I Didn’t Get A Hotel Room – Now What?

Many of you have heard about your San Diego Comic-Con 2017 hotel placement fate. Many of you… still haven’t.

Here’s the good news: Comic-Con said that you would be alerted “no later” than May 15 if you weren’t able to be placed into a hotel room. That implies, to us, that they may use some returned inventory from Group 2 to give to folks who haven’t heard back yet at some point on or before next Monday.

Here’s the bad news: Since they didn’t really promise a Round Three of confirmations, it’s not likely to be a ton of e-mails going out, if there even are any more placements to be given. Which means, for many, you may not receive any hotel, or maybe you did get one but not the one/area that you wanted.

So what are your next moves?

  • Wait for More E-mails: As we said above, CCI promised that attendees would be alerted “no later” than May 15 if their hotel placement request was rejected. That means we may still get more hotel room e-mails between now and next Monday.
  • Room Trade: One of the positive things about onPeak is that attendees have the option of changing the names on their hotel reservation, and it’s relatively painless. We recommend having the original owner of the reservation call if at all possible. But assuming you get through to a willing customer service rep (which is about 90% of them – usually if you get one unfamiliar with the process, just hang up, call back, and speak to someone else), this means that you can both give and receive any unwanted room reservations to someone who does want it, making two people happy. There are room swaps all over, but the biggest and most trusted is over at the Friends of CCI forum. Don’t pay someone to “buy” their hotel room reservation from them, though. Ever.
  • Cancellations: Some hotels will go back on sale. Deposits for these Round Two hotels are due by Friday, May 12 at 12AM PDT (so basically Thursday night). Hotels (yes, even downtown hotels!) will be returned, as often, each roommate in a room will try for a hotel, and then if the group receives multiples, they can cancel the rest. Most of these will be Mission Valley options, but it’s a hotel, and it certainly beats sleeping on the sidewalk. Some of these cancellations may be e-mailed out next Monday with the rejection e-mails, and if not – there’s the Waitlist.
  • Pray for Waitlist: For at least the last few years, onPeak/Travel Planners has opened up some returned downtown hotels to those who were on the waitlist, or who simply didn’t receive their top hotel picks. In years past, onPeak let those who had booked hotels in Mission Valley or other areas they didn’t originally request get a full refund, even though the refund deadline had passed — which is good news for anyone debating about whether to book the hotel they got assigned now, or wait it out. This will likely open up sometime on or after May 15.
  • Go Outside the System: So you didn’t get a hotel. You have other options that aren’t the Hall H line, we promise. Although downtown hotels basically want attendees’ first born in exchange for a room (the Hilton Bayfront has rooms starting at just $1500 a night, kids!), with a quick search we were able to find several motels in San Diego for under $300 a night. You won’t be spending much time there anyway.
  • Accept Your Fate: If all else fails, if you at least have somewhere to stay — make the most of it. So maybe you’re in Mission Valley instead of the Gaslamp District. There are plenty of Comic-Con shuttles that run 24 hours, or you can even look into renting a car and buying parking. You now have a quiet hotel room to go back to, twice the dining options, and you can still hang around downtown as much or as little as you want. Getting that perfect downtown hotel isn’t the be-all/end-all of the Comic-Con experience, and it only means you won’t have a good time if you let it mean that. Now start planning the fun stuff.

What’s your strategy if you didn’t get what you wanted in the hotel sale? 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.

  • garfeimao

    I did get a hotel confirmation today, but called them so I could find out how they handle ADA requests, which turns out to pretty much suck. The hotel we got confirmed for is near the airport, which means I’ll still have to get parking in Downtown to move my sister and her wheelchair closer to the convention, the shuttle buses just don’t cut it.

    So my problem with the way OnPeak handles ADA requests is
    to pass them on to the hotel once they give each hotel their name list,
    2 weeks prior to the convention. They want us to pay a deposit that
    becomes partially non-refundable on May 16, and fully non-refundable on
    June 7, but they won’t be sending the name list, with the ADA requests
    until the first week of July. So if that hotel has 10 ADA compliant
    rooms, and 11 requests, someone will get a room they can’t use, and it’s
    non-refundable.

    OnPeak will not work to confirm the ADA
    requests in advance, and claim that anyone booking with them should just
    be happy to have a room and we always have an option to book in another
    way. Anyone out there think there are any rooms available during SDCC
    that are less than $600 a night or so?

  • Blue meanie

    I was just booked in a room at the Bay Club at Shelter Island for 4 nights, even though it wasn’t even on my list of hotels.
    The Bay Club is in the furthest hotel from the convention center as
    possible, so far away and in the middle of nowhere, that there are NO affordable
    restaurants in the area to eat at (Sorry I
    can’t afford to pay $30 for breakfast and $80 for dinner), Its equivalent of being banished to Siberia…the shuttle
    bus ride alone will easily take well over 90 minutes from hotel to CC. Also, me and my two friends got a room with JUST ONE BED! How the heck are we going to fit 3 guys in a One Bed hotel room?
    Very very Unhappy with this reservation. We’re seriously thinking of cancelling it and going with Priceline to book a room rogue.

  • Katrena Keys

    I would check with the hotel. Because if it’s an ADA issue, pretty sure you have some leeway (in regards to getting a room or getting a refund).
    As what OnPeak is telling you, doesn’t seem like it’s ADA compliant. At least in CA

  • Jill Casali

    I stayed on Shelter Island last year (Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn). Shuttle wasn’t that long and it was nice to be out of the hectic pace of CC… There’s also a few convenient stores right before you take the road to Shelter Island…. Quick Uber if you needed it.

  • garfeimao

    That’s what I told them. If they are the go-between, their responsibility does not end with just passing along the request, especially when money is passing through their portal.

  • Lisa Dreyer Ball

    We may have an extra ADA at Embassy Suites for 499 (including tax)

  • garfeimao

    Having stayed there, I do have some insight that might be helpful. Hotel Circle in Mission Valley is much further away than Shelter Island, but the shuttle will still take time because of the frequent stops, in both directions. And at prime travel time, the shuttles may be full when they get to you, so you might consider walking over to the Best Western, which is the first of the 4 hotels in Shelter Island in order to get on a shuttle.

    The rooms are actually quite large, we had 3 people and were easily able to get a rollaway in the room. The year we stayed there the Breakfast was included, but it seems that is no longer the option. If you have a car, there is a Trader Joe’s and a Ralphs not far away, and some fast food restaurants, but you have to search for them as they aren’t along the main road towards the Convention center. Also, if you have a car, then simply get parking downtown from ACE once they open it up to general sales, so you can transport yourself to/from the convention center. I had to do this because my sister is in a wheelchair, and waiting on the shuttle was just not really an option for us.

  • Lord Zardoz

    Life isn’t always fair.

  • Jon Allen

    For those that have a car and don’t mind driving a short distance and paying for parking, Poway has some motels at very reasonable rates.

  • Rebecca Eusey

    The parking situation isn’t great, I’m going to suggest parking at a Trolley Station and taking the trolley into the downtown core.

  • Darlene Harston

    There are MTS express buses from Sabre Springs Transit Center (near Poway) to Downtown in the morning and afternoon, weekedays during regular commute times. They take 30 minutes each way. Parking at the transit lot is free, and you avoid traffic and parking issues downtown.

  • TK421

    I suggest keeping it and just waiting till a month before Con and see what rooms open up. We were in Mission Valley last year and then got downtown a few weeks before when more rooms opened from cancellations.

  • We have received no emails, so I called today (twice) and the best I can tell is we are “waitlisted” – but apparently no guarantees on that either.

    I’m surprised at the lack information this year. Usually you can call and get an honest answer, but complete limbo is just really disrespectful. Still hoping for any room, but we booked the historic Ramada St. James at a ridiculous price for now.

  • Carrie

    No, but ADA regulations are in place for a reason and sensible businesses will do their best to follow them.

  • Hola Isabel

    Thanks for all the helpful advice. My kid was sick on Hotelpocalypse and ended up in the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. (He’s fine now.) Needless to say, we missed out on everything that day. We quickly booked our own (refundable) hotel that is less than ideal. This is only our second time going to SDCC, so we’re pretty new to all of this. Is there a way for us to get on the hotel waitlist, or is that only open to people who already put in for a hotel? What about buying somebody’s reservation that doesn’t need them anymore? Holy cow, this is stressful. And all because of a useless internal organ.

  • I ended up (after hearing crickets yesterday) booking a refundable room at the Sofia for $405/night (plus fees). Worst come to worst, I can stay there, and the location is excellent. Still hoping for a waitlist (cheaper) or a takeover via Friends of CC’s forum. Room is refundable until 7/17, so I have the luxury of waiting. There were rooms last night downtown at the Ramada, the Hampton, and of course the really expensive prime options of the Hilton BF and (I think) the Omni.

  • doctoryyz

    If the pattern is the same as the past few years, there will be hotels in Mission Valley that will open up after the waitlist process is done. I have booked a MV hotel, linked through the comic-con website at con rates, one month before the con once because my friend had to move early and I was going to be staying at her house. There won’t be many choices, but there WILL be options.

  • Jon Allen

    I use my car as my “locker” where I can unload purchases through the day and keep a change of clothes in case the weather changes or I am going out after the floor closes so I like to have my car nearby. However, the express bus is a great idea.

  • kim

    Can you tell me – How did you book a room from cancellations? Is there a website to register with or something? I’m not very savvy about the hotel process. (We also got a room further than we wanted)

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  • Jessica Marie Hodges

    being a hotel employee, i want to comment with, it’s also kind of a LAW. : so i feel for you hun, on peak being a housing system, needs to work out their shit.

  • Terry Phillips

    HI, i have 4 rooms available for 2 nights min stay anytime from July 18th to the 21st for $265 including taxes per night at the Residence Inn downtown San Diego 1747 Pacific Highway and shuttle service to the show. Text me if you are interested at 804-350-9135.

  • Gabriel Liberman

    I have a spare Queen Size Bed at a Hotel, 1.2 miles from Convention Center, and 5 blocks from the Shuttles. Days Inn Convention Center Downtown – 833 Ash St, San Diego.
    Any Questions, (386) 262 – 0922. It’s available from 18th till 23rd of July