Our stay at the Del was probably a bit different than just coming for a vacation. We are local San Diegans and the hotel was the wedding venue for our son. We also booked 4 rooms all together. My review will be twofold: Hotel and the Wedding.
Hotel: The property is beautiful! There is none like it in San Diego. Our room was a Junior Suite Oceanfront and the view and the room was magical. It was in the Victorian building. This is the original building and this balcony was what you would imagine in the movies with the unobstructed ocean front view. My son and his groomsmen had an ocean view room but it was in the Cabana building so that is not in the original Victorian. They said it was a great room with an amazing view and they had a corner balcony. The other two rooms were the complimentary rooms when you book a wedding. One was a basic and the other was a Junior Suite both in the Victorian room so that was so convenient for the bride and her bridal party. Their rooms did not have a view but looking back, I should have requested at least a garden view and paid the difference instead of a view of the parking lot:) But, nevertheless, the rooms were something we were extremely happy with.
As for the valet, I have been to the Del on may occasions for the Spa or lunch/dinner or wedding planning and the valet is excellent in that aspect. Where the snafu occurred was when we checked in and as you can imagine, for a wedding of 250 guests, we had a lot of wedding "supplies" that about 4 vehicles had. They were neatly organized in clean bins and marked, however, the valet was less than accommodating with that. I wish they had just told us what was the proper protocol on where to unload the items that were going into a storage conference room. If they had told us, we would have gladly complied. Instead, they made us feel less than welcome and the bride was a bit stressed by this, and the head person shook his head and said: "You shouldn't be doing this here..." but did not give us another option. So, we continued to unload a couple of the valet guys assisted us and the rest we had our guys/gals carry in. We did our best to do it expediently so we can get our cars out of the way from the front of the hotel. It just made a very unpleasant start of a wedding weekend.
Check In: The check in was a different experience: welcoming, warm, and informational. They were top notch and it was the top notch service you would expect.
Retail: Restaurants, shops (including the yummy candy store), and the clothing stores were all great experiences with good food and friendly service.
Wedding Venue: The planning stages were all well done and went smoothly. Our coordinator was knowledgeable and always came back with an answer in a very timely manner. She always had time to either meet with me or communicate with me in person especially during the last few days closer to the wedding. The changing rooms (Hanover and Bayside) for the Bride and Groom were large and accommodated the wedding party, breakfast, hair stylists and make up stylists that we hired. The Lawn for the Wedding? The pictures say it all. That is where the ceremony was. It was an 11 a.m. wedding and the lawn set up we requested was 7 a.m. and that went off without a hitch. The view for the wedding is unparalled anywhere in SD with a direct ocean front view. The set up for the water, lemonade was perfect and they put up umbrellas in certain areas like we requested since it was sunny. The appetizers for the "cocktail hour" was hot, fresh, and the servers were very good.
Reception Set Up: Right after the appetizers, we moved to the Grand Ballroom. It has a panoramic ocean view. The stressful and negative experience we had was early morning of the wedding preparing the ballroom. We requested for a 7 a.m. set up (since we needed to be at pictures and etc by 9:30-10:00 a.m.) and when we got there past past 7 a.m., the room was still dirty from the event the night before. I don't know where the miscommunication occurred. We had about 10 people to turn the ballroom around--linen, chair covers, sashes on the chair, and centerpieces. For 29 tables and 290 chairs, that is a long process. It was 8 a.m. and nothing was really being done except for one guy who was putting the dance floor together by himself but no cleaning was going on. So we personally started pulling dirty linen from the tables and started moving tables to where they belonged and picking up the spilled food from the night before that was on the carpet. At this point, I voiced my concerns to the captain and she said she will convey the message to the catering department. Another worker came to help arrange the tables but they were rude and were not accommodating. I know they are only given directions from the catering department but I feel that customer service should be taught to ALL the workers that will interface with the customers. The captain stated she would give the message to the conference/catering department so I did let her know how unhappy I was and that I needed action. We continued to work getting chair covers on and sashes, etc, and I was panicking inside because the room was still not vacuumed and dirty linen everywhere. My coordinator came past 9 a.m. and it was then that she got the team to go into action but all of my friends continued to put linen on the table even though they told us they would do it. Once our catering coordinator was there, she directed the workers on what to do. I felt much better then. We did not have much time to turn the room around to look elegant and beautiful like the bride wanted. One has their wedding at Hotel Del because they feel that everything will be set and that the customer experience will be first rate. The set up crews/workers need help in being taught customer service--they were curt, not very understanding of the urgency, and did not want to go the extra mile. After the wedding, since there were workers with their little carts driving around, we asked if they could give us a ride to our SUV with our large, wooden arch. Instead of saying: "We can't do it," they left our guys waiting for 45 minutes and ignored the request. So we had 4 guys carry it. If they cannot accommodate the request, just say so.
Food: The food was excellent!! The timing of the food coming out and the quality is top notch. . On the food staff: it would be a nice touch to teach the wait staff to smile and be friendly as I have experienced in other weddings. But love, love the food. We had mushroom risotto for the vegetarians, chicken and beef for the others and all were amazing. And we had requested for an Espresso Cart and our coordinator arranged it. Wow-- that was a HIT!! I would definitely recommend that and since we did not have a bar, it was a fun option. Everyone had a fun time at the reception and it was beautiful day so the view was spectacular.
We stayed an extra day to relax in the pool area and to chill. The pool area is okay--large and they serve food so that was convenient.
The best part was upon checking out, our Valet definitely went beyond the call of duty. He made up for the valet a few days before. We had a LOT of things from wedding and his attitude was so "can-do" and friendly and nothing fazed him. He was definitely customer service oriented!! I wish I could remember his name because he was so good and the Hotel Del experience you would want.
Would I recommend a recommend a wedding there? Well, working with the catering department is a joy and the service you get from the coordinator is so efficient and smooth! And you cannot beat the beauty of the venue.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The legendary Hotel del Coronado is located on 28 oceanfront acres on Coronado Island. Built in 1888 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, The Del continues to maintain its rich history while also offering contemporary conveniences such as unique beachfront dining, an award-winning spa, upscale shopping, recreational activities and the luxurious cottages and villas at Beach Village. The hotel's spectacular setting, impeccable service and award-winning cuisine also makes it the perfect setting for a fairytale wedding. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Resort Del Coronado
- Del Coronado