My hotel picks

7 MARCH 2011

A few people have asked which hotels I recommend. As I've said before, one is as good as the next, in my opinion. All I care about is location. However, I've listed my own picks that I will swing for Wednesday. Starting rates and distance included.

1. Marriott Marquis - $269 (next door)

2. Hilton Gaslamp - $221 (across the street and easier to cross to)

3. Omni - $229 (across the street, cross at the main crowded intersection)

4. Hilton Bayfront – $278 (sort of next door but further to walk to than the Marriott)

5. Manchester Hyatt – $260 (3 blocks - but no street-crossing required)

6. Hard Rock - $290 (across the street, cross at the main crowded intersection)

7. Marriott Gaslamp – $224 (2 blocks)

8. Horton Grand Hotel – $215 (3 blocks)

9. Residence Inn Gaslamp – $244 (3 blocks)

10. Hotel Solamar – $275 (3 blocks)

11. Westin Gaslamp – $206 (5 blocks)

12. Embassy Suites San Diego Bay – $235 (4 blocks)

13. Best Western Bayside Inn – $169 (1 mile)

14. Courtyard San Diego Downtown – $206 (8 blocks)

15. Sheraton Suites Symphony Hall – $189 - (1 mile)

A few notes:

If you've never been to the Con before, crossing the street probably doesn't sound like a big deal. In reality, the main crossing intersection is a crowded ugly snarl of humanity that can move at a snail's pace. For this reason, I will point out that the Manchester Grand Hyatt, while sounding as if it's just as far away as Residence Inn Gaslamp, is easier to reach. It's on the same side of the street as the convention center and it makes quite a difference, trust me. The Hilton Gaslamp is on the other side of the street, but you can cross at a less crowded intersection. (I will also say that I've always been treated like gold at that hotel.) In summary: the three hotels within walking distance that don't involve street-crossing are the Marriott Marquis, the Hilton Bayfront and Manchester Hyatt.

If you want to be up around Horton Plaza and the upper Gaslamp Quarter, places like Westin Gaslamp, Residence Inn Gaslamp, Horton Grand and Marriott Gaslamp can be better choices than the hotels right by the Con. Think of it this way - you will walk from your hotel to the convention center each day, but you will also walk into the Gaslamp for meals each day too. Staying at a place up in the Gaslamp saves money and you're basically not walking anymore than you would (in some ways less, since you can take a shuttle to the Con but wouldn't be able to take a free shuttle to restaurants). If you want to stay right near a lot of restaurants and shops, and save a couple hundred bucks, consider making these your first choice.

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