Coronado Island, Hotel del Coronado
By Arrissia Owen-Turner
Why You Must Go: Culture, culture, culture. In a state that doesn’t have too many buildings that’ve hit the century mark in age, the Hotel del Coronado is a jewel. The Victorian-era seaside resort is still glorious after 120 years—and for its big birthday the hotel gave itself a $150 million renovation. The national historic landmark has plenty of stories to tell—from Marilyn Monroe filming Some Like It Hot to Charles Lindbergh, who was honored at the Del after his momentous Trans-Atlantic flight, to England’s Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII only to give up his throne in 1936 to marry Coronado resident and divorcée Wallis Spencer Simpson. Did they meet at the Del? Perhaps. What will your story be? Maybe it should include a massage at the Spa at the Del, a little shopping at the underground mall, or a flight of vino at Eno with cheeses and chocolates paired to perfection (we fancy the sea-salt caramels!). Be sure to spend some quality time with an ENO sommelier for a one-of-a-kind tasting experience of the three most delectable indulgences in the world—fine wine, rare cheeses and gourmet chocolate. And if you can corner the cheese monger, it will not be as brutal as it sounds. Then sit fireside with friends listening to the lapping waves before retiring to your room, anything from 200- to 600-square feet of luxury and maybe a Pacific Ocean view depending on your budget. The newest abodes are the beach cottages, which offer dining and living spaces with fully-equipped kitchens, cozy fireplaces, plush 400 thread-count bedding, spa-style baths with soaking tubs and spacious ocean view balconies and private terraces. Cottage guests also have access to private pools and hot tubs, personalized concierge service and private beach access.
Hotel del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado, (800) HOTELDEL, www.hoteldel.com. Call for rates and reservations; 679 rooms in the Victorian Building and 78 cottages and villas on the Beach Village.
Where to Eat: If you want to get away from the crowds, check out Tomaso’s Ristorante a couple of blocks away. It’s a bit hidden, which makes it all the better for a tête-à-tête.
What Else to Check Out:
If the sea calls your name, Coronado has relatively small waves for novices looking for surf lessons, or there’s the Coronado bike trail along the Glorietta Bay.
–Arrissia Owen Turner