This is one of my favorite resorts. We just returned from a two city vacation to Las Vegas and San Diego. How relaxing and lovely it was to go from the fabulous but crazy Vegas scene and the 116 degree weather to the relaxed and beautiful atmosphere at the Hotel Del Coronado and an average temperature of about 70! We had booked a prepaid package---with no cancellation option--- for a partial ocean view room with two queen beds. For three nights, the cost was about $1450 and it included resort fees and WiFi. I think the rack rate would have been about $595 per night. This was during ComicCon and the Del---and other San Diego hotels---were pretty busy.
Arrival: Pulling up in front of the Hotel Del Coronado is a great feeling. The building is majestic and inviting with its Victorian style and signature red turrets. Kudos to Hertz for letting us upgrade to a Cadillac SRX from a Jeep Liberty for only $70 total. We pulled up in our stylish new vehicle and the valets and bellman were quite friendly and absolutely on point in terms of taking our car and directing us towards check-in, especially when the number of limos and chauffeur driven SUVs around the property suggested that there were guests with a lot more clout than our little family. You can self-park for the $30 per day or valet park for $40. After the first day, we realized that the self-park lot was right next to our building, so we were losing money and time by valeting. The only down side to the self-park was that it was occasionally crowded, so you had to really search for a space.
Check-in is in the main lobby. The hotel was originally built in 1888, so the lobby is something to behold with beautiful dark woodworking, incredible chandelier and an original gated elevator with attendant. The main hotel wraps around a very beautiful courtyard which you should see as well. The clerk who checked us in was very friendly and fun. She confirmed the details of our package, gave us our keys and hinted that there might be some famous types staying for ComicCon, though she wouldn't name names. (We did see the "King of Cameos" and deduce from a few details on his Twitter feed that a certain hefty Hispanic comedian was there as well. Additionally, when we ate at the Coronado Boathouse which is across the street and not part of the hotel, we saw the entire cast and crew of "Breaking Bad.")
Our room was in the ocean towers which is a series of separate buildings built in the 1970s. The rooms in this section are larger. The buildings are not super luxurious. They are more like apartment buildings. The best way to describe our room is to imagine that your family has had a beach house for generations and you are in one of the guest rooms. It has a familiar, cozy, beachy feeling, but it is not cutting edge stylish and you might have to tolerate a crack in tile or the occasional small peel in wallpaper. The walls were a neutral yellow, the beds were very comfortable with comforters that were topped with polo-striped blankets; there was a flat screen TV and a refrigerator as well as a desk and a couple of chairs. We just happened to be given a handicapped room, so the bathroom was probably slightly different from the standard. The balcony was small, but offered a view of the adult pool, the sand and the Pacific. We had a reasonable amount of drawer space and the closet, which was in the bathroom, held towels, robes, a safe, an iron and ironing board. The refrigerator was a real plus because it is not a mini-bar. There is a Von's in town, so we bought some fresh fruit, yogurts and milk to keep in our room in case anyone needed a snack. N.B. the refrigerator has a notice on it that states that it will not cool down as fast as a regular refrigerator. I don't know why this is, but our food was fine. The free, in-room WiFi is slow. You can upgrade to a faster connection for an additional fee, but we didn't bother. If I or my husband were doing business while staying there, I probably would have.
The grounds: The grounds of the Hotel Del Coronado are exquisite. The beach is beautiful and we enjoyed walking on it. The property is very large and there is much to see. There is an adult pool and a main pool. The scene around the main pool is very kid friendly, but still maintains a sense of luxury. You can reserve cabanas if you like. There are waitresses taking drink orders, pool attendants who are very friendly and willing to chat and a young woman whose job is to clean your sunglasses. The pool area has WiFi. On the sun deck above the pool, there is a snack bar/bar area which had live music, a band playing classic rock, while we were there. There are seating areas near fire pits on that deck, too and the ubiquitous and spectacular view of the ocean. We saw the staff set up for one wedding doing our stay, but it did not interrupt our access to the grounds in any significant way and the Del is a gorgeous spot for a wedding.
The adult pool is closer to the Ocean Towers and smaller, but very comfortable, especially if you are not keen on small children and games of Marco Polo.The Del has a lovely-looking spa and fitness center, but we didn't get a chance to use it. There is an extensive herb garden that the hotel maintains. There are larger villas for larger groups which face the beach and have separate pool facilities. You can also see the falcon and hawks used to keep seagulls from taking over the property. Inside the resort, there is an exhibit on the history of the hotel which I recommend. We found it very interesting. The line of Shops at the Del has specialty stores with fine men's and women's clothing, children's clothing, jewelry, luggage and hand bags, housewares stores, an ice cream shop, a candy store, grooming items and cosmetics, including the hotel's own line of products, a store that sells Hotel Del Coronado memorabilia as well as antique-style jewelry, clothing and household accents and another store that sells sportswear with and without the Del logo. I bought a Hotel Del Coronado hoodie and capris because it was getting just a bit chilly for me in the evenings.
Activities: Although we didn't actually reserve any activities through the hotel, you can take surf lessons, rent bicycles and plan other outings at the Del. We took care of reservations separately and planned a trip with OAX La Jolla to kayak the caves and a sunset sail through Seaworth rentals in Coronado. The town of Coronado is a great place to walk with some lovely shops, a movie theater and a playhouse. We liked strolling it at night and enjoyed gelato at the Nado Gelato Cafe one night and ice cream at Mootime another night. Check out Mootime's S'more Sundae or the almond gelato at Nado. Also, Mootime mashes different candies and sweets into your ice cream and my son swears by the cheesecake ice cream with cookie dough and butterscotch mashed in. There is a Mootime at the shops at the Del, but it is more expensive than the one in town and you will enjoy the walk.
The crowd at the hotel seemed very non-pretentious and I didn't notice any of the guests being particularly high-maintenance or demanding. I heard people speaking multiple languages, so the guests are diverse.There were quite a few families enjoying time with their kids. People were dressed casually and often in sports-related clothing. In sharp contrast to Vegas, from which we had just arrived, no one was dressed to kill. Although I am sure there are plenty of affluent guests at the Hotel Del, you can feel very comfortable here in a sundress or a pair of sport shorts, T-shirt and sandals for most of your day. We were supposed to eat dinner at 1500 Ocean and we would have dressed for that, but we decided to cancel because no one was actually hungry.
Dining: We dined at Sheerwater for breakfast one morning. This restaurant has both indoor and outdoor dining. The breakfast buffet has all the usual eggs, waffles, pancakes and omelets and a thorough variety of pastries. It also has some delicious savory items like chilaquiles and quiche. The price was around $22 per person, I think. We definitely felt it was a good value. We also had drinks at Eno, the wine bar. I ordered a flight of chardonnays and the young woman who served us provided us with plenty of information on the wines and pointed our her favorites. The flight was three very generous glasses of wine for about $20. I didn't finish the last glass because I would have been a bit too tipsy. Eno also serves different cheese platters, chocolate flights and gourmet sodas. It was really fabulous to spend the cocktail hour at an outdoor table sipping three very different, but all excellent wines and enjoying the ocean breeze.
Housekeeping: We had very little interaction with housekeeping, except to request an extra bathrobe and extra towels. (I think somehow the housekeeper was under the impression that we were a party of two instead of three.) Other than that, the room was spotless. Sometimes, it was cleaned a little later than I prefer, but generally the housekeeping was quite good and the one time we did bump into our housekeeper, she very sweetly thanked us for the tip.
One feature at the Del that fascinates my husband is its proximity to the naval base. If you stay at the resort, expect to see and hear naval helicopters, transport planes and the occasional jet. When we last visited several years ago, he also saw a bunch of navy recruits run along the beach, stop and do their exercises, sing "Anchors Aweigh" and then resume running. This time, he witnessed navy seals doing deploy and extraction to and from the water to helicopters. I think most guests find this aspect of the resort interesting, but some might not like listening to the peaceful waves of the Pacific lapping against the shore and then hearing the chop-chop-chop of a helicopter or the whoosh of a jet.
The bottom line: This is a beautiful and relaxing resort with very good service, a fascinating history and a location second to none. I would recommend it without hesitation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The legendary Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton 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