Leave advice about the hotel experience …

Leave advice about the hotel experience here. I’ll try to gather it up and organize it. This is all unofficial, and might change with time.

Best advice I can offer, although it’s too late for Gally ’11, is (1) stay in the convention hotel, and (2) book early. There are plenty of nearby hotels, so don’t give up hope if the Marriott fills up, but you will be more comfortable if you don’t have to go outside to get to sessions. (Note: The 2011 hotel issue was a fluke, as mentioned in the comments. But it still wouldn’t hurt to reserve early.)

You can book your room online as soon as Gallifrey One puts out the discount code. You have to give a credit card number but they normally will not charge it in advance. Then you get in on the best rate, Gally gets some sway in further rooms and continued benefits, and you don’t have to fret about it later. You can cancel up until the day before your reservation starts, I believe, so it’s no problem if your schedule changes.

A word about booking through the Gally block of rooms: Do it if you can. When a conference uses a hotel’s resources, they usually pay less/get more if they can “guarantee” a certain amount of occupancy. The more rooms Gally fills, the more Marriott will like us and continue to make the convention doable. And it’s easier for Marriott to make rooms available to us as a group if we fill up our initial allotment early. If half of us booked in April or May, they would probably find the 700 rooms. Harder to find them as others start reserving.

And whatever hotel you go to, check on their frequent stayer/rewards program. Even if you only stay once a year, it may be worth the ten minutes to sign up. I once got a $900 rack rate room for $129/night with every fourth night free, for my first stay with that hotel. For less overpriced hotels (like Marriot, for example) you may still get benefits, or some extra frequent flyer miles, or discounts/free rooms later on.

Parking details are up on the website: $10/day self-parking, $23/day valet. See the site for how to get these rates.

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