Guide To The SDCC 2014 Hotel Sale [Updated with Prices]

Hilton Bayfront Hotel San Diego - Warm Tone[UPDATE: Comic-Con International has announced the list of hotels and room prices for this year. You can view the list here

And if you need help finding a roommate, be sure to check out our Roommate and Room Finder forum on reddit]

If you thought getting a badge to San Diego Comic-Con was tough, you better buckle in for the bumpy ride that is the General Hotel Sale, or, as we lovingly call it, Hotelpocalypse. On Tuesday, April 8, attendees will try for a hotel, and just like with badge sales, some attendees will walk away disappointed.

So how can you help make sure that you get the downtown hotel of your dreams (and if you’re wondering why staying downtown is so great, check out our Case for Staying Downtown and In the Gaslamp Quarter)? Because Travel Planners goes by timestamp on when hotel choices are submitted, you need to be quick – and that means familiarizing yourself with the process. While there’s no guarantees that 2014′s process will look exactly like last year’s (though a Travel Planner’s representative did confirm that this year’s process would essentially be the same), it’s a safe bet that it will at least be similar (and thanks to Comic-Con Geek, we have a visual reference to exactly how last year’s process worked).

The Process

You can view the list of hotels and prices by clicking here, with prices ranging from $152/night for one person at the Comfort Inn and Suites Hotel Circle South Seaworld in Mission Valley, up to $375/night for one person at the Hard Roch Hotel suites. Most attendees will be trying for a downtown hotel in the Gaslamp, but the General Hotel Sale also includes hotels at both the airport and in Mission Valley.

Travel Planners requires that attendees select exactly six hotel choices, in order of preference. Research which hotels you’re interested in before the sale begins, so you’re not wasting valuable time. Before the sale begins, plan on having the following information handy:

  • Your six hotels, in order of preference (write the name exactly as it appears on the Comic-Con hotel list)
  • The amount of people staying in your room
  • The names of any roommates who are staying with you

Within 72 hours before the sale, you’ll be e-mailed a link to Travel Planner’s SDCC site, though it won’t go live until 9AM PT on April 8.

comic-con-2013-housing-hotel-reservations-travel-planners-01Once the site is live, you’ll be greeted with this screen:

comic-con-2013-housing-hotel-reservations-travel-planners-02

You’ll need to select the Click Here to Start Your Request button. You’ll then be taken to the actual hotel request form, which will first give you a rundown of all the hotel options again:

comic-con 2013 housing hotel reservations travel planners 05

Once you’ve scrolled past this screen, you’ll begin filling in your information, including your first and last name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.

You’ll then be able to enter your six hotel choices. Put them in your order of preference. So if the Hard Rock Hotel is your first choice, select that hotel first. You’ll also have the option of selecting a box to indicate that if the con rate at your hotel is unavailable, if you’d like to be upgraded (at an unspecified amount) to a “higher nightly rate” room. If you don’t want to select this option, simply don’t click anything.

Once you’ve entered all six of your hotels, you’ll have to choose the worst case scenario: If none of your six hotel choices are available, what would you like to happen? You have three options:

  • Book me into any available downtown hotel. If NO downtown hotels are available, discard my request.
  • Book me into any hotel that is on the shuttle route. If NO hotels on the shuttle route are available, discard my request. NOTE: If we are able to book you into a hotel on the shuttle route, you will also automatically be waitlisted for your original, specified hotel choices above.
  • Book me into any available hotel. NOTE: If we can book you into any available hotel, you will still automatically be waitlisted for your original, specified hotel choices. If we CANNOT book your requests, you will be automatically waitlisted.

The next step is filling out the information about the kind of accomodations you’ll be needing. You’ll select the number of total rooms you’re requesting, and then for each room, the amount of beds/people. Once you’ve selected this, you’ll be prompted to enter in the first and last name for each occupant. In years past, you’ve even be able to make changes to the names and amount of occupants in a room even after paying a deposit, but there is no guarantee it will be the same this year. You’ll also need to enter your arrival and departure date.

Finally, you’ll need to checkmark all three boxes at the bottom of the screen:

  • I will provide a deposit equal to two night’s room and tax within 72 hours of receiving my hotel reservations confirmation email or my reservations will be automatically canceled.
  • I understand type of room is not guaranteed.
  • I am submitting one form for all of my rooms. (Submitting multiple requets will only delay the processing of your reservations)

comic-con-2013-housing-hotel-reservations-travel-planners-04

All reservation requests will be processed in date/time stamp order, but “all forms received within three seconds of each other are considered to have arrived at the same time and will be processed in a random order within that three-second grouping.” This means that there’s still some randomization going on — though attendees’ experience with Travel Planners over the last few years seems to indicate that they really are going as close to time of form submission as possible.

Within a few days, you’ll receive a confirmation e-mail with the hotel you received. If you choose to accept that hotel, you’ll need to pay a full two nights’ deposit within 72 hours. If you and a roommate each received a reservation, and your names are on both forms, Travel Planners will alert you that one of these reservations needs to be canceled, or they will cancel one for you.

When it comes to Hotelpocalypse, speed really is the most important factor. Have all of your information on hand prior to the sale, and maybe start praying to the Travel Planners hotel gods.

Will you be trying for a hotel? Let us know in the comments.

About Kerry Dixon

Kerry Dixon is Editor-in-Chief of The San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog and the site's resident panel guru.
  • http://www.jumpstartmypc.com/ CSSully

    We’ll definitely be trying for a hotel. Last year we were able to secure a spot in the Gaslamp area and we REALLY want to stay there again. It was so convenient.

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  • Annika A

    Very informative! Thank you! I’ve never attempted Hotelpocalypse before, since we always book way ahead of the HotelPlanners sale, but we thought we’d give it a try this year. Also, with two fully refundable, back-up rooms already booked, I figure we have nothing to lose!

  • amykbstuff

    I’ve done hotelpocalyse the past three years, and always got one of my top 5 choices (last year #2), but I think it’s mainly been my strategy of picking overlooked hotels. hopefully it works out again this year!

  • garfeimao

    I hate that they don’t have an ADA request on the initial hotel form, so we have to request a hotel, then fill out an ADA request, and then wait for them to tell us if we can get an ADA room or not. We ended up getting moved 4 times last year due to this.

  • citizenmilton

    care to share any reliable/overlooked downtown options? I struck out last year & ended up in Mission Valley…

  • amykbstuff

    not to give away my full strategy, but don’t pick the cheapest ones, the closest ones, or ones that have the shuttle stop right outside. [that last one you'll have to guess based on last year's shuttle stops.] From talking to people, those seem to be the most in-demand features for downtown hotels.

  • LillyFee

    Thanks! I’ll totally try it, but sadly not for the Hotelpocalypse, because almost everything is full. I’ll try to find something on booking.com or http://www.reservationcounter.com/, so thank you for the suggestion!

  • Meghan

    Has anyone gotten their email stating that hotel registration is opening? I haven’t gotten anything about it.

  • mstrmian

    Does anyone know about how much gaslamp hotels will run during comic con? Is there a price list? Thank you

  • Melanie Holt

    I have no clue where to stay. Any suggestions?

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  • Guest

    Question. Last year did not get hotel on Hotelpocalyps but ended up near a shuttle route hotel through good fortune. If you try for a Gaslamp/DT hotel at the prices noted on the now available pricing sheet, get it, pay your deposit–does the price ever go up? Or once you reserve it for that price is it usually guaranteed at that price per night (+tax/fees/etc)?

    I’m trying to price things and I think we can try for a DT/Gaslamp but when you look at regular hotel site prices they are 3x what this price list says–and the guide does say prices not guaranteed…

    I’m afraid to try for/get a DT hotel at the stated price and then the rates *magically* go up to what their hotel site says (500-800/night) Anyone get a DT/Gaslamp and know if the rates (nightly rates) stay at what this price sheet says they do? ( not including the extra tax/fees stuff)

  • @CdnPanda

    The prices listed through the CCi site at the prices only IF booked through the Hotelpocalyps. Otherwise the 3x rate you see will be what you pay. If you book through CCi the rate will not suddenly increase.

  • apple2apple

    Depends on your preference Melanie. I know this is the day before, so I’m sorry no one talked to you. What do you plan on doing, do you have any friends going? Hall H lines? Go to Hilton Bayfront and nearby. You’ll want a quick escape if possible!
    If you don’t care and just want the shuttle route, and want it cheaper, than go to Mission Valley. The shuttle takes maybe 10-15 min to get to the Convention, its AC’d and lets you out next to Petco Park (La Quinta has free breakfast)

    Honestly, spend tonight googling hotels on google maps, and see where things are. Some are next to a shopping center like Target, (La Quinta was) so we walked there and picked up good snacks to pack in a backpack!

  • apple2apple

    Its not open. You should have gotten one Friday.

  • apple2apple

    Check the CCI website under hotels. They have a pdf of the pricing now.

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  • edouglasww

    I’m not sure why so many people need hotel rooms when most of them will be camping out for Hall H every night anyway. Maybe it’s time to create a new low-budget San Diego hotel called “Hall H Tent City” and be done with it :)

  • http://catvonawesome.tumblr.com/ Cat C

    I think Hotelpocalypse is my least favorite part of the whole SDCC process. Last year no one in my group got a room, but lucked out that we had a backup second group to share reservations from. This year, we have no back up group. TERRIFIED. Anyone want to make a share pact?

  • http://catvonawesome.tumblr.com/ Cat C

    We ended up in Mission Valley (Courtyard by Marriot Mission Valley) last year and it was perfectly fine. Shuttle was always on time and only took about 15 minutes. I’m listing 3 downtown and 3 mission Valley this year. I’ve given up on caring about what hotel I get as long as I GET a hotel. And as long as it isn’t the Hard Rock.

  • Melanie Holt

    Thank you

  • marybluefairy

    That sounds like a good option for some people, lol! Maybe someone will set up a shower/washroom off-site where you can pay $5 for a shower. ;p heck, someone at the hilton bay front could just open up their room and charge for the privilege…make some of that $$$ back! Hahahahaha…

  • mstrmian

    THANK YOU!!

  • apple2apple

    I do apologize you probably didn’t see this until after the hotel sale. You maybe be able to still book a hotel? Best wishes!

    Check the Friends of CCI for possible places to stay (won’t be until after a few days for people to hunt down roommates or sell their reservation)

  • mstrmian

    Oh no need to apologiize! => Thank you for being so helpful.
    It’s ok. I heard that if you didnt finish booking within 2 mins, you didnt get a room. I guess I’ll have to work on my typing skills for next years con. At least next year i’ll be better prepared.

  • apple2apple

    Right. I’m not crazy excited but I’m stuck with the US Grant. Its just pricer and a bit farther than I wanted, but I’m getting over it.

  • http://www.hiltonmv.com Ana Wilson

    Few months ago I was stay in Hilton mission valley hotel in Sand Diego i was really enjoy there and the hotel provides best facilities for customer http://www.hiltonmv.com/

  • M. David Melvin

    ANYONE NEED HOTEL ROOMS?!!! I got FOUR ROOMS, less than mile from Convention Center. 323 380 7450. Thurs though Saturday 24 – 26