Sometimes, we travel for the sites. Sometimes, we travel for the food. Often, I travel just to drink my morning coffee in a glamorous location…but occasionally, you find a resort so fabulous, it’s a reason to take a trip all by itself. Recently, I had the opportunity to check out the Hotel Del Coronado, and I found it to be exactly that kind of place.
From the history, to the food, to the iconic turrets, I was smitten with the Del from the first minute we arrived there. Read on to find out what makes this iconic island resort a worthwhile destination for your next beach vacation…
Built in 1888, The Hotel Del is a National Historic Landmark, and the years of history are definitely a big part of its charm. Everything about the place echoes of the time that it was built in, when resorts were grand and opulent, ladies’ skirts required wide hallways, and dining was an event. We did a history tour of the place, and here are a few of my favorite fun facts that we learned:
- The historic Crown Room features chandeliers shaped like crowns that were designed by L. Frank Baum, writer of the Wizard of Oz. He also wrote 3 of the Wizard of Oz books while staying at the hotel.
- The hotel has a ghost, Kate Morgan, who died of a gunshot to the head 5 days after checking in under the name Lottie A Bernard in 1892. The San Diego County coroner determined the shot to be self-inflicted, but there is still debate about that fact to this day. There is usually a long wait to stay in her apparently haunted room.
- In 1958, Marilyn Monroe stayed at the Del to film Some Like It Hot, though they only shot exterior scenes at the hotel.
Another reason I find the Hotel Del Coronado so iconic may or may not be the fact that my mother has always talked about it and told me that they have the best crab cake ever. It can be found at Sheerwater and it was seriously stellar, with big chunks of crab. Of course, we wanted seafood for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which was easy to achieve.
On Sunday, we indulged in brunch in the Crown Room. Here, they have tons of different stations, with everything from breakfast food to cheeses, to carved meats, sushi, crab legs, and international foods. The dessert table was an impressive display of every sweet thing imaginable, complete with top-your-own donuts. The mimosas and bloody marys are included in the hefty price tag, so the booze is free flowing. It was great fun to try a little of everything and enjoy the spectacle of the whole thing!
The only food we weren’t impressed with was the snacks by the pool. I’d suggest going to a restaurant for lunch before lounging by the pool with a cocktail.
I know, I know, when you think of resort activities, you think of little kids, right? While the Del does have plenty to do for families, we skipped all of that and still found great ways to fill our time.
First of all, there are regular beach spin classes and yoga classes, if you’re feeling fit. I did beach yoga and found it to be such a welcome time for relaxation, restoring mental clarity and presence during my vacation. Plus, with the time change, the 8am class time didn’t feel so torturous, since I woke up early anyway.
We also did some painting by the sea, which was one of those classes where you paint a set picture and drink wine, but it was outside with a lovely view of the ocean. My artwork turned out terrible, but mom and I had a great time laughing at our attempts.
The Del also has a great Spa if you need to relax, which counts as an activity to my mind. There are also a bunch of shops right on property, so wandering about and shopping is a great way to fill an afternoon.
Of course, the main attraction to a seaside resort is its location near the water! The Hotel Del Coronado is perfectly situated on the sand, and we had a great view on the little balcony off our room, where I sat and drank my coffee each morning.
Even if you get a room without a view, you can enjoy the sand and surf during a beach bonfire or a day sitting in one of the red and white striped cabanas. Most of the bars and restaurants also have great views and outdoor dining, so you can enjoy a little slice of paradise while eating al fresco.
The concierge can also help you arrange for renting a sailboat, wave runners, paddle boards, or kayaks. The beach is massive and very wide, so there’s lots of room for just wandering in the sand. Whatever you do, be sure to enjoy the million dollar views every second you can while you’re there!
Have you ever been to a hotel so amazing, it was a destination in itself? Tell me about it in the comments!