Anime North hotels are something everyone thinks about all-year round, even though the con only happens once a year! Here me out.
Although Anime North is over for the year and you had an awesome time, don’t kick up your feet just yet; in the next few months, the Anime North 2021 hotels you want for next year will likely release their room blocks! I remember a few years back, I actually booked an Anime North hotel room for the following year on the Sunday of the current year!
Basically, I booked a room more than 1 year in advance. That’s how crazy and difficult it can be to get the most desirable hotel spots at Anime North. Thankfully though, it’s not as hectic and now you have to wait a bit before they open. I think that’s fairer to everyone.
I know some of you guys definitely want to stay in one of the “big three” Anime North 2021 hotels: the Delta, the Radisson or the Sheraton (i.e. the main hotels that are closest to the action). So here are some quick tips on making sure you get that hotel room at the convention discounted rate (and not the inflated regular rate, which I will explain in a minute):
1) Find out the exact weekend when Anime North is taking place next year
Check the official website to check the dates for Anime North 2021 hotels. But if it’s not up there, it’s always the same weekend (EDIT: I meant the weekend AFTER) Victoria Day in Canada. I have noticed this and a staff of Anime North confirmed it for me as well. It’s good to know the exact date just in case some hotel messes up and decides to open their room blocks earlier than they should have. If this happens, the people that know the exact date will get the rooms first.
Case in point – About 5-6 years ago, one of the hotels for Anime North allowed guests to book room as far as one year in advance. So that meant you could technically book the room for next year’s Anime North before the previous one was even over. And that’s what we did – since we knew the exact date of the following year, we were the first to get the rooms. It was also one of the first to sell out right away because of that. But that was 5-6 years ago, so that probably won’t happen. And rightfully so; to me that’s unfair.
2) Follow the official Facebook page to find out when the Anime North 2021 hotels open their reservations
I find Anime North posts updates far more often than on their website, so be sure to follow the following pages for the most up-to-date information for when the Anime North 2021 hotels room blocks will open:
Anime North Compass: https://www.facebook.com/AnimeNorthCompass/
Official Anime North Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OfficialAN/
3) Double check and contact the Anime North hotels directly to confirm the date when the room blocks open
Most of the time AN will have the exact date when the hotel rooms will open to the public. But there were times when the date I got from AN and the date from the actual hotel was different. Sometimes mistakes and errors happen, such as when the Delta hotel leaked the hotel rooms early in 2017. So you definitely want to double check and find out. After you call the hotel and confirm the date, if it matches the one that Anime North has posted, then you’re good. If it’s not the same, then contact Anime North to confirm which date is correct.
4) Once you have a firm date when the room blocks open, mark it on your calendar
If the hotel rooms open up like 5 or 6 months from now, you’re not going to remember! I certainly wouldn’t. So be sure to mark the date on your calendar. (I actually have a schedule where I have a bunch of convention-related dates: which cons I’m attending for the year, which hotel reservations I currently have and how long I have to cancel, and dates when hotel blocks open for future cons).
Also, once you know the date, figure out if you’re able to actually book the hotel at the scheduled time. For example, I find the hotels like to open their room blocks at 10 A.M. on a weekday. Back then, I used to work at that time. So if you cannot, either get a friend to book it for you, or arrange something with work.
5) On the day of, setup your computer and mobile phone 5-10 minutes before the scheduled time
If the Anime North hotels and their room blocks open at 10 AM, you want to have your phone and computer setup by 9:50 AM. That way you can book your room as soon as it opens up. Have your credit/debit card ready to go as well.
(NOTE: If the hotel says they’re “sold out” before the hotel blocks are open, don’t worry. It’s sold out because Anime North took all the hotel rooms that they haven’t released yet. So the general public cannot just book a room on their own, and have to wait until the hotel releases them.)
6) Very important: Set aside at least 1 hour to get this hotel room because it may take a WHILE
This is where I think most people lose out on a hotel room.
As soon as the hotel room blocks open, they see it’s already “sold out.” And from there, they quit and be sad.
But it’s not actually sold out. Keep in mind that there are tons of other people trying to book the same hotel you are. So of course the website is going to glitch out and not work.
The best thing is to just keep trying. Call the hotel if the website is not working.
You might get the hotel room right away. Or it may take you an hour until the damn website finally gives you the hotel booking confirmation.
Unless the Anime North Facebook website confirms all the hotel rooms are sold out, just assume they’re still available.
7) Make sure you get an email confirmation
Before you log off your computer and move on from the stressful hotel booking, make sure you get an email confirmation. That way you know for sure you got the hotel room!
8) If the hotel rooms sell out and you didn’t get one, don’t worry. You still have a few options:
- Get on their wait list – Some hotels offer a wait list, so if someone cancels, you’ll be next up in line.
- Book another hotel instead – it may not be as close as the one you originally wanted. But there’s a bunch of good hotels around, and you may even get one at a cheaper rate.
- Book the hotel outside of the Anime North rate – Sometimes you may be able to book any of the Anime North hotels if you don’t try using the AN discount. You can find these rooms through third party sites like Hotels.com. Or even Anime North has a few extra rooms to giveaway. Keep in mind that it’ll be way more expensive. But if you don’t care about the costs, this is a method to get the hotel you want.
- Wait closer to the convention for last-minute cancellations – As I talk about in a previous post, you can get a room when the con is very close. Part of the reason why these Anime North hotels sell out so fast is because of the lenient cancellation policies; you can cancel your reservation a few days, sometimes even the day of, without any financial penalty! So who wouldn’t want to book a room? You can always cancel if you cannot make it. And that’s exactly what happens. Plans change and people cancel their reservation because they cannot attend Anime North that year. That’s where you can take their reservation and book.
To summarize everything up, here are the steps to take to get the Anime North hotel room you want:
- Find out the exact weekend when Anime North is taking place next year.
- Follow Anime North’s Facebook pages for the official dates when the hotel blocks open.
- Double check and contact the hotels directly to confirm the date when the room blocks open.
- Once you have a firm date when the room blocks open, mark it on your calendar.
- On the day of, setup your computer and mobile phone 5-10 minutes before the scheduled time.
- Very important: Set aside at least 1 hour to get this hotel room because it may take a WHILE.
- Make sure you get an email confirmation.
- If the hotel rooms sell out and you didn’t get one, don’t worry. You still have a few options!
See I was nice enough to summarize everything for you lazy readers out there. 🙂
So I hope this post helps you guys get the Anime North hotel room you want. This is the procedure I normally do to get whichever room I want. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be only an elevator ride away from the convention? 🙂
Once you get the hotel you want, be sure to manage it properly. Decide how many roommates you want and pick them carefully!
How has your hotel booking experience been with AN? Let me know in the comments!