San Diego Travel Guide

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Comic-Con in San Diego: Go for The Comics, Stay for The Hotel Goodies

July 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

The annual nerd fest that is Comic-Con kicks off on Thursday in San Diego and whether you're headed there to see Kiefer Sutherland relive Jack Bauer's greatest moments on 24 or learn some "cool" Star Wars origami tricks or celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Simpsons or pick up some new comic book collectibles, we suggest making a stop off at these hotels for some Comic-Con-themed goodness.

· The US Grant Hotel, where the first Comic-Con was held in 1970, has partnered up with The Cravory to create special Comic-Con cookies. If you were lucky enough to get a room before the hotel sold-out, on Friday, July 25, four Comic-Con inspired Cravory cookies will be placed on the guest room beds at turndown. Guests who dine at The Grant Grill will also receive a commemorative Captain Grant coaster, letter-pressed with Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist for the Union Tribune, Steve Breen's exclusive artwork, while supplies last.

· Manchester Grand Hyatt is honoring Marvel Comics with three specialty cocktails ($11). Starting tomorrow, at the hotel's rooftop bar, Top of the Hyatt, Thor's Hammer(ed) will be a fun spin on the classic Long Island Iced Tea. In the Grand Lobby Bar, The Hulkito, essentially a Mojito, will be served to honor the green superheor while in Redfield's Sports Bar, the Marvelrita, a margarita, will be served in Marvel Comics' signature red color.

· Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina has created a Captain America cocktail ($9) which tastes like a Pina Colada but instead is colored red, white and blue, just like Captain America himself.

[Photos: US Grant & Sheraton San Diego Marina]

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Hotel del Coronado Introduces New Beachfront Amenities

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  Site Where: 1500 Orange Ave [map], San Diego, California , United States, 92118
April 29, 2014 at 10:01 AM | by | Comments (0)

With Memorial Day around the corner, it’s that time of year when hotels take down the scaffolding and show off newly renovated digs in time for the busy summer season. The 126 year-old Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego is the latest to announce a refreshed look with the upcoming launch of a new beach area on May 1st.

Called Del Beach, the new waterfront set-up features daybeds, half-moon cabanas, boogie boards, surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, kayak rentals, and a beach playground for kids. The revamp will also come with new white and burgundy beach towels, and guests can rent chaise loungers and sun umbrellas. A full food and beverage service will offer salads, sandwiches, mai tais, and margaritas right on the beach.

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Hard Rock San Diego Giving Guests 'The Smell of Desire' With Their Anchorman Package

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  Site Where: 207 5th Ave [map], San Diego, CA, United States, 92101
December 27, 2013 at 2:28 PM | by | Comments (0)

Ron Burgundy may have taken New York in "Anchorman 2" but the Hard Rock San Dee-Ag-o is paying tribute to the original Anchorman movie (and obviously, the more superior one.)

The Gaslamp Quarter hotel's "Stay Classy San Diego" package includes a few of Ron Burgundy's favorite things like a 1.7oz bottle of Sex Panther Cologne Spray, two Scotch cocktails of your choices at the 207 bar, one pint of Ben & Jerry's Scotchy Scotch Scotch ice cream delivered in-room and two passes to the San Diego Zoo for some Panda Watch.

The package starts at $347 and is available through March 1st. Go here to book and use the promo code CLASSY. While we like the Hotel Helix's Anchorman package for offering tickets to the Anchorman exhibit at the Newseum and we dig the Kona Kai San Diego's offer of an "Anchorman" DVD, we'd book the Hard Rock package solely to spritz on Sex Panther cologne before the room service waiter comes up with our ice cream. Hey, we're just staying classy.

[Photo:Fox5SanDiego]

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Lebron James Has Grand Wedding at San Diego's Grand Del Mar Hotel

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  Site Where: 5300 Grand Del Mar Court [map], San Diego, CA, United States, 92130
September 16, 2013 at 1:44 PM | by | Comment (1)

Lebron James added another ring to his collection when he became a married man this past Saturday.

The Miami Heat forward wed his high school sweetheart of 12 years, Savannah Brinson at the deluxe Grand Del Mar Hotel, just 25 minutes north of downtown San Diego.

Though we wondered why Lebron chose San Diego for his nuptials instead of Miami or his Akron, Ohio hometown, it's easy to see why the Grand Del Mar was selected to host the star-studded affair, which included guests Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and his girlfriend, Gabrielle Union.

Calling itself “San Diego’s premier wedding venue”, the Grand Del Mar looks like a sprawling Mediterranean estate and its picturesque setting in the Los Peñasquitos Canyon makes for a serene scene.

But we're hearing that another couple arrived at the wedding and took the event to a whole 'nother level!

Read about it after the jump!

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A Marriott Hotel Missteps With Mini Muffins on 9-11

September 12, 2013 at 8:54 AM | by | Comment (1)

There was a ton of backlash this year about different brands "commemorating" the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, especially when those brands were inserting their product into the "remembrance." (yeah AT&T, we're talking about you.) But this Marriott Hotel's tribute to those who died on 9/11 is just bewildering.

The San Diego Marriott Mission Valley decided to put out mini muffins and free coffee from 8:45am to 9:15am yesterday (the time span when both towers were hit by hijacked airplanes.)

A hotel guest tweeted this pic of the perplexing offering. After the photo blew-up on Twitter with folks mostly making fun of the offering but a few also thinking it was pretty offensive and cheap, Marriott Hotels then issued their own tweet-pology:

Oy vey. But we can understand the hotel was coming from a good place, giving guests a chance to remember the national tragedy together. Maybe next year, put more emphasis on the remembering and not mention the mini muffins.

What do you think--misguided, offensive or totally ok? Sound off in comments below!

[Photo: @Eclectrica/Twitter]

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What is This at San Diego's Manchester's Grand Hyatt?

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  Site Where: 1 Market Pl [map], San Diego, CA, United States, 92101
July 31, 2013 at 2:43 PM | by | Comments (0)

We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our series, What is This?, is devoted to odd-looking items in hotels that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.

We recently took a look around the recently renovated--and by golly, according to our 2011 stay, necessary overhauled-- mammoth-sized 1600-room Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. A place this size, we agreed with our guide, the hotel was indeed a "mini city".

Therefore it's natural there's two towers for the hundreds of guests, not to mention customers coming in and out of their in-house Convention Center. So, when we took an elevator ride to check out the new and improved rooms (more on that another day), all seemed normal until we looked in the corner and saw the little sign above.

Obviously it was a medical symbol, that much we knew, but why was it there?

Take a guess, then we'll reveal after the jump.

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BREAKING: Meth May Be Behind Today's San Diego Hotel Explosion

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  Site Where: 3333 Channel Way [map], San Diego, CA, United States, 92110
January 30, 2013 at 4:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

A nightmarish scene at a Sea World area hotel in San Diego. An explosion rocked the Heritage Inn-Sea World early Thursday, blowing out walls and windows and setting the roof on fire.

Even more horrifying, witnesses report seeing at least one guest engulfed in flames. Two victims were rushed to the hospital for treatment, and the third was taken to UCSD Medical Center for life-threatening burns. LAist.com reports that two of the injured were inside the room where the explosion occurred and that the other was from the room next door.

News reports state the man and woman inside the room were 'cooking' meth.

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Worst Hotel Hell of 2012: Hidden Camera In Omni Hotel Bathroom

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  Site Where: 675 L Street [map], San Diego, CA, United States, 92101
December 28, 2012 at 12:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Today and Monday, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...

As if we didn’t have enough paranoia to occupy our everyday living, we learned that an employee at the Omni San Diego was caught planting a hidden camera inside one of the hotel's public bathrooms. Spies like us? We don’t think so!

The creep in question was the hotel’s Chief of Engineering, who'd been with them for five years and no doubt had studied the ins and outs the property before deciding that the free-for-all lav was the place to catch people off-guard and with their pants down. Literally.

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OK, We're Not That Mad At The US Grant's $1.02 Suite Deal

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  Site Where: 326 Broadway [map], San Diego, CA, United States, 92101
November 19, 2012 at 9:38 PM | by | Comments (0)

When we see specials that tout room for $1 or anything in that realm, we react with a twinge of excitement followed by a healthy dose of skepticism. We know these things do happen (see the smidgen of folks who got in on Public Chicago’s $1 deal), but, well, we’re just getting a little tired of breaking our necks for a slim-to-none chance to score a room.

So, when we saw that San Diego’s historic US Grant Hotel (where Michelle Obama recently stayed), the Gaslamp institution we featured in our Presidential Suites story, was offering $1.02 suites in celebration of their 102 birthday, we had to know “what’s the catch?”

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Would You Pay $1,099 To Sleep In The Keating's Gordon Ramsay Suite?

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  Site Where: 432 F Street [map], San Diego, CA, United States, 92101
September 5, 2012 at 9:08 AM | by | Comments (3)

So, by now we all know the deal with the Keating Hotel, right? San Diego's "all flash no cash" hotel whose owner was genuinely more interested in things like Bang & Olufsen flat screens and espresso makers than actual comfortable rooms.

Well, that all changed with Gordon Ramsay's highly-publicized visit back in December to shoot a recently-aired episode of Hotel Hell. Since then, the menu has been simplified, the GM is no longer doing laundry (hooray, Sandra!), and, most importantly, the room service has been tightened up.

But there's one other thing. Remember back when we heard about Gordon designing one of the suites at the Keating? Well, the 2-room Victory Suite is now available for booking—at a staggering $1,099/night. So is it worth the cash?

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'Hotel Hell' Pulls Over The Keating Hotel For Being All Flash, No Cash

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  Site Where: 432 F Street [map], San Diego, CA, United States, 92101
August 28, 2012 at 9:03 AM | by | Comments (2)

Finally, months after learning that The Keating Hotel in San Diego has been selected to appear on Gordon Ramsay's hotel improvement show, Hotel Hell, we get to see at last what was so wrong with the hotel. And it can be summed up in one word--Eddie.

That would be Eddie Kaen (seen below with Gordon), the owner of the hotel who bought the building back in 2000 for $6 million. Eddie never owned or worked in a hotel before but he decided his hotel should be the hotel version of a Ferrari. That meant lots of blood red decor with rooms and furniture designed by Italian car designers.

When the hotel first opened in early 2007, we wrote then that the rooms promised "lux linens, an espresso machine, a giant plasma TV with DVD player and free wired and wireless internet." Not so shortly after, the reviews came in from travel publications and guests alike and they weren't good, essentially saying that the Keating favored design over substance and in many cases, a good night's sleep.

Fast forward five more years and nothing's changed. Guests continue to complain about the "style over substance" mentality and now even the staff is piling on. That is, when they aren't under piles of laundry. Yup, everyone at the Keating has to do laundry from the general manager to the concierges.

Gordon can't get here soon enough.

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The Keating Now Taking Reservations for 'Hotel Hell' Viewing Party

Where: 423 F Street [map], San Diego, CA, United States, 92101
August 20, 2012 at 10:34 AM | by | Comments (0)

Ramsay and The Keating's owner Edward Kaen look very happy indeed.

Could this be a sign that things went very well during the filming of Hotel Hell at The Keating Hotel in San Diego?

The hotel, which recently underwent an operational makeover from master chef turned hospitality consultant Gordon Ramsay, is now accepting dinner reservations in its newly redone MerK Bistro for a special live screening on August 27 of the episode that features the hotel. There will even be a special tasting menu on offer!

Word is the episode will focus on defining the hotel's design aesthetic and streamlining the "synergy between the hotel and its restaurant." Ramsay obviously puts his spin on the restaurant menu, adding a small selection of farm-to-table options.

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