How quickly do hotels sell out at PAX?

midnamidna Greater Seattle AreaRegistered User regular
Hi everyone, it's your favorite hotel-questions person here. I made a previous post about booking a hotel way ahead of time, but I've had numerous life things crop up that needed to be dealt with. I did have $250 set aside for a hotel for one night (two people), but I may end up using $100-$250 of it.

My question is, what are the chances that I get any hotel downtown using the PAX rate after the tickets go on sale? My husband and I are not picky about our hotel. Basically any hotel with the PAX rate will do for us. Do all hotels sell out when tickets go on sale, or is there a chance there will be a hotel or two with rooms available in mid June?

This could all mean nothing if the tickets come out post-May 15th (I get paid), and I could put the money back in our fund (I pray that this is the case). Thanks everyone!

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  • RavenHuskyRavenHusky Registered User regular
    Rooms tend to fill up as soon as the PAX block opens up, then rooms will sporadically open back up closer to PAX as people's plans change and people consolidate their plans.

    Later on, there will be a room share thread for single stragglers and people looking to share their room to cut costs. I personally room shared the past few years.

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  • MarinoMarino Giant Bomb Moderator / League of Heels Webmaster Registered User regular
    It's not difficult to get something downtown especially if you're booking it on the day badges go on sale. The Sheraton and Grand Hyatt will go very fast.

    You don't have to pay anything for the hotels up front and you can cancel with no penalty as long as you can cancel within a few days. So, like RavenHusky said, rooms will open up and shift around as it gets closer to the show.

    The real battle is going to be using this god awful new system they implemented before East.

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  • IncreaseBlueIncreaseBlue Registered User regular
    RavenHusky and Marino know where it's at.

    You're totally safe to make a booking when the hotels go live and not be charged until you get there. Also worth noting, plenty of PAXers (like myself) book whatever is available and camp out the reservations site for openings on hotels we really want. More often than not, we'll report back on the forums for folks still looking for rooms :)

    midna
  • BluemeaneBluemeane Registered User regular
    Marino wrote: »
    It's not difficult to get something downtown especially if you're booking it on the day badges go on sale. The Sheraton and Grand Hyatt will go very fast.

    You don't have to pay anything for the hotels up front and you can cancel with no penalty as long as you can cancel within a few days. So, like RavenHusky said, rooms will open up and shift around as it gets closer to the show.

    The real battle is going to be using this god awful new system they implemented before East.

    What is the new system, and why is it so bad?

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  • midnamidna Greater Seattle AreaRegistered User regular
    Thanks everyone for your insight!! I had assumed that the hotels would charge you right away, since you're getting a special rate at PAX. I asked this same question to the r/PAX sub and a lot of people said it would be better that I be sure to book something now that won't charge my card right away, since hotels are in high demand. I really don't want something weird to happen where my whole order is cancelled because I was missing $100 for my hotel, so I booked something super ahead of time at The Sound Hotel Seattle. It's brand new, just a couple blocks from the Westin, and they won't charge me for sure (after I asked only about 50 times) until we check out. Total was $235 after taxes for the one night, which is exactly what I was hoping to spend :biggrin: It's good to know that PAX doesn't charge your card for the hotel until the day of though! Perhaps next year we will book a couple nights :biggrin:

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  • MarinoMarino Giant Bomb Moderator / League of Heels Webmaster Registered User regular
    Bluemeane wrote: »

    What is the new system, and why is it so bad?

    They got rid of OnPeak (the system they've been using for years) and partnered with a new company to handle the hotel stuff. It's terrible. Just scroll through this PAX East thread to relive the nightmare.

    https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/222435/pax-east-2019-hotels-live/p1

  • every day's greatevery day's great Registered User regular
    Wow the new hotel system sounds terrible. OnPeak wasn't good (for example one year it stopped working with Safari for some reason; then it ate my reservation for the Sheraton the one time I managed to get one; then I kept getting errors on checkout and was dumped back into the queue; etc.) but the new system sounds much worse.

  • SinoSambaSinoSamba CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    Sheraton books super quick, but there are so many walking distance options you should not worry. And as other commented, people keep swapping about so availability will open up sporadically until close to the con. I did not do East this year, so I'm super worried about their new hotel booking site being not good.
    Marino wrote: »
    Bluemeane wrote: »

    What is the new system, and why is it so bad?

    They got rid of OnPeak (the system they've been using for years) and partnered with a new company to handle the hotel stuff. It's terrible. Just scroll through this PAX East thread to relive the nightmare.

    https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/222435/pax-east-2019-hotels-live/p1

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  • DreamwriterDreamwriter Registered User regular
    edited May 2019
    Yeah, the popular hotels go fast, but they all won't sell out quickly. One thing you could do if you're worried (and organized), when tickets go on sale, one of you try to get tickets, the other get hotel rooms. If you can't get the tickets for the days you want, you can always cancel the hotel rooms (as was mentioned, they don't charge immediately, and you can cancel for free up until like 2 weeks before PAX).
    Marino wrote: »
    They got rid of OnPeak (the system they've been using for years) and partnered with a new company to handle the hotel stuff. It's terrible. Just scroll through this PAX East thread to relive the nightmare.

    https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/222435/pax-east-2019-hotels-live/p1
    But what was bad about it? Nobody in that thread elaborates, aside from the errors from the servers not being able to handle the influx, which is pretty much par for the course for any new system since nobody expects the PAX crowds. One would hope the company learned from that experience and has paid for more servers in advance of PAX West's order scheme.

    I mean, "That was the worst hotel booking experience I've ever had... period. Let alone PAX. As soon as I hit 'sort by distance near>far' I regretted my entire life," doesn't explain what the problem was.

    Dreamwriter on
    CKing
  • CKingCKing Registered User regular
    edited May 2019
    I think I've found an issue with the new hotel site. According to the site, there are no hotels available.

    I only had luck while using the map, and only for a single hotel. Otherwise all hotels disappeared again. Not sure how I feel about that.

    And I still can't book once I've found the hotel. It just disappears again.

    CKing on
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    CKing wrote: »
    I think I've found an issue with the new hotel site. According to the site, there are no hotels available.

    I only had luck while using the map, and only for a single hotel. Otherwise all hotels disappeared again. Not sure how I feel about that.

    And I still can't book once I've found the hotel. It just disappears again.
    Are you talking about PAX West? PAX West hasn't gone on sale yet, and the hotels are not yet available.

  • MarinoMarino Giant Bomb Moderator / League of Heels Webmaster Registered User regular
    Yeah, the popular hotels go fast, but they all won't sell out quickly. One thing you could do if you're worried (and organized), when tickets go on sale, one of you try to get tickets, the other get hotel rooms. If you can't get the tickets for the days you want, you can always cancel the hotel rooms (as was mentioned, they don't charge immediately, and you can cancel for free up until like 2 weeks before PAX).
    Marino wrote: »
    They got rid of OnPeak (the system they've been using for years) and partnered with a new company to handle the hotel stuff. It's terrible. Just scroll through this PAX East thread to relive the nightmare.

    https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/222435/pax-east-2019-hotels-live/p1
    But what was bad about it? Nobody in that thread elaborates, aside from the errors from the servers not being able to handle the influx, which is pretty much par for the course for any new system since nobody expects the PAX crowds. One would hope the company learned from that experience and has paid for more servers in advance of PAX West's order scheme.

    I mean, "That was the worst hotel booking experience I've ever had... period. Let alone PAX. As soon as I hit 'sort by distance near>far' I regretted my entire life," doesn't explain what the problem was.

    I've tried to forget, but iirc:

    You had to click on each individual hotel (separate page) to see what days are available.
    A hotel would appear as "available" even if they only had 1 day available (even if it was Tuesday after PAX) and you wouldn't know that until you clicked on the hotel to go to a separate page.
    Even if a hotel had no days, it would be listed along with everything else in your search.
    You can't add days to a current reservation. You can call the hotel and try to get them to do it manually if you want. With OnPeak, you could grab what days you could at the time, then add days as they became available. As a result, people at East often had multiple (sometimes several) separate reservations just to cover the days they needed, then had to call the hotel directly to try to get them to combine them together.
    The site did not handle the load at all. It would constantly kick you back to the beginning of the process if it got stuck at any point of the many different pages you had to progress through, thus many people lost rooms they thought they were in the process of claiming. Say what you will about OnPeak, but at least it worked.
    Many people didn't get any sort of confirmation email. They had to call the hotel directly to make sure it went through properly.
    The site looks and feels like it was designed around 2002. The formatting is terrible and often parts of the pages don't line up properly.

    So...yeah. Get ready.

    YoungFrey
  • CKingCKing Registered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    CKing wrote: »
    I think I've found an issue with the new hotel site. According to the site, there are no hotels available.

    I only had luck while using the map, and only for a single hotel. Otherwise all hotels disappeared again. Not sure how I feel about that.

    And I still can't book once I've found the hotel. It just disappears again.
    Are you talking about PAX West? PAX West hasn't gone on sale yet, and the hotels are not yet available.

    No, Unplugged. Adding to the "what's wrong with the new hotels site" since others had asked what made it so terrible during East release.

  • havok978havok978 Registered User regular
    Marino wrote: »
    Yeah, the popular hotels go fast, but they all won't sell out quickly. One thing you could do if you're worried (and organized), when tickets go on sale, one of you try to get tickets, the other get hotel rooms. If you can't get the tickets for the days you want, you can always cancel the hotel rooms (as was mentioned, they don't charge immediately, and you can cancel for free up until like 2 weeks before PAX).
    Marino wrote: »
    They got rid of OnPeak (the system they've been using for years) and partnered with a new company to handle the hotel stuff. It's terrible. Just scroll through this PAX East thread to relive the nightmare.

    https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/222435/pax-east-2019-hotels-live/p1
    But what was bad about it? Nobody in that thread elaborates, aside from the errors from the servers not being able to handle the influx, which is pretty much par for the course for any new system since nobody expects the PAX crowds. One would hope the company learned from that experience and has paid for more servers in advance of PAX West's order scheme.

    I mean, "That was the worst hotel booking experience I've ever had... period. Let alone PAX. As soon as I hit 'sort by distance near>far' I regretted my entire life," doesn't explain what the problem was.

    I've tried to forget, but iirc:

    You had to click on each individual hotel (separate page) to see what days are available.
    A hotel would appear as "available" even if they only had 1 day available (even if it was Tuesday after PAX) and you wouldn't know that until you clicked on the hotel to go to a separate page.
    Even if a hotel had no days, it would be listed along with everything else in your search.
    You can't add days to a current reservation. You can call the hotel and try to get them to do it manually if you want. With OnPeak, you could grab what days you could at the time, then add days as they became available. As a result, people at East often had multiple (sometimes several) separate reservations just to cover the days they needed, then had to call the hotel directly to try to get them to combine them together.
    The site did not handle the load at all. It would constantly kick you back to the beginning of the process if it got stuck at any point of the many different pages you had to progress through, thus many people lost rooms they thought they were in the process of claiming. Say what you will about OnPeak, but at least it worked.
    Many people didn't get any sort of confirmation email. They had to call the hotel directly to make sure it went through properly.
    The site looks and feels like it was designed around 2002. The formatting is terrible and often parts of the pages don't line up properly.

    So...yeah. Get ready.

    I would also add that the cutoff date wasn't particular clear so no one knew when reservations were expected to be transferred over to the hotels in the first place. Combined with the aforementioned lack of confirmation emails and some people's reservations getting lost in the system, as well as them still taking reservations I think until literally like the week of East, just created a lot of unnecessary stress and confusion for folks who just wanted to make sure that their reservation was ok.

    Not being able to add days is the biggest issue for me, because there hasn't been a year with OnPeak where I wasn't able to piece together a Sheraton reservation by PAX time by adding a day here and there whenever they came available. Its just gonna make the process much more of a hassle.

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  • IncreaseBlueIncreaseBlue Registered User regular
    This is super disheartening to hear, because that's how I've done my reservations in the past (piece by piece).

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited May 2019
    The interface isn't the most intuitive, but if you start by clicking "As List" under browse all hotels, before making a date selection, it will take you to a list of all the hotels and it shows their days of availability. If you click on any of the individual hotels, it shows what specific room types are available what days.
    s2wl3o3o13n7.png

    You can then go into that and directly select the days on a given room type to make a reservation, as opposed to doing a date search. Doing it this way made it a lot less of a hassle when doing East, for me at least.

    zerzhul on
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  • spasmodicspasmodic Registered User new member
    I work for the company that manages the hotel booking website. I'm not part of that team, but I do know that we're aware of how pax east went, and are much more prepared for pax west.

    havok978IncreaseBluebacon_avenger
  • SinoSambaSinoSamba CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    spasmodic wrote: »
    I work for the company that manages the hotel booking website. I'm not part of that team, but I do know that we're aware of how pax east went, and are much more prepared for pax west.

    Thanks you! My booking went smoothly, no slowdown or hicups.

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  • DracilDracil Registered User regular
    Sheraton wasn't even available this year?

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  • SkeleVaderSkeleVader Your Friendly Dark Lord of Destruction Registered User regular
    Dracil wrote: »
    Sheraton wasn't even available this year?

    It was. Hotel site went up about 20min before tickets.

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  • spasmodicspasmodic Registered User new member
    SkeleVader wrote: »
    Dracil wrote: »
    Sheraton wasn't even available this year?

    It was. Hotel site went up about 20min before tickets.

    it wasn't supposed to 8-)

  • havok978havok978 Registered User regular
    Welp, no wonder the Sheraton was missing and the Hyatt had no Thursdays...

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  • MarinoMarino Giant Bomb Moderator / League of Heels Webmaster Registered User regular
    To expedite the housing process on opening day, the only dates currently available to book are the main show dates. Please book an available hotel with these dates and email us if additional nights are needed at [email protected] If your preferred hotel is not displayed, please book an available property and email us your request to be wait listed. **You must be booked at an available hotel in order to be added to the wait list.**

    This is the dumbest thing. Not to mention it was hidden behind a "see details" dropdown. So, they want you to only book "Fri-Mon" then email them a request to add dates? Sure, book a hotel with partial info and just hope you can actually show up Thursday and leave Tuesday? Perfect.

    IncreaseBlueCKing
  • havok978havok978 Registered User regular
    Marino wrote: »
    To expedite the housing process on opening day, the only dates currently available to book are the main show dates. Please book an available hotel with these dates and email us if additional nights are needed at [email protected] If your preferred hotel is not displayed, please book an available property and email us your request to be wait listed. **You must be booked at an available hotel in order to be added to the wait list.**

    This is the dumbest thing. Not to mention it was hidden behind a "see details" dropdown. So, they want you to only book "Fri-Mon" then email them a request to add dates? Sure, book a hotel with partial info and just hope you can actually show up Thursday and leave Tuesday? Perfect.

    Seriously. Who comes in on Friday that isn't typically local enough to drive in?

    v2sWeAh.png
  • MarinoMarino Giant Bomb Moderator / League of Heels Webmaster Registered User regular
    I would understand it if it was only letting you do Thu-Tue, then request additional days, but no one I know flies in the day of the show starting. And most of the people I've known stay Monday night to hang out unless they really have to be back home immediately.

    I've done this process 20+ times for PAX now and the two times I've had to use Connections Housing, it has been the worst experience I've ever had with any kind of travel booking.

    CKing
  • Dr.RocktipusDr.Rocktipus Registered User regular
    edited May 2019
    For those(like me) who missed out on the super close hotels, I lived in downtown Seattle for a year and if you're concerned about hills, I recommend the hotels heading northeast from the convention center(Olive/Howell/Stewart/etc and 4th-8th ave). It's generally a flat walk or a low enough incline to not be noticeable. I got the Hyatt regency and it's still only a few blocks away.

    Dr.Rocktipus on
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  • EvilBadmanEvilBadman DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN Registered User regular
    edited May 2019
    For those(like me) who missed out on the super close hotels, I lived in downtown Seattle for a year and if you're concerned about hills, I recommend the hotels heading northeast from the convention center(Olive/Howell/Stewart/etc and 4th-8th ave). It's generally a flat walk or a low enough incline to not be noticeable. I got the Hyatt regency and it's still only a few blocks away.

    Basically not the Crowne, if you can manage it.

    To add in on the Hotel site comments, I live near-by but not near enough to leave downtown daily and I booked Thurs-Tues. That made a lot of the hotels unavailable by default.

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  • MarinoMarino Giant Bomb Moderator / League of Heels Webmaster Registered User regular
    For those(like me) who missed out on the super close hotels, I lived in downtown Seattle for a year and if you're concerned about hills, I recommend the hotels heading northeast from the convention center(Olive/Howell/Stewart/etc and 4th-8th ave). It's generally a flat walk or a low enough incline to not be noticeable. I got the Hyatt regency and it's still only a few blocks away.

    Yeah, that hill up to Crowne is rough. Then further to Renaissance is super rough. Especially at the end of a long day.

    I was able to get Hyatt Regency. It was the only thing that let me do Wed-Tue. Only problem is that it's expensive as hell. Gonna keep looking for other options.

  • Dr.RocktipusDr.Rocktipus Registered User regular
    edited May 2019
    EvilBadman wrote: »
    For those(like me) who missed out on the super close hotels, I lived in downtown Seattle for a year and if you're concerned about hills, I recommend the hotels heading northeast from the convention center(Olive/Howell/Stewart/etc and 4th-8th ave). It's generally a flat walk or a low enough incline to not be noticeable. I got the Hyatt regency and it's still only a few blocks away.

    Basically not the Crowne, if you can manage it.

    To add in on the Hotel site comments, I live near-by but not near enough to leave downtown daily and I booked Thurs-Tues. That made a lot of the hotels unavailable by default.

    Yep. Although if you do end up going up the hill southwest, you should be able to cut through the smoking section at the top of the escalators in order to avoid a large chunk of the uphill walk(assuming you can survive the very unpleasant gauntlet of cig/vape smoke). I don't know if increased security measures will change that but for ESCC it was still an exit only path this year.

    Dr.Rocktipus on
  • EvilBadmanEvilBadman DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN Registered User regular
    Plus side of Regency is it's right next to the very good Anchorhead Coffee.

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  • havok978havok978 Registered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    The interface isn't the most intuitive, but if you start by clicking "As List" under browse all hotels, before making a date selection, it will take you to a list of all the hotels and it shows their days of availability. If you click on any of the individual hotels, it shows what specific room types are available what days.
    s2wl3o3o13n7.png

    You can then go into that and directly select the days on a given room type to make a reservation, as opposed to doing a date search. Doing it this way made it a lot less of a hassle when doing East, for me at least.

    I also like that they removed the list function btw...

    v2sWeAh.png
  • DracilDracil Registered User regular
    edited May 2019
    Switched from Olive 8 to Hyatt Regency since now I need 2 beds, which is about the same distance effectively. Though it would've been nice to just go up the elevators straight to bed after a night of board gaming.

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  • havok978havok978 Registered User regular
    Marino wrote: »
    For those(like me) who missed out on the super close hotels, I lived in downtown Seattle for a year and if you're concerned about hills, I recommend the hotels heading northeast from the convention center(Olive/Howell/Stewart/etc and 4th-8th ave). It's generally a flat walk or a low enough incline to not be noticeable. I got the Hyatt regency and it's still only a few blocks away.

    Yeah, that hill up to Crowne is rough. Then further to Renaissance is super rough. Especially at the end of a long day.

    I was able to get Hyatt Regency. It was the only thing that let me do Wed-Tue. Only problem is that it's expensive as hell. Gonna keep looking for other options.

    I just picked up a Regency reg now too now that you got me thinking about that hill. Oof. Well, I'm still keeping an eye out for Sheraton.

    v2sWeAh.png
    Marino
  • Captain Ironsides Captain Ironsides Registered User regular
    I don't know if there are any beds left, but the Green Tortoise Hostel is a great place to stay for PAX Prime. It's about $35/bed/night. It's right next to the Pike Place Market and just a short walk to the convention center.

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  • CKingCKing Registered User regular
    I kept getting that nothing existed, then did the fri-mon and it worked. But that's a crap system. Book a hotel and have no guarantee I'll get the added wed-thurs/tues-wed days?

    I'm in a wheelchair, so I need closer hotels, but this is inconvenient for everyone.

  • havok978havok978 Registered User regular
    On the plus side, I did email them to be put on the waitlist and they got back to me, so at least they're responsive on that end.

    v2sWeAh.png
  • MarinoMarino Giant Bomb Moderator / League of Heels Webmaster Registered User regular
    havok978 wrote: »
    zerzhul wrote: »
    The interface isn't the most intuitive, but if you start by clicking "As List" under browse all hotels, before making a date selection, it will take you to a list of all the hotels and it shows their days of availability. If you click on any of the individual hotels, it shows what specific room types are available what days.
    s2wl3o3o13n7.png

    You can then go into that and directly select the days on a given room type to make a reservation, as opposed to doing a date search. Doing it this way made it a lot less of a hassle when doing East, for me at least.

    I also like that they removed the list function btw...

    It looks like they just added the View as List button back in there. You can actually see what days each hotel has now.

    IncreaseBlue
  • IncreaseBlueIncreaseBlue Registered User regular
    edited May 2019
    Gonna be honest, not a fan of the ConnectionsHousing UI at all, or the weird throttled selection of dates.

    But I will say I didn't have the site crash or lock up on me, so that's a plus.

    Luckily it looks like you can log into your existing reservation and add days from availability by clicking Change Dates:
    zcyh628rkm2i.png

    Doing this will show available days as well as waitlisted options, so this seems like good news for folks that need to piece together a different hotel.

    IncreaseBlue on
  • zwitterionzwitterion Registered User regular
    Put in an email from the hotel booking site shortly after booking with my days and where I booked and asked for waitlist for Sheraton. Already got an email saying that I am now booked at Sheraton. Pretty nice system rather than trying to snipe a room all summer.

    IncreaseBlue
  • havok978havok978 Registered User regular
    zwitterion wrote: »
    Put in an email from the hotel booking site shortly after booking with my days and where I booked and asked for waitlist for Sheraton. Already got an email saying that I am now booked at Sheraton. Pretty nice system rather than trying to snipe a room all summer.

    Same for me. At least their support staff are pretty good.

    v2sWeAh.png
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