Hotel emails are arriving - what did you get?

28 FEBRUARY 2013

Unlike the staggered arrival of previous years, all hotel emails seem to be arriving together. At least, everyone I know is getting theirs. How did you do?

I either got my first choice or my last choice - I accidentally picked the Omni first instead of the Marriott. I asked if they would change it and they said yes (which stunned me, and I'm not sure they actually did) but I still wound up at the Omni. No complaints on my end; it has my favorite restaurant. But it's going to be weird not staying at the Marriott like every other year. (If you wound up by the airport, I realize you probably want to stab me right now for even hinting at my dissatisfaction.)

Someone I know who called in around 10:15 was waitlisted; other people are reporting not getting any of their 6 choices. Which probably is to be expected if everyone picked the same hotels. 6 choices just aren't enough - they should have allotted at least 10.

 It's hard to say which is the better system - this type of lottery (calm, but giving you little control) or the old system where you logged in and could see which hotel had which kind of rooms open on what night. While that was stressful, it did let you decide if you were willing to pick a different kind of room just to stay at a certain hotel, or choose 2 nights at your ideal hotel and 2 nights at another place. Now all the choice is out of your hands. 

What to do if you hate your hotel:

People cancel and hotel rooms do open up, so make a habit of repeatedly checking the site for a better hotel over the next few months. If you don't mind changing hotels mid-stream, you can almost always finagle two nights or so at one of your top choices. Once hotel booking opens back up, you will be able to check specific days at specific hotels and have more control over your reservations. Whatever you do, don't let it rob you of your Comic Con anticipation.

If you haven’t heard yet:

Don’t stress. As I said, two years ago, everyone got their email but me. I called Travel Planners, was told that emails were going out in the order of room assigments and the people who couldn't get a room were the last to hear. 12 hours later, I was assigned my first choice.

If you didn’t get a hotel at all:

Check the Early Bird sale - there are still a few rooms available. Start looking now for condo rentals, hostels, private home and apartment rentals or campgrounds. Some people in San Diego even take in Comic Con boarders, so if that’s not too dodgy for you, put out an ad or sign up with Or try to scratch up a room at or Travelocity. 

What did you get? Does it seem to correlate to when you got in and out of the system?

ETA: Virtually every story I've heard today falls into "I got my 1st/2nd pick!" or "I got totally shut out." I have not heard one person say that they wound up assigned to the Comfort Inn or some random hotel. Where are the people who hit the mid-luck mark?


  1. I got completely shut out, none of my six choices had any availability. I hit submit on my form by 11:03am. I guess next time I'll be sure to be on a system that has autofill so I can do it even quicker.

    Thanks for the early bird tip; question, though. Does anyone with experience with the Mission Valley hotels and using the shuttle route? Are the shuttle route time estimates accurate? At past SDCC's I've overheard people grumbling about the shuttles.

    1. I'm curious - what were your 6 choices? The top downtown hotels?

      Mission Valley hotels may not be the most convenient, but it can be a relief to leave the Con behind at night. As far as shuttle route times, I wouldn't count on them being precise. But the shuttles do show up on a fairly regular basis, and they're on a 24-hour basis now, which gives you more freedom at night.

      I can't believe you submitted within 3 minutes and got shut out. That's insane.

    2. I didn't realize the rush for hotels was as mad as the rush for badges. I guess maybe I should've picked less-convenient options for my 4th-6th picks, maybe I would've had better luck? These were my choices:

      1. Hilton San Diego Bayfront
      2. Manchester Grand Hyatt
      3. Manchester Grand Hyatt Premium View Rooms
      4. San Diego Mariott Marquis and Marina
      5. Omni San Diego Hotel
      6. Horton Grand

      I figured Horton Grand was a decent safety, I stayed there in 2010 without any problems.

      And yes, do believe me, I looked at the clock just to make sure, and it was 9:03am when I submitted.

      Oh well, lesson learned.

      I wonder how imprecise the shuttle times are. If they're maybe 40 minutes instead of 30, that's cool... but if they're actually 60/90 minutes, then I might be better off staying somewhere near a San Diego public transportation train.

    3. It's definitely closer to 30 than 60 minutes. The only time I ever felt annoyed at my wait for a shuttle, it turned out one on my route had broken down. And they quickly rectified the situation. By and large, the Con does a fairly good job with shuttles.

  2. I also checked the time as I submitted my request and it was 11:03 and I didn't get any hotel room. I selected the option of any available in downtown, but should of selected any hotel given how fast they were going. The six I picked were all Hilton hotels, including the airport one which I thought would be the worst case scenario hotel.

    1. The fact that you couldn't even land an airport hotel 3 minutes in proves this has become a pure lottery.

  3. I submitted my hotel list by 9:10am and did not get any of my hotels, but did get a hotel on the shuttle list. My problem is that the hotel they have me was one of my selected hotel. When I called to get info about this very weird outcome, they just inferred that I should be happy I got a place at all. They really need to work on their customer service.

    1. Actually, if you submitted by 9:10, I'm kind of stunned that you did get a room.

      But yeah, not the place for compassionate customer service.