lifestyle, travel & reviews

{Travel Review} Hotel Del Coronado

The fabulous Hotel del Coronado

Step away from the ordinary and take a step back in time! Only at the Hotel del Coronado can you stay in a breathtaking, 19th century Victorian Era hotel sitting on 28 acres of the number one rated beach in America! Rated one of the top 10 hotels in the world by USA Today, it’s suited for Kings, Queens, Presidents… and even some 20th century cross dressers (Some Like It Hot);  a stay at the Hotel Del Coronado means you will be staying in the lap of luxury!

The Hotel del Coronado is the grand centerpiece of beautiful Coronado Island. Coronado is a situated off the coast of San Diego. It’s a quick jaunt across the San Diego Bay Bridge or a nice scenic drive along the Silver Strand. Coronado’s expansive white beaches and endless sunshine makes it the perfect year round getaway for couples and families.

My husband and I had the pleasure to experience The Hotel del Coronado for our 10th anniversary. Obviously we were sans kids, so our romantic overnight retreat began as soon as we unloaded the kids off at grandma’s house! We pulled up to the expansive hotel and were giddy with excitement! We both have visited The Del before, but never as guests! We went through the front doors and into the lobby and were immediately drawn to the beauty of the hotel. The wood work, the timelessness of the decor, the amazing elevator… all of it was breathtaking, yet overwhelming. There was so much to take in, you almost need a week to enjoy all the beautiful details of the hotel.

The beautiful lobby

We were there a bit earlier than check in time, so our room wasn’t quite ready for us. No big deal though– we checked our luggage with the bell man, and decided to explore a bit. We walked through the many shops including a shop called Est. 1888, which had all sorts of gifts and trickets devoted to the time period, the hotel and the famous movie, Some Like It Hot. We inhaled some delicious fudge from The Del’s hotel candy store, Spreckels Sweets & Treats.  Talk about walking back in time! It was so neat to see candy and confections from my childhood and beyond.

We then made our way around to the beach side of the hotel and decided to take in the view and enjoy a drink at the Babcock and Story Bar. Named after two mid-western businessmen who dreamed of opening a resort hotel that would be the “talk of the Western world.” The bar in Babcock and Story in the original 46 foot handcrafted mahogany bar which was brought by ship from Philadelphia around Cape Horn in 1888.  The B&S doors open to the backside of The Del which sits right along side of the Pacific Ocean. We enjoyed the afternoon talking and taking in the beautiful sights and sounds of The Hotel del Coronado. There were families, couples, business men and women– Never did I feel out of place as a couple.

A nice touch to The Hotel del Coronado is that they cater to young and old, and of course the young at heart! They have something for everyone. Recently they opened V.I.K or Very Important Kid. The program is designed to make the younger guests feel extra special starting at check-in! From specials and great offers at their on site Moo Time Creamery, to fun contests, scavenger hunts and luaus exclusive to Kidtopia.

For the older guests, myself included, you can take in all the many specialties The Del has to offer. From the lavish award-winning Spa at The Del to the Eno Wine Bar; you will feel doted upon and special in so many ways!

The Spa at The Del

After a few drinks and some lovely conversation, we received a phone call from the front desk that our room was ready. We hopped in the 19th century elevator and made our way to the fifth floor. As we approached our room, room 3508, housekeeping was in the hallway. They had just finished up and was so excited to see us! They told us we had the honeymoon suite and graciously said “Congratulations!” It was a very warm welcome! We weren’t celebrating our wedding night, but it sure did feel like ten years ago! My husband opened the door to the room and we were shocked to see a staircase! We ran up the staircase to another door, opened it to fin out we were in our very own tower room!

Our own private stairwell to our suite!

It was a circular room at the top of a tower. It had windows on about half of the entire room which spanned from the Coronado Bay Bridge to the San Diego Bay,  down to the Silver Strand,  around to The Del’s property and finally to the beautiful ocean! Looking back inside the room, it was adorned with beautiful furnishings, a queen bed,  and a rather simple, but beautiful bathroom. Off the bathroom was a small walk in closet that held beautiful white robes, an iron (which cam in handy), and ironing board and some extra pillows.

The many views from our room!

Our Tower Suite– top floor!

About an hour after we arrived in the room, we heard a faint voice from room service. They complimented our stay with a gorgeous array for cheeses, nuts, and fruit, along with a special bottle of wine! It was fabulous and such a sweet touch!  The wine was delish, the cheese extraordinary!

We freshened up and made our way down stairs to our dinner reservation at Sheerwater. Sheerwater chefs take advantage of the beachfront location with a lunch and dinner menu that focuses on fresh and sustainable seafood. Their menu also includes a variety of meat and vegetarian options, plus some good old fashioned favorites! Sheerwater was designed with the expansive views overlooking the Pacific Ocean in mind. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner services, plus an extensive cocktail menu! My husband and I enjoyed every minute at Sheerwater. We dined on an exquisite Artichoke and Blue Crab Dip. It was so delicious and had a bountiful amount of crab. Then we had our main courses. I chose the special Surf and Turf. It included a filet mignon, and 4 grilled shrimp in a wonderful scampi sauce. My husband devoured the Natural Black Angus Ribeye with truffle butter. He chose a side of scalloped potatoes that was big enough for two! We sat, talked, enjoyed the view. It was a nice ending to a fabulous afternoon.

The next morning we again dined at Sheerwater. The hostess actually remembered our last name and took us to a great table on the veranda overlooking the morning marine layer of the ocean. We sat and enjoyed quiche and fresh fruit, fresh squeezed juices and so much more. It was a beautiful morning. We could see the naval base ships heading out to sea, surfers and swimmers our for a morning dip; It was just beautiful!

We lounged by the pool and basked in the sun for a couple hours until it was time for checkout. Our experience at The Del was over– but we will be back!

Coming up in the holiday months:

Trick- or- Treat Reception

The fun begins at 7pm in the ghoulishly decorated Garden Patio with grown-up trick-or-treating. Venture from station-to-station and enjoy a variety of wine, cheese and chocolate tastings from ENO and spirits.

Hallo-wine & Spirits Party

Then, progress over to the Crown Room for food and dancing at the ultimate Halloween party. Enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres at a variety of food stations, a fabulous costume contest plus dancing to your frightful favorites played by our dreadfully delightful DJ. And, keep an eye out for a special guest appearance from Kate Morgan.

Hotel del Coronado’s “Hallo-wine and Spirits” Party is from 7pm to 12am and costs $100 per person (includes tax and gratuity). Must be 21 years or older to attend. A special Halloween-themed Kidtopia will be available for kids ages 4 to 12 at a cost of $50 per child. Advance reservations are required.


The Del is pleased to present several festive Thanksgiving options on Thursday, November 22. The oceanfront Ballroom and magnificent Crown Room feature elegant buffet dinners decked with all the trimmings and live musical entertainment from 12pm to 6pm.1500 OCEAN and Sheerwater will offer special menus along with spectacular Pacific views. The resort’s holiday programs will be kicked off on Thanksgiving weekend, including seaside ice skating against the backdrop of 100,000 white lights.

Skating by the Sea

Hotel del Coronado is celebrating the eighth anniversary of Skating by the Sea, a unique Southern California experience – outdoor ice skating overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The oceanfront Windsor Lawn will be transformed into a spectacular ice rink with skating sessions offered daily. From November 21 through December 14, there will be two daily sessions from 2pm – 5pm and 6pm – 9pm and a third matinee session from 11am – 1pm on weekends and holidays. From December 15 through January 1, all three sessions will be offered daily. Three-hour sessions cost $25 for adults and $20 for kids ages 10 and under. The two-hour matinee session costs $20 for adults and $15 for kids ages 10 and under (skate rentals are included in the price). A portion of the skating proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of San Diego. Book online at www.hoteldel/

Holiday Festival

On Wednesday, November 28, The Del will feature a special event for the whole family – “Holiday Festival…A Family Celebration.” In addition to the outdoor ice rink, kids of all ages can visit with St. Nick and his elves at Santa’s Village and enjoy holiday booths with games and prizes from 4pm to 7pm. There will also be hot cocoa, libations and fireworks. The resort’s 100,000 twinkling white lights will provide a magical backdrop for the evening’s festivities.

An American Christmas

The Del is pleased to present the annual production An American Christmas, performed by the award-winning Lamb’s Players Theatre, in the Ballroom from December 14 – 24. The Marshall family – played by 30 versatile performers who never miss a beat – welcome you to an interactive lavish feast and celebration set in the year 1912. Beginning with hors d’oeuvres, the Marshalls entertain their guests with stories, songs, dance and laughter, all woven around a sumptuous four-course yuletide dinner prepared by The Del’s master chefs. San Diego Magazine calls An American Christmas “a perfect melding of food, ambiance and showmanship.” For information and tickets, contact the Lamb’s Players Box Office at 619-437-0600.

Christmas Dining

Celebrate Christmas Eve with a lavish Victorian buffet dinner in the magnificent Crown Room from 5pm to 9pm. The celebration will include live musical entertainment. On Christmas Day, the oceanfront Ballroom and the magnificent Crown Room will feature traditional holiday buffet dinners decked with all the trimmings. For a more intimate celebration, both 1500 OCEAN and Sheerwater offer special holiday menus for your family and loved ones.

Victorian Tea

As a special treat for tea lovers, or those who just want to relax and enjoy the background sounds of our delightful harpist, The Del serves Victorian Tea throughout the holidays. Ladies and gentlemen, mothers and daughters and good friends will love this charming tradition.

Holiday Recreation

During the holiday season at The Del, guests of all ages enjoy a variety of activities including holiday night bike tours through festive Coronado Island, cookie decorating, crafts for kids, and Kidtopia Camp with holiday scavenger hunts and family s’mores roasts. Little ones will love the “Elf Tuck-Ins” where they are visited by real elves at bedtime. Teens can hang out at Vibz teen lounge, featuring billiards, foosball, computers and more (for those ages 13-17).

A Time to Celebrate

Ring in 2013 at The Del’s New Year’s Gala as we welcome 2013 with “A Time to Celebrate”. The evening will begin with a champagne reception in the magnificent Crown Room, followed by a lavish dinner in the oceanfront Ballroom, dancing to the contemporary sounds of local favorites, The Mar Dels, plus a champagne toast. The reception begins at 7pm in the Crown Room followed by dinner in the Ballroom. The cost for the New Year’s Eve reception and gala is $285 per person (includes tax and gratuity) or $325 per person for preferred ring-side seating (includes tax and gratuity).

A very special thank you to The Hotel del Coronado for the special room rate and fun surprises. All opinions expressed in the review are 100% my own.