the deal of a convention is they promise a hotel lots of people booking rooms there to attend.But like Ron said filling rooms isnt a problem for us. It`s having enough rooms that actually is.
You might save money, but I'm thinking not all that much.
It's 10 minutes according to Google maps, but you are looking at driving through the Fort Pitt Tunnel to get to the convention and back. That stretch of highway sometimes backs up as far as the eye can see and you may lose a lot of time. Under good conditions, you're looking at a 20-minute transit time, minimum, to drive and park, but it could be much longer.
Parking can get hairy at the convention and that may eat up your savings. The transit center across from the Westin is $5 per day on weekends, but if you're coming and going, you may not be able to find a space there when you want it. Other area lots are almost all $20+ daily, and some of them are not open 24 hours, so you may have to schedule your nightly departure carefully or else you won't be able to leave until the next morning when they reopen.
In past years, I've had to stay at distant hotels at the beginning or end of the convention when rooms were not available close by and I found it to be very frustrating. It cut my socializing time down noticeably and I had to be sure I left every night before I got too tired. Unless you know very few people and don't anticipate socializing much in the evening hours, my advice is, stay at a nearby hotel. To me, time with friends is pretty precious (especially when I may only get to see them once every year or two, or even less often), so the ~$20 I might save by commuting would not be worth it.
My two cents!
Thank you all for the feedback! The Fort Pitt Tunnel bit does worry me slightly...
There is one person that I know of from my work who is going, but I don't really know him personally. I'm gonna try to talk to him and find out what his plans are, and if he'd be willing to room with me at one of the partnered hotels. Cutting one of those bills in half would be loads better than the Hampton place I found.
First, some general rambling about conventions, hotels, and transit.
When I go/went to conventions, unless it's impossible, my usual rule is/was
"get to the area by plane/bus/train, then take a taxi to the hotel.
Then, stay as close to the hotel as possible. If it's not the same hotel
as the event, stay between the two in location if at all possible.
(I once stayed in a big convention in a huge hotel, and didn't set foot
outside the complex between check-in and check-out.) That's why I asked
if it was easy to get a taxi from the Pittsburgh Amtrak station to the
Westin, and got a laughing local who said it was faster to just walk there.
(He was right. You can see the Westin when you exit the station.)
That's good if you have no auto. If you have one, you can travel a LOT
farther, but need to account for parking wherever you go.
When I went to AC my first time, It was in Philly, moved last-minute
to the Wyndham. I got a hotel room a fair walk away from the convention,
but tended to stay away from my hotel room until I was ready to shower
and collapse. I was able to walk it back and forth except for the very
last time, when I checked out and took a taxi back to the convention
with my weekender over my shoulder. I was rooming alone, and had no
official plans to meet up with anyone I knew (I ran into a few at
rare moments, however), except at panels where we were expected.
If you are driving back and forth, you can get to your hotel easily
enough, but your expenses will include paying for parking and gas,
depending. If you are not, or leave the car at the hotel, you'll
pay for transit back and forth. Since you're unfamiliar with the
neighborhood, that certainly will mean a taxi each way. By either
plan, your saved money looks a LOT smaller after those are taken
My personal advice, for those attending their first AC, is highly
subjective. However, I would recommend what I did for my first AC.
I would recommend getting a room solo (or with any friend you are
traveling with.) I would recommend arriving Friday early and
setting up for leaving Sunday. Thursday is heavy on socializing,
so you're going to miss meeting up with people you're not planning
to meet up with (no loss.) For that, you skip paying for a hotel
room for another night. Arrive as early as you can arrange for
Friday. Once you arrive at the hotel, you can check your bags
and return to check in once the room is ready. Sunday, check your
bags again and return to pick them up once you're ready to leave
town. If you're in a convention hotel, the location and being
able to walk to and from the hotel with other conventioneers adds
to the advantages. The big savings is in not paying for a room
I-376 is also undergoing major reconstruction, and there's likely to be closures during our convention. The backups might be even worse than predicted.
The other thing you could do is see if you could get a room share for one night. Aside from saving money, it's a good way to just try it out.
I considered staying at that Hampton you mentioned just for Wednesday night last year, among others, but finally decided against it once I realized there was no good way to get to and from those hotels via public transportation. Personally, I think it's worth it to stay in the AC hotels full time. After a 9 hour journey on the train, I know I was glad not to have to get on a bus to get to my hotel.