Discussion in 'Star Wars Celebrations' started by Obi Anne
, May 16, 2018.
No worries. It's all the same info that people will want to see. Better to have it in more places than not.
Glad to help, I called to verify my reservation and they gave me that info. Hotel said there'd be a schedule posted at the desk on the hours the shuttle will run.
Will there be shuttles to the convention center? I hope so, that could make or break this Cele.!
People who have emailed ReedPop have been told there will be but nothing has been officially announced yet.
I did call Reed to find out about if rooms would be set aside for Fan storage of their merchandise and costume equipment during the con. they gave me an email address to write the request in for consideration by the celebration staff. I told the person(or was it a droid?) that this service was essential due to the security rules for the arena and the far flung hotel problems. I hope to hear from them. They said to write in the question.
We don't know how security will be yet.
So around when will they charge your account for the deposit for the hotel? I know onpeak said roughly a month out so I assume with the first 2 weeks of March?
When I had looked at hotels through OnPeak I was under the impression that the deposit would be taken immediately, but that you may still cancel up to 72 hours ahead of time and get a full refund on that deposit. You might want to check and make sure you weren't already charged.
No. They're supposed to charge you for the first night a month out.
So I check in to my hotel on the 10th, so I assume around the 8th-10th of March, the reservations switch over to the hotel and I will be charged the deposit?
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That's my understanding.
I ended up booking a hotel way closer to Navy Pier than the convention center. But that's the unfortunate reality of a lot of the reservations at this point. I will just take a cab from the convention when I'm done.
I assume for people that have made reservations this late?
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There's still plenty of rooms available through OnPeak. In fact, more than there had been a couple of weeks ago. When I checked then there were about 5-6 hotels that were completely sold out. Now it's only showing as three. And there were only a couple of hotels that had all the core Celebration dates available (Wed-Mon). They must have opened up more rooms at several of them, because I don't think that many people would have cancelled their reservations in the last two weeks. And going through a lot of them still show plenty of rooms available for all the nights needed. All of the available hotels are in downtown though, which is about 3-4 miles away depending on which one you are looking at.
We normally don't refer to a Chicago City Center, but refer to it as “The Loop”. So yes, on the map the Loop is located about 2-3 miles north of McCormick. McCormick is located in a neighborhood called the “Near South Side”. (Note that the Near South Side is different from the SOUUUTTTHH side—more on this later).
(From Wiki: The area known as the Loop is a section within downtown, surrounded by elevated tracks of the rapid transit network. Many of downtown's commercial, cultural, and financial institutions are located in the Loop. Today, the Loop is also used to identify the larger downtown area).
North of the Loop is referred to as the “Near North Side”, which is home to the River North neighborhood (From Wiki: River North contains the Magnificent Mile, a concentration of high-end retail. The central area is home to Grant and Millennium Parks, skyscrapers, museums, and shopping; and is the site of the city's largest parades: the annual Christmas, Thanksgiving and Saint Patrick's Day parades).
South of the Loop is referred to as the “Near South Side”. (From Wiki: Along Lake Shore Drive, the Near South Side includes some of Chicago's best-known structures: Soldier Field, home of the NFL's Chicago Bears; McCormick Place, Chicago's primary convention center; the Museum Campus, which contains the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium; and Northerly Island).
While the Near South Side is very tourist-friendly, I would not venture to the SOUUUTTTHH Side (Note: “Near South Side” is different from the “South Side”).
If you venture west of the Near South Side, my personal experience is that the Lower West Side and Armour Square communities are pretty safe but are not mainstream-tourist-friendly like the Loop/Near South Side/Near North Side. Lower West Side consists of the Pilsen neighborhood which has a lot of Hispanic influence and is a gathering point for the artist-type (very hip). However, the last time I checked, the Pilsen Roadhouse hotel was already booked.
The Armour Square community consists of the Chinatown and Bridgeport neighborhoods. If you are looking at the map of the Loop, it looks like it’s west of it. I personally have a lot of experience in these neighborhoods and I feel safe, although it is not mainstream-tourist-friendly like the Loop/Near South Side/Near North Side.
I know someone who is going to Celebration who has booked at the brand new Jaslin Hotel in Chinatown. It’s an 8 minute drive to McCormick Place West. Public transportation will take you about 15 minutes ($2.25 one way). Rates are $200 per night and the last time I checked they still had availability.
As for staying 5-6 miles west of McCormick, I wouldn’t recommend it. You can go 2-3 miles tops but hotels are very limited. Also, definitely do not go south of McCormick since you are not familiar with the neighborhoods. I personally never had issues but that’s because I know how to navigate around the area.
@Ms_Elizabeth_Darthee: Thank you very much for your write up regarding Chicago. It was very informative and exactly what I had been looking for.
I do have one question though. Right now I am currently booked at the South Loop Hotel. On google maps it appears to be about a mile west of McCormick Place and just a bit south of it. I've read fairly mixed reviews about the area it is in. And with your indication that going further south than McCormick place would not be advisable, I'm now wondering if I ought to cancel that reservation and book a hotel in downtown. What would your advice on that be?
You should be fine and it's not that far from McCormick either. It looks like it's gonna take less than 5 minutes by car and less than 10 minutes via the CTA. There is a CTA bus stop by the hotel too.
I booked a hotel through OnPeak anyway. It's the St. Clair Hotel, which is located right in that cluster of all the other hotels being offered through OnPeak. As it turns out, that was one I had previously been looking at anyway since it is a significant price drop from where I am currently booked and might be worth staying there as a result. When I had looked previously it wasn't available for the days I needed, but it is today. I'm still a little bit skeptical about the South Loop Hotel, so I figure I have time to decide which one I want to go with.
Thank you for your informative responses.
We are at the Marriott Mag Mile . Was hoping for a little bit closer but looks like a decent hotel with places inside and close to eat / drink
Go team Marriott Mag Mile!
I do like that there are a lot of food options up there. I don't really want to eat bad, overpriced convention center food all week.
I've got a friend who's staying at the St. Clair Looks like there's plenty of good places to eat near there and the L train station is only a few minutes walk away.
South Loop Hotel is definitely closer (walking from there looks to be about the same time, door to door, as St. Clair is when using the L). I think South Loop should be slightly nicer (just based on star ratings, not on experience) but there's less around in the area.
The hotel itself is nice. It's the immediate surrounding area that I'm concerned about. Reviews online about that say it's iffy. Originally I stuck with that reservation because it was close and it wasn't much more expensive than a lot of the other hotels offered through OnPeak. So that would have been worth the extra expense. But now that I was able to book the St. Clair, which provided a significant price drop for me than the South Loop, I'm reconsidering. I have both booked at the moment and still have time to decide.
Tough call. From what I've read the location of South Loop Hotel itself is fine but you don't really want to be walking much further south. Not that you have need to.
I guess it comes down to walking distance vs cheaper/potentially nicer area/more local restaurants.
Door to door to McCormick, walking time from South Loop seems about comparable to walk/L Train/walk from St Clair. South Loop to McCormick would be faster if you get the bus (you'd have to see how frequently they run compared with the trains which are about every 8 minutes).
With the L train running so frequently and being so close, I'd be tempted to save the money. Plus there's potentially a shuttle service to be announced as well. But there's something nice about being within walking distance.
I'm leaning towards that at the moment. It's a give and take. Be within walking distance and pay more. Or not be within walking distance and pay significantly less, a much less amount where it might be worth foregoing the walking distance.
Another big factor for me is that I'm going to the movie screenings each night. And I was advised you definitely don't want to be walking from McCormick to the South Loop potentially past midnight, which is usually when the screenings are over, sometimes later even. Which kind of defeats the purpose of being in walking distance if I can't actually walk to it. So no matter what, I'd be cabbing back at night anyway, which makes that another reason for me to lean towards the St. Clair.