The newly renovated guest rooms at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego offer a view of the hotel’s most breathtaking asset. Floor-to-ceiling windows span almost two walls of the room, granting a panoramic view of the harbor below—a wide expanse of water reflecting the lights of the city’s distinctive skyline—and an array of nautical vessels in port or setting sail. The windows open to admit a burst of fresh sea air, inviting the serene atmosphere of the San Diego waterfront to fill the space.
The hotel’s new owners, Host Hotels and Resorts, clearly understand the unique appeal of the harbor location, and have embarked on an extensive renovation that draws upon the colors and textures of the California coastline. Gone are the dark woods and deep reds that previously signified the “grand” ideal, replaced by cool and airy tones of blue and gray, bright open spaces offering plenty of light, and clean modernist lines reflecting the structure of the Coronado Bridge.
Along with a refresh of the hotel’s 1,628 guest rooms, meeting spaces on the 1st and 4th floor were renovated, including the Grand Hall and Coronado Ballroom. Space was also opened up to groups of up to 150 on the 32nd floor, featuring an expansive balcony with incredible views.
“We really took into consideration the needs of our meeting planners and attendees when planning this extensive meeting space renovation,” says John Schafer, area VP and GM. “In addition to the variety of structural, technological and aesthetic improvements, upgrades were made to ensure that meetings are more effective and efficient, based on the feedback and needs of our clients.”
In total, the Grand Hyatt offers 130,000 sf of versatile meeting space, including 45 conference suites, all of which are set to undergo modernization. With an estimated completion date in 2016, the renovation will encompass the entire property and bring this fresh aesthetic to its lobby, bars and restaurants, including the Top of the Hyatt, situated 40 floors above sea level with 180-degree views.
The Hyatt can also organize events offsite, such as aboard the iconic USS Midway, a WWII aircraft carrier permanently moored in the harbor as a floating naval museum. Featuring more than 60 exhibits and 29 restored aircraft, it can accommodate private events for up to 3,500 guests. Two enclosed hangar bays of approximately 17,000 sf are also available; or, planners can take advantage of the city’s enviable year-round climate and host their event directly on the flight deck. The evocative setting has been the backdrop to a 1940s vintage theme and live swing band in the past.
In the heart of the Seaport District just across from the Hyatt, events can also be arranged at the Headquarters complex. Built in 1939 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building, which originally housed the San Diego Police Headquarters, now includes a collection of restaurants and specialty shops. Its blend of Mediterranean architectural styles conjures up old California. Our tour of the district included a champagne reception at local photographer Aaron Chang’s Ocean Art Gallery, wine and cheese tasting at the Venissimo Cheese shop, and a four-course dinner in the open-air courtyard catered by the Hyatt team.