SDCC 2014: Ode to the Hilton Bayfront

For the past two years I have been fortunate enough to stay at the Hilton Bayfront during San Diego Comic Con. Anyone who knows the hell that is the SDCC hotel lottery knows that is quite a feat. There may someday be a year where we aren’t lucky enough to score the Hilton Bayfront and that will be the saddest day ever.

The Hilton Bayfront has really become a part of the whole SDCC experience for me.

I genuinely look forward to staying their each year. I’m not going to lie, their super comfortable beds have something to do with that. There is nothing like sinking into one of those at the end of a long day walking around. But it’s more than that. The ambiance at the Bayfront during SDCC is just  fantastic. It doesn’t feel like you’re just staying at a hotel. It feels like even when you’re checking in or checking out or hanging out in the lobby or in your room you’re still a part of the SDCC weekend.

And there is a reason for that.

Several of them, actually.

The staff truly embraces the weekend.

I don’t know about the other hotels in the area but these guys really go all out. It’s not just the hotel that goes SDCC-themed but employees, too. Throughout the weekend you’ll see everyone wearing their name tags not on uniforms or business attire but superhero t-shirts and casual clothes. They fit in. They look like they could be hopping over to the convention center themselves. And everyone always has a smile on their faces.

It’s not a big gesture but it’s cute.

And I’m sure they appreciate the opportunity to dress down and have some fun. I wish I had thought to take a picture but, you know, it completely slipped my mind. It just becomes kind of normal to see them in their Batman and Superman t-shirts. (Though I don’t know what the guy in the ‘In Living Color’ t-shirt was thinking.)

The location cannot be beat.

The Hilton Bayfront is the hands down best hotel as far as location is considered. Across the street from the convention center, it’s not necessarily the shortest walking distance from the exhibit hall entrance but it is the quickest. Instead of trying to cross over busy roads and railroad tracks you just have to cross one road that is constantly free for pedestrian traffic. Even when it’s not it takes mere minutes of waiting to cross. It’s great when you need to drop off swag or things you’ve bought on the floor or when you need to take a little break from the convention.

Let me tell you, many power naps were taken in our room this summer.

It’s also really convenient when someone decides to sleep outside in wait for Hall H, signings, or exclusives. They can always run up to use the bathroom or someone can take them down things.

Another plus is that you don’t even need to cross the street to get to some of the outside SDCC events! This year the Simpsons set up their outdoor event just outside the FOX Grill and the Gotham Zipline was right behind that. You can actually see them building both in the picture I posted of our view.

Whoever runs their Twitter is a rockstar.

Believe it or not, the Hilton Bayfront is kind of a ‘must follow’ during SDCC even if you aren’t staying there just because of all the SDCC stuff they post.

Seriously. There are some great brands on Twitter but the Hilton Bayfront during SDCC is basically like tweeting back and forth with a friend. They will respond to just about anything you direct towards them and they retweet pictures and things the whole weekend. The tweets don’t even have to have anything to do about the Bayfront or it’s services.

They just seem to be happy to be interacting with attendees. Which is nice because you know they don’t have to do that. They don’t have to go that extra mile. We’d stay at the Bayfront either way. As I said, it’s the best location available. But they do take the time to make things special for their guests and SDCC attendees. And that is what truly makes them special. They care.

They actually care.

And I mean that. They do care. I have a bleeding disorder that when it decides to act up can be potentially very serious. And, of course, it decided to seize Saturday as the perfect opportunity to flare up. It was pretty scary being in California with no idea where to go in the case of an emergency but the Hilton Bayfront staff was great. Friday night they helped me figure out where the local pharmacies and grocery stores were and even had printed maps with everything highlighted at the desk ready to go. They went all out that night to make sure I was comfortable through the night until I could get to a pharmacy. Then the next morning they printed out information on the nearest urgent care centers and hospitals were for me just in case. That alone would have been great.

But they did even more.

They kept track of me on Twitter and Sunday morning when I was checking out at 4:00 AM the girl behind the desk on Friday night happened to be walking by in the lobby. She took the time to stop and check up on me. Just to make sure I was doing okay. Because with all of the regular guests they had and all the celebrities they were catering to she remembered.

A+ service, Hilton Bayfront.

They seem to have fun with it, too.

I like to think that they really enjoy this weekend. I’m sure it’s a lot of work and I’m sure that it’s hard to cater to the massive number of people who are hanging around at all times. But they sure make it seem like they are enjoying themselves.

Starbucks and the FOX Grill are just downstairs.

One of the greatest things about the Hilton Bayfront isn’t just the staff or the service but the fact that you don’t have to go far for quality food. The Nerdophiles staff eats dinner almost exclusively at the FOX Grill. We go out now and again but after a long day, honestly, all we want to do is go back to our room. The FOX Grill is actually pretty decently priced considering it’s on the ground floor of the Bayfront. You just can’t beat a filling burger and fries for $15 at SDCC when it’s just a short elevator ride away.

The same can be said of Starbucks. Sure the line is long but it’s right there. You just run down, hop in line, and after a way shorter wait than you’ll have for anything else at SDCC you’ve got your drink and maybe even a sandwich for later. Plus this year we got to watch the 90s Batman movies in line so that was pretty awesome. So was their Gotham skyline and Batman decor!

Honestly, I can’t imagine an SDCC where we didn’t stay at the Hilton Bayfront.

I get excited every year at seeing the old place again. And I’m going to knock on the crappy particle board wood that my Ikea desk is made of that we get to see it for many years ahead.

I think that our photo from the official Hilton Bayfront photo booth from this year sums up this whole article pretty well.

5 responses to “SDCC 2014: Ode to the Hilton Bayfront

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