Tip of the Day #5: 5 Best Comic-Con Hotel for Celebrity Encounters


You’ve heard the mythical stories of the once in the lifetime rare celebrity encounters during the San Diego Comic-Con. Could they be true? If you are new to Comic-Con, one of the reasons that may have enticed you to experience ‘Nerd Mecca’ are the epic stories of chance sightings of a celebrity. Whether it’s Joss Whedon, Robert Downey Jr, Benedict Cumberbatch, or Nathan Fillion, most of us hope to have at least one magical moment during the 4-days in San Diego. While not quiet as rare as Bigfoot, celeb sightings in the sea of other SDCC fans can have the odds stacked against you. However, the migration patterns of these sought after creatures have been tracked over the years- so while It’s not guaranteed, there are a few places that will increase your chances to catch a glimpse…or a photo…or a hug. Since the Comic-Con Hotel Sale is this Tuesday at 9a pst, some of you will be interested in which hotels have the highest chance of having a celeb encounter. Even the most mythical creatures have to sleep- so booking the right hotel will definitely increase your chances!


The best hotels for celeb sightings (in no particular order):
1. The Hilton Bayfront ($299)
2. Omni Hotel ($279)
3. Hard Rock Cafe and Hotel ($375)
4. The Hilton Gaslamp ($275)
5. Marriott Marina and Marquis ($296)

IMG_6549By trolling the lobbies, bars, or resturants, you greatly increase your chances of crossing paths with the object of your obsession. If you have never been before, the celebrity encounters can get pretty surreal at times and they happen at the most unexpected moments. Crazy thing is that no one has the same experience twice. I have gone some years and ran into big names every day and other years I hardly saw anyone. That’s the beautiful unpredictable nature of Comic-Con. Whether it’s the bar/lounge of the Hilton Bayfront, the Wired Cafe in the Omni, or in the elevator at the Marriott Marina Marquis, a lot if it is being in the right place at the right time. The Hard Rock is the obvious location for a lot of traffic but it can be pretty hard to catch a meaningful moment with anyone because of the crowds and commotion. Over the years, I met Guillermo Del Toro in the Omni, Robert Kirkman, at the Marriott Gaslamp, and the cast of Gotham at the Bayfront. You really have to keep your eyes up and be actively looking.

As a result, these hotels tend to be the most coveted ones. So for Tuesday’s sale, if celebrity sighting is less of a priority for you, you may want to choose hotels other than these to increase your chances. Hotels like the Marriott Gaslamp, Westin, Solamar, Horton, and the Manchester, are all still very close and will have a moderate level of celebrity and artist sightings. Happy hunting and I hope this year you and Bigfoot get a great selfie together. Soon, I will post an article about tips and etiquette when approaching a Comic-Con celeb.

For those returning to Comic-Con, which hotel was your best celebrity encounter? Leave a comment with your story!


21 thoughts on “Tip of the Day #5: 5 Best Comic-Con Hotel for Celebrity Encounters

  1. Robert Kirkman and Walking dead producers always stay in the Omni. I see them there every year.. ive seen a ton of lower level celebs walk around. I have talked with the staff and theyve told me Tom Cruise, Kate Beckinsale, Julia Roberts, Robert Downey Jr.. and a few other big names have stayed there. Only thing though is they havent used the lobby or regular elevators but have taken the service elevators to the steam tunnels that run underground from the Omni to the convention center. Last year there was a security team on guard outside the room across from mine so someone pretty big was staying across the hall. I tried catching a glimpse through the peep hole but i didnt get a good look. in the brief second i saw them it looked like a short fatter robert de niro, but i know de niro was at sdcc … then i felt creepy

    • Ha ha, good stories. Yea, there is a fine line between watching for celebs and being a creeper 😉 Thanks for the comment!

  2. I stayed at Hotel Solamar once and it was the base hotel for SyFy plus they featured parties like Maxim and FX. I ran into and saw a ton of celebs there!

  3. I love how random encounters can happen anywhere during Comic Con! Last year was a lucky one for me. I met Mike Tyson, the cast of Archer, Misha and Mark from supernatural, James Spader, the cast from Orphan Black, the cast of Russurected, Michael C Hall, and even Daniel Radcliffe ( I didn’t know it was him in that spidey suit till later though!), not to mention the signing events in the exhibit hall and the Nerd HQ events! I chalk most of it up to being in the right place at the right time. That said, I DID see quite a few celebs walking from the Omni into the con. If they have an event to go to they are usually in a car or cart being whisked through the crowds, but it seemed like a lot of celebs still take the time to visit with fans and take in the sights. Let’s hope this year is another lucky one for me!

    • Yes I stayed at the Omni one time and it was filled with celebs. It’s all about timing and keeping your head up. Thanks for the great comment!

  4. I believe Warner Bros has a lot of their people at the Hilton Bayfront, for the TV side anyway… Last year I saw actors from Supernatural, Arrow, Vampire Diaries…

    • That is true. I was there last year and I saw a lot of the WB folks during all times of the day. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Last year I was staying at the Hilton Bayfront. It was Thursday night and I was standing in line for hall h with friends. I was in costume as Gamora from earth 616. I was really tired and really wanted a shower. So my friends stayed in line and I went to the room. On my way up to my room I ran into Graham McTavish aka Dwalin. Really nice guy. I asked him politely if I could take a photo with him. He said yes, and complimented me on my costume. It was really ironic because Sunday night I was flying to New Zealand to start my new job at Weta Digital to go work on the Hobbit.

  6. Neil deGrasse Tyson a couple years ago in the Manchester Grand Hyatt’s cafe. I think my husband almost had a heart attack. Some of the Mythbusters also stayed there. The Residence Inn Gaslamp is the staging area for Geek and Sundry.

  7. The Hilton Bayfront is where a lot of press stuff takes place (entire floors with meeting rooms are reserved just for press conferences and roundtable sessions), so it’s very likely to be a place where you might spot someone.

  8. SDCC 2012 – My girlfriend was caught in one of the many crushes of people in the Exhibit hall. She stepped off the path and took refuge next to a large garbage can where a man was also standing to get out of the mass of people. People were stopping and asking for his autograph, she realized it was one of the worst celebrity moments – Being near a celebrity but not knowing who they are. She finally asked him and apologized for not knowing who he was. He said “I draw comics” and shrugged his shoulders, not telling her his name. He was very nice and they chatted for a bit.

    Later she told me the story and described what he looked like. I had an idea and showed her a picture – is this the guy you were hanging out with? Yes, that’s him!

    It was Jim Lee.

  9. I booked a hotel on mission beach, do you have any tips on getting to the convention center? Bad Idea? I did that because a family member has never been to the beach or comic con so I thought it’d be nice to knock to birds out with one stone. I am just concerned we will have one hell of a time getting to the convention center. Maybe I can book an execucar?

    • Yea, that is a little bit aways. However, all the major SD hotels are prepared to accommodate the best they can during Comic-Con. I would suggest calling your hotel and asking for the best options. There will be shuttles and buses from around Sea World but you will have to find out details.

      • Thank you so much for the fast reply! Your website is amazing! If I have a private car take us to and from (got Friday and Saturday badges) then no worries right? lol I hope so

        • That’s great. Even if you don’t have to park, traffic will be your biggest challenge. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get there way early. Thanks and good luck!

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