Last week CCI and Travel Planners opened up the Early Bird room deals for July’s San Diego Comic-Con. While the selection included in the promotion do not include any of the Downtown hotels several of the allotted rooms are already booked. Every year more and more people from around the world fly into San Diego during the annual event and the demand for rooms has gotten to a point where it is now better to secure anything as soon and as fast as you can than to hold out for a chance at booking something in the coveted Downtown area within walking distance from the convention center. I mean, what’s the point of rushing to spend $1000+ on flights and badges if having a place to crash is up in the air?
Getting a hotel room for the con might actually be harder than getting a ticket into the con itself! And with the amount of activities to do and see outside of the con I predict that this year might see the highest population migration yet since people could just show up to party it up and enjoy off-site swag.
Recently a number of hotels are choosing to bypass the Travel Planners “hotel lottery”, something that attendees have come to dread, and are offering a limited selection of their rooms directly to the masses who wish to avoid the uncertainty of the lotto, all at an inflated price of course (cue Master of the House from Les Misérables).
At the time of this posting the hotels available are from the Marriott chain. For a little while in August a few members of the FoCCI forum had found a back door to booking junior suites in 2013 for modest prices directly through the Manchester Hyatt, but that door has long been closed with reservations either getting flat out cancelled or modified.
The San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina (which has my favorite hotel pool of all time) is allowing fans to book their Comic-Con rooms right now, but at a price of about $550 a night which is about $2400 in total including taxes for fans who arrive the Wednesday of Preview Night and check-out on the close of the convention that Sunday (four nights in total). That rate is a little under double what the nightly rate for the same hotel was last year through Travel Planners, but you do get a bay facing balcony for your money.
That is quite a hustle! But like I said before, the demand is there and there are so many people trying to get rooms that I wouldn’t be surprised if they sell out within the next few weeks.
If you want to stay across the bay, the Coronado Marriott is currently accepting bookings at rates for various room types starting at $399 for a total of $1764 for the entire four nights of Wed-Sat, up from $240 a night through Travel Planners last year. While I personally have never even set foot in Coronado, there are ferries from Coronado to the Convention Center for only $4.25 each way. The only down side is that there is a boat about every two hours and they only run from 9am – 8pm (10 on Fri & Sat). There is an hourly ferry to the Broadway Pier that runs the same hours, but if you’ll have to hoof it from there you might as well just get a cab or a bus over the bridge. This hotel is a bit more relaxed since it is away from the epicenter of things, plus a relaxing spa to help you unwind actually sounds like a great idea.
But the whole point of a room downtown is to be in the thick of it all, right? Just a few blocks from the convention center, The Marriott Gaslamp is the most expensive Marriott thus far! With a variety of rooms available starting at $539 (but jumping way up to $749 on 7/18!!!!!) booking a basic 2 bed room from the Wed – Sat nights will cost you a cool $3135 with taxes, and a Junior Suite will come in at $3595 with taxes for the same days. This is the highest jump that I’ve seen when compared to the $224 a night it cost when booked through Travel Planner last year.
Oh yeah, and the important thing I forgot about all of these rooms is that THEY WANT THE FULL AMOUNT UPFRONT AND THEY DO NOT OFFER REFUNDS SHOULD YOU CANCEL!
There is one option that is not in the Marriott chain, but it is a bit of a walk from the convention center over on Broadway. The Gaslamp Plaza Suites is offering suites starting at $409 a night, bringing the full drop to $1840 for the four nights. I don’t even see it on the list of hotels from last years so i cannot compare Travel Planners rates but it doesnt seem that bad, plus the con has free shuttles to and from the downtown area 24 hours a day.
So how does that sound, fellow travelers? Are you willing to throw down some serious coin and represent your district all for the sake of securing your con travel plans in advance? Just know that if you don’t there are loads of people who are more than willing to, so I guess it comes down to who wants it the most.