2019 Hotel recommendations
Posted by nlgplayerone

I see that the list of hotels is out, and there are lots of options that have a skywalk or are within easy walking distance to the convention center. Which one should I choose? Why do you make that recommendation? Thanks!

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Posted by technoir

They tell you the distance for each hotel within that list. 
 

online
Posted by a dark rider on a pale ... unicorn?

I like the JW Marriott, because while it's connected to the tube network, it's far enough from the Vendor Hall & Georgia Street that it feels a bit calmer to me. I can wander back to my room at the end of the day, through the gaming halls, and it's a sort of relaxing winding down before sleeping.

Stayed at the Omni one year, which is on the tube network, but it's easier to go outside and along the street. Convenient if you want to drop off purchases, pick stuff up, or just to go poop without waiting in line.

a dark rider on a pale ... unicorn? wrote:Stayed at the Omni one year, which is on the tube network, but it's easier to go outside and along the street. Convenient if you want to drop off purchases, pick stuff up, or just to go poop without waiting in line.

Regarding that last sentence, I'll say this: Something bad I ate prior to travelling to Indy messed me up till Sunday. I was thanking every entry in the Dieties and Demigods book for lucking out with a room in the Westin that year. Having a connected hotel is a godsend when you feel bad. 

Yes, the lesson is, don't eat crap before travelling ;) . But the takeaway here is that a nearby hotel is a plus for many circumstances. Doesn't stop me from going when I don't nab one, and it is painfully expensive, but it sure as heck makes some things so much easier. 

Posted by funny-shaped dice nlgplayerone

nlgplayerone wrote:
I see that the list of hotels is out, and there are lots of options that have a skywalk or are within easy walking distance to the convention center. Which one should I choose? Why do you make that recommendation? Thanks!

Given that the demand for "connected hotels" faaarrrr outstrips the capacity, if you are fortunate enough to have a hotel lottery line spot within the first 4 hours that the housing portal opens, take whatever hotel is available and be happy, happy, happy.

If your housing slot is later than 3:30PM EST (+/- 30 minutes) on hotel day, the downtown hotels are pretty much guaranteed to be completely sold out at the Gen Con negotiated, discounted rates.  Every year, this causes much bellowing and gnashing of teeth - the forums will be very much alive tracking the dwindling hotel stock.  However. As aldctjoc notes above, don't let *not* having a downtown hotel keep you away - you'll still have lots and lots of fun...and you still may be able to snag one in the June / July timeframe if you are willing to put in the work scouring the forums, etc.

Seriously. I take the hotel that is closest to the ICC at the cheapest price I can find.  I'm not really in there all that much anyway.  Last year, we lucked into the Hyatt Regency.  It was fine - but I would have been just as happy, I think, in any of the downtown hotels. In previous years, I was not downtown and had a blast every time. Is downtown better? If you can afford it, sure; but Gen Con is an amazing experience regardless of where you sleep at night.

For Gen Con 2019, in November 2018, I secured a "backup" room at Le Meridien. But that's at about $85/night more than the Gen Con rates.  Hoping we won't need to use it. I picked Le Meridien because it was available at a price I was willing to pay.  Until a day or two ago, I didn't even know it was connected via skywalk.  :)
 


We were fans of the JW until last year.  New management.  The service just wasn't good, and they just didn't embrace Gen Con like they used to (no costumes and just less friendly - more "professional").  The restaurants and bar were understaffed, and the bar ran out of stuff each night.  It was weird.

I argued with a front desk person over a mini-fridge (LONG story).  I never do that.

I gave my feedback to them, but...

Posted by castigere funny-shaped dice

funny-shaped dice wrote:
nlgplayerone wrote:
I see that the list of hotels is out, and there are lots of options that have a skywalk or are within easy walking distance to the convention center. Which one should I choose? Why do you make that recommendation? Thanks!

Given that the demand for "connected hotels" faaarrrr outstrips the capacity, if you are fortunate enough to have a hotel lottery line spot within the first 4 hours that the housing portal opens, take whatever hotel is available and be happy, happy, happy.If your housing slot is later than 3:30PM EST (+/- 30 minutes) on hotel day, the downtown hotels are pretty much guaranteed to be completely sold out at the Gen Con negotiated, discounted rates.  Every year, this causes much bellowing and gnashing of teeth - the forums will be very much alive tracking the dwindling hotel stock.  However. As aldctjoc notes above, don't let *not* having a downtown hotel keep you away - you'll still have lots and lots of fun...and you still may be able to snag one in the June / July timeframe if you are willing to put in the work scouring the forums, etc.
Seriously. I take the hotel that is closest to the ICC at the cheapest price I can find.  I'm not really in there all that much anyway.  Last year, we lucked into the Hyatt Regency.  It was fine - but I would have been just as happy, I think, in any of the downtown hotels. In previous years, I was not downtown and had a blast every time. Is downtown better? If you can afford it, sure; but Gen Con is an amazing experience regardless of where you sleep at night.
For Gen Con 2019, in November 2018, I secured a "backup" room at Le Meridien. But that's at about $85/night more than the Gen Con rates.  Hoping we won't need to use it. I picked Le Meridien because it was available at a price I was willing to pay.  Until a day or two ago, I didn't even know it was connected via skywalk.  :)
 

Much agree.  Being able to walk to the con is nice, admittedly, but the particulars?  All the hotels downtown are more or less the same.  I certainly would not put extra $$ into amenities at the hotel that are above/beyond what is typical at any downtown indy hotel.  Put another way, if you're spending time thinking about or utilizing expensive extras at a GenCon hotel, you're probably doing something wrong...   GenCon is a singular experience, you'll want to be chewing up as much of it as you possibly can; the hotel is for sleeping, and if you're anything like me, minimal sleeping at that (midnight gaming, anyone?).  It goes by soooo fast.  So, best of luck, and good on you if you get an early lottery slot!  But don't fret too much about which downtown hotel you get.

Exceptions:
  - You need a connected hotel due to logistics/health/etc.  
  - You are traveling with folks who aren't attending (kids/spouse/etc) who might want those extra amenities.
  - You just really wanna.
 
-BWD.

Posted by steffles

Yeah - like others say - the need is far more than the capacity.  I'd take any Downtown room.  We have been at Home2 and Hilton Garden Inn the past three years.  I'd like to be closer than a 12-15 minute walk and I'd like to be in a different part of the city, but I will take anything downtown. 

Hilton Garden Inn did not want people gaming in the bar area which was disappointing - but otherwise it was nice.

We've had horrible luck with the lottery so have been out of block for the past 3 years.  

Posted by dwe113

the main thing to me would be the ability to walk to our room and just sit for an hour.....maybe take a nap....and just go right back to the con

2016 was our first time and we were by the airport....it was fine and we had a terrific time but I got so worn down during the days that I couldn't power through it and once we ubered back to the hotel that was it for the night

if I had had a downtown room reasonably close I could have easily taken a short rest (5e reference intended) and come back strong that same night

Posted by captain 10beers

Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriot downtown was awesome last year.  Great free breakfast and they even got in the spirit of the convention by having your choice of playing a game of dice or cards.  I ended up winning FREE self parking!!  

Posted by fethbone brumcg

brumcg wrote:
We were fans of the JW until last year.  New management.  The service just wasn't good, and they just didn't embrace Gen Con like they used to (no costumes and just less friendly - more "professional").  The restaurants and bar were understaffed, and the bar ran out of stuff each night.  It was weird.I argued with a front desk person over a mini-fridge (LONG story).  I never do that.
I gave my feedback to them, but...
I had friends who stayed at the JW last year, so I was back and forth and it was the first time I really walked around the property and saw the rooms, and I can't say I was impressed. It wasn't bad, per se, but not as nice as other JW's I've seen. I was told, truthfully, that it's the largest JW Marriott property in the world, so maybe they went for quantity over quality. It is also one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive, downtown property (don't forget the $50/day parking too).

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Posted by technoir

As other people have stated, if you get downtown just pick whichever is available and I wouldn't be TO picky as you may end up losing out on the room. 
It may not be the optimal room, but it's much better than not being downtown. 

I think I would stop going if that was my only choice. 

However luckily there are LOTS of options. Rooms open up and there are always the future planning of booking an outside of block hotel room far in advance, and if you get them early enough they will be similar rates as those in block. 
In fact my out of block downtown room is actually cheaper this year outside of the block! 
 

Posted by jishosan

Honestly, I've been a little disappointed. Hotels far from the convention center are starting to ratchet up prices. A hotel I booked for less than $200 a night last year has nearly doubled in price, and it's 12 miles outside DT. Obviously the hope is to get good position in the lottery and manage a good DT room at the special rates, but I feel like prices get higher and higher every year. 

a dark rider on a pale ... unicorn? wrote:
I like the JW Marriott, because while it's connected to the tube network, it's far enough from the Vendor Hall & Georgia Street that it feels a bit calmer to me. I can wander back to my room at the end of the day, through the gaming halls, and it's a sort of relaxing winding down before sleeping.
Stayed at the Omni one year, which is on the tube network, but it's easier to go outside and along the street. Convenient if you want to drop off purchases, pick stuff up, or just to go poop without waiting in line.
JW is nice, but they try to charge you for every little thing they can, which can shoot your bill up fast if you don't pay attention. In addition, their standard rooms can be tiny.

Posted by gib_rebeg jishosan

jishosan wrote:
Honestly, I've been a little disappointed. Hotels far from the convention center are starting to ratchet up prices. A hotel I booked for less than $200 a night last year has nearly doubled in price, and it's 12 miles outside DT. Obviously the hope is to get good position in the lottery and manage a good DT room at the special rates, but I feel like prices get higher and higher every year. 
I stayed here 2 years ago, it's a fairly new hotel, about 30 min drive in less then $160/night. Nice hotel, only down side is all restaurants around it totally suck.

Comfort Suites
$152
3-star hotel
500 W Northfield Dr, Brownsburg, IN 46112•(317) 852-2000

Posted by gib_rebeg technoir

irontk wrote:
As other people have stated, if you get downtown just pick whichever is available and I wouldn't be TO picky as you may end up losing out on the room. 
It may not be the optimal room, but it's much better than not being downtown. 
I think I would stop going if that was my only choice. 
However luckily there are LOTS of options. Rooms open up and there are always the future planning of booking an outside of block hotel room far in advance, and if you get them early enough they will be similar rates as those in block. 
In fact my out of block downtown room is actually cheaper this year outside of the block! 
 
Not necessarily the best advice.

Without naming names, I know of a few on that list I would advice in avoiding. One has plenty of guest complaints of billing funny business, occasional theft from rooms and just being dirty.

A couple others have constant complaints of being being out dated, dirty and some bug issues.

My advice, visit trip advisor now, look through all the hotels and read up on guest comments so you have a clearer picture of which are to aim for, and which are total passes.

Yes, if you are going to scratch off possible hotels for issues, it could mean you get stuck without a DT room. But if the choice is being stuck in a bad hotel that ruins your vacation, is it really worth it?

online
Posted by technoir gib_rebeg

gib_rebeg wrote:
irontk wrote:
As other people have stated, if you get downtown just pick whichever is available and I wouldn't be TO picky as you may end up losing out on the room. 
It may not be the optimal room, but it's much better than not being downtown. 
I think I would stop going if that was my only choice. 
However luckily there are LOTS of options. Rooms open up and there are always the future planning of booking an outside of block hotel room far in advance, and if you get them early enough they will be similar rates as those in block. 
In fact my out of block downtown room is actually cheaper this year outside of the block! 
Not necessarily the best advice.Without naming names, I know of a few on that list I would advice in avoiding. One has plenty of guest complaints of billing funny business, occasional theft from rooms and just being dirty.
A couple others have constant complaints of being being out dated, dirty and some bug issues.
My advice, visit trip advisor now, look through all the hotels and read up on guest comments so you have a clearer picture of which are to aim for, and which are total passes.
Yes, if you are going to scratch off possible hotels for issues, it could mean you get stuck without a DT room. But if the choice is being stuck in a bad hotel that ruins your vacation, is it really worth it?

I'd still rather be downtown and be 'extra careful' with some of those funny business places than be out of downtown. 
Use a debit card for your room. Your billing will always be on point. It's what I've done the last few years. 

I've stayed in most of the downtown hotels at this point outside of the Omni and CP, I haven't had any issues 

 

Posted by traveller technoir

irontk wrote:
gib_rebeg wrote:
irontk wrote:
As other people have stated, if you get downtown just pick whichever is available and I wouldn't be TO picky as you may end up losing out on the room. 
It may not be the optimal room, but it's much better than not being downtown. 
I think I would stop going if that was my only choice. 
However luckily there are LOTS of options. Rooms open up and there are always the future planning of booking an outside of block hotel room far in advance, and if you get them early enough they will be similar rates as those in block. 
In fact my out of block downtown room is actually cheaper this year outside of the block! 
Not necessarily the best advice.Without naming names, I know of a few on that list I would advice in avoiding. One has plenty of guest complaints of billing funny business, occasional theft from rooms and just being dirty.
A couple others have constant complaints of being being out dated, dirty and some bug issues.
My advice, visit trip advisor now, look through all the hotels and read up on guest comments so you have a clearer picture of which are to aim for, and which are total passes.
Yes, if you are going to scratch off possible hotels for issues, it could mean you get stuck without a DT room. But if the choice is being stuck in a bad hotel that ruins your vacation, is it really worth it?

I'd still rather be downtown and be 'extra careful' with some of those funny business places than be out of downtown. 
Use a debit card for your room. Your billing will always be on point. It's what I've done the last few years. I've stayed in most of the downtown hotels at this point outside of the Omni and CP, I haven't had any issues 
 
Don't use a debit card.  Typically you have a "hold" placed on your account for the full amount and in some cases additional amounts for possible incidentals.  It can take from 2 days to 2 weeks for the hold to release and the funds to be available (meaning the money is gone from your bank account).

Posted by cman811 traveller

traveller wrote:
irontk wrote:
gib_rebeg wrote:
irontk wrote:
As other people have stated, if you get downtown just pick whichever is available and I wouldn't be TO picky as you may end up losing out on the room. 
It may not be the optimal room, but it's much better than not being downtown. 
I think I would stop going if that was my only choice. 
However luckily there are LOTS of options. Rooms open up and there are always the future planning of booking an outside of block hotel room far in advance, and if you get them early enough they will be similar rates as those in block. 
In fact my out of block downtown room is actually cheaper this year outside of the block! 
Not necessarily the best advice.Without naming names, I know of a few on that list I would advice in avoiding. One has plenty of guest complaints of billing funny business, occasional theft from rooms and just being dirty.
A couple others have constant complaints of being being out dated, dirty and some bug issues.
My advice, visit trip advisor now, look through all the hotels and read up on guest comments so you have a clearer picture of which are to aim for, and which are total passes.
Yes, if you are going to scratch off possible hotels for issues, it could mean you get stuck without a DT room. But if the choice is being stuck in a bad hotel that ruins your vacation, is it really worth it?

I'd still rather be downtown and be 'extra careful' with some of those funny business places than be out of downtown. 
Use a debit card for your room. Your billing will always be on point. It's what I've done the last few years. I've stayed in most of the downtown hotels at this point outside of the Omni and CP, I haven't had any issues 
Don't use a debit card.  Typically you have a "hold" placed on your account for the full amount and in some cases additional amounts for possible incidentals.  It can take from 2 days to 2 weeks for the hold to release and the funds to be available (meaning the money is gone from your bank account).

It may be up to either the bank you go through or the policy of the hotel but I've used a debit card for the last 4 years and haven't had a hold put on my card.  

Posted by traveller

I depends on the hotel, but most have a notice posted about debit vs credit cards.

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