I’d like to thank Summer for submitting this review! Hopefully some of you out there are benefiting from the various hotel reviews that I’ve been posting. If you have one of your own to share just let me know!
Manchester Grand Hyatt & Hilton Bayfront
I am only a two-year San Diego Comic-Con veteran, but I have had some decent luck in the hotel booking thus far. My first con in 2009 started with a near catastrophic mishap regarding a private condo at the Hard Rock – not the hotel’s fault, the private owner we rented from sold the condo and the new owners re-booked without telling us. My Comic-con buddy Kris and I managed to snag a room at the Manchester Grand Hyatt with just about a month left before the con. Kris wanted a hotel close as she wasn’t planning on driving anywhere, and as it was our first trip to SDCC, we planned on spending as much time at the convention center as possible.
The Manchester Grand Hyatt is gorgeous. We’re not super picky with regards to amenities, but we are girls, so cleanliness and comfort are a priority. The MGH did not disappoint. Our room was spacious enough for us to spread our daily freebies out for inspection and comparison, and the beds were super comfortable. Also, the upper levels are super quiet. The staff we met were nice and not at all put out by little things, like my roommate requesting to switch her special Comic-con key card to Supernatural from the original one she was issued ( I think it was Loony Toons). I was more than happy with my Fringe key card. The closet was a little small for two champion over-packers, but we more than made do. The hotel boast a lot of little bonuses. Our room had a mini-fridge so we could keep our drinks cold along with any snacks we had. There is a mini convenience store/gift shop where you can buy extra water, soda, snacks, etc. The bar was really the only loud area, and that was only at night, we couldn’t hear a thing from our rooms. We ate dinner once at the Sports Bar & Grill on the ground floor, the food was good and reasonably priced. There was a small coffee shop next to the sports bar that also had snacks, donuts, cereal, etc. in the mornings, and thru the back of the hotel towards the ocean walk, there is a bigger coffee shop that had hot breakfast sandwiches and pastries as well. For those star gazing, the MGH tends to be where most of the actual comics crowd stay. We met a group of guys from Dark Horse in the elevator. Other than that, I don’t remember seeing or meeting anyone recognizable.
Year two (2010) was our first experience with the official Comic-con booking process. We got a room at the Hilton Bayfront, which was ninth on our list of hotels. Love the proximity, but we were hoping for something a little less pricey. We were one of the lucky few with no problems booking thru the official site, we signed on, input our list and information, and got a room a few minutes later. The Hilton Bayfront is also gorgeous. Again, clean and comfortable were priorities and we were not disappointed. No mini-fridge in our room, but there is an in hotel Starbucks, which is open early. We decided to venture out into the city more this trip, though still on foot the whole time. The Bayfront was perfect because it was close enough to the convention center that we could easily nip back to our room for a rest or a change of clothes between panels/lines and heading out to enjoy the Gaslamp. As many have mentioned before, the Bayfront is perfect for those planning on spending time in Hall H, it was so easy to head downstairs at 6 or 6:30 a.m. stop at the Starbucks and then head into line for Hall H and still get a descent seat.
Good luck everyone, hope to see you in July!