Erin, Mario’s girlfriend, was nice enough to write this up. The Hard Rock hotel is always high on the list for Comic-Con attendees. Here’s her thoughts on the hotel since her and Mario lucked out last year and landed this hot property!
Welcome to the most expensive Travel Planners hotel at SDCC: Hard Rock Hotel San Diego!
By: Erin Kowalsky
It’s no secret, the “Hard Rock Hotel San Diego” is the most expensive hotel on the Travel Planners hotel list. And to be honest, for an average person it’s not worth the money! Don’t get me wrong, I give the Hard Rock Hotel 5 out of 5 stars for their absolutely amazing service and location — but unless you are there to spot celebrities or you are on the guest lists for a few parties at the hotel, you might feel like you’re wasting money. Amenities are far and few, and everything else costs extra!
I’m going to go more in depth with a short list of pros and cons about my stay and what you might expect if you “win” a room in the Travel Planners lottery!
– The nicest staff! As we were leaving to get a taxi to the airport, the concierge offered to get a taxi for us. This man took us over to the less busy side of the hotel, ran up 2 blocks, got in a taxi and rode down in it for us! Best service ever on a busy Sunday afternoon when everyone is trying to leave for home!
– Close to the convention! Great distance, especially if you are the type of person to go back and forth a lot to different events. Or if you are like me and you like to make a few outfit changes throughout the day! I was also able to make a few stops to drop of my “con swag”. My shoulders thanked me for it.
– Close to everything downtown! Anything going on in San Diego during Comic Con (that’s not taking place at the Convention center) is going to be on 5th Avenue or within very close proximity. It’s basically where you want to be when you’re not at the convention! I found it very convenient for shopping, going out to eat, and close enough to go back and forth to the Wired Cafe!
– Lot of parties! (Will cover this in the “Con” section too.) Most of the parties I was on the guest list for took place at the Hard Rock Hotel! So thank you IGN and NBC for having extremely convenient parties!! When my feet hurt and I needed to change shoes or spilled something on my dress, I just went upstairs and changed! And at one party I could even walk into my room from the party, use my bathroom, get food — that night Dax Shepard and I shared a banana, he was thrilled to have some fruit!
– Soy milk! Okay, well this is a preference to me. The café downstairs had iced coffee to go and soy milk to put in it! Win for me!
– Lots of convenient electrical outlets in the room. I know this is important to a lot of people — have to charge those phones and cameras!
– We had a king bed and the room was spacious enough for two people. It wasn’t a problem for us as a couple, but there was a see-though glass window into the bathroom from the bar area. Unless you get in the corner and jump up a bit, it probably won’t be too much of a problem!
– Expensive! Be prepared to spend money! Prices of everything are inflated. If you aren’t lucky enough to be invited to one of the many open bar parties, a cocktail costs around $10-$15.
– No free WiFi! You have to pay for WiFi and it will cost you approximately $17/day.
– Parking will cost you around $37/day and it is valet only. I didn’t have a car, but I just found the prices and figured it was good to share. Skip a car rental or driving to the convention and take public transportation!
– No refrigerator. This means no where to keep a carton of milk for your morning cereal, no fresh cold drinks and no place to keep your left overs! Yes, buying a disposable cooler, filling it with ice and keeping your groceries on top might sound like a good solution, but in reality you’ll be out of your room for hours, ice will melt and it will become messy — even ruin your food if it’s not properly wrapped! This has happened to me and soggy cake is not delicious!
– The pool. The pool was nice, but not much seating and very small too. Don’t stay here if the pool is important too you or your guests/family. It pretty much closed at 3pm everyday to get ready for parties and red carpet events. And forget about saying “But I’m a guest of the hotel!”. If you aren’t on the guest list for the party, you aren’t getting near the pool once they close it.
– Parties. Loud, long lasting parties! If you aren’t a fan of the noise, request a room facing the PetCo Ballpark. If you are on the pool side, you should be okay with noise if the party is strictly at the pool. If there is a party on the lawn, you’ll probably be kept up all night. Definitely not something you want if your goal is to be up by 5am to get to the convention ASAP!
– Loud! As I experienced last year, while staying on the pool side of the hotel, the noise doesn’t stop at night! Once the party on the lawn is over you may think “Finally!”.. but don’t count on it being quiet for long! Immediately after the party, the crews come back for party clean up. Vacuuming, taking down stages and everything else put up for the party, hammering, yelling over the noise to co-workers, etc. This went on for a few hours after the parties ended. It’s a pain in the butt, especially if again, you want to be up early to get a head start! And you better believe, if there is a morning event they were out there at 5am hammering away and building the stage again!
Of course, you don’t have much say in the matter of where you get chosen to stay. So to sum it up: if you have money, don’t mind noise, don’t mind having no where to keep food cold or heat it up and the pool isn’t too important — stay here! Overall, I had a pretty great experience. Even with all of the cons, I feel like my pros more than made up for it and it is #1 on my list for SDCC 2013!