Convention hotels: worth the problems?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by icarus, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. icarus

    icarus Member

    Feb 15, 2005
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    Thought I might try to tap this particularly knowledgeable crowd for their view on convention hotels.

    I attend a fair few conventions for both business and personal reasons (and no, science fiction does not feature in either!).

    Work doesn't spring for the convention hotel unless it's within the public service travel allowance - ie, never. I hate being out of touch with the other delegates and the inconvenience of having to travel to and from (the cost of which would usually have covered the extra cost of the room).

    When I travel to conventions for fun (book or music related; so I'm a nerd) I always stay in the convention hotel. Nothing beats that chance of running into Harlan Coben in the lift, or standing next to James Morrison in the queue at the buffet.

    But the thing is, convention hotels are often just not very good hotels. Had a very second-rate stay at the Chicago Sheraton last year. The TripAdvisor reviews for the hotels for the next two conventions I've registered for are just awful. I would not dream of staying there if it weren't for the fact that spending time with people who share my interests (to put it mildly) is kind of the whole point of going.
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    So let me ask you: what are your experiences of convention hotels, and would you put up with a crappy hotel for the convenience of being at the centre of things?

    (NB: I except from this the Gold Coast International, which used to host an annual Jazz Convention which was the highlight of my year. I don't know why they discontinued them, but I loved the hotel and had some brilliant times there.)
     
  2. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    The biggest advantage I see with the preferred convention hotel is that likely it is at the same location of the conference... or only a short walk.

    Much better motivation to head to the conference the next morning after a big night out with associates or vendors or other delegates. Also easier to arrange cabs to head out and get transport back home...
     
  3. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    If there's a significantly better alternative nearby (read within stumbling distance and can actually walk it as opposed to being on the other side of some motorway), then I have no qualms about staying in a different hotel. Otherwise just lump it.
     
  4. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
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    Ever been to the Las Vegas Hilton? Great Star Trek expo there! :lol: :oops:

    I'd normally prefer to stay at the convention hotel unless the hotel is truly aweful. Nothing worse that a crap hotel.
     
  5. cssaus

    cssaus Active Member

    Dec 13, 2004
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    Most convention organisers arrange with hotels for the supply of a large number of rooms at a fairly good rate. This normaly works out well if the convention is held in one of the hotels.

    Last year I attended a trade show/convention in New Orleans and all the affiliated hotels were about a 10-15 walk from the actual convention centre where things were being held. My company office in the US forgot to arrange accommodation for me and I had to do it myself. I ended up staying in the Holiday Inn directly across the road from the convention centre at a much lower cost that the official convention hotels.

    I suspect the reason for the Holiday Inn not being one of the official hotels was that it was somewhat on the smaller size compared to the others. It was however far more convenient.
     
  6. icarus

    icarus Member

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    Actually, I confess that I did think about visiting this in April, but that trip fell through. I had about 4 days to use up between San Francisco and Salt Lake City, and I was thinking of either Vegas or Seattle, and I actually did go and check out the Trek Expo website (though I had decided to stay at the Bellagio).

    Anyway, that trip's fallen through now, so I'm just doing my annual Books & Broadway Tour in Sept/Oct. There's a crime fiction convention I attend every year before going on to NYC to cram in as much theatre as I can.

    Even if the hotel is crap, though, I think it's still worth it to be in the heart of it all and meet people I would not have the opportunity to meet otherwise.
     
  7. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

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    In the true sprit of "Australian Frequent Flyer", absolutely must take either FF points or at least hotel reward points into account!! :wink:

    Seriously though, always pays to shop around a bit for a good hotel, even if the convention hotel. Worth comparing "public" rates with rates at the same hotel through the convention organiser - they can often be cheaper, and earn points on the public rate, whereas the convention rate is often ineligible for points.
     
  8. Damien

    Damien Member

    Aug 29, 2005
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    The only conventions I go to are company related, so I try to stay at a different hotel. There's nothing worse than having your quiet breakfast interrupted by the office clown. :(

    I recently saw a very interesting doco called Trekkies. It highlighted just how strange some of these people are (far worse than I imagined).... :? :roll:
     
  9. icarus

    icarus Member

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    I've seen this! One of my friends is pretty obsessive, to the extent of taking her Christmas photo with a large cardboard cutout of Captain Picard. The doco was scary. I confess I think the android is kinda cute, but there are people out there drawing naked pictures of him and stealing the tiles off his roof. Agh!
     
  10. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
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    I'm a long-time fan of the Star Trek TV series and movies but I've never been to a convention, so I'm not really much of a Trekker. I was in Las Vegas for a business convention and decided that I should see the expo at the Hilton. It's quite well done, although I think it may have been updated recently.
     
  11. icarus

    icarus Member

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    Sounds like me. Love the TV series (well, TNG); wouldn't actually carry a phaser. I like that line between fantasy and reality just fine, thanks.

    (Actually I started watching TNG mainly for the Sherlockian references. But I wouldn't wear a deerstalker, either).
     
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