Staying at the Hotel Del Coronado has been on my bucket list for years. Not only is it an iconic oceanfront hotel in Southern California but I love that it has Hollywood ties as well. The hotel is used as Miami in the Marilyn Monroe movie Some Like It Hot. In December 2019 I finally stayed at the hotel and cannot wait to share my experience with you!
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I have been visiting the hotel off and on since 2012 so a few of my pictures are from my previous visits. When I stayed at the hotel in 2019 the pool was under construction so please note that the pool photo I have is old. The hotel is currently under a big renovation which will see several changes to both the interior and exterior.
Hotel Del Coronado History
Hotel Del Coronado opened in 1888 and by the 1920’s it was a popular destination for the Hollywood elite as well as several Presidents. On my visit in 2019, I took the tour offered by the hotel so that I could learn more about this special place. The tour was a bit of a disappointment in that it didn’t offer a lot of information that I was interested in and we spent way more time in off-site locations than the hotel itself.
Hotel Del Coronado tours are known as the legacy tours are offered daily at 10 am. On Friday and Saturday, they are offered at 10 am and 2 pm. The cost is $40 per person, which unfortunately is about $20 above what I felt like the experience was worth. It lasts for approximately 90 minutes. From October to November there is a special tour offered called Haunted Happenings. It is an hour-long ghostly tour of the resort.
One of my favorite moments on the tour was going inside The Crown Room. I love the beautiful crown chandeliers which were designed by the Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum. It would be a dream to attend a special event inside the room. The Sunday brunch in The Crown Room sounds incredible as well!
This nice view overlooking the ocean side of the hotel was another favorite moment of the tour. I really loved how well this photo shows that during Christmas time you can literally go ice skating on the beach.
Honestly, if you are interested in learning about the hotel I would suggest buying a book instead of taking the tour. You can find some great options on Amazon.
This hotel perfectly captures what I would imagine a classic California beach resort to look like. With the victorian themed architecture, the hotel is stunningly beautiful and the location on Coronado island provides the perfect scenery for guests and visitors. The Grand Floridan Resort & Spa in Walt Disney World reminds me a lot of Hotel Del Coronado because both of the hotels have a luxurious feel to them and are similar in appearance.
I really hope that in addition to exploring and enjoying the hotel you also take time to enjoy the nearby city of San Diego. The Go San Diego pass can help you enjoy several different points of interest in the city for one set price. Some of the places the pass gets you access to include Sea World, Legoland, the San Diego Zoo, Belmont Park, and more.
Hotel Del Coronado Rooms
I normally freak out in elevators but the old-time one that they have is so fast and charming! Plus, I love that it is fully see-through and has an operator to assist you. Our room was on the second floor very close to the elevator and the stairs.
I booked a regular room but I did not realize that I had actually booked us in the towers. Not that there is anything wrong with the towers, I am sure that they are okay though a few Yelp reviews say it is two-star quality. However, I really wanted to stay in the main building and was thrilled that we were able to get switched at check-in. We were given a room that is unique in its design but the window in the far corner provided a nice view!
This was the view from our room. You can see some of the construction work happening. They are going to completely redesign the main entrance.
My only complaint with the room was the set-up of the bathroom. You had to be very careful not to hit your head on the sink counter when you used the toilet.
As you can see from the photos the regular rooms are quite plain. I was a bit underwhelmed by the room but I tried reminding myself how old the hotel is.
I felt so spoiled by getting to use the complimentary chairs because someone will actually carry your chairs out to your desired location for you. You can also get a complimentary beach umbrella to use during your beach time as well. The chairs are not the most comfortable but they do just fine. For some reason on their website, it says that the use of complimentary beach chairs is only through 5/2020. Maybe once COVID is over that will continue again?
A $35 daily resort charge will be added to your room rate and includes Guest internet access; unlimited indoor fitness classes & beach yoga; live streaming of Netflix and other streaming services. I wanted to do the beach yoga but waking up early morning in December when I was sure to be freezing just didn’t sound too appealing at the time.
Parking is $50 which I thought was absolutely ridiculous. My parents had to keep reminding me what kind of hotel we were at and how these prices were typical. But for over $300 a night it really seems like you shouldn’t have to charge such a high price to park.
Would I Recommend Staying Here
I am so conflicted about whether or not I recommend staying at Hotel Del Coronado. Yes, it was a bucket list experience for me and I do recommend at least visiting the hotel. But, for the money you pay to be there I just didn’t feel like most of my experience lived up to my expectations. Most of the staff was not very nice or helpful.
Everything is overpriced and please save your money by skipping the ice cream parlor. It was disgusting. If you do want to stay here I cannot fault you for it. But, I think I’m inclined to suggest that you stay somewhere else but at least come to walk around the property.
Ice Skating on the Beach
For the holiday season, they have an ice skating rink set up in the back of the hotel overlooking the beach. That’s right you can go ice skating at the beach which I think is really cool and offers by far the best view from an ice skating rink that I have ever seen.
You do have to sign a waiver to ice skate and they give you a colored wristband (the color changes daily) you are free to come and go off the ice as you please. So the earlier in the day that you get your wristband the more time you’ll have to enjoy skating. You can leave and go do something and return to it later. My Mom and I still talk about how much we enjoyed the experience.
The Beach at Hotel Del Coronado
The beach is really great for anyone to visit. Some parts of the sand have gold specks mixed in it which looks like it is full of pixie dust. It is really an absolutely stunning spot!
Some Like It Hot
I love that they have a little tribute to Marilyn and Some Like It Hot in the gift shop. Every time I watch the movie I always think back on my memories at this hotel.
Where to Eat Near the Hotel
The only place that I got any food from at the hotel was the ice cream shop which as I shared above I do not recommend. We ventured across the street and had incredible Mexican food at Miguels Cocina. For dinner, we drove to the Old Spaghetti Factory in San Diego which is a family favorite.
Interested in a hotel in La Jolla? You can read about my experience of staying at the Grande Colonial Hotel.
If you visit during the spring a stop by the Flower Fields in Carlsbad would be great!