Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton
What We Love
- Six restaurants and bars mean there’s a venue for every taste
- Sublime setting on 28 beachfront acres across the bay from downtown San Diego
- Hotel fits the bill for both family vacations as well as romantic getaways
- Striking 1880s architecture
What To Know
- Reservations are required for the spa
- Both self-parking and valet parking are available for a fee
- Most pets are allowed – indeed encouraged — with a host of furry friend amenities; charges start from $100
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
A magnificent example of ornate Victorian architecture, this 150-year-old Coronado Island beauty was constructed of Douglas Fir and Californian Redwood and set among lush tropical gardens. Guest rooms today eschew the nostalgic vibe of the public spaces, instead offering breezy, light-filled white-on-white settings accented with pops of tropical color. A glamorous pool lined with swaying palm trees is the main hub of the property, featuring cabanas and views of comely Coronado Beach, considered one of California’s best. The Spa at the Del offers a range of treatments both pampering and results-focused, from Vitamin C-infused facials to Thai massage.
In the Area
While the legendary Hotel Del itself is one of Coronado Island’s main attractions, other reasons to explore do exist, namely the community’s sublime parks and beaches. Hop on a bike and traverse the 15 miles worth of paths spanning the town, stopping by Spreckles Park to check out the Art in the Park twice-monthly open-air exhibition, showcasing San Diego artists. Then catch a flick at the cool Village Theater, an Art Deco gem that was restored and reopened in 2011 and now screens of-the-moment movies.
How to Get There
We looked forward to visiting this famous hotel. Beautifully set on the beachfront, it has featured in many movies, most notably in the classic Some Like it Hot from 1959.
Taking seating practically on the beach, we enjoyed a delectable breakfast. It was a perfect location, relaxing and giving splendid vistas along the beach.
Our server could not be more attentive, ensuring that we had everything we needed and providing copious coffee refills.
I have just returned from a week long trip to Cali from NJ and one of our stops for a 2-night stay was the Hotel Del. I’ve had several day trips to The Del over the years and always wanted to stay here to see what it was like.
It’s November 2019 as of this writing and upon check-in I learned they are doing extensive renovations of the property. It looked like they were working on more of the ground-level elements like walkways, hotel pools and beachfront… not sure if rooms are in the cards for the future. Since I knew we’d be spending most of our time NOT in our room but enjoying the beach and spa, we booked a standard rate room which was in the Ocean Towers. Here is an honest assessment of my time here, laid out in a PRO vs. CON-style writing so that you can make your own judgement.
PRO: Upon arrival in a rental car, the grounds are gorgeous and the people working here are extremely friendly. From the valet to the Concierge team, everyone was helpful and extremely nice. Our room was not yet ready (check-in is typically at 4pm and we arrived at 2) but there is plenty to do in the meantime that can burn AT LEAST 2 hours. Go to the bar and get a fabulous cocktail and snacks, relax and breathe in the soothing seaside air. At last, we receive a text that our room is ready!
CON: Our room was in the Ocean Towers, which is down hill from the main property, still oceanfront but currently undergoing extreme renovations at ground level. I wasn’t expecting an ocean-view room but I wasn’t expecting what I saw which was a shock for me, as I have always considered the Hotel Del Coronado to be a top notch facility. 2 things: At 730am we were awoken by heavy machinery breaking up the concrete walkways outside our balcony. I opened the curtains and instead of an ocean view, it was a construction worker beefcake view (sounds nice, but not THESE beefcakes…) everywhere. In addition to this, piles of clean towels were folded in rolling crates open to the air, surrounded by perched seagulls all surrounding them. Are those towels ours? What is happening?? Laundry, garbage, construction debris, I don’t even know what I’m looking at. Is this Detroit? Where am I?? I closed the shutters to this beautiful view and saw caked dust and grime on them... I’m still shocked by this particularly as I spent close to $2200 or more for 2 nights + spa + food/bev/gifts and I’m subjected to a garbage view. Really, Hotel Del management – you’re better than this. I wasn’t even going to attempt to ask to move because they had a medical convention going on and the nice Concierge rep had a hard time finding anything for us ready early enough for our check-in.
So you make the most of it, because that's what you have to do when you're on vacation…
PRO: Once away from the room, there is so much to do. Seaside bars, food, heated pools, shopping, gold glistening beach sand, events on the beach, artisan iced cream and beautiful baked goods … so much to look at and so much to do, and you don’t have to go off premises to experience it. We had a beautiful dinner at Sweetwater with the cool ocean breeze being warmed by the glow of their outdoor pillar heaters and some after-dinner cocktails at their handsome bar. The bartenders are great and extremely good at what they do. It was a great evening. I guess … let’s go back to our… room.
CON: The balcony is filthy, there is only one garbage can in the room which is in a narrow bathroom next to the toilet, and the bathroom door is weighted with a kickstand that is hard to lift in time to shut the door so you can have a private moment. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but it got more annoying the longer we were in this room. We were in room 6405.
PRO: The next morning (after being woken up again at 730) we got ready for our SPA APPOINTMENTS!!!!!! We both had a massage and I had a few other beauty appts. Regardless, you have access to their AMAZING Spa pool that’s HEATED (its smaller than the main pool which makes it easier to heat, hence warmer!!) so its perfect for fall / winter weather. The spa also has dedicated mens and womens sauna and steam room, showers and more. The womens side had gorgeous beauty supplies for showering and getting ready for the evening. The folks that work in their nail salon are top notch. I found the spa counter attendants nice but a bit aloof. However, the massage specialists were fabulous …. That’s what counts in the end. We spent this entire day enjoying the spa and really didn’t have to leave. At least, get a foot massage and enjoy this… totally worth it. The heated pool is the only area that’s co-ed. My husband however was the only man there this day though, and enjoyed having the sauna on the mens side all to himself.
PRO: The grounds are stunning. It’s such a joy to experience and walk around with a margarita at your own pace, basking in the glow of the Coronado sun. The beach attendants hook you up with your own chair or chaise with either an umbrella or a sun tent and you’re free to enjoy the vast beachfront property they work hard keeping clean and soft.
It’s expensive and normally this isn’t a big deal, but the room / building was so bad, it really put a sour taste in my mouth. We stayed at two other high end resorts in the SoCal area previous to our arrival, and I planned it that way because I was sure the Hotel Del would be the icing on our vacation cake. Mostly it was, but I am still sort of laughing at the happenings within our hotel room view.
I’d say next time we’d stay a bit longer and reserve one of their beachfront suites which gain you access to more of the property and three other private heated pools. These have a porch, private entry and fire pits… Perhaps when they’re 100% done renovating as my heart can’t take another hit at this iconic locale.
If you’re planning on going there in the near future, it may be worth it to invest in a better rooming experience but I can’t say for sure. Otherwise it’s a great place for a day trip with friends and/or family.
The location and exterior of this historical hotel will not disappoint. The rooms however will. They are very old and tired and in much need for a facelift. Electrical outlets were dally off the wall, paint pealing in the bathroom and a dirty towel was left in my closet from a prior guest! They are doing work on the property but as far as I could tell not the rooms.