Contact the Innkeeper (@email) if you have a hotel question not answered here or if you need more information.
Key dates for Arisia 2019
- Thursday, Sep. 13 - Reservations open to public
- Monday, Oct. 15 - Suite Requests due
- Monday, Dec. 10 - Deadline to cancel Westin rooms or update credit card info before deposit collected
- Monday, Dec. 17 - Deposit collected for Westin rooms
- Monday, Dec. 17 - Special Requests due
- Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 - Final deadline to cancel reservations
- Monday, Jan. 14 - Beginning of our special rate
- Thursday, Jan. 25 - End of our special rate
- Room blocks and types
- Special Requests
- Getting Here
Dealing with Reservations
Don’t panic if your desired room block and type comes up as full! Although we ultimately fill the hotel, we block only enough initial rooms to meet our contractual requirements and avoid being charged for empty rooms. We request a smaller number of rooms on Thursday, Monday, and Tuesday. When the blocks sell out, we gather up the requests and work with the hotel to add rooms and nights to our blocks.
You can use the special request form to ask for a shift to your desired reservation. As we shift reservations to Suites and Accessible rooms slots open up for additional requests.
The last big shift happens in December when we get cancellations for the Westin before the deposit is collected. We get a small number of rooms very close to con as members have to back out at the last minute. These shifts enable us to take many names off the waitlist and give people the rooms and nights they request.
Historically, we have not sold out the Aloft and you are encouraged to make a reservation there if you can’t get anything at the Westin. Doing so does not affect your Westin waitlist status. Aloft rooms do not require a deposit so you may cancel without penalty so long as you give enough notice.
Arisia has blocked most, but not all, of the rooms at the Westin into Staff, Standard, and Active as described below. All of the Westin blocks include Kings and Doubles. We have a contract with The Aloft for several hundred rooms, but they are not divided into blocks.
Westin Block Types
All our sleeping rooms at The Westin are designated as being part of a Staff, Standard, or Active block. All the blocks include Kings and Doubles. Suites are handled by a separate process.
We will have some floors that are all specifically Active rooms. Every hotel floor, including those that are mostly standard or mostly staff, have suites that might contain parties. We will be sharing some of the guest room floors with non-Arisia guests.
- Active Block
- These rooms are expected to be noisier because they are near parties or are part of Family Block or are near the elevators.
- Standard Block
- A normal hotel experience is expected here. We used to call this "Quiet Block" but that created an expectation that didn’t match reality. As noted, Standard block areas may have parties in them.
- Staff Block
- We select some floors of the hotel to be heavily occupied by convention staff. These blocks allow staff easy access to where they need to be to make the convention run, and operate with the understanding that Arisia staff may be on duty, or returning to their rooms, 'round the clock.
Both The Westin and The Aloft have rooms called "doubles" but they are configured differently, as below. Both have rooms called "king" with similar configurations. All Suites are in The Westin - we do not use any suites in The Aloft.
- A single room with one king-sized bed.
- A single room with two beds. In The Westin, these are bed size 'double'; in The Aloft these are bed size 'Queen'.
- A pair of rooms designed to be used together, generally with one sleeping room and one parlor room, which may have a pull-out bed. Allocation of suites is managed by the Party Czar team. See the Parties page.
- Connecting rooms
- A pair of rooms that share a common wall and doors that go through this wall without going out into the hotel hallway. In The Westin most of these connecting rooms are made up of one King room and one Double room.
Special Hotel Requests
The Special Request Form https://www.arisia.org/requests is the umbrella method for all requests to the Innkeeper, and to get on a waitlist. Examples include changing the duration of a stay, asking for a different room type or location, configuring a room a certain way, and making an accessibility need known.
Filling the request form out allows us to keep track of everyone’s requests and to process them in the order received. Requests are generally processed in the order received and all forms should be submitted by December 17th.
You will need your reservation number (or numbers, if you are asking about multiple rooms) when you submit the Special Request Form. Please have them handy. If you are on the waitlist and don't have a room number, see the next section.
Request Types and Actions
- Arrival Date, Departure Date, Room Block, or Room Type: let us know what you want and we'll try to make it happen. Remember that there are a limited number of any given type of room, a limit on hotel dates, and the hotel has final say on who gets early check-in or late check-out. Within these limits, we'll do our best to meet every request.
- Connect multiple rooms: fill out one Request form with both reservation numbers. Let us know (in the More Information field) if "nearby" is acceptable in case we can't actually give you connected rooms.
- Special location request: We can try to make one of these three location requests happen.
- Shabbat/Low Floor
- Request this if you need to be able to take stairs to your room so the lower the better.
- Family Block, or Near Babysitting
- Request this if you have young fans of the ages that are early to bed and early or noisy to rise or a Turtle Track member and would like to be near other similar groups.
- Open Party Floor
- Request this if you are willing to be in a room with parties all around and lots of people, or if you will be hosting one of those parties. For hosts, please also read all the things on the Party page and fill out their request form. See also Party Buffer below.
- Room feature request: We can work with the hotel on adapting your room in these ways. Ultimately, though, room-setting is done by the hotel and may be limited by their supplies.
- This is a twin bed that can be added to a King room. The hotel has a very limited number of these. We will review the requests in December with the hotel and update your status at that time.
- This is, you know, a crib that can be added to a room. The hotel has a very limited number of these, too. We will review the requests in December with the hotel and update your status at that time.
- No feathers
- The hotel also has a finite number of feather-free bedding sets. A feather-free room has no bedding, pillows, or other furnishings that contain feathers or down.
- Unscented also needs some lead time but there are no capacity limits on this one.
If you have access needs
The accessible-designated rooms at the Westin and Aloft have different features so we want to you in the room that has the features you require. Select the items that apply and use the Other field to give us more detail about what you’re looking for. Usually access requests take precedence over room block but we’ll do our best.
Standard check-in is 3pm, Early check-in is noon. We can't guarantee your room will be ready early. The Westin bellhops are able to store your luggage until your room is ready (please tip them). Early check-in depends on how many reservations the hotel has leaving on the day you’re checking in.
Standard check-out is noon. Anyone can request a late check out of 1 pm or 2 pm by calling the front desk the night before you check out - no special request form needed. Whether the hotel can grant it is controlled by how many people are checking in that day.
Party Buffer room
We encourage party hosts to have friends and co-hosts take buffer rooms adjacent to party space to limit the impact on neighbors. If you are willing to be in such a buffer room, please fill out the Special Request Form and let us know that. Please include the reservation number of the party for which you are willing to buffer, if known.
If you are unable to get any kind of reservation at The Westin, this is the choice for you. Do not despair! Although our room blocks fill up quickly, we do process many people off the waitlist and will work through the list throughout the Fall and December. Historically, we have not sold out the Aloft and you are encouraged to make a reservation there if you can’t get anything at the Westin. An Aloft reservation will not affect your position on the waitlist.
To get on the waitlist, fill out the Special Request Form.
Using Hotel Points to Book a Room
Our contract with the Westin does not allow paying for rooms with points during our event although you will still earn them.
At The Aloft, you cannot use hotel points for reservations booked through the Arisia link but you can book directly on the hotel’s website with points. If you do that, Arisia has no interactions with direct reservations and we won’t be able to help you.
Rooms booked through the Arisia links must be cancelled by filling out the Special Request Form https://www.arisia.org/requests. This way we can assign the room to someone on the waitlist. Cancelling through the hotel makes the freed up room available to the general public at the rack rate and Innkeeper doesn’t get notified.
The hotels (and fire codes) do not permit more than four people to share a hotel room.
Food in Room
All hotel rooms have a mini-fridge. When you arrive, please check that it is plugged in and set for the coldest setting. Mostly suitable for keeping already cold things cold.
Cooking food in hotel rooms is not permitted.
Rooms do not have the necessary ventilation to deal with cooking odors. If you have medical needs, please email the Innkeeper (@email) to review your options. The Element, the hotel next to the Aloft, and the Residence Inn by Marriott Boston Downtown/Seaport are all-suite hotels that have full kitchens, including a stovetop, in their guest rooms.
All hotels in Boston, and all Marriott properties in the US, are smoke-free. Both hotels provide designated smoking areas outside their buildings. Speak to the hotel concierge if you cannot locate the area.
There will be a $200 cleaning fee charged for smoking anywhere in the hotel, including guest rooms. This includes vaping and cannabis.
The Westin has free Wi-Fi in their hotel lobby, but charges for Wi-Fi in the meeting rooms. Westin hotel guests will be given an account number to use Wi-Fi in their hotel rooms at no charge.
Getting to the hotels
Arisia encourages the use of public transport whenever feasible. We have an extensive directions page that includes information on reaching the hotel via airplane, train, car, truck, and bicycle.
The Westin offers limited garage and valet parking. There is no Aloft-owned parking. See the parking page for information on these options, nearby lots, and alternative parking arrangements.