The legendary Hotel del Coronado, open since 1888 just south of San Diego, offers the best for a beach-side vacation experience with amenities the whole family can enjoy, all while maintaining historical charm.
Our family enjoyed a 3-day visit last month to the tune of fabulous weather in the 70’s, warm sun, and an amazing visit. Staying in the hotel’s California Cabanas our two adjoining rooms were ultra comfortable with a stunning view of the pool and property beyond and partial view of the amazing Pacific Ocean. Having room for our entire family of 5, we appreciated the two rooms, that also included a sofa sleeper for our youngest. Both rooms had patios that overlooked the pool area, Sundeck Bar and Grill, and the Splash Bar and Deli poolside.
After check-in, we immediately headed for that pool, all doors around it require room key admittance. Great security as the local beach is adjacent to the property and during the summer we’re told, non-guest like to sneak into the pool. We were wrist-banded so we didn’t have to respond to random key card checks. Fine by us, we found wonderful pool-side lounge chairs and got comfortable. For those who would like pool side food and drink service, the chairs have a moveable flag to grab the server’s attention, this way you don’t have to leave your seat or your children unattended to order. I was disappointed on the first visit as the Splash Bar closed (6pm) minutes after we settled in, but the Sundeck Bar was just a staircase away, where Bill greeted me with a smile and Mai Tai.
The pool was a luxurious 80+ degrees and there’s an adjacent hot tub that is even hotter if you need to warm up or get a jetted water massage. On certain evenings (as mentioned in their very detailed resort itinerary in the room), “Flick and Float” dive-in movies are shown, and as it sounds, you can literally be in the pool while you watch normally a children’s movie on a portable screen. After dinner and a change of clothes, we pulled up a chair and enjoyed the movie Cars during our visit and it was delightful.
Along with the pool side grill and deli, the Del hosts guests at 1500 Ocean, it’s signature restaurant, Sheerwater bistro, ENO, a wine, cheese, and chocolate bar, Babcock & Story Bar, and The Crown Room. Not to forget MooTime Creamery and the Boardwalk Cafe. The ENO hosted a wine tasting event for a small fee while we were there, it will be something we must try next visit! We decided to walk about town, so our car parked when we arrived and didn’t move until we checked out those 3 days. There’s over 50 restaurants within walking distance from the Del, our favorite being Miguel’s Cocina, mexican fare with delicious white sauce salsa!
Kidtopia is fun for kids 4-12 offering craft classes, playtime, camps, and more. Upon check-in, my younger two kids got V.I.K (very important kid) badges. The program is designed to make the littles feel extra special during their visit. Once you visit resort spots like MooTime Creamery, Spreckles Sweets & Treats, and The Toy Castle toy store, a sticker is given on their badge (no purchases required). It’s like a scavenger hunt and when all stickers are collected, head to Kidtopia for your last sticker and then receive a special prize.
For the older crowd Vibz is a year-round teen lounge that offers a pool table foosball, darts, computers, Dance Dance Revolutions and the opportunity for kids to meet others their age. Bike and Boogie board rentals are available for the bigger kids and there’s even special treatments like a 25-minute Frosting Massage catered for them at the Spa at the Del. Families will just love all they have for kids as well as adults during the summer, next time we’ll have to try the family S’mores Night on the beach! As for the beach, the water is warmer, if only slightly, than our central coast beaches, the sand is like white powder, and it was just such an nice option steps from the resort.
Coronado’s close proximity to LA has made it a popular celebrity destination for over 100 years, not to mention a famous spot for filming movies (Some Like it Hot with Marilyn Monroe)! We were not disappointed when during a poolside afternoon, I spied Nestor Carbonell, from ABC’s hit show LOST. Vacationing with his wife and children, I tried to keep my excitement to a minimum and just snapped a few distant photos.
The hotel’s history can be seen in photos in the glass cases just downstairs from the lobby amidst the shops, as well in the store Est. 1888. We walked around a while as my history-buff husband checked out the books, maps, and movie set memorabilia. The grounds are ever so beautiful as we discussed knowing a friend of a friend who was getting married at the resort later this summer. The courtyard in the middle of the main hotel offers a lovely garden area and gazebo, while the lawn just above the beach was decorated with what we thought was a pre-wedding setting of rose petals formed into a heart.
You will be in another world at the Hotel del Coronado, one where guests young and old are treated royally to have an amazing time.
We were hosted for two nights in exchange for our honest review. All opinions are our own.