Back again, this time more hopeful.
Did more research and a lot of past AnthroCon attendees recommended I waited for the hotel blocks to open and book then, since I'd be saving a lot. I was also told to NOT book in the main hotel if I wanted to avoid noises or things I don't exactly want my parents seeing (you know, "keep it in the bedroom"). They also said that I wouldn't have to rush to get a room in these hotels because they might even have open rooms for a while.
... All that being laid down, would it be in my best interest to book a flight now and hotels later, and book in a hotel 0.3 miles away from the convention center?
EDIT: any recommended places to stay as well?
I stayed in the main hotel (The Westin) in 2013, 2014, and 2015. I was only ever bothered once. It was simply some friends having a small get-together in the room next door. It got to be about 1 in the morning and people were still laughing and talking. Then I heard either hotel staff or con security knock on their door and kindly ask them to keep the noise down.
Didn't hear a peep for the rest of the night.
First off, if you're seeing something out in the hallways that...*ahem*...really belongs in a private hotel room, please do let con security or hotel security know. We are very firm with people about maintaining the PG rating in public areas. The naughty bits should be covered, the PDAs should be kept to reasonable levels...
Second, i'm not quite sure what you mean, but i don't think you'll have to go as far as a quarter mile to get clear of noisy neighbors (though you can, if you want). Even just not being in the westin will probably guarantee you the quiet you want (really, i've never even had problems in the westin). Folks in hotels outside the westin are usually using their rooms just for sleeping and bathing and such. The times i didn't stay in the westin i was in the omni and the doubletree; both were very nice stays. The room at the omni was a bit more posh, but the room at the doubletree came with a warm cookie on arrival. Both were absolutely quiet. Also, the anthrocon rate covers about a week's worth of nights surrounding the dates of the con itself. I don't know the exact numbers, but if i arrive on wednesday, when everyone is still setting up the con and there's nothing going on, i can expect the convention room rates to already be in effect.
Third...well, booking flights is always a bit of a guessing game, because it's so hard to predict when the fees will go up or down. In general, booking at least a few months in advance, provided you know for sure what days you need to book for, can get you much better rates than booking a month out, though the cost will drop again in the last week or two as airlines scramble to fill the last few seats. So i'd wait until you're sure when you'll be arriving and leaving (changing your flight plans can be expensive and a pain in the patoot), then just go ahead and book the flight and try not to think about how the cost of plane tickets is fluctuating.
I hope that helps.
You have just as much of a chance of having noisy neighbors or seeing something you don't want to see at any other hotel as you do at the Westin. Room parties are spread out across pretty much all of the hotels. In fact, all the parties I went to weren't at the Westin. The main reason most people like myself avoid the Westin is the long lines to get on an elevator. You can expect to be waiting 30 minutes or more in line to get to your room.
I have stayed at the Marriott the past two years and have had a great experience each time. I always sleep very well. Now it is the second furthest hotel from the convention center, but keep in mind there is a shuttle, and the walk isn't that bad as long as it isn't raining.
As for flights, that depends on what airline you are flying, but generally the earlier the better. Given the fact that the con is happening on fourth of July weekend, it is probably best to book as soon as your airline allows. That is peak travel time after all.
Nonononono ignore that. Take it from me. We tried the whole booking a hotel a bit nearby rather then a main one and traffic makes the trips take an hour for what should be 5-10 minutes. Your best bets are to just take one of the main hotels. We went with some nearby comfort in.. ugh, place was poorly lit and smelled like smoke everywhere. NEVER AGAIN
Well there is only one main hotel, the Westin, since no events take place at any other hotels. I don't think the OP was talking about taking a hotel outside of the convention block, but rather one of the other hotels within the block besides the Westin. Otherwise, we would all cry out NO.
since no events take place at any other hotels
I beg to differ. My panel was held at the Courtyard Marriott this past Con. We are hoping to expand programming into other spaces as can be negotiated.
Oh, I totally missed that. Haha, this con is getting too big!
If the hotel is one of the ones listed here http://www.anthrocon.org/node/484/anthrocons-hotels-and-venue the odds are pretty good that Anthrocon's room rate will be as good or better than any of the online services can offer. The only hotel that will NOT be available through the online services like Fandango will be the Westin, and that's because Anthrocon has blocked every available room.
As for airfares, it's tricky. USUALLY the earlier you make your reservations, the cheaper it is. On the few times I flew to Anthrocon (I usually take the train; it's reasonable for me), the airfare jumped by 20% a month before the con and stayed that high. But airlines do weird things to fill planes, including fare discounts. Again but: They don't usually lower them for Holiday weekends, and Anthrocon ends on Sunday, July 3 this year. You'll probably get your cheapest rates now; I doubt there'll be any last-minute fare drops for that weekend.
I picked the far far AWAY hotel and it was nice. One night some girl on girl fight was happening a few doors down in there room. Wanted to say something and even knock on the door but... it was 3am and honestly, i didn't care, i do not remember what they were yelling about but it was funny. If you do not want next door neighbors, tell them you want a room without a conneting door in the middle. I am doing the same hotel for next year as i am getting my OWN room this time with no one else to share it with as i got plans.
I did want the westin but at $200 a night give or take a few bucks (that is with tax) its $1000 dollars or more and i myself don't want that and its like the same other rooms unless you spring for a suite. HEYYYYYY! If you don't want to be near the convention goers.. when you pick the hotel, ask them what floors and rooms they have in use for the convention, then tell them you want a room not on those floors or area. Its an idea.
I would be dumb struck if the damily reunion from last year, the country singer concert, the math team, the weddings, and the base ball game came next year to the same hotel i stay at. Telling ya... it was crazy.
ANd plane tickets, they are right.. buy now you can get a cheap but it depends on what airlines are selling. For me, only one Delta Air Lines out of two other got it low as $90 one way. If i wait till next year about 4 to 6 months before the prices can be cheaper. For me next year i am going to grey hound bus it. Its all a little crazy when its your 1st time.... it is for me.. but.. till the day comes next year you can always day dream about the pros cons and what you want to do till then like ido each day.
Thank you all for your comments! I think I should 're-phrase myself, I'm looking to stay at one of the main AC hotels but heard that the Westin and Doubletree had horrible elevators or parties. I just woke up, I'm a little hazy.
Westin has "horrible elevators" depending on the time of day (i.e., what event just ended).
You risk loud parties no matter what hotel you're in, but arguably the Westin is most likely to have them due to the higher proportion of AC attendees.
My recommendation is the Hampton Inn: close enough to be a manageable walk, and they include breakfast and parking (but have higher rates because of that). It takes longer to fill up than the closer Westin/Courtyard, but this year was full in a day or two.
I'm curious - what is your avatar doing?
I think, after reading up a bit, my best bet on saving money (since I'll need two rooms) would be to just get a suite. Is there a discount for suites similar to hotel rooms?
It's a head bob.
Yes, the suites at the Hampton are included in the room block, so there is a discount. Their suites are larger rooms with a sofa and refrigerator/microwave.
Well, any hotel with suites, but thank you! My father snores and the rest of us are light sleepers so it's an option.
Ah, in that case you should probably consider the Double Tree. They have actual one bedroom suites. You should be able to get a discount on those as well, but I think you have to call Visit Pittsburgh to get them. The Renaissance and Courtyard do have suites, but they aren't in the room block.
For those of us who know snorers.... should make sure the suite option has real seperate bedrooms rather than a bedroom and living space.. the later genrally has a small privacy wall but doens't really cut off the rooms..and certainly doens't dampen the sound from one to another.. Though not a con hotel yet, I know the Cambria Suites near the Marriott has this sort of design(just was in one in white plains NY)
In order to reserve a suite, you have to contact Uncle Kage for the reservation. He will make a thread here when suite reservations open up. It will describe all the suite types, the prices and how to reserve one.
If you are Fursuiting, I would say the Westin would be the choice. Seem to recall that you said somewhere would like to get two rooms? It be kinda hard to get one room at the Westin for the full range of dates you like to stay when the con-blocks open to everyone and a bit more for two, especially next to each other as I would assume you would want.
A Corner Suite will give you a two room option with a door in between to separate them. As others said above, information on getting a Suite at the Westin will be posted here. A corner suite will give you one King Size bed in the guest room and another "Sitting Room" where you can put pads/air-mattress as another sleeping room. Here is the layout of the Westin Corner Suite...
Said about booking a flight from CT...keep in mind on how you want to pack your Fursuit to travel by air then...have you taken a fursuit by plane before?
As to the Social part you were asking about, perhaps you and your parents would enjoy going to our Fursuit Games which (last year) were in the Allegheny Ballroom at the Westin with Recess Games usually on Friday around 3:00pm and Team Games on Sunday around the same time...this is going by last years programmming and my change a bit this year depending on how everything else is scheduled....BTW I help with the Fursuit Games with Sharky & Panda and we love to have you come over and join in on the fun.
i stayed at the westin in 2014 and had no issues at all... stayed in the omni in 2015 only issue was we were too far for my hubby ro suit with the rain he did not want to walk to the westin in suit so he only did his suit once and got his suiter badge and no more ... so it seems that any hotel would be a great choice... also i found out that there was a shttle offered but we did not know until we was leaving so if not at the westin there is a shuttle service from the other hotels lol
I stayed at the Double Tree and will do so again this year. One of our party has employee discount and that pretty much seals the deal for us. We get the rooms stupid cheap. Like others have said you might get people who carry one and make a pest of themselves no matter where you are. We were on a floor not part of the block saved for anthro con and we still had issues with a group of college or high school kids on Saturday night. They were making a bit of a rukus and managed to break one of the emergency exit lights. We also had a mouse in the room for night one. Which was comped for us of course. But yeah other than that. We never had to wait in line for an elevator the in house resturaunt was decent. The staff was friendly and quick. The shuttle bus was conviently spaced out. We walked over once because we had just missed it and didn't want to wait the extra time. But it was overall a fine stay.
I've stayed at the Omni for the three conventions I've attended (2013, 2014 and 2015) and I must say I like the hotel. But it *is* about half a mile from the DLCC. In '13 and '14, it wasn't a problem. But in '15, I was recovering from a broken ankle and the weather was iffy. I wound up leaving the Supersponsor Luncheon, hoofing it back to the Omni, getting en suit and hoofing it back to the DLCC in time for the Fursuit Parade, but the ankle wasn't good for much for about a week after. (It's better now, thanks.)
Though the weather wasn't great for most of the weekend, it was perfect on Saturday afternoon. Somebody up there likes furries.
I found the Omni to be a very nice hotel. Having a Starbucks attached to the lobby was a real plus for me. If distance isn't a factor, I'd recommend it.
As for air bookings, if you book more than 90 days in advance, you run the risk that the airline schedule will change and leave you with an unpalatable layover, forcing a re-booking which they will happily charge an extra fee for -- that happened to me one year and it wound up costing me about twice what I would have paid had I waited for the schedule to stabilize before booking. So I'd recommend reserving the hotel and registering for the convention early and then waiting until May to book the flight.