I recently visited San Diego after craving a sunny vacation near the end of Chicago’s winter. Even though I had never been to San Diego before, I knew I would love this city! You get the feel of a large metropolis but you’re still on the ocean. Truly the best of both worlds! That’s why I chose to stay at Manchester Grand Hyatt in downtown San Diego. If you’re looking for the best hotel in San Diego, read on for a review about my stay.
MANCHESTER GRAND HYATT SAN DIEGO
Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego is a gorgeous, two-tower hotel located in the heart of downtown along the San Diego bay. I’m certain this hotel is bigger than any hotel I’ve been to in Chicago (where I live) which is saying something when you think about the size comparison between the two cities. You can spot this hotel from almost anywhere close to downtown or along the water.
The circle drive in the front is lined with a dozens of palm trees. It immediately made me feel like I was on the tropical vacation I was seeking. When you walk in the front doors, you’re captivated by the huge lobby and tall ceilings. It almost made me feel like I was in Las Vegas where the hotels have massive lobby’s. The staff made the check-in process very easy and safe.
There are two towers on the property with 1,628 rooms and 76 suites between both towers. The Harbor tower is on the south with 40 stories & the Seaport tower is on the north with 33 stories. I stayed in the Seaport tower on the 26th floor. You can connect between the two towers through the main lobby or the pool which is on the 4th floor (more on the pool later in this blog post.)
With its central location, you’re only a few blocks away from the Gaslamp Quarter, one block away from the ocean and a quick drive to the bridge that takes you to Coronado Island. This made it easy to get out and do activities each day without losing a ton of time driving.
HOW TO GET HERE AND WHERE TO PARK
Grand Hyatt San Diego is 2.5 miles away, or a 6-minute drive, from the San Diego airport. This makes getting in and out of town extremely easy if you’re flying.
For my trip, I drove down from Los Angeles after spending a few days there. (You can read about my hotel stay in Los Angeles here.) The drive took less than 2 hours and I didn’t experience bad traffic in either direction. However, I may suggest budgeting just over 2 hours in case you do.
Grand Hyatt offers both valet and self-parking. Valet is $55 overnight and self-park is $40 overnight. If you chose to self-park, your hotel room key will get you in and out of the garage.
MANCHESTER GRAND HYATT ROOMS
There are many different room and bed sizes to choose from at Manchester Grand Hyatt. The room we stayed in, and that you see pictured in this blog post, was the King Bed Bay View. It had plenty of storage space with a closet and dresser so you can unpack your luggage. The living space had a loveseat, another chair, and a desk if you need to do any work while you’re there.
Our bedroom faced the ocean which made waking up each morning so peaceful and then watching the sun set over the ocean in the evenings so nice. Although, we enjoyed sunset outside of our room every night.
Other room amenities include a TV, mini-fridge, and a coffee/tea bar. The bathroom was very spacious had a full shower with tub. They also provided free personal care items and a blow dryer.
ON-SITE FOOD & BEVERAGE: MARKET ONE
Due to the pandemic, some of the on-site dining options at Manchester Grand Hyatt were closed. However, they had one option called Market One (think mid-sized café) in the main lobby that was open all week. It’s located near the elevator banks for Seaport tower and had plenty of seating options just outside.
Market One offers tons of grab-and-go snacks from the shelf (pastries, chips, candy), refrigerator (cold sandwiches, salads, fruit), or freezer (ice cream.) They also serve warm breakfast and lunch options that you can order from the counter. They have a full-service coffee bar with Starbucks coffee and have smoothies available too.
Market One had everything we needed for the weekend while at the hotel and conveniently lets you charge to your room. Please note that as of March 2021, they are only accepting room charges or credit card.
ENTERTAINMENT & HOSPITALITY
Manchester Grand Hyatt is at the corner of W Harbor Drive & Kettner Blvd in downtown San Diego. I personally think downtown is the best area to stay in San Diego. There are tons of neighborhoods close by that are all walking distance from Grand Hyatt.
- Seaport Village: I stumbled into this area on a quest to watch sunset on the first night in town. I was trying to walk to any spot along the water and wound up finding this cute little area filled with shops, galleries and restaurants. Some of the dining options also had front row patio seating along the water. Seaport Village is a 5-minute walk from the hotel.
- Gaslamp Quarter: I didn’t spend as much time in this neighborhood as I wanted to. Even though I had never been to San Diego before this trip, I have heard so much over the years about this lively part of downtown. I didn’t dine or drink out here during my stay, but I did walk through to take some photos on my last day. I definitely recommend checking it out. The Gaslamp Quarter is a 12-minute walk from the hotel.
- Little Italy: This is a multi-block neighborhood is just north of the hotel and is filled with boutiques, restaurants, and dessert shops. We ate at Davanti Enoteca one night and loved it! Little Italy is a 15-minute walk from the hotel
MANCHESTER GRAND HYATT POOL
There are two outdoor pools at Manchester Grand Hyatt. The all-ages pool is on the 4th floor and is open everyday and the adult-only pool is on the 3rd floor and is only open on the weekends. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to visit the adult-only pool, but the all-ages pool was still incredible.
The 4th floor pool deck is massive and had plenty of chairs & umbrellas for guests to socially distance while laying out. There are also two mid-sized hot tubs on the far end of the pool deck. Because the pool is on a terrace that connects the two towers, you can catch an incredible unobstructed view of downtown on one side and the water on the other side.
There’s also an awesome firepit on the ocean-facing side of the pool deck. It’s separated by a short wall from the actual pool deck, so you still feel like you have some privacy if you’re lounging there. We bought S’more’s ingredients from Market One and roasted marshmallows on our last night there. It was the perfect way to end our time in San Diego!
THE STAFF & SAFETY
We were greeted by incredibly kind staff upon checking in at Grand Hyatt. All necessary COVID safety protocols were followed, and the front desk also had additional disposable masks for any guests that need them.
All workers who I met at the hotel throughout the week made sure my stay was perfect. From the valet out front, to housekeeping and the individuals cleaning the pool deck one early morning while I was out there alone taking photos. I couldn’t ask for better customer service or friendly conversation.
Everyone working at Manchester Grand Hyatt left an impression on me that I won’t forget. I can’t wait to come back and stay here again in the future. Book your next stay by clicking on this link.
THE GEORGIAN HOTEL SANTA MONICA:
Location: 1 Market Pl, San Diego, CA 92101
Distance From Nearest Airport: 2.5 miles from SAN
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*DISCLAIMER: I wrote this in partnership with Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. All opinions are my own.