My wife is attending with me for the first time this year. She is hoping for a separate bedroom for quiet/privacy while my son and I game with friends in the room. The only hotel I know offers that is the Embassy, but I've never stayed their before. I'm hoping to hear the pros/cons of staying there and hear people's experiences before I commit to it. I know it has a skywalk connection to ICC, but it appears to go through the mall. Is there 24 hour access to that skywalk or is it only open when the mall is open? Thanks for any input you can provide.
Embassy Suites is our favorite. Breakfast is amazing. My wife loves Happy Hour and it is a great time to game and meet gamers. They let you play all night! The suite with the separate bedroom is very nice, although the bathroom is technically in the bedroom, which means people using it are going through the bedroom door to get there.
The cons - elevator wait times can be frustrating, especially on Sunday. The hamster tube connection does go through a small part of the mall (the gardens) and you can take the route through the mall or through the Hyatt to get to the ICC. Later in the night, those areas can close off. I have only seen that happen on the days leading up to Gen Con, not during the con itself.
The food included in the stay really is a cost saver. And on the rare occasion we have had a problem with our stay, they have been pretty quick to make it right. And even comped us a night when we did not really think that was necessary.
The real pro move for the Embassy Suites is to be on such a low floor that you can easily walk down to breakfast and avoid the elevator crowds, and in a pinch you could also even walk back upstairs if there were a huge wait to go up (though I have never really encountered that).
Also I swear this did not used to be the case years ago, but now they even have free drinks and snacks in the evening in addition to breakfast, really solidifying how much money they can save you if you do your best to fill up there, haha.
Pro's-Free breakfast, big rooms, connected
Con's-Super narrow escalator from parking to lobby, hard to get a room (I have heard that even VIG's sometimes don't get a room, which implies there are few to none left during normal reservation period).
I don't know anything about the Embassy Suites, but I can recommend Candlewood as a possible alternative, if you don't mind a quick drive to the ICC.
Our first year (2018) we stayed at the Candlewood Suites Indianapolis Dwtn Medical Dist. It's about a 5-10 minute drive to the ICC. I believe it has a shuttle that runs to and from, but we just drove daily and found parking close. They had a large parking lot, and I believe parking at the hotel was included.
The room we had, had a small kitchen (stove, sink, fridge) a living room space with a pullout couch, and a separate bedroom. We only had 3 people, so not sure if they have larger rooms.
Between the kitchen and the living room space was a table/island that we used for eating and games.
Last year we got lucky and got a connected hotel, but Candlewood was/is our backup if we don't get a connected hotel. It may not be the prettiest/nicest hotel, but for us (guys in our 30s) it worked out great!