If you’re going to Anaheim..

A word to the wise:

Housing reservations online for ALA Annual opened today.

I just finished making reservations. And got, oh, maybe my 15th choice of place–the others being waitlisted, already full, or only suite/concierge availability.

(It will probably turn out to be a decent choice for someone with a sense of humor…never thought I’d be staying at a mid-level Disneyland Resort hotel for ALA, though. Not a “good neighbor”–a Disney property.)

A more important word to the wise:

Some of the distance indicators on the online search-response form are just plain wrong. In one case, the form shows half a block and the hotel’s own website says “2 miles.” I’ve never heard of a hotel overstating its distance from a convention center… (Too bad. Otherwise, that hotel looks like an interesting choice.)

6 Responses to “If you’re going to Anaheim..”

  1. Cathy says:

    Having our own hotel reservation safely made at the earliest possible opportunity, I agree. And I hope this is better than our trip to the Florida Disney property, which has to rank as the worst ALA ever in my book. Not that I’m really fussy, but Friendly’s isn’t my idea of fine dining.

  2. stevenb says:

    I’m not gloating or anything but I did land my first choice of hotel at 9:40 am EST or so this morning. I started researching my hotels about 2 weeks ago when the list showed up on the ALA site. After checking out about 15 hotels via their own web sites I narrowed it down to my top 4. My main factors are location (1/2 mile or less to the convention center), free internet in the room (walt -you don’t bring a computer so you don’t care about that), 24 hour fitness room (many open at 6 am but I like to workout around 5 am) and a breakfast place that opens by 6 am. I found only one hotel in my top 4 that met all the criteria. BTW, I wouldn’t have know that without calling each of my top 4 this past weekend. You can’t go by the info ALA provides – or what’s on the website – you need to ask someone working at the hotel NOW. Oh – and my top choice was $20 cheaper per room than the other 3. So you can’t just wake up today and decide to get a room. You really need to start the process a few weeks ago – unless you don’t care what you get as long as you are somewhere within a few miles of the convention center.

  3. walt says:

    Impressive. Admittedly, it never occurred to me to look for the list even earlier. (Well, so far I don’t carry a computer: We’ll see whether that turns out to be desirable, in which case…well, no, my probable choice of carry-along probably deserves a separate post, since it might surprise longtime readers.) As it happens, the hotel I’m in does have free wifi, supposedly…

    Your post might make an interesting addition to the growing collection of conference lore (some of it in C&I, some elsewhere): It stresses pre-research more than anything I’ve seen.

    I will note that 9:40 a.m. EST is almost an hour earlier than 7:30 a.m. PST. I suspect that could have made a difference. On the other hand, I’m assuming that “prebooking”–exhibitor blocks and rooms reserved for Councillors, as they should be–probably ruled out a couple of hotels even before January 2.

  4. bowerbird says:

    walt, in anaheim, 2 miles _is_ a half-block… :+)


  5. stevenb says:

    Well, the tradeoff is that I probably spent about 2 hours on my pre-research (maybe 3). Not everyone is going to be that invested enough in their decision to put the time into it. But I find it a fun way to spend time – trying to figure out the best hotels out of the available choices – best meaning the best mix of price and amenities I want. Of course, it took a little longer this time with 35-40 hotels on the list. Give it a try sometime. You might like it.

  6. walt says:

    I have done such research in the past, and might in the future–and I did have a CSAA handbook as I was looking at the options. I may have been panicked by the sheer number of “waitlist” items; from what ALA’s now saying, it sounds as though those frequently clear up. But yes, for the future, I should look up the list in advance. I’ve been spoiled: for the last few years, my employer did block bookings with exhibitor preference…so, gotta get back to my own initiative.