Hotel & Deposit FAQ

General: Wi-Fi - Hotel - Room Cancellations - Party Hosts - Suites
Special Requests: Accessible Rooms - Cots, Cribs, Fridges - Special Placement - Connecting Rooms - Waiting List
Policies: Deposit Policy


The Westin has free WiFi in their hotel lobby, but charges for WiFi in the meeting rooms. Westin hotel guests will be given an account number to use WiFi in their hotel rooms at no charge.

The Westin Boston Waterfront

All of Arisia's functions and parties will be at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. The Westin has more Kings than Doubles.

Arisia has blocked most, but not all, of the rooms at the Westin. We will be sharing some of the guest room floors with non-Arisia guests. We have an Active block (noisier, near parties), a Standard block (rooms further away from parties), and a Staff block, all of which are arranged to include both King and Double rooms. While 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.

The Westin (and fire code) does not permit more than four people to share a hotel room.

Cooking food in hotel rooms is not permitted. The rooms do not have the necessary ventilation to deal with cooking odors. The only exception to this rule is for medical needs. There is a nearby hotel that have full kitchens (including a stove top) in their guest rooms.. Please contact the Innkeeper (@email) for more information.

The Westin does not permit smoking anywhere in the hotel. There will be a $200 cleaning fee charged for smoking anywhere in the hotel, including guest rooms. This includes vaping and cannabis.

Make reservations at the Westin using the Arisia's reservation pages for our event, located in links at the bottom of this page. You should receive an email with an acknowledgment and a confirmation code. Save this information.

Room Cancellations

Please contact @email to cancel a room. Do not contact the Westin to cancel a room. This way we can assign your room to the next person on the waiting list. Please include your confirmation code. Cancelling too close to the event may incur a fee; please cancel as soon as you know you can't make it!

Party Hosts

If you would like to host a party (open or closed), please go to the Suites and Party Host Instructions page. If you have any further questions, please contact @email.


Suites at the Westin are limited and will be allocated by the second week of November. Please follow the instructions at the Suites and Party Host Instructions page, even if you're not hosting a party by October 16th if you are interested in reserving a suite. All suites have King beds. Some of the suites have sofabeds as well.

If you have any further questions, please contact @email.

Special Requests

You need to make a special request if:

All special requests must be made by Dec 16th.

Handicapped-Accessible Rooms

The Westin has 16 King rooms and 15 Doubles set aside for those with accessibility needs. All such rooms have larger doorways and accessible fixtures in the bathroom. Some of these rooms have a bathroom with a tub and hand bars, and others have roll-in showers.

If you need an accessible hotel room, please make a standard reservation first, then request an accessible room through the Special Request Form.

Cots, Rollaways, and Cribs

Please request these add-ons through the Special Request Form. Requests made on the Westin's web site during the room registration process will not be accommodated; you must use our request form. The deadline for requests is December 5th.

King rooms or suites (but not doubles) may request a single cot. There is space to bring your own inflatable bed in most rooms as well.

Any type of room may request a crib.

All guest rooms now have small fridges, so you no longer need to request a fridge.

Family Block

If you want to be housed in the Westin Hotel close to Childcare and close to other families with children Fast Track age and younger, you can request placement in the family block.

  1. Make a Westin reservation for the active block
  2. Fill out the special request form and specify family block

Placement in the family block does not guarantee you a babysitting membership, or vice-versa. See registration for information about how to purchase a babysitting membership.

Special Placement (Shabbat, Staff, etc)

If you have a request for special placement of your room, please use the Special Request Form to let us know. Examples of special placement are low floor, close to Staff Den, close to babysitting services (family block), or near a specific party suite. Please reserve a normal room before making a special request.

Connecting Rooms

All connecting rooms in the hotel connect from a King room to a Double room via a door in a shared wall. You cannot get two Doubles or two Kings that connect. To request a pair of connecting rooms, please make reservations for both a King room and a Double room (both rooms must be in the same block, active or standard), then fill out the Special Request Form including confirmation numbers for both rooms. Connecting rooms requests are subject to availability, and the deadline for requests is November 30th.

Waiting List

We expect The Westin to sell out of rooms. However, we expect some rooms to free up as people's plans for Arisia change, and convention functions are solidified. Please fill out our Special Request Form to be added to the waiting list or request a modification to your reservation.

Once the Westin sells out of rooms via the online room reservation system, that does not mean that no more rooms are available. Because of our unique blocking requirements combined with the constraints of the Westin's booking systems, less than the full inventory of rooms available to Arisia are available for reservations via the online system. While we have taken steps to ensure more successful reservations, we still expect there to be some people who are not able get a room at first. Don't Panic. We guarantee that the first 30+ people on the wait list will get a room, though it might not be the exact room type or block that they want, and we expect that those further down the list will get their room requests fulfilled. Some wait list requests may not get filled until the week of the convention. If you have requested a room via the wait list, but no longer need that room, please e-mail @email to have your name removed.

What is the Westin deposit policy?

The Westin will charge a non-refundable deposit equal to one (1) night's stay plus applicable taxes roughly one month prior to the convention. This deposit will be applied to the final room bill. To cancel a room without having to pay the deposit, you must contact the Arisia Innkeeper by December 9th at @email. This deposit rule applies only to reservations made at The Westin, the primary convention hotel, and not the overflow hotel.

If you do not have a valid credit card on file at the date the deposit is charged the room reservation will be cancelled. This is a function of The Westin's system not under Arisia control.

Why does the Westin require a deposit?

In the past, Arisia has had an issue with members reserving one or more rooms at The Westin "just in case" and not cancelling the reservation until the very last minute. This has led to having many rooms left empty during Arisia because people on the waitlist will have made other arrangements by the time these rooms open up. By having a full month to get people off the waitlist we can accommodate more people. Historically, the number of cancellations was 50+ in the week prior to Arisia. Despite a waitlist of over 100 a week beforehand, we ended up with empty rooms over the convention weekend because most people on the waitlist could not change their plans on such short notice.

How does this rule help?

The intent of this rule is to encourage members to cancel any reservations that they will not use in enough time for the Innkeeper staff to reassign the rooms to people on the waitlist, such that we will minimize the number of rooms left empty during the convention.

What other ways have we tried to fix this?

Arisia has made an effort to encourage people to cancel their unneeded reservations earlier, posting reminders to social media and the Progress Reports sent via email.
Arisia does overbook our hotel room block (meaning, we accept more reservations than the number of rooms we have available) in order to easily manage the large number of cancellations we get, which took several years of negotiating before The Westin would allow it; however, this alone has not had a large enough impact.
We discussed many other options with The Westin, but based on several limitations, including the hotel's electronic reservation system and what we were willing to impose on our members, this method was the best compromise and has performed well so far.

What if I can’t afford a deposit in December?

The deposit rule applies only to reservations at The Westin. For this year, the overflow hotel block will be at the Aloft, which is across the street from The Westin and only a half block from the lower entrance on D street, located near the Grand Ballrooms. There is no deposit charged for reservations made at the overflow hotel.

Are there any exemptions?

If you can’t afford the deposit in December and have a justifiable need to stay in The Westin, as opposed to staying at the overflow hotel, you may contact the Innkeeper staff and request an exemption. Exemptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

How does this impact volunteers using one of the Space Pilot programs?

The standard Space Pilot program (wherein a volunteer agrees prior to the convention to work a minimum number of hours at-con in exchange for being assigned a sleeping space in a room with other volunteers for the duration of the convention) is operated out of the overflow hotel and therefore the deposit does not apply.
The new Space Pilot program (wherein a volunteer agrees prior to the convention to work a minimum number of hours at-con in exchange for Arisia to pay for (1) night of their hotel stay) is operated out of The Westin and therefore the deposit rule does apply. If a group of individuals staying in the same room all sign up for this program, such that every night in the hotel is covered by Arisia, the Innkeeper staff will work with the Space Pilot program head to determine the appropriate path forward on a case-by-case basis.

What happens to my deposit if…?

In case of emergency, like an illness or severe weather, please contact the Innkeeper staff as soon as possible and we will do our best to advocate for you with the hotel to get your deposit refunded. These situations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but The Westin has a history of being accommodating when it comes to last minute emergencies and we have no reason to believe they will not continue to be so.
After the deadline has passed, members may contact the Innkeeper staff to transfer their room(s) to a specific individual(s). Any financial arrangements would be between those members and Arisia would not facilitate any monetary transfer.
Anyone on the waitlist getting a newly released room will be charged the deposit at the time of the reservation assignment.

If you have any specific questions not answered here, you may contact the Arisia Innkeeper staff at @email. Any general feedback on this rule may be sent to @email.