A big thanks to Hotel del Coronado for hosting our stay so we could write this detailed review of our experience. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Disclosure, visit this page.

I was recently watching my beloved New York Yankees take on the San Diego Padres in the first of their three-game series. The Yankees’ long-time announcer, Michael Kay, made the trip to Southern California and commented on the clip of the beach sunset they showed as the fourth inning was ending. “Look at that view! How do they live like this?” Kay quipped. There’s no doubt we’re spoiled out here with the weather and the breathtaking scenery.

Earlier in the broadcast at the bottom of the second inning, the other Yankees announcer and legend Paul O’Neill said, “I was out at Coronado today. People are out surfing, beautiful hotel over there.” He is not lying. And I’ve been fortunate to stay at the iconic Hotel del Coronado, which I assume he was referring to.

The Beach Village at Hotel Del.
Originally opened in 1888, the historic Hotel del Coronado is much more than just a hotel. This hotel has opened its doors to welcome presidents, royalty and celebrities and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977. Over the decades, the hotel has expanded and today, there are five distinct ‘neighborhoods’ on the sprawling campus, each with different accommodations: The Cabanas, The Views, Shore House, Beach Village and The Victorian. There are about 900 rooms total spread across the five ‘neighborhoods’ and 40% of those rooms are in The Victorian, the iconic historic building, which is currently closed as part of a massive, five-year, $160 million renovation. The Victorian is expected to reopen in early 2025. FYI: Hotel del Coronado is managed by Hilton as part of their Curio Collection so you can use points to stay there.

My family and I have stayed at Hotel Del before but never in the newly opened Shore House until now. We had an incredible experience there. Here’s what it was like:

The beach at Hotel del Coronado.
Location

You know the saying, ‘location, location, location,’ and that certainly applies to this hotel. You might be surprised to learn that California doesn’t actually have many hotels that are right on the beach. But Hotel del Coronado is one of them, making it in a prime location for enjoying an authentic California vacation. From The Shore House, we just needed to walk through the pool gate, cross the boardwalk and our toes were in the sand. Tip: Get up early, especially at low tide for a beach walk and you will find beautiful seashells including sand dollars along the shore.

Exterior of Hotel del Coronado.
Hollywood legacy

If the Victorian hotel’s exterior looks familiar to you, it may be because you’ve seen it in the classic 1959 film Some Like it Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. The film, which would go on to be nominated for six Academy Awards and was named the #1 comedy of all time by the American Film Institute, was shot in California and many scenes were filmed at Hotel del Coronado, which in the film, was supposed to be the Seminole Ritz Hotel in Miami. It made sense to film at Hotel Del because not only did its architecture fit the 1920s era of the movie, set during Prohibition, but it was also near Hollywood.

Some Like it Hot at Hotel del Coronado.
On one of our previous stays at Hotel Del, we were able to borrow a DVD player and a DVD of Some Like it Hot to watch in our room, which was really unique and fun, especially for my wife who grew up watching classic films and has always loved this one in particular. While the hotel no longer offers this, they do have a Movies on the Beach summer series, which kicks off on Memorial Day weekend and runs through September 8. This year, Some Like it Hot will be shown on August 4.

The Shore House at the Del.
Shore House at The Del

The lobby inside Shore House at The Del isn’t huge but the designer did a great job. It sets a sense of place and greets guests with its laidback beach vibes. Like the rooms, the overall vibe beautiful beach house. The lobby space is also where they serve a daily breakfast buffet, which is $42 for adults and $25 for children.

Our bedroom at Shore House at the Del.
Our room
Simply put, our room was amazing. We were in a one-bedroom Oceanfront Villa and it was beautiful, from the moment we stepped inside. A long hallway with a console table greeted us, along with a washer/dryer combo concealed behind a door.

Living room in Shore House at the Del.
The one-bedroom villa has a king-size bed in the bedroom and a queen-size pullout couch in the living room. There’s also an electric fireplace recessed into the wall beneath the living room TV, a great feature to use on chilly nights, which California is known for, after the sun goes down by the beach.

The kitchen inside our room at the Shore House.
Our villa came complete with a fully-stocked gourmet kitchen that included modern appliances, glassware, crockery, silverware, a wine fridge and even small countertop appliances, like a blender.

Kitchen inside our room at the Shore House.
The whole family loved the bar height, counter-top style marble table that could also double as a kitchen island for additional prep space.

The bathroom in our room at the Shore House.
The bathroom was large, spacious and soothing and had an extra deep, deep soaking tub and a separate walk-in shower. I also appreciated that you really can’t hear any noise. We had neighbors next door to us and above us with little kids and we never heard them.

The view from our room at the Shore House at Hotel del Coronado.
To top it off, we had this great view of the Shore House pool area and the beach beyond from our large and spacious balcony.

Molton Brown toiletries at Hotel del Coronado.
Toiletries

Did you read my story about how irritating I find it when you can’t distinguish between shampoo, conditioner and body wash in hotel bathrooms? Either way, I’m happy to report that Hotel Del gets it right! The shampoo and conditioner are separate from the body wash, they’re all in transparent containers so you can see the difference between the shampoo and conditioner and most importantly, they’re in tamper-proof dispensers.

Eno Pizzeria at the Hotel Del Coronado.
Restaurants

You definitely won’t go hungry at Hotel Del. There are plenty of dining options, which you can check out here. We ate at Eno Market & Pizzeria our first night and everyone loved it. It may be some of the best pizza in California! Another nearby pizza option is Village Pizza; it’s cheaper and a three tenths of a mile walk.

Proximity to town
This brings me to my next point. Hotel Del is on the edge of town in Coronado, which means it’s close to a grocery store (Vons), a pharmacy (Rite Aid), lots of shops and dozens of restaurants. They’re so close, you can walk from the hotel and needn’t bother to drive and deal with parking or the bizarre streets that don’t have enough traffic lights. You do need to be careful crossing Orange Avenue, the main street, though.

Beach Roast at Hotel del Coronado.
Beach roast
There are plenty of things to do at Hotel Del and one of the fun things we got to experience was S’mores on the beach. Nightly, at 5:30pm and 7:30pm, guests can reserve an outdoor fire pit on the beach and have a fun gathering, from something intimate and romantic to a large family reunion. It’s the perfect spot to roast marshmallows and take in the sunset views.

S'mores on the beach at Hotel del Coronado.
The way the fire pits are set up, I recommend reserving the first one, especially on a windy night so that the smoke from the others don’t blow your way, which was what happened to us, so we only stayed about 10 minutes. Fire pits can be reserved for a one-hour experience and include everything you’ll need to make S’mores. One pit accommodates up to 10 guests and you’ll have to make a reservation, which you can do here. Outside food is not permitted.

Resort activities at the Hotel del Coronado.
Resort activities

The hotel has endless ways to enjoy your vacation here without ever having to leave the property. In addition to the beach roast and Movies on the Beach, there’s also the Roller Rink at the Del, a retro-inspired roller skating rink that’s open daily from June 14 to September 2. They also have fun theme nights like 70s Disco, 50s and 60s hits and classic rock. In the winter months (this year, from November 17 to January 7, 2024), the roller rink is transformed into an ice skating rink for Skating By the Sea, which benefits Make-a-Wish San Diego.

Baja Beach Nights are described as the Del’s take on a Mexican-style luau with dancers, singers, a Mariachi band and of course, delicious eats. From ghost tours and food trucks to shopping, pools and surf instruction, there’s something here for everyone. Check out the full list of on-site resort activities here.

Poolside cabana at the Shore House.
Pool

Speaking of pools: As guests staying at Shore House at The Del, we had exclusive access to the new oceanfront pool. With cabanas (which come complete with a stocked fridge of soft drinks and bottled water as well as a basket of chips), a bar, a hot tub and views of the ocean, it’s a great spot to both play and relax.

Popsicles at the pool at The Shore House.
Not surprisingly, our kids’ favorite part was when they brought popsicles around for everyone …

Lip balm at the Shore House pool at Hotel del Coronado.
… and I really appreciated when they brought a basket of lip balm around because I’m always losing, misplacing or forgetting mine. Ever since I had Mohs surgery to remove squamous cell carcinoma from my lip, I always wear an SPF lip balm.

The Cabana Pool at Hotel Del Coronado.
There are other pools on-site, including the Cabana Pool and the Oval Pool, which grants exclusive access to guests staying at the Beach Village. The pools are heated year-round to around 80-85 degrees.

Resort fees at Hotel del Coronado.
Resort fees

Everyone hates resort fees but it’s important to note that Hotel Del does charge a $50 mandatory charge that is added per room, per night and includes a $35 resort charge for guest internet access; complimentary beach yoga and fitness center (reservations may be required); live streaming of Netflix, Pandora and YouTube (account required); and local and toll-free calls. Beach Village guests also enjoy complimentary use of sand chairs and umbrellas, as well as a $15 Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) charge. The purpose of the HPF is to help support the ongoing preservation of this 1888 National Historic Landmark and to protect its legacy for generations to come. Additionally, retail prices for purchases at the hotel do not include a 1.888% HPF charge.

Hotel del Coronado exterior.
Overall

Ask my wife and she’ll tell you that Hotel Del is one of her favorite hotels in all of Southern California and it’s hard to disagree. From the beauty of its location to its long and storied past, Hotel Del is one of those Grand Dame hotels that have a magic all their own. We were fortunate to spend two nights there and while we weren’t able to experience all this resort has to offer, we certainly did a lot and can’t wait to return to do more. But a little time at the Del is better than none at all. And if you’re not staying as a guest, you can still make a day trip to Coronado Island and enjoy many of the hotel’s offerings like the beach, the spa, the dining and the shopping, along with numerous on-site activities. Whether you book a night, a week or visit just for the day, I’m pretty sure you’re not only going to love it but you’ll be making plans to return even before you leave. Book your stay at Hotel Del Coronado here.

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