Call the Renissance today. Ask for the front dest manager and tell him/her you are interviewing with SWA. Bring your letter with you at check in and it is only about $55 a night. This is by far the nicest hotel and at the best price too. Food is at 50% off (the standard SWA rate). So go enjoy a good dinner and have a $1 beer too. This will help you relax and get a good night sleep for the big day. I also did 25 minutes on the treadmill to keep the nerves down. The next day in the people department you will quickly find all the anxiety gone and will actually find the process fun!
I went down early for some interview prep prior to the Interview. I stayed at the Holiday Inn then moved to the Renissance for the night prior to the interview.
The Holiday inn was nice and about half the price. No complaints.
I had heard that the Renissance is were everyone from SWA stays so I went there for one night. I tried to get the $55 rate, showed the letter and everything, no deal. Got a military rate instead at about $90. It is very nice and I did get the special on the food and drink. Great breakfast in the morning too. I went down to the bar and talked to guys who were in class and one of the retired captains that interviewed me the next day.
Word of caution, there is risk and reward in that type of environment. The opportunity to say the wrong thing even before the interview starts the next day is there so be careful. I had dinner and a couple of drinks and called it a night. Met some great people that I am now lucky enough to be working with starting next month.
Renaissance for sure. If you can get in, Great. If it is booked, don't sweat it. Also, don't sweat saying the wrong thing in front of anyone, unless you are a moron. I would assume you are motivated, qualified, and damn happy to be showing up for an interview, so what could you say to upset anyone? You might overhear some guy who is taking his off probation check at the other table in the bar/restaurant. Ask him/her about the LOI and the interview, at least in general terms. Odds are 100 to 1 they had a positive experience and so will help put you at ease. Oh yeah, offer to buy him/her a beer. Probably won't accept, but can't hurt. 2 beer limit the night prior for sure, 1 even better. Good luck.
I stayed there in mid-July, and though I was able to get in, I wasn't able to get the cheapest rate (the $58 [?] rate) because the place was almost full with a Mary Kay convention. So it cost me about $120 a night. They said it was still a SWA rate, they just couldn't offer the super-low rate because they were packed.
Nice hotel, though. As a regional pilot, I felt very out of place.
Renaissance is nice. I stayed there for the SWA rate. A lot of new hires and other employees frequent the bar in the lobby. Good chance to talk to some other people (last minute gouge, relax, whatever). I got lucky and ran into an old friend who wrote an online rec for me. GOOD LUCK!