So.... I've kind of moved to Facebook

I mentioned the Facebook group in previous posts, and I said I would post both places.  The thing is, it's just so much more convenient to post to Facebook, and I get little updates on my phone when people post.  It allows us to find out about deals night instantaneously, and everyone can share and post.

I'm not saying I'll never post here gain, I probably will, but Facebook probably gets it first.

New Year, New Deal! Melia for $78 on LMT.

If you cruise over to Last Minute Travel, there's a 4 star downtown hotel for $72 a night. Switching over to the paid LMTclub reveals that it's the Melia (formerly the Renaissance) with a slightly cheaper rate. It's listed as being 10.49 miles to the airport with a 3 star TripAdvisor rating. The Melia is about a mile walk to the host hotels, which is not doable in my opinion, especially in big/heavy/hot costumes or with physical impairments. It is near a MARTA station, so there is that option if you keep more reasonable hours than I do. Regardless, it is a nice overflow hotel, and a good deal if you don't have a room already.

Also note that I do my hotel searches for 5 nights for 2 adults, with check-in on Thursday and check-out on Tuesday. Longer stays seem to have priority in reservation systems. Thur-Mon *might* catch a great deal, but I doubt Fri-Mon ever will. Also, I don't know how long this deal will last, but it was available as of 130 AM CST Saturday morning (January 11).

Finally, this is richardlt posting and not xiandesi herself. She gave me access once when she was on vacation, and told me to post any deals I happened to find. It's pure luck that I found this before her, and wanted to share with everyone as quickly as possible. This explains the odd post time, as I have no life. Good luck!

Let's play a game! Can I find better than con rate rates for overflows?

I'm well aware the Hilton deal was an anomaly and not a standard.  So in the interest of helping those who resort to overflows (hey, I've stayed in them too) I thought I'd play a little game of "How easy is it to find a better rate?"  Below is a quick list I pulled from a different site that shows overflows and con rate.

It's also worth noting the hotels at Hotwire have lowered in price.  One is even only $65/night.  I have no idea what it is but it's cheap, in the downtown area and has free parking, breakfast and internet.  If anyone tries to book it, I'd love to know what it is.

Fairfield Inn & Suites Atlanta Downtown- rooms from $209/night. Booking online through passkey. Rate code DCCDCCA.

Glenn-Marriott Autograph Collection- queen bed only from $215/night. Booking online through passkey. Rate code DGDGCA.

Holiday Inn Atlanta Capitol Conference Center- rooms from $149/night. Booking online through passkey. No rate code.
Beat at Hotwire! $133/night (3 star downtown)

Melia Hotel Atlanta- rooms form $172/night. Booking online through passkey. No rate code.
Beat Hotwire $132/night (also might be the Georgian Terrace, take your chances!) 4.5 star with free internet, fitness, business, pool

Omni Hotel at CNN Center- rooms from $219/night. Booking online through passkey. No rate code.

The Ritz Carlton Atlanta Downtown Hotel- rooms from $220/night. Book by phone 1-800-241-3333 and mention Dragon Con.
Just wanted to note that I'm not surprised I can't top this rate.  This is a good rate for this hotel even in non-con season.  It is the closest overflow on the list, being right across the street from the Westin, and one block down from the Hyatt.

Marriott Suites Midtown- king/sofabed rooms from $200/night. Booking online through passkey. Rate code DGCDGCA.

Courtyard Atlanta Midtown/Georgia Tech- rooms from $208/night. Booking online through passkey. Rate code DRADRAA.
Beat 189 booking from (the hotel's own site) rather than passkey

Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Midtown- rooms from $189/night. Booking online through passkey. Rate code ATLAMGI-DRG.

Homewood Suites Midtown- rooms from $199/night. Booking online though passkey. Rate code ATLMIHW-DRG.

Loews Atlanta Hotel- rooms from $229/night. Booking by phone 1-888-563-9736. Rate code TBA.
Beat $219/night pretty standard rate.  It's a travelocity, so use a coupon to get your rate lowered even further.
Or try Hotwire, where it's the only midtown 4.5 star hotel and is $161/night!

Regency Suites Hotel- rooms from $169/night. Booking online through passkey. Rate code ALU.

Renaissance Atlanta Midtown- rooms from $200/night. Booking online through passkey. Rate code dragoncon14.

Twelve Atlantic Station- rooms from $215/night. Booking online through hotel's site. Rate code DGGG.

W Atlanta Midtown- rooms from $199/night. Booking online through passkey. Rate code Dragon Con.
Beat over at LMTclub - 145/night

So in summation, if you want an over flow, you can often look around and find a better rate.  It's not true all the time, but if you're just looking for an overflow, why not get one for a cheaper price?  Several overflows are $133/night right now.  None of them walkable, mind you, but many walkable hotels have either been incorporated (Westin, Sheraton), repurposed (the old Wyndham garden and Baymont are now university property), or are under renovations (The Days Inn, then the Hotel Atl, and soon-to-be A Loft).

For the person with lots of budget, I'd recommend the Ritz.  It's a reasonable price (for the Ritz) and is very very walkable.  For the low-budget types, may I suggest trying your luck on that $65/night hotwire downtown mystery hotel.

And a reminder we now have a FB group, and the linky is two posts down.

Reviewing the Sheraton Atlanta a second time - All about Club level

I stayed at the Sheraton this past year.  It was my second year in a row staying with them.  In a move completely unlike me, I paid an obscene amount of money for my room.  What can I say, I was desperate for a room and only club level was available, so I took it.

I was completely ready to be underwhelmed by "club level".  It was maybe $30 more than a regular room, and was still the same size as a regular room.

When we checked in, things went as they usually do, and we went to our room, which was the same size as always.

However the awesome things about club level do make it worth the price increase-

1. Better service in your room. :  Whenever i asked for things they were prompt and courteous, even more than usual.  Extra items, such as toiletries or coffee/tea were brought to me swiftly.  Heck I mentioned something half in passing to the housekeeping staff (that I like the makeup remover wipes) and suddenly I had a 6 of them.  They weren't even on her cart.  She had to go downstairs and get them from the supply area there.  WHen i asked for a firdge, it was there in 15 minutes.  When I asked for extra pillows, I got more than i asked for and it was again very swift.

2. The Club room -   I can hardly say enough good things about this. It's the best free-food and lounging area I've seen in a hotel ever.  It's about the size of two or three hotel rooms, but has tables, comfortable chairs, TVs (usually on Con TV), couches, tables, free-to-use computers, and attendants ready to clean up after and welcome you.

Things available at all hours, all you care to eat/drink-
unlimited hot tea (many varieties)
hot coffee (usually 3 varieties with multiple creamer and sugar options)
soda (a fountain with plastic cups like at a Subway or the like), juice (in sealed bottles you can just up and take)
milk (in boxes, including chocolate)
yogurt (multiple flavors)
cookies (though on heavy traffic days while they are put out regularly they are often gone quickly)

Breakfast (7 to 11 or so)
Fresh fruit (blueberries, raspberries, melons, grapes, strawberries, pineapple all fresh!)
Breakfast pastries (danishes, croissants, bagels, muffins.. etc)
and one hot item (often oatmeal, but could be eggs or sausage)
cereals (name brand cereals in individual milk ready sealed bowls)

Dinner - 4-8 (or thereabouts)
Cheeses of all sorts, sliced and ready
crackers of various sorts
fresh fruit and veggies
One hot item (chicken nuggets, egg rolls, pigs in a blanket... it varied)

Both breakfast and dinner were all you care to eat.  This doesn't mean the supplies were endless though.  While you can take the last two bowls (or even all) of the Krave or Fruit Loops, it might be impolite.  They restocked during the official meal period though, so there's some chance there would be more Fruit Loops in half an hour or so, but the person behind you might not have that long to wait.

It was never so crowded I didn't have somewhere to sit, and most other folks there were con goers and good company.  Heck I made friends who gave me print-outs of their in-character middle-earth poetry :).

So oddly enough I found the club level price worth the increase.  It doesn't mean it's the best value for you though.  We're a family of 5, and having 24 hour drinks, fruit, and yogurt helped us a ton in feeding kiddos.  I hardly ever went to the food court.  I had free qs for Chick Fil A (as usual) and I maybe went once, because most of the time I would fill up at the club room before I went anywhere and tuck fruit in my bag for later.  We all hate way healthier this Dragon*Con :).  As a single person, this is probably not the best value, but for 3 to a room and up, it's totally great!

For example, at $30 extra, if you have have 3 people, that's $10 per person for breakfast, dinner and all day drinks and fruit.  Mind you you have to come back to the Sheraton to get it, but you would have had to have gone to the Food Court to get food anyway.  I think it's a really good value!

I did want to stay in the sheraton at Club Level again this year, but since I found the Hilton at LMT for $75/night I guess I'll be over there instead.  Whish is sad, cause club level upgrade was gonna be free for me this year *sigh*.  I even went to a stupid timeshare spiel to get it.  Ah well.

CANCELLED! Hilton on LMTClub $75/night!!!!

CANCELLED!  Bookings are being refunded/relocated.  Sorry Guys!  LMT has totally been there for us before, but seems like they made a huge mistake.

Go right now!  I'm not posting on Facebook cause I love my readers way more.

4 star downtown - Hilton!

lmtclub (and a 4 star downtown mystery on

Tell you what if you want messages when I find bargains go friend me on FB.  I'm Sonya Desilets, I'm cuddling a toddler and my big timeline photo is the avatar family group shot.

OK, I made a FB group for us -

I'll post there too, ok?

EDIT to add: Yes this could be cancelled.  I have no control over that.  I will say I booked the Hilton for $88/night through LMT maybe 3 years ago and it worked out fine.  That doesn't mean everything will be fine this time too.  If you have another ressie, maybe don't cancel it yet.  Howevr LMT doesn't send your name to the hotel until a few weeks before you arrive.  Until then LMT (or their corporate name) is what the rooms are booked under.  I used to have this in a FAQ somewhere, maybe I should post it again.


Hotwire findings

Today was the first day you could book Thurs-Tues on Hotwire, and it appears Hotwire has some goodies for us.

I see three hotels
-one four star (probably the omni) $196/night
-one three star (either the Holiday Inn downtown or the Holiday inn SCC) $120/night
-and one 2 star - probably the Days Inn (now Hotel Atl) for $101/night

(Hotel names are my best guess.  Book at your own risk.)

LMT has bookends, but only Wednesday and Monday nights, for the Westin and Marriott.

I haven't been posting much lately, but that's primarily because I haven't felt the need.  There really isn't much to post about.  This year will probably be similar to last year.  Lately I see people on the D*C FB page post when they find things, and they go within minutes.  Apparently the Hyatt was $140/night (prepaid) during con (for next con).  Someone else wrote me and mentioned that the Sheraton was $178/night if you prepaid and you could call them and ask them about it.  I wish I has the money, cause I'd totally take that.  Ah, how my standards have fallen.

Good News. About damn time - WESTIN $144!

  Hooray, many room openings today!

Westin! $239/night available most places. so choose your favorite rewards site, get a coupon and go!

example coupon code - HAUFLA10 or SUMMERFUN9  Knocks it down to $210 :)

Some 4 star downtown is $144/night on Hotwire!!  Update - intrepid reader and co-contributor Richard took the plunge and booked the Westin through Hotwire!

Man I wish I had the cash to take advantage of this.  Enjoy the great deal guys!

It might be the Omni, but it also might be the Sheraton.  Take your risks.  There's also a chance they bumped a 3.5 star to a 4 star for no particular reason.  I have no guarantees.  I have a $144/night downtown hotel 2 and a half weeks before D*C, so play the lottery if you like.  Let us know if you book it!

So admittedly by previous years' standards it's not much, but go get it while you can. 

A sale on Holiday Inn SCC $154/night at Hotwire

Yep, this is all I have for posting.  There's sale on the HISCC (and it's available again) over at Hotwire.  At $154/night it seems reasonable to me.  It's the 3 star downtown.  If it's not the HISCC it's the Holiday Inn Downtown (you can never be 100% sure on Hotwire which it is).  Sure, it's not walkable, but there are no under $200/night hotels that are, and it's an overflow this year.  Heck The Marriott just dropped price from $550 to $429 for non-con-rate rooms  That and a 10% off coupon from orbitz or might get you a total rate under $400.  Woo?

Hotwire Mystery 3 star, and the Holiday Inn Downtown

Hotwire has a new 3-star mystery for us today.  It's $155/night Thurs-Tues, $133/night Weds-Tues.
Free Internet, Fitness Center, Pool(s), Restaurant(s), Accessible for the blind

Now usually this would mean the Holiday Inn Downtown, as when the Holiday Inn Select Capitol Center is offered they don't usually mention a pool.  However it's not as if the HISCC doesn't have a pool.  It does.  It's just that it's usually never mentioned in the Hotwire amenities description.  Whereas they always say the Holiday Inn Downtown (which is a very walkable distance) has a pool.

This might be the Holiday Inn Downtown, but since it's not much of a savings, I'd say you're better off booking from known-name site. If you want the Holiday Inn Downtown, it's available all over right now.  Even Expedia has it, so there's no need to go through Hotwire :).  Here it is at Expedia (where you can use coupons!)-





$158 $190 $190 $135 $126
averaging 159/night

Or how about at for $156/night

Look, for those of you ousted by Days Inn/Hotel Atl this might be a viable alternative.  Sure it's nto a host hotel, but honey con is 3 months away.  I would be thankful for getting a walkable hotel unfer $200/night at this point.  Sure the Westin might show up at Hotwire (as usual), but then again it might not.  Why not get a cancel-able ressie here, and pray for the Westin in your spare time :).

A strange workaround for the Marriott - yes you can get it for con rate (or lower) right now!

So Marriott is running a promotion-

Earn up to two free nights at any of our 3,600+ hotels worldwide with Marriott Rewards® Unexpected Bonus.

To earn your free nights:

  • Register by July 31, 2013

  • Stay twice at any participating hotel between May 15 and September 2, 2013

  • Earn one free night after each second paid stay, up to two free nights

  • Enjoy your free nights at any category 1-5 hotel worldwide

I've included the further terms below.  Note you can stay in *any* Marriott type hotel, and the free nights you get show up as usable within 3-5 days of your two qualifying stays.  So here's my thought-
Go stay two separate single nights at a Fairfield Inn and Suites or some such.  Invite your friends over, have a party.  I can find one local to me that's only $99/night (Fairfield Inn), so check your locations too.  You might even be able to find it cheaper!

Imagine me staying four total separate nights in this Fairfield Inn (total cost around $400).  Then I get my two bonus nights redeemable for any 1-5 category hotel (includes the Marriott Marquis).  I book Fri and Saturday with rewards stays, pay $400 for additional nights or pick up bookends at LMTClub (or similar) for around $100-150, and can make the whole thing work under or around con rate.  And I get four separate bonus nights at other random hotels!

Want it better?  Get a friend who has also registered for Marriott rewards to do additional single night stays (since it's a limit of 2 bonus stays per person).  Then you can get Fri/Sat with your bonus stays and Sun/Mon with theirs.  Or preferably Thurs/Fri and Sat/Sun since I think Monday bookends might still be available.

If you have to register for Marriott rewards and don't already have an account, there's some chance the promo it won't work.  Try this linky http:// and log into your account.  If you don't see the offer, try calling customer service and mentioning this offer.

To make this work you need to have registered for Marriott's reward club thingy.  How low you can get this price depends on how cheaply you can find nights at Marriott-partner hotels.
Good Luck!

further terms and details -

Marriott Rewards® Unexpected Bonus Terms and Conditions

  1. Registration is required.

  2. Marriott Rewards members who register for this promotion by July 31, 2013 will earn one (1) free night award at a category 1-5 hotel after each second paid stay made between May 15 and September 2, 2013, at a participating Marriott property.

  3. Maximum two (2) free night awards earned with this promotion per member.

  4. A stay is defined as consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, regardless of check-in/check-out activity.

  5. The member receiving this offer has been specifically targeted and the offer is not transferable.

  6. An earned free night award can be redeemed for a future stay at participating Marriott Rewards category 1-5 properties for one (1) free night.

  7. Free night award will expire one (1) year after the date of issuance.

  8. An earned free night award is good for one (1) single or double occupancy standard room only and includes the cost of the hotel room and applicable room taxes only.

  9. An earned free night award will be added to the member’s account within 3-5 business days after the second qualifying stay.

  10. Awards are not transferable and may not be given as a gift.

  11. Nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for credit and Marriott Vacation Club® owner-occupied weeks are not eligible for credit.

  12. Only one room per hotel is counted toward a member’s nights or stay.

  13. Members electing to earn miles are not eligible for this promotion.

  14. Participating brands include JW Marriott®, EDITION®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, AC Hotels by MarriottSM, Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, Gaylord Hotels®, Courtyard by Marriott®, SpringHill Suites by Marriott®, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott®, Residence Inn by Marriott®, TownePlace Suites by Marriott® and Marriott Vacation Club.

  15. Stays at our exclusive luxury hotel partner, The Ritz-Carlton®, will count toward achievement.

  16. All Marriott Rewards program terms and conditions apply.

  17. Visit,, or call 888-MARRIOTT (627-7468) for complete details.

© 2013 Marriott International, Inc.