Review: Hilton Gaslamp
By: Stephanie “Angel” Wilson
Admin, The Geekiary
This Hilton gaslamp is an excellent hotel for those who want to be close to the action, but not in a “party zone” when in their room after a long day. It’s directly across the street from the convention center, adjacent to the Hard Rock Hotel and the Omni. I had a friend staying at the Hard Rock and when we compared the two, the Hilton Gaslamp came out on top for the both of us. The Hard Rock was too loud and too much of a “party” atmosphere for her, whereas the Hilton Gaslamp was very cozy and low key. I haven’t stayed in the Omni so I can’t compare the atmosphere to the Hilton Gaslamp like I can with the Hard Rock, but my friend that stayed at the Hard Rock has stayed at the Omni before so I can sort of relay her thoughts. She is going to try for Omni as primary next year and Hilton Gaslamp as secondary, completely skipping the Hard Rock on her list. She didn’t like how the Hard Rock catered to celebrities and industry parties instead of the average con goer. Basically neither of us are party people so these calmer hotels are more our style. If you are looking at any of these three based on location alone, check the reviews as the feel of them are all quite different.
The lobby of the Hilton Gaslamp was never busy and I never had to wait more than 30 seconds for help at the front desk. Considering it’s right smack dab in the center of activity, I’d have thought it’d be a lot more busy, but I’m glad it’s not. I needed a retreat while still being accessible to everything. The restaurant downstairs, though more expensive than I’d want to pay for a burger, was also never crowded like pretty much everything else in the Gaslamp district during SDCC. I coughed up the cash to get food quickly without standing in a super long line. I wouldn’t make a habit of it, but I considered the extra cost a “not having to wait in line” fee. There’s also a low cost hot dog stand that sets up just outside that sometimes had long lines, sometimes didn’t. One of the people running it had a Hilton name tag so I’m not sure if it’s an official hotel sanctioned thing or not. That was pretty good and if you caught it at the right time also not super busy.
It’s important to note that there are two Hilton’s within sight of the convention center. The Hilton Bayfront is the bigger one next to the convention center that usually has huge advertising wraps on the front of it. This is the smaller one directly across from the train tracks at that extremely busy intersection. Regardless of which one you stay it, it’s a good idea to join the Hilton Honors program. It’s free. Internet at the Gaslamp was $15 a day and I’m sure it’s probably about the same at the Bayfront, but if you are a Hilton Honors member it’s free. I haven’t looked into other benefits of the program yet, but I saved over $60 on Internet by joining this free program, so why not?