Review: Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

After spending a night at the W Hotel San Diego, I decided to move a bit closer to the bay and spend a night at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. The only Hyatt property I’ve stayed at in the area is the Andaz San Diego, which I quite enjoyed.

The Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego is massive, with two huge towers and over 1,600 rooms, so I’ve long avoided it since I’m not really into Vegas-style hotels.

But I figured I might as well check it out for a night, and booked it using a Hyatt “My Elite Rate,” which was $140 for the night. I’m really amazed by how consistently that rate has been available, as it’s an incredible deal, offering 20% off the Hyatt Daily Rate. For reference the Manchester Grand Hyatt is a category five Gold Passport property, making it 20,000 points per night. Paying was clearly the better option in this case.

Anyway, I walked from the W Hotel to the Manchester Grand Hyatt at around 3PM, which was a nice 15 minute walk.

The massive lobby is located between the two towers of the hotel, and the entrance really does feel like a Vegas hotel based on the dozen plus bell carts outside the front door.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego exterior

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego exterior

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego exterior

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego lobby

While there was a short queue for check-in, there was also a Gold Passport Platinum & Diamond line with no wait, so I was quickly helped. The associate checking me in was friendly. He confirmed I’d receive complimentary internet access and Grand Club access as a Gold Passport Diamond member, and offered me my choice of Diamond amenities (I selected the 1,000 points). He also upgraded me to a Premium View King room on a high floor in the Harbor Tower.

The Harbor Tower is located to the left of the lobby, so I headed in that direction towards the elevators.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Harbor Tower entrance

The Harbor Tower has two sets of elevators — one set for guests staying on the 28th floor and below, and one set for guests staying on the 29th floor and above.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Harbor Tower elevators

My room was on the 31st floor, room 3107.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego hallway

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego room entrance

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego floorplan

The room had typical renovated Grand Hyatt decor. It was clear the room was recently renovated, so the decor was almost identical to every Grand Hyatt in the US that I’ve stayed at recently.

The room featured an entryway with the bathroom to the left, and a counter-top of sorts to the right.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Premium View King room entryway

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Premium View King room entryway

The room featured a king bed, and couch/daybed… I’m not really sure which it was.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Premium View King room

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Premium View King room

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Premium View King room bed

Then there was a flat screen TV and desk with a comfortable rolling chairs.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Premium View King room desk and TV

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Premium View King room sofa

Next to the TV was something that was either a massive throne seat or intended for luggage… or probably both.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Premium View King room

I loved the views from the room, which faced the bay and marina.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Premium View King room

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Premium View King room

The bathroom was typical for a Grand Hyatt as well, and featured a sink, shower-tub combo, and toilet.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Premium View King room bathroom

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Premium View King room bathroom

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Premium View King room shower

The toiletries were June Jacobs branded, which I feel pretty indifferently about. I don’t hate them but also don’t like them in the least. At least it’s not Portico!

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Premium View King room toiletries

Wifi in the room was fast, and I think it’s worth noting that there were plenty of power adapters all over the room, including near the desk and bed.  That seems so simple, but it’s an area where other hotels fall short.

One of the most impressive aspects of the hotel was the Grand Club, located on the 33rd floor.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club

The Grand Club was huge and also newly renovated, with a variety of seating options.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club

The Grand Club’s hours were as follows:

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Soft drinks, coffee, and nuts were available throughout the day.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club drinks

By US standards the Grand Club spread was really impressive I thought. In the evenings from 5-8PM there was cheese, veggies, pasta salad, bread, a variety of bite-sized snacks, and one hot option.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club evening spread

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club evening spread

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club evening spread

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club evening spread

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club evening spread

Wine and beer were available for purchase using the “honor system,” as usual.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club evening spread

The breakfast spread was even more impressive, and served from 7AM till 10AM on weekends. It featured cereal, bread, pastries, cheese, salmon, fruit salad, yogurt parfaits, and two hot options.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club breakfast spread

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club breakfast spread

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club breakfast spread

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club breakfast spread

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club breakfast spread

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club breakfast spread

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club breakfast spread

In terms of the hotel’s facilities, unfortunately the fitness center was closed for renovation, and will remain closed till February 15, 2014. They have an arrangement with the Marriott so that Hyatt guests can use their gym, though that just didn’t seem worth it to me.

The hotel also has two rooftop pools, on the third and fourth floors. The main pool is on the fourth floor, and features a large outside area though not an especially huge pool given how big the deck is.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego pool

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego pool

Meanwhile there was an adults only pool on the third floor, which was a bit nicer.

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego adult pool

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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego adult pool

I do like the location of the Grand Hyatt since it’s right on the water. Admittedly that’s a really touristy area, but there are great restaurants in the area and I do love the views from there. Generally I don’t like at staying at 1,600+ room hotels, but this was definitely one of the better run “mega” hotels I’ve stayed at. They did a nice job with the renovation, as I really liked the room, even if it was generic. Beyond that, not only was the Grand Club physically beautiful, but for a US lounge it had an impressive breakfast and evening spread.

All else being equal I’d probably return to the Andaz since it’s a bit more “boutique,” but this is definitely a solid option in San Diego.

Enjoy this review? Check out hundreds of other reports on airlines, hotels, and airport lounges worldwide!

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. @ mark — Thanks for being such a loyal reader. The speed with which you consistently comment about toilet pictures is nothing short of impressive!

  2. Lucky, I had a totally different experience there this past October when I was there for a conference. I’d used a suite upgrade certificate and thought the suite, while enormous, was totally non-functional (e.g., the couch faced away from the TV, and the only way to watch the living room TV was on two individual chairs bolted into the carpet). The squarish pleather furniture throughout the room was uncomfortable and everything just seemed a little cheaply done. I will say that the service was phenomenal for a hotel of its size, but beyond that, I just didn’t see any charm, character or luxury in the place.

    Bottom line, America needs more Park Hyatts!

  3. @Ben — Have you reached the owners of this property? Unless they have sold, I won’t be staying there.

  4. @Gene and @Lucky– I understood that nominally it was sold but that there’s still a substantial interest. There’s a reason his name is still attached to the property… I have to imagine one of the reasons the sale took place (I think Hyatt corporate bought it first, then re-sold it?) was to shake off any of the post ’08 controversy attached to the hotel previously.

  5. @Ben — Glad you understood that “reached” meant “researched”! And, I have had my coffee… 🙂

  6. I never been to San Diego but I am not impressed with the hotels there after reading your reviews. The W was an “Ikea” hotel that just damages the brand. Now this huge Hyatt that reminds me of Las Vegas. And the shower looks so cheap that you can get in any Fairfield Inn or Comfort Inn by a busy highway. Not what I would expect from a Hyatt.

  7. @Santastico — there’s actually a totally charming luxury hotel in San Diego, the US Grant, which is a Starwood luxury collection property. It’s historic, well kept up, and the rooms are sumptuous and historically appropriate while also being modern and unfussy.

  8. I have a feeling is news about what hotel owners donated to, or what their politics were, we’d be boycotting half the hotels in the world lol

  9. I stayed here over the holidays this year and while it was nice overall the elevators were obnoxiously slow. We wait 10 minutes for an elevator, and other people were waiting longer! I mentioned it to the front desk but they didnt have much to say about it. Big problem.

  10. Good review. It captures the place pretty well, in my experience. The rooms were nothing to write home about, but the lounge was up there among the best I’ve been in in the USA. The front desk was pretty poor for my stay. I had a minor issue and they really didn’t care.

  11. True story. My sink was full of someone else’s whiskers when I checked in. I asked for the sink to be cleaned while I ate dinner. When I returned the sink was clean but there was a single pube resting in the exact center of the toilet seat.

  12. I was there in April for a large conference and had a virtually identical room in the Harbor Tower (other side of the hall). I thought the room was nice (bathroom nothing to write home about), staff were exceptional, and the Grand Club was great. The club is also a great place for plane spotting, if I recall correctly.

  13. Thanks for the review! I was wondering, were you provided access to the Grand Club b/c you were a Plat member? Just curious since you mentioned that your room was on the 31st floor and the Grand Club was on the 33rd; in other Grand Hyatts I am used to seeing guests on floor of the club (and above) being granted access. I will be staying there for a conference in May and would love to visit without having to pay extra!

  14. Ah my apologies, you’re a Diamond! Doubt the access will be given to platinum members, then…

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