What's your favorite Gencon Hotel, and why?
I like the JW Marriott myself
I love Homewood suites but have not stayed with them in years now due to prices. I'm still looking for a new favorite. Last year we stayed at the westin but their handicap rooms while nice, left storage space to be desired, especially in the bathroom (there was no sink counter or surface near the sink to put basic things on). They also had extremely high parking costs so we are going to try a different hotel this year.
The Hilton. Cheapest downtown hotel. GIANT rooms. Far enough away from the con that its quite and not crowded but close enough to walk. By Weber grill and bica denpipa. By Georgeos pizza. Close to the mall.
Any opinions on any hotels outside of the downtown core?
I actually like the NE coordidor for out of core. Nice rooms for regular rates over by the pyramid. It's been a few years since I stayed out of downtown, but rooms there were readily available at the last minute.
Caribeann Cove used to have 2nd night free in August, but it's been a couple years since I've seen that, or even looked. They have a modestly sized indoor waterpark, so really nice for the kids.
Downtown I've really like the Westin. Central location and 4 reasonably fast elevators. I also like being next to the green space.
Count another Hilton fan here...provided I can actually get a room there. Failing that, i was impressed with Staybridge when I stayed there in 2013.
Lan-"first post to new system, where's my dice? :)"-efan
I like the JW Marriott; Stayed there my first Gen Con because it was the first one on the list of "these hotels have rooms available", and I've not yet found a reason to try a different place.
(They've always been really helpful when I get in at some stupid time of the morning, having spent 24 hours in airports & aircraft)
For my purposes, it's far enough from the center of Gen Con that it feels less crowded, though if you had any sort of mobility issue where long corridors are an issue, probably not a good choice.
We stick in the Hilton chain but stay at the Hampton Inn. Nice small hotel with nice breakfast lounge (good for night games as well) and good staff.
Last year my group stayed at the Candlewood Suites (we did not win at the hotel lottery system)
I don't feel like we saved much money over a downtown hotel and I don't think the hotel was prepared for GenCon attendees.
We were instructed to park on the side of the road because there were not enough spaces. There was only one person in the lobby at what I would consider key leaving and returning times for GenCon participants.
That being said, this was our first year with a kitchen in the room which ended saving us quite a bit of time and money for breakfasts and late night snacking.
We like the Embassy Suites - close to everything, but not on top of everything. The mall is right there, lots of places to eat, 5 minute walk to the Con, can go by hamster tube if you want.
We stayed out of the city the first year, at the Fairfield in Southport. It only took about 10 minutes to drive in, very easy back & forth, and if you get in early enough, you can park at the lot across the street, which we paid right around $20/day for. The hotel was about $100/nt, and there was a pub, a steak & shake, a Longhorn Steakhouse (I think) and a few other restaurants across the street from the hotel. Lots of GenCon folks there, and we enjoyed it. Free parking, too.
And yeah, it was really hard to justify paying 3x as much at the Embassy, but being able to go back to the room to drop purchases or freshen up or take a quick nap before a late night session turned out to be worth it to us, and we've already booked the Embassy for next year. I may jump into the lottery just to see if we can get anything else (because we had to book the Embassy for 8 days) but maybe not. :)
Love the Embassy for the room size, included breakfast, and location. Was looking forward to trying the Downtown Marriott (I liked the location), but had to cancel. Last year 5 of us rented a house via AirBnB--we saved a bunch of money, but we did definitely miss staying near the ICC. If we go this year I think we'll try the lottery and see what happens!
It's been a couple years since I stayed there, but the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown is really nice. Fridges in the room, good-sized for a single person (I never stay with friends - after hours of dealing with crowds, the last thing I want after the day is done is to be around more people), and you can get decent prices for it through the housing block.
I'd been a fan of the Westin; but switched to the JW Marriott after it had opened and really liked it there.
Last year I ended up at the Omni; and it's going to break my heart if I don't land back there again this year. From being central to everything; no comparison. My new favorite.
I've been staying at the Embassy for the past 5 years. I like it because there is room for multiple people. The suite format makes it less obtrusive if you have people working on different gaming schedules. We also like that a full breakfast is included with the room. This makes sure that everyone has a good meal to start the day as we often are too busy to have a decent lunch. They also have a happy hour with lots of tables for gaming.
It is a little pricier than the other hotels but the perks makes it worth it for me.
Marriott maybe the Westin. I actually never stayed at the Westin, but the proximity is nearly as ideal as the Marriott for board gaming. I walked over to the JW a few times and it is a short walk by GenCon standards, but the main priority in finding a hotel to me is proximity to the game events I play. Marriott is my first choice.
Our best hotel experience was at the Westin downtown. Somehow we got a what I think was a suite, which was really nice for our family. There was a separate room for the kids with a pull out sleeper couch....no sharing TVs. I remember the rooms were really nice and it was convenient. This was I think 5 -6 years ago. We have not been so lucky getting housing since.
Ours has long been the Downtown Marriott. Earlier it was the closest hotel to the Dealer's Room; now you have easy access to the Board and Miniatures games. Rooms are nice and there's plenty of space outside the room if you need it.
We've been in a variety of places downtown with few complaints; if the room has two actual beds, it probably works for us. Closer is better, of course.
The only hotel we haven't been satisfied with was the Hampton, where we got a very small room with a single king and a couch. Tight squeeze for three big guys; we had to do things like put the table on top of the TV cabinet just so we could get to the bathroom at night. In our Gen Con lore it's now known as "Cell Block 714". :)
We've stayed at so many different places in and around the Convention over the years...
I prefer to be in a hotel that is connected via SkyBridge, but have had many pleasant stays at other venues over the years.
Best beds and suites: Westin
Friendliest and most "into" Gamers: JW/Fairfield/Springhill/Courtyard, Westin and the Marriott
Best Free Breakfast option: Springhill Suites and Embassy Suites
Accessiblity: JW and Courtyard (rooms were plenty large enough to accomodate a scooter and a butt load of costuming stuff for a family of 5)
Best Quiet option: Sheraton (a few blocks walk, but very nice hotel otherwise). The lobby is getting a bit dated but the staff are excellent.
Easiest to park a car: Sheraton (I have never found their lot to be at capacity)
Easiest to walk to the Convention Center: Westin and Marriott (SHORT skybridge)
Best Happy Hour: Embassy Suites
I just don't know the Hyatt Regency as I've never stayed there in Indy, nor have my friends.
The only hotel I do NOT recommend is the Columbia Club--which was awful. Probably the most gloriously photogenic lobby of any hotel within 150 miles, but the rooms... ::shudder::