help a first timer with hotel reservation procedure questions?

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Kaylin's picture
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Joined: 2015-11-12 08:08:21 pm
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So from what i read the Westin fills up within 6-12 hours rough guesstimate kind of thing. now as a first time con goer, someone who has also never been to pittsburgh and also because of the fact that i have short term memory problems I'm worried that if i dont get a room at the westin i'll get super lost trying to do things like going to the bank, going to get food, or going to and from the hotel to the convention center.

I cant tell really well from the map but is there a hotel we contract with that would be close enough that for example i could leave the hotel and see the convention center as im walking so i could just walk toward it and keep it in sight? or would it be a better idea to find out the day that we open up for reservations and just stay home that day/ go in late to be more likely to get a room at the westin? 

My main questions though are i am only looking for a single occupancy room, since i dont feel safe sharing with any strangers right now as i know nobody really. do those rooms go at the same rate as the other rooms or do i have a decent shot at getting that room?

also how long does it take to reserve one? 

oh and something i forgot- if i want to get there for the 30th, and then leave the morning of the 4th, do i need to reserve the room from the 30th to the 4th, OR the 30th to the 3rd and then check out the morning of the 4th? ive never done this so i dont have a clue!

im sorry to go on with so many questions but this is the one part that makes me so unbelieveably nervous and worried is that i wont do it right or that i will miss out.

 

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Moxitoxis's picture
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Joined: 2015-06-21 02:19:14 pm
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You're not alone here, whenever I think about the hotels I too get really nervous. Though I can answer the checking out. My dad and I are staying the same dates as you. So what you need to do is book the room for the 30, 31, 1, 2, 3, checking out the 4. So only four nights. If you book the fourth too, you'll be paying for an extra night!

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Kaylin's picture
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thanks so much! i wasnt 100% sure about those dates, its good to hear from someone staying the same dates Smiling

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Ron Bauerle's picture
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Prices are the same whether one or four (the limit) people are in the room.

Assuming you don't get into the Westin before it fills up, your best bet is the Hampton, a couple of blocks east.

Basically you go out the main entrance, hang a right, keep walking till you run into a group of buildings, hang a short left then right, walk another block, and the Westin'll be on your left and the con. center on your right.

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Kaylin's picture
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thanks so much! if i dont get into the westin i'll go hampton and write those directions down Smiling im not much for walking the streets alone but im sure if i "follow the furries" i'll be fine XD

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Arabian Darkstone's picture
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Joined: 2016-01-03 12:02:12 pm
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So the westin is not already booked up? on their website the 30th through the third looked to be grayed out to me.....granted im much in the same position, first con, and first time to the aria. The one acceptation is that im not too unused to traveling.

 

EDIT: being a bit of a graymuzzle compared to some though, I would like to check in on the 29th and if the con runs all day on the third, then I would be checking out on the morning of the 4rth.

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Eric's picture
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Joined: 2009-11-23 10:40:09 pm
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The hotels are not yet taking reservations if you are doing it under the con rate.  Probably the beginning of February is when they will be available.

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charlieg's picture
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The Westin reserves ALL available rooms for Anthrocon.  They will always appear as fully booked to the normal on-line reservation process.  The ONLY way to get a room at the Westin during Anthrocon is to go through the hotel room reservation process started through this site.

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To avoid problems with parents, read this before you talk to them about furry:  http://www.anthrocon.org/node/25587/age-questions-how-talk-parents-general-other-things

Vulpes Rex's picture
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Greetings, Kaylin!

   Rooms booked for the AnthroCon rate come in two types:  Single (with one really large bed) and Double (two comfortable beds).  The price is exactly the same.  When you make your room reservation, you have an opportunity to request a room preference, which the hotel will try to accommodate - but room type is NOT guaranteed (which is one reason the price is the same for either one).  Double bed rooms are most sought-after by convention-goers, because it's more comfortable for roommates, and easier to get roommates to help split the cost, of course.  This means that "room availability" for doubles will close sooner than for singles.

   Whether you wind up with a double or a single, you can fill it up with up to 4 people total (you and up to three roommates), if you wish.  No one is obligated to share a room if you do not wish to (sometimes first-timers are worried about that).  It is the choice of the person who has the room reservation whether or not they wish to take on roommates, to split the individual cost.  If you do take on roommates to split costs, it's up to you to secure payment from them; the holder of the room reservation (the person who actually has to "check in" or register at the front desk) is responsible for paying for the room and all charges made to it).

   When reserving a room, you will be asked for an arrival (or "check in") date, and a departure ( "check out") date.    You are charged "per night" that you stay at the hotel, which means that you are not charged for the morning on which you check out, so for your proposed dates, you will only be charged for 4 nights ...

   EXCEPTION - WARNING - EXCEPTION - WARNING!!! - Each hotel has a specific morning Check Out time - costumarily between 10:00am and 12:00 noon, it differs by hotel - by which time you are expected to have packed and surrendered the room, so that it can be serviced and prepared for the next guest.  If you fail to clear the room by that time, you will be charged for that day  If it is going to take you longer to check out of the room, the front desk may be able to make an accommodation for you - arranging a "late check out" - but they are not required to do so (and prior commitments for the room may prevent it).  If you think that you cannot check out by the required check-out time, you should inform the front desk as soon as possible, to have the best chance that they can meet your need without an additional charge.

******

   Sooo - in your particular case, when Hotel Reservations open up for the room block - You will be directed to the hotel reservation page, which is run by VisitPittsburgh (the city's tourism advocate agency); you will select the dates which you wan the room for (checkin in on 5/30/16, checkout on 6/4/16) and then you will be given a choice of hotels which (still) have rooms available.  Depending on how soon the rooms fill up, the hotel choices diminish; the Courtyard by Marriott will vanish within a half-hour, the Westin probably within the day, the other hotels will fill sometime over the next two months.  At this point you do not yet have your room, so you need to be prompt in filling out the registration information...

   ...Your name, address, billing information (Credit Card type and #, expiration date, the security code on the back, and billing address which will probably be the same as your mailing address), any check-boxes stating you understand the terms-of-service and that you are authorising a charge to your card and that the moment that you finalize the reservation that you are aware that one night's charges will be made immediately to your card as a deposit to secure the room...

   ...And THEN you click on the "make reservation" button...and THEN - if the rooms didn't fill up in the time you spent filling out all that information - THEN you will be rewarded with a confirmation numberWrite this number down and save it like it was something precious, because it is your guarantee that there will be a room for you at that hotel.

   Somewhere in all of that, you may be asked for an e-mail address; provide it in order to get an email message confirming the transaction.

********

   Now - at this point, you have made a contract with VisitPittsburgh for a room at your selected hotel.  VisitPittsburgh will process your info, and pass the info to your chosen hotel; the hotels have agreements with VisitPitssburgh to honor the agreements made for rooms in their behalf, but the actual reservations will not be entered into the hotel registration system of your particular hotel chain until later (the local hotels inform their corporate headquarters that so many rooms have been blocked for our dates and our event at our price, but corporate won't get - or need - the specific individual details until the event date draws closer).  This means that if you call the hotel in order to confirm your reservation, they will not be able to give you any info, as it won't be in their computers for a while.

   It also means that the deposit charge may not show up immediately on your credit card - it might take two or even three months for the charge to go through - but you are still obligated to honor that charge.  This is one of the reasons why we strongly advise agianst using an ATM/Debit card.

******

   As for "getting lost" - while finding a specific address or location in Downtown Pittsburgh may be difficult for a visitor, it is rather hard to actually "get lost". All of our hotels are within the Downtown "Triangle" (which is actually the point of a "V"), bounded by the Allegheny River to the north, the Mongahela River to the south, and the confluence of those two rivers to form the start of the mighty Ohio River, immediately to the west.  The DLCC convention center sits on the bank of the Allegheny River like a giant, white-sailed 5-story-tall circus tent, and it's about the size of a nuclear aircraft carrier (in other words, it is HUGE).  The furthest-away hotels are to the west, and along the river, so you can follow the river and find the convention center.  The other hotels are within about 4 blocks of the convention center, and ALL the hotels will have a concierge desk, where the concierge can give you directions both to the DLCC, and to other places of interest, such as restaurants and bars.  NOTE:  Concierges can also arrange for tickets or discounts for local attractions and events.

   Good Luck!

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Kaylin's picture
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Jawdropping! wow.. thank you Vulpes for such a thorough and comprehensive reply! its made me feel a lot more confident and clear about the situation, and has cleared up my concerns and questions about the issue very well Smiling I'll be sure to refer back to it closer to the day as well, and write down that information about the orientation of the DLCC as well because that should help orient me while im there as well Smiling

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Vulpes Rex's picture
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OMGOMGOMG - I spotted a CRITICAL ERROR  in my post!

Quote:
...you will select the dates which you want the room for (check in on 5/30/16, checkout on 6/4/16)...

   Since the dates of the convention are June 30th to July 3rd, that portion should read:  "...(check in on 6/30/16, check out on 7/4/16)..."

Gosh - but that is an important distinction to make!

******

   You are welcome, Kaylin!  I typed that up and tinkered with it a few times, edited it for spelling and style 3 times, posted it...and still edited it as I saw things  (mostly inconsequential spelling errors) which I had missed before.  That's why I don't make a big deal about others' creative typing!  But I'm glad I gave you some reassurances about the hotel process.

   Whichever hotel you wind up choosing for your stay, be assured that there will likely be (at least) a couple hundred other Furry Fans staying there, as well; and you should be able to spot them with little trouble, to ask directions to the Convention Center (and interesting places to eat).  Also - once you have gone through Convention Registration and have your convention badge, you will receive a handy Dining Guide - tailored specifically to AnthroCon's membership and edited with input from past members - which will include a suitable map of the parts of Downtown within the boundaries of all of our hotels.  You will also receive a Pocket Program, showing the schedules for all events and panels, and between these two documents, you should also find a map of both the event space at the Westin, and a floor plan of the DLCC Convention Center...So you needn't worry too much about getting lost.

Good Luck!

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Arabian Darkstone's picture
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Joined: 2016-01-03 12:02:12 pm
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Very good to hear, and does explain much.....though it does bring to bear one question. If the registration day is on a day where you are not able to be on a computer or smartphone until rather late, due to work or what have you.....are there any fall back options? Something akin to placing an absentee bid or something??

 

EDIT: And would getting supersponcer status help with that in any way (if one was going to do that any way)

ALSO, for those who likely wont know for sure if they will actually be able to come due to work until closer to the event date.....are there any options? or are they more or less SOL as for hotel choice?

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charlieg's picture
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Unfortunately, no fallback options that the con supplies.   They can't do anything like absentee bids because the demand for hotel rooms, especially at the Westin,  the absentee bids would fill the hotel four or five times over.  However, someone you trust (parent, sibling) could reserve a room for you.

Supersponsor registration, provided it is done before hotel registration opens, will give you at least one full day to get a room before hotel registration opens to the general attendees.  You'll  probably need to register as a Supersponsor within the next two weeks or so.

Late deciders will have a more limited choice of hotels.  The Westin and the Courtyard WILL be filled the day hotel registration opens.  The others fill somewhat less quickly.

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To avoid problems with parents, read this before you talk to them about furry:  http://www.anthrocon.org/node/25587/age-questions-how-talk-parents-general-other-things

Arabian Darkstone's picture
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Hmmm.........sounds like a massive gamble either way....I will have to sleep on it before I make up my mined.......and chances are, hope my new employer is understanding

 

Worst case, by the sound of it, i could be over 1k in the hole and no con to show for it :/

 

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Sarahcat.'s picture
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Joined: 2015-09-18 06:42:13 pm
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I booked last month at the Doubletree outside of the calendar room block opening (note, OUTSIDE) to ensure my father and I can attend for my first year. I more than likely won't do this when I go again in 2017 with friends and so forth since the hotels and AnthroCon rely heavily on people booking when the AC blocks open, otherwise there's consequences*.

* I don't know what the severity of them are and I'm fooling around but you get the idea, everyone benefits.

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Arabian Darkstone's picture
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Well, I bought my registration so now its just down to work Sticking out tongue getting quite exited.

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