Film buffs know the Hotel Del Coronado as a backdrop in the Marilyn Monroe movie Some Like It Hot, but this luxury resort has been a star among Southern California resorts since it first opened in 1888.
For more than a century, this designated National Historic Landmark with its Queen Anne–style red turrets has attracted U.S. presidents, dignitaries, and, indeed, plenty of movie stars to Coronado Island, a 15-minute drive from downtown San Diego. Today, the 757-room resort, known to locals just as “the Del,” sits on 28 acres of private, pristine beachfront property, blending old-school luxury with high-end accommodations and modern amenities.
Stay in either the main Victorian building, loaded with historic charm, or the more contemporary The Views. If you plan to plant yourself poolside, get a room in one of the Cabana building. For larger groups or families, the spacious Beach Village cottages and villas feel like a home away from home—if your everyday home is a luxury beach house that’s just steps from the sand.
At Del Beach, you can enjoy a session of beach yoga, play volleyball, or just lounge the day away on a plush daybed while enjoying beverage service. A nighttime bonfire in the sand is a popular resort tradition—and now you can order up artisanal pizzas, s’mores, and more to nosh around the fire pit. During the day you can also take a tour of the hotel grounds (complete with stories of resident ghosts) or join a seaside spin class. Don’t leave without visiting the Spa & Salon at the Del for themed body treatments, like the Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage or the Sea Salt Stone Massage.
Adults and kids ages 4 and up can book a surf lesson, or rent such gear as skimboards, stand-up paddleboards, wetsuits, and more at Del Watersports. For a fun activity for the whole family, rent bikes (or a surrey) at nearby Wheel Fun Rentals or Holland’s Bicycles and explore the island, which has more than 15 miles of dedicated bike paths. Follow the Silver Strand to Imperial Beach and back for a 7-mile coastal cruise.
Or you can just soak up the scenery from one of the seven dining options, all with ocean views. Hotel del Coronado’s signature restaurant, Serea, showcases fresh sustainable seafood in both indoor and outdoor settings, or for an expertly-prepared cocktail and delectable bites in a more casual setting, drop into Babcock & Story Bar.