Priceline Hotel: 4* San Diego (Coastal) Hyatt Regency Islandia

By RandyM,

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I will be bidding on two rooms (5 people in our party) for a 4-night stay in San Diego from Thursday, November 6th - Monday, November 10th. I am undecided about bidding for either a Downtown/Harbor hotel or a Coastal hotel, although I understand that there are more 3 and 4-star hotels downtown. I am considering a bid range from $65-$90 for each room (entered on the same bid).

These dates wil span an NFL football weekend at a time of year that I believe will be off-season. Any advice will be appreciated.


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Welcome to BetterBidding!

I don't know the area, so hopefully somebody else will jump in with which area is the prefered zone.

If i recall correctly, the Coastal zone is a new zone which was formed by combining two previous zones and the concensus now is that the zone is too broad to 'safely' bid. Hopefully somebody can comment. Is this trip for something in particular or do you need to be in a specific area, as that might help others advise you on the best zone for your needs.

Once you determine which zone to go for let us know and i'll put together a recommended bidding strategy.

Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

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Thanks for moving my post to a more appropriate location. Our purpose for our trip is threefold:

see a city we've never visited

take our 9-year old to the zoo, Sea World, etc.

see the football game

We hear that downtown has more "atmosphere" and that the coastal area is beautiful. This is what has lead us to choosing between two areas.


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Hi and welcome to BB,

How about the Mission Valley zone? This is where Qualcomm Stadium is located (and traffic can be pretty bad on game days). Mission Valley is also within close proximity to the Mission Bay/Sea World area and to Old Town, Balboa Park (the Zoo) and is within pretty easy drive of the coastal areas (La Jolla, etc.) and the Gaslamp District (downtown).

The light rail system also stops in MV which can get you to San Ysrido/Tijuiana if you don't want to drive (if you do drive, you would park your rental car on the US side and walk across the border, as US rental cars usually can't be take over the border). There is good shopping at the upscale Fashion Valley Mall as well - BTW I highly recommend Junior Seau's restaurant in the FV Mall, even if Junior is now with the Dolphins :) It's one "celebrity-owned" restaurant that actually has good food (a sushi bar too).

Admittedly as Mission Valley is a commercial/retail area, it is NOT scenic :)

Also - for La Jolla I highly recommend the restaurant GEORGE'S AT THE COVE:


It's really two restaurants - a fancy one downstairs and a more casual one with outdoor terrace upstairs

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My recommendation would be for downtown. There's so much to see and do downtown within walking distance or a quick trolley ride. You could explore the coastline almost as easily from downtown, as none of the hotels that come up in the Coastal zone are right on the water.

I would avoid bidding 3* downtown though because you could get the Hilton Harbor Island, although all the other 3's are fine. You should have no problem finding a 4* downtown within your budget. The Manchester Grand Hyatt has been coming up recently for just $55 for August dates.

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The suggestions for downtown are equally valid - access to the attractions is very easy - the 163 freeway takes you from downtown to Balboa park in just a couple of minutes and also leads (a couple of miles further north) to Mission Valley and Qualcomm (via Interstate 8).

The Manchester Hyatt at the rate listed by TravelGuy is a great value. It's a 40-story tower with great views, across from the convention center and right next to the almost-finished Petco Park (where the Padres will play beginning next year). And their construction (addition of a new tower) will be done by the end of this summer, therefore no construction noise :)

Keep in mind for most downtown hotels you'll need to factor in parking charges - for example at the Hyatt self-parking is USD 15, valet is USD 22 per day (includes in-and-out priveleges). In contrast, some Mission Valley hotels charge (like the Marriott USD 10, Hlton USD 8 ), some don't (Radisson, free). BTW I've stayed at all three of these within the last five years or so and all are fine.

About the Zoo - keep in mind that in addition to the main Zoo in Balboa Park, there is the Wild Animal Kingdom, an "open-style" wildlife preserve in Escondido (about 30-35 miles north of downtown SD). The Zoo website has all the info (there's even a combo ticket fol 5 days unlimited to the Zoo, the Kingdom and to Sea World):


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So many good suggestions already! Don't know if you need any more advice, but just in case.... :)

Will you have a car? This will make a big difference. With a car, if you bid Coastal zone and get the Hyatt La Jolla (a distinct possibility), you are still close to major roadways and it is fairly easy to get around. Without a car, this hotel will feel like the middle of nowhere. But it is a nice hotel with a huge pool and some good restaurants on site, and you can probably get it for around $50/night. We enjoyed our stay here, but we had a car.

Without a car or if you want to be downtown, I agree that it is best to avoid 3* because you probably don't want to be at Harbor Island, unless you have a car and don't mind paying parking charges. (4* can get you the Sheraton at Harbor Island, but I think it is pretty pricey, so less chance of winning it on a bid - I loved the Sheraton when I stayed there, but it felt like an awkward location without a car). Mind you, I didn't think much of the 4* Westin Horton Plaza which does come up from time to time in the downtown zone. I thought the rooms were small and noisy.

I agree that Mission Valley can be a good choice if you have a car, but I don't really like that whole Hotel Circle thing. Nothing wrong with the hotels, I just didn't feel like I was in San Diego when I stayed there. I didn't feel the flavor of the city at all.

I think Hotwire might be worth a look, also, especially if you would like to have certain hotel amenities for your 9 year-old. Looking for your dates, I see a 3* with a pool and fitness centre for only $63/night. I suspect it MAY be the Radisson Harbor View, which is quite well situated for most transit options, and has an outdoor pool. (Early November can still be beautiful in San Diego, when I was there last November, it was shorts and T-shirt weather.)

Also, if you would prefer to have a suite-style room, Hotwire may be a better choice.

Personally, I love the Pacific Beach area of San Diego and there is a place called The Beach Cottages which has some cottages on the beach there. They are quite popular with families. They are pricier than Priceline bids, but if you want the San Diego beach environment at a time when the beach is quieter, you might want to take a look. No pool, but right on the beach and boardwalk.

The Beach Cottages

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WillTravel, I think you would like the Old Town area. There are a couple of fairly inexpensive options there, you are close to the Transit Centre and can get around quite easily even without a car. You can get highway noise if you are close to the freeway, though. But if you have a car, being close to the freeway can be convenient. And you will probably want to check out Old Town, anyway.

What time of year would you be there, how long would you be staying and would you have a car?

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WillTravel - Nothing wrong with Old Town as a base to explore the area - it's just north of the airport and downtown, very close to Mission Valley and Qualcomm, and access to La Jolla and DelMar is just a few miles up I-5. Many of the hotels are near (or even along) I-5 so if ambiance is important (as Scorp points out) it may not be your first choice. The Mexican restaurants in OT are OK, not spectacular.

The Hyatt LaJolla (Aventine) is indeed a beautiful hotel - it was designed by the prominent architect Michael Graves.

RandyM - in your first post you mention an "off-season" time for San Diego - actually, there is year-round demand. Because it is a fairly easy drive away, many residents of "Greater Los Angeles" make weekend getaways down to SD.

My personal favorite for coastal ambiance is Coronado, but it is a bit of a hike for the other attractions, so for your chosen attractions Coronado might be better for a subsequent trip.

Lots more visitor info (and even some discount coupons at the Visitor's Bureau website:


Totally unrelated trivia concerning the Sheraton San Diego: If you're an old fogey like me you may remember the 1972 Dita Beard/ITT scandal. ITT had bought the Sheraton hotel chain but was having trouble getting final approval for the deal. Richard Nixon wanted the '72 Republican Convention held in San Diego (so that he could helicopter up from nearby San Clemente). So ITT gave the Repubs. $400,000 and built the Sheraton Harbor Island Hotel to serve as the headquarters hotel for the convention. Unfortunately, ITT lobbyist Dita Beard had written a memo detailing the arrangement. The memo was leaked to the press, everything blew up, and the '72 Convention was moved to Miami Beach.

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Thanks for the responses.

Scorp, in my case, we haven't made any plans yet. However, I recently observed that HMY Airways has a "kids fly free" special that has to be booked by July 31 (and travel must be complete by September 7). So if we go, it would be this summer, and probably for about 4 nights.

The roundtrip airfare for one adult and one child to YVR-LAX on HMY is $559 Canadian inclusive.

Last time my daughter and I went to southern California, we just went to Disneyland - and I had wanted to do San Diego (and she is very eager to see it also, particularly the seals, both at SeaWorld and La Jolla). Companion Holidays (the agency that does HMY bookings) has flight/hotel packages that are quite high compared to Priceline, so once I heard those prices I wasn't interested. But the airfare-only deal is fabulous, compared to Alaska or Delta or any other airline on that route. I'm also thinking that San Diego would not be so unbearably hot as Anaheim is during the summer (once we were in Anaheim in September and the temps rose to 103 or so).

Anyway, my thought (if I decide to proceed) is that we could probably find accommodation for 4 nights in the range of $300 Canadian, using Priceline (possibly a little more, of course). My preference would be to not have a car.

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Sorry - my native-Californian car-bias is showing :)

Many of the SD attractions *are* accessible via public transport - the site posted by Scorp should be especially helpful.

One of the great attractions of the San Diego climate is its year-round, mild-temperate nature. You don't get a lot of 90+ days unless you go inland (like to El Cajon etc). In areas like Anaheim, air inversions and other climate "quirks" keep out the moderating ocean breezes and allow the temps to rise. Keep in mind that last January's Super Bowl, the temp at kickoff was 80 degrees :)

BTW, there's quite a controversery about the La Jolla seals - there's a historical swimming area that the seals are "encroaching" on:



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Thanks to everyone for your helpful hints/tips. I doubt we'll have any problems finalizing our plans for our trip. We're flying direct from Washington/Dulles to Long Beach (we love JetBlue & their prices) and renting a car from there.

I'm leaning towards bidding on a downtown stay in a 4* hotel. I'll inform this forum of my results.

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It seems like much of the board is well versed in this area so feel free to make any comments regarding the strategy i provide below. Given TravelGuy's suggestion that the Manchester Hyatt has been coming up for dates in August at $55/nite, i started low given that you have many re-bids (5 of them). However, i don't think you'll be successful this low because the Manchester's rate for a date i picked at random in August is $169, while the rate for your dates is $259! With that said, this is how i would proceed:

Select 4* Downtown....

Bid $55, if rejected add re-bid zone....

Bid $60, if rejected add re-bid zone....

Bid $65, if rejected add re-bid zone....

Bid $70, if rejected add re-bid zone....

Bid $75, if rejected add re-bid zone....

Bid $80

Let us know you you make out, and thanks for starting your bid at SavingsBarn.com

Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

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I know San Diego very well (my parents live there), and when I hear of someone considering staying downtown I shudder! San Diego has one of the nicest beaches in America, and one of the most boring downtowns in America. With the exception of Balboa Park and convenient access to the Trolley, why would you want to consider this option?

First of all, yes, you certainly must have a car here. Traffic can be a problem in this area, and summer tourists love this town too much. You will want to see Tijuana also, but you should take the trolley, since it's fun, and also since you will not have to worry about parking at the border. I realize that rooms near the beach will not be plentiful on PL & HW, but DO NOT STAY DOWNTOWN! Harbor/Shelter Islands are just next door to the airport and downtown, but provide a much nicer atmosphere. Point Lobos and Pacific Beach are also possibilities. The town of Del Mar is fabulous, as is La Jolla (the wealthy). Coronado Island is another very good choice - this has the largest beach. With all of these great options, treat yourself to a few extra pennies, and STAY THE HELL OUT OF DOWNTOWN!

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  • 3 weeks later...


I guess you haven't visited your parents in some time because the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego goes off from Thursday - Sunday. There is absolutely no shortage of things to do, see and hear. Check it out: www.gaslamp.org .

Daawgon, your parents miss you.

Most of the nicest beaches in San Diego are, in fact, not in SD proper, but in North County, from La Jolla to Carlsbad. And don't even consider Pacific Beach as it's nothing but a 16 - 24 crowd and they act their age. It where the dregs of SD County go to the beach. At night, it cleans up a bit and can be fun but it's still not a vacation destination in my eyes. The Silver Strand beach in Coronado is as close to isolation as you can get in this populous area.

If you want a classy area, Coronado, La Jolla and Del Mar meet the criteria. If you want class plus fun, Carlsbad is the perfect mix. But don't discount downtown. In fact, I live in Carlsbad, and though it has more than two dozen bars/restaurants, and I'll still be getting a hotel room in downtown because it's a hoot and I don't want to drive the 35+ miles home after partying.

Harbor/Shelter Islands are removed from everything and, though nice, shouldn't be considered. Old Town is just plain boring and Mission Valley is a mess.

Content in Carlsbad


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Downtown San Diego, horton plaza and especially the gaslamp district are great. Please visit your parents soon and go to the gaslamp on a Friday or Saturday night, everyone thats anybody is there, a fun crowd of all ages, it will change your mind. Noone that has been on the gaslamp could ever think is Boring. I love staying anywhere downtown in walking distance of the gaslamp quarter.

San Diego is great from la jolla to mission bay to coronado. But TJ, please, it just makes me thank god I was born in America and for a moment really appreciate all I have.

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