25 FEBRUARY 2015
A few weeks back I mentioned the Early Bird Hotel Sale. As of today, it's live.
To summarize for all you first-timers, the Early Bird Hotel Sale is your chance to reserve a room at a discounted rate without suffering through the hell of Hotel Day. Here are the two choices broken down:
Early Bird. You can choose from a limited selection of hotels. They are not downtown near the convention center but closer to the airport and Mission Valley. (And they're significantly cheaper than downtown hotels, too.) You will have to pay nonrefundable rates up front.
Hotel Day. This involves a much wider selection of hotels, including those super-close ones like Hilton Bayfront, Manchester Hyatt, Marriott Marquis, Omni, etc. How it works is like this: it's another nerve-wracking event where we all plunge into the system at the same time and choose our top 6 hotels. A few days later we find out where we were assigned. It could be a hotel we listed or it could be a completely different hotel, including the same ones available right now in Early Bird.
In other words, Early Bird lets you book one of the cheaper hotels, selected by you, with all element of chance removed. If you're wondering why everyone doesn't go for this option, it's because many people want to be as close as they can be to the convention center. If you're wondering why anyone would go for this option, be aware that Early Bird hotels have shuttle service, are moderately priced compared to the Marriott, Hilton and their ilk - and finally, it can be a relief to get away at night from the nonstop circus that is SDCC.
Earlier I predicted that Early Bird would sell out this year before its 24 March deadline. I feel this is a possibility because even though Hotel Day was smooth last year, the day the reservations opened back up (for changes and cancellations and new reservations) all hell broke loose and the system crashed from so many people flooding in. So I think we'll have more anxious attendees than usual this year who aren't willing to bet on Hotel Day - plus, we've already have Open Reg so a lot more people feel confident about booking a nonrefundable room. In other words: get the jump on this if you're interested.
For what it's worth, my Early Bird Hotel pick is the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. It's not far from the Con at all, and it's a decent hotel.