Updated: May 21, 2015

Coronado Island - Hotel Del Coronado

Just across the harbor from downtown San Diego lies Coronado Island. This quiet upscale community enjoys a unique location and atmosphere, and is home to the world famous hotel, the Hotel Del Coronado, also known as the Hotel Del, or just "The Del". Designed and built in the turn of the century style, this wooden Victorian beach front resort draws ooohs and aaahs from all who see it (it is now part of the KSL Resorts family). Built mostly by immigrant Chinese laborers in 1888 at a cost of $1 million, from the start the Hotel Del was meant to be a premiere location for the wealthy to vacation. It is equally famous for all the famous guests it has entertained over the decades, ranging from presidents to authors to actors and celebrities. But not only the rich and famous vacation there - the Hotel Del Coronado has a variety of rooms available that anyone can rent for the night, as long as you have the money. Check out information below on rooms, rates, reservations, lodging information, and other dining options on Coronado Island.



Best Coronado Hotels and Lodging

Without a doubt, the Hotel Del Coronado is the best hotel in the San Diego area. It's location and charm beat out all the other major chain and boutique hotels in the vicinity. The Travel Channel has rated the Del as the number 1 wedding destination in the USA. It is easy to reach the hotel - just cross over the bridge (Hwy 75) from downtown San Diego and after a few blocks, turn left down Orange Avenue. Orange will take you across the island (not far) and drop you off right at the Hotel Del. The official website for the Hotel Del Coronado is HotelDel.com, and the phone number for reservations is 800-Hotel-Del (located at 1500 Orange Avenue). There are a number of accomodation types available, from rooms in the historic Victorian building to rooms in the Tower and Cabanas. A basic Victorian room is in the old building and is around 250ft - not huge, but OK. These rooms do not offer scenic views and run about $325 per night. Slightly larger are the resort rooms, located in both the Victorian building and in the Cabanas and Towers. These rooms are about 300-350sf. We stayed in the premium full view resort room in the California Cabanas, looking right out onto the Pacific. Get a room on the second or third levels if you can, as the ground floors open directly to the walking path along the beach, giving you little privacy in your room or on your patio. The resort rooms cost approx. $390 per night, $50 additional if you choose the breakfast buffet option. Partial ocean view rooms are $100 additional. Full Ocean view rooms here can run as high as $600 during the busier times of the year.

The Victorian building also offers Premier Rooms and Suites. The Premier rooms are 360-400sf, while the Junior Suites at the Hotel Del Coronado are 420-650sf and include an attached sitting area (not a separate room). Junior Suites run $565 per night for rooms with no view, $810 for a full ocean view. The nicer Victorian Suites are a separate living room and bedroom and are all 600+ square feet in size, but they do NOT offer ocean views and may face the interior courtyard. The Signature Suites also have living room and bedroom and offer balconies with ocean views. The final option is the Resort Suites located in the Hotel Del Towers, all over 600sf and with either ocean views or larger room sizes. If you have to ask prices on these suites, as they say, you probably can't afford them - they are not meant for average vacationing families.

The only major drawback we found during our last visit and stay in 2006 was the proximity to the North Island Naval Air Station, which shares Coronado Island with the hotel and resident homes. The flight path for the MANY incoming planes, jets, and helicopters is right along the beach in front of the Hotel Del, so you will hear planes coming in all day and much of the night. It can be a novelty to see them up close, but they can be very annoying as well, as several lumbered over loudly as we tried to relax in the hot tub next to the pool at 9PM one evening. If you are looking for peace and quiet and no distractions, keep this in mind. There is also construction going on as they build the new North Beach villas adjacent to the 1500 restaurant area.

Hotel Del Coronado Pool and Spa

The Hotel Del also offers a nice pool setting, if the beach front is not your thing. There are cushioned lounge chairs and umbrellas in abundance, with snack bar, cocktail and towel service within easy reach. A complete workout/exercise room is also right here, with weights, exercise bikes, treadmills, etc. The spa offers everything from body scrubs and massages to waxing and facials - everything you would expect from a first class resort facility. Above the pool area is the Sun Deck Bar and Grill, perfect for lunch or afternoon snack, with elevated views over the grounds, beach, and pool area. If you are looking for quick breakfast, check out the Babcock and Story Bakery just across from the pool in the main building - they offer muffins, breads, coffee, and other simple fare items that save you from a long, expensive sit-down breakfast or buffet if that is not your thing. When it comes to dining options at the Del, the latest entry is the 1500 Ocean restaurant that opened just recently. You can dine on the terrace overlooking the lawn and ocean, or settle down inside to the majestic yet comfortable wood accented interior rooms. The sunset views are out of this world, and the food matches the views! It is open nightly from 5:30-10:30, while the bar is open until midnight. If you don't want to spend a lot on dinner there, we still recommend popping in for a drink at the bar around sunset - great, memorable experience. You can view the dining menu for 1500 Ocean here. The Sheerwater is their other outdoor terrace dining option, while the Crown Room is the amazingly elegant and huge dining room inside the main hotel. Sunday brunch is held here along with other special events - no nightly dining. The Palm Court looks out over the interior courtyard and specializes in its famous Victorian tea on Sundays.

Best Coronado Restaurants

Orange Avenue is the main drag that runs across Coronado Island and hosts most of the restaurants in the area. Apart from the dining options at the Del, you can easily walk or drive into "town" to check out some other options. We liked the Primavera (932 Orange) with its very good Italian menu and wine list (Opus One or Chateau Cinq Cepage if you can afford it, or try the Amarone for something a little cheaper). Dress code is formally formal, but they are pretty flexible in admitting more relaxed southern California attire as well. Also consider Azzura Point at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort (south of the Del) or Tomaso's Ristorante (1309 Orange Ave) - you can't go wrong with any of the pasta dishes here.