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How soon do you guys book hotels?

midnamidna Greater Seattle AreaRegistered User regular
My husband and I are in the Seattle area, but just far away enough that it's a hassle to get home. It also means we can't stay late, or get drinks after. I realized this year I was missing so much of what PAX has to offer by going home at 7:00! So we're contemplating getting a hotel just Sunday-Monday (maybe Saturday-Monday?), going to panels, drinking, and then checking out Monday and going to PAX. The great thing about booking through Booking.com is that I can still cancel our reservation until August 29, 2019, and I won't need to actually pay until we check in.

The reason I'm asking now is because I'm a little afraid that the hotels will book up by the time the badges are on sale, so I want to try and book as early as possible to avoid anxiety and stress. I noticed that some places, like the Hilton, said they were already booked for August 31 - September 2. Would this October be too early, or too late to book a hotel? I am 95% sure we will get badges (my family of 5 has a great communication system down after 7 years of getting badges), so that's not really a concern of mine.

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Posts

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    PAX tends to use their hotel provider to grab hotel blocks for the dates around a given event. The official hotel provider releases hotels at the same time as badges are released. So if you want that event rate, that's when you should book. It will be at http://west.paxsite.com/hotels-travel

    If you are planning on booking entirely outside the pax hotel system, as long as it's refundable I would book as soon as possible. That's what I tend to do for PAX South, where I book at a hotel that isn't in the PAX block of hotels.

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    midna
  • midnamidna Greater Seattle AreaRegistered User regular
    edited September 5
    zerzhul wrote: »
    PAX tends to use their hotel provider to grab hotel blocks for the dates around a given event. The official hotel provider releases hotels at the same time as badges are released. So if you want that event rate, that's when you should book. It will be at http://west.paxsite.com/hotels-travel

    If you are planning on booking entirely outside the pax hotel system, as long as it's refundable I would book as soon as possible. That's what I tend to do for PAX South, where I book at a hotel that isn't in the PAX block of hotels.

    This is super helpful, thank you! I knew that PAX gave PAX-goers special rates at the time badges are released, but I don't think I can handle that kind of pressure, between buying the badges and getting a hotel :( aahhh the joy of anxiety disorders!

    I managed to find a pretty good rate for a nearby hotel just using Booking.com, so I'm thinking I'll jump on that sooner rather than later. I just especially want to make sure that I can cancel it with no fees, because there is another thread saying that the PAX weekend could be moved around.

    Edit: On this note, does anyone have any sites they recommend? The more I look into Booking.com, the more angry people I see because they couldn't cancel their reservation without fees, despite being told there would not be any :(

    midna on
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  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Yeah, there has been the 2007, 2011, and 2015 pattern of having PAX West not on labor day weekend, but all portents appear to point to 2019 being *on* labor day weekend, so we shall see. If it's refundable, though, shouldn't have any problems if it does move.

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    midnaASimPersonYoungFrey
  • Christopher HuffChristopher Huff Registered User regular
    I generally book direct with the hotel I am interested in staying in. Cut out the middleman.

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    P.D.B. Fishsticks
  • midnamidna Greater Seattle AreaRegistered User regular
    I generally book direct with the hotel I am interested in staying in. Cut out the middleman.

    I was thinking about doing this for one particular hotel, but for some reason it says it's "booked" that entire weekend. However, when I go onto Expedia, it's available. I think I'll just check with the hotel about their cancellation policy, and call Expedia.

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  • FourT2FourT2 SeattleRegistered User regular
    For refundable rates, it is usually better to book directly with the hotel chain. 3d party travel sites sometimes push their insurance for your booking, in case you plan change, so that could be an option. If you are not already a member of the desired hotel's loyalty program, I suggest signing up for it (for some minor perks). At higher levels (Silver, Gold etc..) you get additional perks like free WiFi and early checkin / late checkout.

    For events like this, I usually book directly with the hotel way ahead of time but also check 3d party sites few days ahead in case I can find cheaper rates (I usually don't).

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  • bacon_avengerbacon_avenger Defender of Pork Products Pacific NW, USARegistered User regular
    I book as soon as the hotel will let me. If I do it via the loyalty program, I have the ability to move or cancel if necessary within 24 hours of the stay time without paying a fee.

    PAX Prim..err, West 2019 Checklist:[ ]Hotel [ ]Time Off [ ]Badges [ ]Challenge Coin [ ]Forum Badge
    (Holy crap, it's been 7 years now)
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  • midnamidna Greater Seattle AreaRegistered User regular
    edited September 7
    Okay, so here's sort of the rundown of what's happened in last ~3 days


    Tuesday: I decide to book a hotel for next year, and start looking around.
    Wednesday: looking through Booking.com/Expedia, I find that the Hotel Theodore was around $207/night for Saturday-Monday of next year's PAX (assuming it's still Labor Day). But, I hesitate to book it right away because 1) I need to clear some money on my credit card and 2) needed to speak to my husband about which days exactly.
    Thursday (yesterday): Now that we have the dates set, I figure I can try to book the hotel room. BIG NOPE. The room in Hotel Theodore have jumped $150+ overnight per night to $365. So I called them, and they quoted me $419 a night for that weekend! So a $200/night jump. I passed up that chance immediately.
    Friday (today): I checked again, and the hotel is still $365/night for that weekend on Expedia, so my assumption is that the hotel is still charging $419/night through the phone.

    I've read that hotel prices increase and decrease as the week goes, so I'm going to check back on Sunday and see if they've lowered. If not, I'll just have to book the hotel when we get our badges. I'm just kicking myself though; if I had booked the hotel on Wednesday, I could have avoided all of this additional stress.

    edited for clarity

    midna on
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  • P.D.B. FishsticksP.D.B. Fishsticks Ohio, USARegistered User regular
    I book as soon as the hotel will let me. If I do it via the loyalty program, I have the ability to move or cancel if necessary within 24 hours of the stay time without paying a fee.

    Same thing – I book directly with some hotel as soon as the rooms become available (generally just under a year in advance) and just make sure I have a refundable rate, so at least that way I have something reserved if all else fails. As the event gets closer, I check hotel rates every so often to see if I can get a better rate/better hotel, and if so, I make a new reservation and cancel the old one, and I've usually been able to get it down to a rate withing spitting distance of the OnPeak rates by the time the hotel blocks go up.

  • skellerskeller Registered User regular
    One thing worth noting, if you’re diligent you can get OnPeak rooms well after badges go up. I wanted Sheraton this year but was slow when badges went on sale. I checked OnPeak a few times every day and eventually they had open rooms for every night — inventory fluctuates as people cancel and change plans.

    IncreaseBlueYoungFreyMadpoet
  • PuddlemakerPuddlemaker Registered User regular
    i've already booked for next year. Little known fact or known now but hotels in the area will do a sale for the following year during the time PAX is going on i've gotten the same hotel not saying which one but it is across the convention center for 45% off the rates. Once PAX is over the sale is over booking.com is a good place to look at the time. I use to stay down by the airport but being able to go back to your hotel in the middle of the day is priceless. Also a good option is to rent an apartment there are tons right behind the convention center that are pretty cheap if you have a bunch of people to split the cost. I did that last year it was a different experience.

  • IncreaseBlueIncreaseBlue Registered User regular
    I just wait till hotels go live for the pax sale. I start saving early so it's already "paid" by the time I book.

  • kbschmidkbschmid Calgary, ABRegistered User regular
    I often book something in advance that can be cancelled, but then do the OnPeak thing.

    By day, a mild-mannered charity guy
    By night, a gamer.
    PAX Prime 09, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18
    YoungFreyP.D.B. Fishsticks
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