I’m an East Coast gal, through and through. I’ve always had an affinity for our dark gray waters (ignorance is bliss!) and hot, hot summers. But I can honestly say I’ve never had a better beach experience than lounging Pacific-side at Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island. Let me paint the picture for you.
My stay at the Del began in the early days of April. I had my husband and one of our dearest friends as company. The weather was pretty consistently between 70-74 degrees. The breeze was calm and refreshing, and somehow it all came together to strike that magical balance of not too hot, not too cold. This translated into 8-hour beach shifts that never got uncomfortable. But it was the Del’s beach cabanette that truly made the experience. The day bed must have been king-sized, comfortable enough to split with 2-3 people, and came with chair-side bar service, all under the canopy of a clam-shell shade, which could be adjusted for more or less sun. Lounging on a literal bed with a drink in my hand and some seriously fresh chips and guacamole? Yeah, that’s pretty much the crown jewel of beach experiences.
Speaking of crowns, did you know that Coronado is Spanish for “Crowned One”? The entire town is sprinkled with crown imagery, and the Del is no exception. Their Crown Room ballroom is opulent with its overhanging crown-shaped chandeliers. Everything about the hotel transmits that same old-world glamour. From the golden-gated, 125-year-old elevator to the posh shopping downstairs and fine dining by the sea, the hotel is the definition of luxury.
One of my favorite parts of my stay at the Del was the spa. During the summer, the hotel operates two pools, one for adults-only and one for families. During our stay, however, I found the best way to relax aside from the beach was to book a treatment at the spa and spend the rest of the day lounging by its gorgeous infinity pool. Reserved for guests of the spa, the pool is quiet and calm. It also gets you access to the whirlpool and steam rooms, private showers and bathrooms, getting ready stations with hairdryers and toiletries, and pitchers of fruit water and snacks. You can also order food and beverages by the pool, which was glorious. I got a piña colada and took it with me for my pedicure! I highly recommend this technique. My technician was thorough and kind, and two weeks later, my toes are still looking fresh.
On the chilliest day of our stay, I traded in my bikini for an afternoon of exploring the island on wheels. We rented cruisers and cycled around the hotel and surrounding beach for a while. Overall, the island and its streets are very bike-friendly, though around the Del itself there’s a little too much foot-traffic to really get going — I would suggest biking a little further out on the island. After a little bit of exploring, we decided to all go in on a three-person rickshaw-looking contraption called a surrey. It was basically a canopy-covered bench with bike pedals on either side and a small space in the middle. This is what you rent if you want to laugh — hard — at yourself, or get a leisurely tour of the island sardined between your two most muscular pals.
There’s tons of shopping at the hotel, both on the main lobby floor and below. It reminds me of a similar hotel here, The Charleston Place. There are ice cream and candy shops, shops selling spa and body products, and apparel and kids stores. I borrowed a few babes and grabbed photos of some of my favorite items from their signature store and a women’s boutique called Weekends.
It’s impossible to choose a favorite restaurant at the Del, so instead I’ll just share a few of my favorite meals, starting with the Diver Scallops and Smoked Pork Belly at Sheerwater. This meal was decadent — rich and creamy and perfectly balanced with the salty bits of pork. Their potatoes, absolutely drenched in truffle butter, still make my mouth water when I think about them. Craft brews and artisan pizza at ENO was another favorite. The cheese plate is fabulous, and the pizzas were mind-blowing. We ordered the prosciutto pear, topped with rosemary and gruyere, and jalapeño business, sprinkled with bacon, chicken and generous dollops of cream cheese. So good. The final meal I’ll mention was the last night of our stay. It was, how do I put this, room service ice cream in bed. Sometimes you just need a night in, with a pint to yourself and sides like fresh berries, caramel sauce and candied nuts. Amen and amen.
All in all, our visit to the Del was incredible, and one I’ll be dreaming of all summer long. Until next time!