In 1958, while shooting “Some Like It Hot,” Marilyn Monroe paused
for a publicity photo, flashing her smile in front of the
red-shingled turrets of the Hotel del Coronado. Today, visitors
around the world strike a similar pose at this national landmark,
which continues to sizzle with rave reviews.
While this 31-acre beachfront destination echoes Old World charm,
the 1888 icon has launched a 15-year master plan to update the
premises, to “ensure that the hotel is just as breathtaking as it
was when it opened,” said Todd Shallan, general manager.
This fall, The Del unveils a new spa with 22 treatment rooms and
infinity pool. In addition, it will take the wraps off the new
Beach Village, featuring 78 oceanfront guestrooms, check-in
services, pools and hot tubs. The one- to three-bedroom units
feature kitchens, living and dining rooms and oceanview
A fitness center will be completed in January. On the docket are
improved locker facilities, steam rooms, whirlpools and private
lounge. This overhaul is sorely needed as the current gym is a
dwarf compared to the rest of The Del. Today’s Del at a Glance
What to do until the projects are completed? Come anyway.
Lauren Donoho, director of public relations, stressed that the
majority of work will be confined to the northwest edge of the
“We will be working with the construction company to minimize any
potential guest disruption,” she said.
Meanwhile, the plantation resort rates high on the
what-to-see-and-do list. Meandering pathways lined with Mexican fan
palm trees and flowers beckon guests to morning strolls. Ocean
recreation includes Jet Skis, speedboats and water skis all
available for rent.
Maintaining 679 rooms, 20 stores, five main restaurants, this
place doubles as a mega- playground for shopaholics, food
connoisseurs and outdoor enthusiasts. The Sunday buffet brunch held
in the Crown Room is an event. Here in this gorgeous circular
ballroom with a curved sugar-pine ceiling, crown-shaped chandeliers
hang down like clusters of diamonds off a delicate chain.
Families will enjoy a boatload of kid-friendly activities. A Coast
Club Teen Lounge offers a separate hideaway from parents. In the
summer, a surf camp, pool party, Tent City Kid’s Camp and outdoor
movie night will make the young ones feel that the vacation was
tailored for them. Rooms and Technology
Last June, a $10 million facelift infused new life into
381 guestrooms. With new soft goods and furnishings in tow, the
Victorian rooms are dressed in deep golds, autumn reds and tapestry
fabrics. The Ocean Towers and Cabana buildings, detached from the
main hotel, brandish a Caribbean motif with wicker furnishings and
a more modern feel.
Despite being a historic treasure, the hotel is 21st-century
ready. Guestrooms have high-speed Internet access and over 100
suites feature flat-screen TVs. Special Cottage units even come
with preloaded iPods and Bose SoundDock digital music amplifiers.
History buffs will also find this fascinating place worth the
trek. Notable names associated with the hotel include “Wizard of
Oz” author Frank Baum, who designed the crown-shaped chandeliers in
the Crown Room.
No doubt, The Del is a revered treasure. Even the well-heeled
traveler is wide-eyed seeing the lobby’s floor-to-ceiling mahogany
paneling and King Kong floral arrangements. Even presidents George
Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton chose this locale when visiting Southern
The bottom line? The Del is a classic jewel that can sweep guests
away with its historical significance, architectural prowess and
|COVERING CORONADO IN A DAY|
The quaint beachside community of Coronado is the ticket to
laid-back enjoyment, Southern California style. This island that
blankets a mere 7.4 square miles is tethered to San Diego via
Highway 75 and is so alluring that local San Diegans will come to
spend the day at the white-sand Coronado Beach or devour a
ravishing Mexican meal at the popular Miguel’s Restaurant, across
the street from The Del.
For outdoor enthusiasts, renting a bike will provide an
opportunity to meander down Orange Avenue, the main artery, and
head toward Spreckels Park. Once there, visitors can shop for local
goods at the farmer’s market or listen to a Sunday concert.
With racks throughout the city, riders can park their bikes
conveniently and hoof it to the myriad of antique shops and stores
throughout town. Once on the bike, adventurers can spin all the way
to the Coronado Ferry Landing on First Street, park their wheels
and board the ferry to San Diego. After 15 minutes, patrons
disembark in the heart of the Gas Lamp Quarter, an eclectic,
revitalized 16-block downtown district filled with major museums,
shopping malls, food and entertainment.
Before they leave the island, visitors should go to The Del and
stop for a drink at the romantic Babcock & Story bar. With
views of the sunset over the ocean, it’s the way to toast the end
of a perfect day in Coronado.
The Hotel del Coronado
1300 Orange Ave.
Coronado, Calif. 92118
Rates start at $235
For more info:
Coronado Visitor’s Bureau
1100 Orange Ave.
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