Hotel Del Coronado: Coronado, California

Grounds in front of the Victorian building

Hallway murals – lovely!

Balcony views
Overcast but beautiful day

If you’re visiting the San Diego area, visiting Coronado is a must. The Del is a legendary hotel built in 1888 that has seen the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Katharine Hepburn, and almost every president of the 20th and 21st century.

Between the history and beauty, it’s at least worth a day trip. We spent a few nights so we could get the feel of the island. Overall, I enjoyed the hotel and would stay again but there were areas that could be improved.

Grounds

STUNNING. The best aspect of the hotel is the grounds. From the shops to the beach to the views – everything is incredible. The beach is AMAZING. It is quiet and not all that crowded. You have a panoramic view of the Pacific and plenty of sand to run around in. We did not do beach service as we always have our own beverages and essentials.  I did find out, though, that the umbrellas were $30 per day and the towels were complementary. I mentioned that there is a lot of shopping. There are a couple of faux Kate and Jack Spade stores downstairs that I quite enjoyed. There are also jewelry stores and an ice cream shop. It is a true resort, in the most positive sense.

The one negative: the pool was small and shallow. I understand there are a lot of kids so they want to make it safe but I come to California almost exclusively for 10 feet pools. I can wade in the water elsewhere.

Check In 

The Del is a busy hotel. Checking in was a bit slow and the service was lacking. A couple of things to look out for: 1) the correct room rate and 2) parking. I’d changed my reservation a few times (I tend to do this as rates and plans change) and the representative did not have the correct rate. It was corrected after our stay but it should have been smoother. Also be aware that the hotel will ask if you want valet or self parking as though either is compulsory. Valet Parking costs $49 and self parking is $39. We found this to be expensive so we street parked but the hotel still charged us for self parking. I trust this will be resolved but squabbling over charges is annoying.

Rooms

As far as the rooms go, I think the key to enjoying your room is picking the right building. I originally chose a room in the Tower building because it looked more “beachy,” but many guests noted that the rooms were “dowdy” and far from the main building. The Beach Village also looked lovely but at 1K a night was not in our price range for this trip.

We opted for the Victorian building instead which is the main building. The room was large and spacious and located close to everything. We upgraded for a balcony room. The views were nice but the balconies could use a little TLC so I don’t think the upgrade was really worth it.

Dining

We didn’t do much dining at the hotel. The reviews were very mediocre and everything was EXTREMELY overpriced. We contemplated having our anniversary dinner at Sheerwater but when we saw that cocktails averaged $18 and mains $40, we decided to go to San Diego mainland for dinner. (More on that in my upcoming San Diego blog).

Bisous Coronado!

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