Hotel Review: Crowne Plaza San Diego (Mission Valley)

San Diego Comic Con '13

Review of the Crowne Plaza San Diego (Mission Valley)

By Martin, from the SDCC Community on Google+

This was the fifth SDCC for my family, but as locals, we’ve never stayed at a hotel during the Con. We normally take the trolley conveniently from Qualcomm stadium bright and early, and are usually collapsed back in our own beds pretty early as well. Cosplay is exhausting, especially the shoes!

With so many more activities on the schedule every year, we decided this would be the time to try extending our hours and booked the Crowne Plaza in Mission Valley during the Early Bird Hotel Sale for Friday and Saturday night.

The Early Bird Hotel Sale is a way to guarantee your room well ahead of time for a decent rate that includes some incentives. Ours included breakfast, which is a nice meal to have when you know you’ll be on the go all day, but we only got to enjoy it once because of the strange hours Con-goers keep. We also got free parking and wifi, which would be a big savings over four days. Considering all of the Early Bird hotels are Mission Valley rather than Gaslamp and the rates are pre-paid without refunds for cancellations, we thought it worked out fine but don’t plan to book this way again.

The Crowne Plaza Mission Valley is somewhat dated, and I don’t understand having a Hawaiian theme in a San Diego hotel, but it was clean and quiet and the service was fine at the front desk and restaurants. The restaurant menu has a fair variety, especially since they have a nice sushi bar and small coffee bar to supplement the California cuisine of the main restaurant. One negative is that the coffee bar keeps short hours and doubles as the quick market, so it’s not easy to find a late night candy bar or other snack. We had a room with two doubles that was spacious and comfortable with a fairly quiet A/C that worked well. Elevators are spread out and the property is somewhat of a maze, which isn’t great after all the walking you do at the Con. There was ample parking but the lot is strangely shaped with a few spots near the room entrances that fill up quickly and the rest quite some distance away.

Taking the shutle to the hotel from the Con was easy, but not very fast. The shuttle buses to this part of Mission Valley departed from Petco instead of in the front of the Convention Center, and while we were the first spot to drop off at night, I knew that meant we would be the last to pick up in the morning. Sure enough, by the time the bus arrived at the Crowne Plaza it was nearly full and only a few of us were allowed to board. Shuttles every 15-30 minutes are a wonderful perk of the Con, but having to wait for a second or third shuttle can be a very bad start to your day.

Would we stay at the Crowne Plaza again? Overall I think the it’s a good hotel choice if you’re going to stay in Mission Valley. The biggest negatives were the shuttle and breakfast hours, which is going to be the same at any Mission Valley hotel.

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