Well, the great San Diego Hotel Nightmare is over for many…and just beginning for others. The hotel reservation system went online today at 9 am pst. The Hyatt was sold out in 13 minutes. By 30 minutes almost every close hotel was gone. As we write this, all rooms have been gone for a couple of hours, even the W Hotel’s $369 “Wonderful room.” There are random rooms available Sunday and a few other nights at some hotels, but you’re going to have to figure that out yourself.
We got in at the hotel of our choice — WOOT! — but only using two browsers and two phones. If you don’t sit at the computer/phone from 11:55 est on, you are NOT getting in.
As in previous years, the website was slammed from the gitgo, with many heartbreaking time-outs causing dashed dreams for another year. Everyone we talked to was anxious, frustrated and then triumphant when they finally got in.
Over the past two weeks, I spent a little time looking at various other possibilities. Last year, we rented a vacation condo for a week. It was pretty far from the convention center (about a mile), but otherwise soooooo much nicer than staying in a hotel. The other big drawback is that you have to pay up front. So, I went searching online to see what was available, and quickly learned that all of the good ones were already taken. All that was left was small rooms (i.e. studio apartments), places far away, and expensive suites ($500 a night, very nice). Oh well. Would have been nice, maybe next year.
So, come this morning I come in early to make a hotel reservation (which starts at 9AM sharp), I check and find an email from Travel Planners confirming my reservation. Score! Checked the information again, and notice a problem — it’s for rooms with TWIN beds. Drats, it’s really too late to change it, so I guess I just have to live with it.
At that time, it was already just after 9AM, so I thought I would try my luck with the online reservation system. Hah. As expected (and just like in previous years) the site is slammed, and takes several minutes per page to load. By the time I finally do get through half an hour later, nearly everything is already booked up. Again, no surprise — same as previous years.
And Paul Dini:
Well, it’s that most frustrating day of the year for comic fans and comic con goers, the morning when hotel rooms go on sale for this July’s San Diego Comic Con. As usual the frenzy started at 9:00 AM Pacific time and as usual, Travel Planners, the crap travel company that the San Diego Con insists on using despite years and years of ineptitude, did their usual crap job. That is to say, from the moment Misty and I started calling just before nine from two separate phone lines, we received nothing but busy signals. We also tried making reservations on line from both a PC and Mac, and again, the page to make reservations timed out every time. After a half hour of misery, I simply called the hotel I wanted directly and yes, they had rooms for the con. I wound up paying a lot more than if I were (theoretically) able to get a room through the con website, but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing I have the room I want in the hotel I want with no money from me going to crap Travel Planners.
But no worries, you CAN still get a San Diego hotel room per Sandiegohotels. You can stay downtown for anywhere from $350-500 a night. The Hyatt is currently $419 a night. Or go out to Shelter Island or Seaworld for $200 a night. That’s not really that bad a deal, all things considered.
The general mood this year seems to be that San Diego has jumped the shark, however. Too much money, too much hassle. A lot of people will make last minute plans or just skip it entirely.
(2006) Why you didn’t get a hotel room in San Diego:
(2006) Did you get in?
(2006) No room at the inn 2006
(2005) SD hotel thoughts
(2005) Room at the Inn? San Diego hotel update
(2005) Will trade U2 tickets for hotel reservation