Hotel del Coronado Celebrates the Holiday Season

Historic California hotel is known for its holiday traditions

By: By Kenneth Shapiro

Hotel del Coronado Celebrates the Holiday Season // (c) 2009


The Hotel del Coronado has been celebrating the holidays in grand tradition since 1888. Famous for its elegant surroundings and lavish service, The Del is also known for its festive holiday traditions. It was here in 1904 that America was favored with the first electrically lighted outdoor Christmas tree.

This year’s holiday theme is “Merry & Bright,” and the resort will be decked from head to toe with cheerful holiday decor. Add 100,000 glittering lights illuminating the resort, and a spectacular oceanfront ice-skating rink, and the Hotel del Coronado will truly be Southern California’s holiday wonderland.

• The oceanfront Ballroom and magnificent Crown Room feature elegant buffet dinners decked with all the trimmings and live musical entertainment from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
• Cost is $85 for adults, $37.50 for children ages 6-10 and free for children 5 and under.
• 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 and the illumination of 100,000 white lights.

Skating by the Sea
• The Hotel del Coronado is celebrating the fifth anniversary of Skating by the Sea, a unique Southern California experience — outdoor ice-skating overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A portion of the skating proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego.
• The oceanfront Windsor Lawn will be transformed into a spectacular ice rink with skating sessions offered daily.
• From Nov. 25 through Dec. 18, there will be two daily sessions 2-5 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. and a third matinee session 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on weekends and holidays. From Dec. 19 through Jan. 3, all three sessions will be offered daily.
• Three-hour sessions cost $20 for adults and $15 for kids ages 10 and under. The two-hour matinee session costs $15 for adults and $10 for kids ages 10 and under. Skate rentals are available for $5.

Holiday Festival
• On Wednesday, Dec. 2, 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 4-7 p.m.
• 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.

Christmas Dining
• Celebrate Christmas Eve with a lavish Victorian buffet dinner in the magnificent Crown Room 5- 9 p.m. The celebration will include live musical entertainment. Cost is $98.50 for adults, $42.50 for children ages 6-10 and free for kids 5 and under.
• On Christmas Day, the oceanfront Ballroom and the magnificent Crown Room will feature Victorian holiday buffet dinners decked with all the trimmings 12-6 p.m. Cost is $85 for adults, $37.50 for children ages 6-10 and free for kids 5 and under.

Holiday Recreation
• During the holiday season at The Del, guests of all ages enjoy a variety of activities including guided evening “sleigh” rides through festive Coronado Island, cookie decorating, crafts for kids, and the brand-new 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 the new Vibz teen lounge, featuring billiards, video games, movie-time media and more (strictly for those ages 13-17).

New Year’s Celebrations
• Ring in 2010 at The Del’s “Romance Through the Ages” New Year’s Eve Gala. The evening will begin with a Moet Chandon 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 7 p.m. in the Crown Room followed by dinner in the Ballroom. The cost for the New Year’s Eve reception and gala is $260 per person (includes tax and gratuity) or $310 per person for preferred ring-side seating (includes tax and gratuity).
• The Del is offering separate parties at Kidtopia 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. for kids ages 4-12 ($100 for the first child and $90 for each additional child). Teens, ages 13-17, will have fun at Vibz Teen Lounge ($60 per person). Celebrations include dinner, crafts, beach games, bonfires and more. Open to hotel guests and Gala Celebration guests.
• Keep the party going on January 1 with the annual New Year’s Day champagne brunch in the historic Crown Room 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $77 for adults, $35 for children ages 6-10 and free for kids 5 and under.