Dec302014

On the Waterfront at Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

After our Andaz San Diego hotel stay, we moved over to the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. While I had no preconceived notions of Andaz, the Manchester Grand Hyatt is a place I know by reputation after the bitter California Proposition 8 anti-gay marriage legislation passed in November 2008, which ruled gay marriage unconstitutional. One of the financial backers of California Proposition 8 was San Diego real estate developer Doug Manchester for whom the Grand Hyatt hotel is named. The LGBT led boycott of the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego hotel was a major issue in 2009 and 2010. Doug Manchester sold the Manchester Grand Hyatt in 2011 for $570 million.

Grand Hyatt San Diego-1

Manchester Grand Hyatt with two hotel towers and 1,625 rooms. Seaport Tower (2003) on left and Harbor Tower (1998) on right

Manchester Grand Hyatt is the second largest hotel in California at 1,625 rooms in the older 1992 Harbor Tower (40 floors and 875 rooms) and newer 2003 Seaport Tower (34 floors and 750 rooms). Hilton San Francisco is the only hotel in California with more rooms.

Harbor Tower at 497 feet is the tallest building on the waterfront in California and the third tallest building in San Diego. Seaport Tower is 446 feet.

Grand Hyatt San Diego-2

Manchester Grand Hyatt seen from San Diego Bay cruise.

Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel Reservation

Christmas week was one of the lowest rates of the year for the hotel. I booked a standard room at $111.20 using Hyatt’s ‘My Elite Rate’ for a 20% discount on the low $139 regular Hyatt rate. ‘My Elite Rate’ was a promotional Hyatt offer for 20% off BAR for Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum and Diamond members. Nearly every reservation I made with Hyatt in 2014 used this promotional rate. The rate has been discontinued for 2015.

Then I used a Diamond Suite Upgrade certificate for the stay and received a confirmed Conference Suite which had a $122 upgrade value based on the eStandby Upgrade offers after I booked the initial reservation.

Grand Hyatt eStandby Suites

Hyatt eStandby Upgrade offers

Parking is $30 per day for self-parking with in and out privileges.

Grand Hyatt Conference suite-1

Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite

There was plenty of space in the conference suite for my family to visit and enjoy the room space and view.

Grand Hyatt Suite-2

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite

The 8th floor seemed low in the 40 floor building until we went to the 33rd floor Grand Club lounge and decided the pool view was better from my room than the upper floors.

Grand Hyatt 8th floor view

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite pool view

Pool deck on 4th floor connects the two towers of Manchester Grand Hyatt.

Grand Hyatt suite pantry

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite pantry

The Grand Hyatt Conference Suite offered an additional bathroom and pantry with refrigerator and sink. The bathrooms were the one area for improvement. They are the original small size standard bathrooms with shower in tub.

Grand Hyatt bathroom

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite bathroom

The bedroom was standard with two Queen beds.

Grand Hyatt beds

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 838 Harbor Tower bedroom.

Both rooms had large 46-inch TVs.

Grand Hyatt bedroom tv

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 838 Harbor Tower Conference Suite bedroom

One of my favorite features of the room was a San Diego map print with different streets and sections of the city marked out in words.

San Diego Map

San Diego in art words

The expansive suite view provided hours of entertainment for me looking at the big city and San Diego Bay at night.

Grand Hyatt City Lights

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite view at night

Seaport Village by night and USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier by day.

USS Ronald Reagan

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite view of USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.

Manchester Grand Hyatt Public Spaces

Manchester Grand Hyatt is a grand hotel. The place was filled with navy midshipmen in town for the Navy-San Diego State bowl game. Navy won in a 17-16 final. My floor was one of the party central locations in the hotel.

Grand Hyatt SD lobby

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego lobby

Large wall paintings of pastoral country settings were a calm contrast to the energy in the hotel.

Grand Hyatt lobby-2

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego lobby

There are two sets of elevators for the Harbor Tower with one set for floors 1-28 and a second set for higher floors. This meant we had to go down from the 8th floor to the other set of elevators to reach the Grand Hyatt Lounge on Floor 33. There is also Top of the Hyatt on Floor 40, voted the best bar in San Diego for its views.

Grand Hyatt lounge

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club lounge on Floor 33 Harbor Tower

The lounge was open all day for drinks and food. The usual foods for breakfast including smoked salmon and a cappuccino machine. In the evening there were scallops wrapped in bacon and other items. Honor bar beer at $3 is one of the lower priced lounges I have seen. Main complaint about the lounge were the number of children and toddlers present. My photos were shot at 7am. At 9:30am and 6pm there was hardly a seat to be found. Occupancy limit is 180+ if I recall the sign correctly.

Grand Hyatt Club Lounge      Grand Hyatt lounge-2

The height of the Grand Club Lounge on Floor 33 is nearly the height of the 34 floor Seaport tower.

Grand Hyatt Seaport Tower

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club lounge on Floor 33 view to Seaport Tower

Swimming Pools

The pool area is a standout feature of Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. All elevators go to Floor 4 for the elevated rooftop pool deck between the two hotel room towers.

Grand Hyatt pool atrium

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego 4th floor pool deck

The pool had pool hours, however, the pool deck did not seem to be closed down as evidenced by a large group of Navy football game victory revelers hitting the pool deck at 2am. There were still swimmers in the pool after 9pm at night and the hot tubs were in use by 6am.

There is an adults-only pool on Floor 3 of Harbor Tower, however the floor was being remodeled during our stay.

Grand Hyatt pool fire pit

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego 4th floor pool deck

View of Coronado and Point Loma from the pool deck are the kind of desirable views that let you know San Diego is a seaport city. Hot tubs flanked both sides of the fire pit. Surfboard seat backs are a nice SoCal touch to the décor. Rock music was playing low on the pool sound system before 7am.

Grand Hyatt pool-2

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego 4th floor pool deck

Everything about the Manchester Grand Hyatt seemed California beach bum laid back in a formal luxury hotel resort setting.

The location of Manchester Grand Hyatt on the San Diego Bay waterfront is near several main tourist attractions like Seaport Village, San Diego Convention Center, Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego harbor cruises and the USS Midway museum for places within walking distance. Andaz San Diego is about one mile away into the city with no water views. Both Andaz and Manchester Grand Hyatt are Hyatt Gold Passport category 5 hotels at 20,000 points per night. Hyatt Regency Mission Bay San Diego is category 4, however, Mission Bay is several miles from downtown San Diego and a completely different experience in my opinion. I like the Mission Bay and Pacific Beach area of San Diego near SeaWorld and it is probably more family-friendly in terms of activities with children. Downtown San Diego is a heavy party scene.

The location of the Grand Hyatt on the waterfront makes it a preferable location to Andaz San Diego in my opinion. You can walk to the Gaslamp area around PETCO Stadium via the embarcadero marina waterfront, past the Marriott Marquis and San Diego Convention Center to the Hilton Bayfront where there is a pedestrian bridge across the light rail tracks to PETCO and Gaslamp.

Grand Hyatt ship view

View across Seaport Village shopping and restaurants as military ship sails in. Seen from Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Room 834 view of San Diego Bay.

The views are good from both sides of the Manchester Grand Hyatt.

Grand Hyatt lounge Mexico view

View from 33rd floor Grand Club lounge to Coronado Peninsula and Mexico in the south

You can even see to Mexico from some room locations or the Harbor Tower 33rd floor Grand Lounge.

Grand Hyatt San Diego clock

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Clock Est. 1992

Loyalty Traveler related posts:

Hotel Review Andaz San Diego (Dec 28, 2014)

Cool San Diego in Warm December (Dec 26, 2014)

Old Town San Diego for history and food (Dec 30, 2013)

Coronado Beach in a Dry December (Dec 27, 2013) San Diego area beaches.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. Good article, but even though you may be able to see Mexico from the hotel, Sarah can see Russia from her house.
    I’m headed for your area tomorrow(in Pacific Grove), having dinner at Fandango one night(great calamari steak), then Passionfish the next.

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