Here’s another hotel review from one of our readers, along with some photos!
Porto Vista Hotel (Little Italy)
By: Mark Searby
Having never been to San Diego before, my girlfriend and I weren’t really sure on what to expect in terms of hotels and where they are located etc. Also with us staying longer than just The Con days we wanted a place that we could book 9 nights without fear of having to go through Travel Planners for 4 nights and then move again for the remaining days.
We found The Porto Vista Hotel almost by accident when we were looking at hotels on the web. The reviews on trip advisor do vary wildly, but as it was really only going to be a base for us to sleep for most of the days we weren’t too worried. Located on the corner of Columbia and Fir, the outside of the hotel is very impressive and looks ultra modern, it only took us about 10 minutes to get checked in and the staff are all very helpful and friendly. I had called ahead and requested one of their recently refurbished rooms, however we weren’t given one of those instead we had a room on the 5th floor (top floor) just off of the main complex. Whilst the colour scheme was rather old and dated the rest of the room was rather nice, super large bed (that was incredibly comfy), a flat screen TV with cable channels, large wardrobe, free combination lock safe, tea & coffee facilities, a very good air con unit, an ironing board and a hairdryer. The toilet was quite large with a toilet, sink and shower/bath combo – there was more than enough room in the bathroom to get at least 10 people. It was separated off by a frosted sliding door, which seemed to be soundproof as well.
Whilst the room wasn’t one we had asked for, in fact we had got rather lucky as we were situated right next to the roof terrace. So every morning/evening we would sit on there watching the world go by (and the planes come in) whilst having a drink, it has incredible views where you can view from the mountains to the right all the way over to the USS Midway without any interruption from buildings. It was also the perfect suntrap for getting a nice golden California sun tan. It seemed like most of the guests weren’t aware of this little terrace as we only saw a couple of other people up there.
The issue a lot of people may have with the hotel is it’s distance from the convention center, and it doesn’t have a trolley or shuttle pick up (It is a short walk down the road to the shuttle pick up at Great Western hotel). It’s about a 30 minute walk down to the front (1.5 miles) but as it’s almost straight down it never feels that far. We walked it every day, and it only became a struggle when we were returning really late at night, as we had been walking all day. Of course, there is always the option of getting a taxi from the hotel (costs about $7) but we enjoyed the exercise each day and it prepared us for the day ahead.
Overall the Porto Vista Hotel is a reliable and comfortable base for SDCC. It may be an energetic walk to The Con each day but it’s prices are respectable (let’s hope they hold them like that) and it has some spectacular views from the roof terrace and the 4th floor Glass Door restaurant (Speak to Ivan he will sort you out with the best seats). We never had one issue the whole time we stayed there and would happily return.