Ahh the fresh smell of massive crowds of nerds in the morning.
Ahh the fresh smell of massive crowds of nerds in the morning.

Two days, and counting.

So Hotelpocalypse is coming, and on March 24, 2015 it’s the final trial by fire that all SDCC attendants must wrestle with, hotel reservations. If you were around for the registration day last month, you know the good stuff gets sold out fast and getting the places you want can be determined down to the second you get on at 9am PST.

The most important things, like refund dates, hotel prices, hotel listings, shuttle information is listed on their hotels page, and I can not emphasize the importance that you read this page thoroughly, and then look at the list of hotels to make your own list. Typically blunders occur when people neglect reading through all of the information provided.

Here are some tips and tricks that I’ve picked up over the years from suffering through multiple Hotelpocalypses (Hotelpocalypsi?).

There's no fool proof plan, just don't end up like poor Joker over here.
There’s no fool proof plan, just don’t end up like poor Joker over here.
  1. Team up during the buying process! Even if you’re just using your roommates to help you, every second counts. I know, they recommend you not to, but you know how it goes with strength in numbers. 
  2. If you want to stay downtown, ONLY list downtown rooms in your choices. Typically they will place you somewhere else close by if you don’t make it into the top 6, but keeping those downtown locations is paramount because if you have one that is somewhere like Mission Valley they will place you in Mission Valley.
  3. Read some reviews of SDCC hotel choices. We recommend WhenNerdsAttack.com, they have a good amount of first-hand reviews, and it will definitely help you if you’re struggling between choices.
  4. Be patient. As I’ve learned from the badge purchasing, when you get onto the page, stay there. In the past using multiple browsers and multiple computers has proved beneficial, so again this is where strength in numbers comes in again. Also if your link doesn’t work when you click it, try copy and pasting it.
  5. Make your list of 6 hotels now. This should go without saying, but it is important to just go over what are your top choices with the other people you’re going with.
  6. Which brings us to: go with other people. For many of the places, single bed rooms and double bed rooms cost the same, so save yourself some money!
  7. Comfort is something you want! For most people, squishing seven people into a hotel room made for four is okay, but for me, not so much. During SDCC, emotions run high and people get tired and stressed out. So if you can, try to stick to the four people a room standard. I personally like sleeping on a bed at the end of the day and relaxing my body, but if it’s not financially viable for you, you gotta do what you have to.
  8. Be aware of refund dates. Just be aware. The worst thing to be screwed over by is a deadline. This year the cancellation and full refund date is April 15, 2015.

As for personal hotel reviews, I’m going to write up two brief ones.

The beast that is the Hilton Bayfront.
The beast that is the Hilton Bayfront.

For a Downtown hotel, we consistently prefer Hilton Bayfront. Not only is it on the side of the convention center but it has direct access to the sky bridge that allows you to cross the street without waiting on things like the trolley or the cross lights. Hotels across the street add on a wait time for crossing the street, which during a busy time like SDCC can end up being up to a twenty minute wait. I personally think it’s the best bang for your buck, and has turned into our favorite spot over the years.

For farther shuttle hotels, my favorite is the Courtyard by Marriot in Mission Valley. This was the hotel that I stayed at for my first two years at SDCC, and other that distance from the convention center, it was perfect. By far one of the best hotels in Hotel Circle. The ride from the hotel to the center by shuttle was about 15 mins, not bad at all. It lets off right by the sky bridge, so it’s a quick cross over the street to get to the convention center. If you do not want to spend the money for the downtown hotels, and you are sure you want a farther hotel, then do the Early Bird Hotel Sale. If you are sure of your choice, this is a good way to jump through that final hoop.

It seems CCI gave us absolutely no warning about hotel reservations this year, and are cutting it close to the wire, so prepare yourself accordingly. Contact your roomies, gather the funds, and may the odds be ever in your favor on March 24th, 2015 at 9am PST. For questions or help, find us on our twitter @nerdophiles.

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