Ft Worth TX - Help with hotel planning

Jul 19th, 2010, 10:44 AM
  #1  
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Ft Worth TX - Help with hotel planning

Will be attending a conference in the Convention Center in Oct. I'm considering staying in the Hilton Garden Inn off I35 north of downtown (inside the 820 loop) and drive into downtown. The nightly rate is $100+ cheaper compared to a hotel close to the CC. However, I think the savings will probably be a wash after adding in car rental + parking + gas + etc. The advantage is that I'll get to use the car to visit friends at night.

To those of you familar with the city, can you tell me how bad is traffic between I35 (north side) + downtown? The good thing is 2 days of the conference are on Sat & Sun, so I only have to deal with traffic on Mon & Tue. Any suggestions/tips?
mmyk72 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2010, 11:50 AM
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I have a home in Fort Worth.

On weekends there's virtually no traffic on I-35 going into or out of the city. If your hotel is inside Loop 820 then it will take you less than 15 minutes getting to the Downtown Convention Center. Monday and Tuesday, however, will be a different story. If you travel during normal rush hours (say between 7:30AM and 9:00AM or between 4:30PM and 6:00PM) all bets are off - that section of I-35 can be at a stanstill. plan on at least a 30 minute drive and if it's a bad traffic day it could take you 45 minutes or longer.

You'll have to figure out your daily car rental and factor in your expected parking at the convention center (probably around $8 to $10/day (sorry I can't be moe specific as I haven't paid for parking downtown in years - I get it free at work) and gas to see if the $100/night savings is worth the added inconvenience of staying outside the city.

If you want to say in the downtown area there are several hotels in close proximity to the Convention Center that you might want to consider - The Courtyard by Marriott or Embassy Suites are only a few blocks away. There's also the Ashton, the Raddison and the new Omni Hotel but they are considerably more expensive.
RoamsAround is online now  
Jul 19th, 2010, 12:33 PM
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Thanks, RoamsAround. It's good to know that I'd need to plan 45 min to drive that short stretch on I35 on Mon & Tue.

I checked on a FW visitors website and it seems there are a lot of surface lots for below $5 a day surrounding the CCand quite a few garages and lots are free on weekends.

I figure I'll break even or better compared to staying near the CC. The hotels $160+ per night for something decent and walkable to the CC. The Hilton Garden Inn outside downtown is under $85. Another plus there is the free wifi (the pricey hotels charge extra for this each day, figure $10-15 per day) and no need to ride taxi or shuttle to/from airport.
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Jul 21st, 2010, 09:46 AM
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Most definitely stay IN downtown. The traffic on 35E North/South is AWFUL especially on workdays.

Perhaps check on I-30 west of downtown - easy access off/on freeway. There is a Spring Hill Suites (by Marriott) I think - at University Drive (10 min. max to get into town). There is a Residence Inn also on University.
jill_h is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 07:15 AM
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Thanks Jill..... So coming into Downtown from the west has lighter traffic than I35?
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Jul 22nd, 2010, 08:13 AM
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Yers, traffic coming inbound from the west on I-30 is usually lighter than coming from the north on I-35. Also, if traffic on I-30 happens to be heavy you the ability to exit I-30 at various places (Camp Bowie, Hulen, Montgomery, Universary, Forest Park) and swing over to Camp Bowie (which runs into West 7th), Lancaster or West 7th itself to get downtown as those roads rarely have any traffic. FYI - it's impractical to take any alternate streets coming in from the northside as there's no direct ways from any of the I-35 exits.

I still recommend staying downtown (lots of restaurants, shops, bars with live entertainment, clubs, etc.) - the added convenience is well worth the extra cost for the room.
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Jul 22nd, 2010, 09:23 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I now booked a new Townplace suites in Downtown (E Belknap St). It seems to be a few blocks outside of where all the activities are, but the price is a bit cheaper and offers free parking.

I figure I can walk to the nearest Trolley stop (4-5 blocks) or walk the entire way to the CC (10 blocks maybe) and it'd take around 30 minutes max. It must be a really new hotel because I can't find any reviews.
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Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:01 AM
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mmyk72 - that area of E. Belknap is not the best location for someone to be out walking. It looks accessible enough by foot, but the area is not desirable. IF you walk to the CC, walk straight down Belknap towards the courthouse, THEN turn left down Houston or Throckmorton to get into a more desirable area. Also, along Belknap there is a lot of construction going on. Personally, I would reconsider your choice. Also, in October it will be getting darker earlier, and I would definitely NOT want to be in that area after dark.
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Jul 22nd, 2010, 12:23 PM
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The reason you haven't read any reviews about Townhouse Suites is it's a brand new hotel which according to the press release (http://www.hotelworldnetwork.com/nor...rth-texas-8615) only opened this past Monday.

That said, I'd have to agree with Jill, the location is at the far northeast cornor of the Fort Worth downtown area. It's going to be a bit of a walk to the convention center. (FYI - we Fort Worthians don't like to walk anywhere especially if we can drive).

I don't know what you are paying for the room but if there's not much difference you'll be better off if you stay closer to the Convention Center.

Go to google maps and enter the address of the hotel (805 E. Belknap) and the find the Convention Center and you'll be able to figure out if you are comfortable with the distances and location. Keep in mind that the downtown hotels previously mentioned are only a few blocks from the CC.
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Jul 22nd, 2010, 01:02 PM
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Here are some hotels that are in better locations; however they are not walking distance to the hotel, you may need to rent a car or take a taxi - not sure if they would have a shuttle service to the convention center:

This first one would be my first choice for location:

SpringHill Suites by Marriott - Fort Worth
3250 Lovell Avenue
(817) 878-2554‎

These are down the street from the first one, but there is some construction on University Drive:

Courtyard Fort Worth University Drive
3150 Riverfront Drive

Residence Inn Fort Worth University
1701 South University Drive

Residence Inn Fort Worth Cultural District
2500 Museum Way

Fairfield Inn & Suites Fort Worth University Drive
1505 S University Drive

A little further out (about 10-15 minutes)
Hampton Inn Ft Worth I-30 West
2700 Green Oaks Road

I would not stay in a hotel along the I-35 corridor - too much traffic; staying west would be your best option - more too choose from.
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Jul 22nd, 2010, 08:48 PM
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thank you all for your invaluable advice. I'll go ahead and book one of the hotels near University Drive and cancel the Townplace Suites. I'm wary of the area sounding a little seedy.

The Fairfield Inn is the least expensive out of the hotels in that area, and I've stayed in other Fairfield Inns before and found them pretty decent. It seems to be almost identical in location to the Springhill Suites.
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Jul 23rd, 2010, 04:04 AM
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The Residence Inn Cultural District is a very nice hotel (much nicer than the average Residence Inn), and it has free shuttle service within a five mile radius.
travelerfromtx is offline  
Aug 13th, 2010, 02:24 PM
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If I were you, I would just stay downtown and use Priceline. I have had great success using Priceline in conjunction with another website called Better Bidding. You can pretty much predict which hotel you will receive based on the bid you place. www.betterbidding.com It's saved me so much money. A friend of mine took my advice for his trip to Hawaii and saved about $700 on his hotel room for the 8 days he was there. Then you can get a nice hotel, downtown, forget the rental car and you'll be set! Hope it works out for ya!
sgarrad24 is offline  
Oct 17th, 2010, 06:43 PM
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mmyk - have you been to FW yet?
jill_h is offline  
Jan 28th, 2011, 01:02 PM
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Just want to update you guys on what I did, and serve as referenece for someone else who may also be in FW Downtown on business.

At the end, I stayed at the new Townplace suites in Downtown (E Belknap St). Location wise, it was not very 'walkable' to the more exciting DT areas where the restaurants are, and too far to the convention center. It was ok for me since I just hop in my car and the drive was <5 min.

Parking was real easy.... Sat/Sun: plenty of free metered street parking. I actually didn't know Sat was free and used a paid lot. There was a festival in Sundance that Saturday and all parking lots were full by evening (but I was already parked so no problem for me). For weekdays, there are plenty of paid lots and I found one near the Worker's Commission building 3-4 blocks from the Convention center for $5. Most others are $7+ and accept credit cards in a self-serve machine at the lot. At night, the lots in Sundance are free.

As far as the hotel itself, it was very nice. Breakfast was a bit skimpy but nonetheless has what I needed (milk, cereal, yogurt). The room is spacious, includes kitchenette, still feels brand new. Staff are wonderful.

Overall, I'd say the decision was a good one and saved me some money without much inconvenience at all.
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