If you’re looking to stay in the heart of Coronado, there is no better place than El Cordova Hotel. It’s directly across from the Hotel del Coronado, which will be your access to the famed Coronado white sand beaches. The boutique hotel’s lovely outdoor decor was the same as when the doors first opened as a retirement home in 1902 before the Spanish villa was converted into a hotel in 1930.
Guests love the comfortable accommodations, especially the (usually) reasonably-priced suites, in addition to easy access to fantastic shopping, dining, and late-night entertainment on Orange Avenue. Many vacationers prefer Coronado Island because it’s neatly tucked away from the noise of downtown San Diego while still a short drive away from local attractions such as Balboa Park, Seaport Village, and San Diego Zoo. I share if El Cordova Hotel is right for your San Diego vacation.
WHAT I LOVE
- Spanish style decor with loads of character
- Every room is a bit different and most have kitchens
- Two-bedroom suites for larger families
- Ideal Coronado location for shopping and dining
- A brisk five-minute walk to the famed white-sand Coronado beaches
- Free WiFi
GOOD TO KNOW
- Rooms are smaller than standard-size hotel rooms
- No on-site parking available, but you can access dedicated off-site parking ($20/day)
- Second-floor accommodations are walk-up
- Adjacent courtyard businesses can be noisy
- Guest laundry available upon request
Which Room or Suite Should You Book?
El Cordova Hotel offers three styles of accommodations to choose from including two-bedroom suites, one-bedroom suites, and rooms. None of the 30 suites and 13 rooms are exactly alike.
All of the rooms are well-maintained and the beds provided are perfect for comfort and relaxation. We especially love the beautiful Spanish bathroom and kitchen tiles.
It’s wise to request a room in the back beyond the pool area if noise is an issue for anyone in your family or traveling group. The majority of the rooms overlook the hotel’s courtyard, which is shared with several local restaurants, clothing and tourist shops. The distance is ideal for personal needs, but the businesses’ daily traffic might get noisy at different times of the day and night.
You can also book an ADA Accessible Deluxe Room or One-Bedroom Suite.
Two-bedroom suites come in a handful of styles and are perfect for families who need more space. (Two-bedroom suites across the street at Hotel Del Coronado are both hard to come by and quite expensive so this is a great alternative.)
Two-Bedroom Suites come with a queen-sized bed in each bedroom, a full kitchen, and a sofa bed in the living room. The size ranges from 650-700 square feet and they’re located on the walk-up second floor only.
Deluxe 2 Bedroom Suites are apartment-style with a king bed in one bedroom and either two queen beds or king bed in the other bedroom, two full bathrooms, a separate living room with a sleeper sofa, and a kitchen.
The Casa Grande Suite is also two bedrooms but an expansive 1,500 square feet of space with high ceilings that create a welcoming ambience. There is 800 square feet of meeting space including a dining room conference table.
These run between 500-600 square feet and have a king bedroom that is completely separated from the living room. One-Bedroom Suites also have a full kitchen, sofa bed in the living room, and a large closet area.
Deluxe and Standard Rooms
The Deluxe and Standard Rooms run on the small side (250 and 200-square feet respectively) and do not have kitchens. One notable difference between the two is that Deluxe Rooms offer full bathrooms whereas Standard Rooms have stand-up showers. Both rooms have king beds and a two-person occupancy.
Other Onsite Amenities that Guests Love
At the center of the hotel, you’ll find a heated swimming pool and hot tub. Even though the beach is steps away, you’ll relish the opportunity for a quick swim or soak at the end of the day.
Order groceries online from VONS and have them delivered to the hotel. Staff will place them in your room or suite. You can prepare meals in your kitchen or take advantage of the onsite barbecue and picnic facilities.
El Cordova Hotel also has a guest laundry room, which is very handy when on a beach vacation, in addition to 24-hour front desk service and a concierge.
Restaurants Near El Cordova Hotel
El Cordova Hotel’s courtyard is a great meeting place for guests to gather before heading out for a meal. And, there are quite a few Coronado restaurants within a short walk of the hotel.
Some of the better dining choices actually share the same courtyard as the El Cordova Hotel. Miguel’s Cocina is a good dine-in restaurant that offers Mexican cuisine as it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily with happy hour specials as well. They are well known for their queso dip.
Another neighboring option is the Brigantine Seafood Restaurant, which is open for brunch, lunch, dinner and has a sit-in bar and has excellent fish tacos, a San Diego must-have. Both restaurants have a kid’s menus and are fairly casual in nature.
What You Can Do Near El Cordova Hotel
Sightseeing on Orange Avenue
Coronado Island is full of rich history and natural beauty and Orange Avenue is the busiest street in town. Visitors enjoy having a morning coffee and socializing with locals at Clayton’s Coffee Shop. The local landmark’s interior is straight out of the 1950s and offers the perfect environment to start your day. Browse in and out of the local boutique shops found on Orange Avenue as they all offer memorable vacation gift options for those back home.
Here, you can rent a beach cruiser and ride over to the Coronado Bridge to observe the downtown San Diego skyline from across the bay. Others will venture out to the outlying neighborhoods off of Orange Avenue to see the multi-million dollar homes. Going carless in Coronado is encouraged so it’s a bike-friendly place and it’s an easy way to reach Coronado Ferry Landing.
Coronado Ferry Landing
You can catch the ferry to downtown San Diego at Coronado Ferry Landing, but it’s also a fantastic place for a bite to eat at one of the great on-site restaurants and a little bit of shopping.
There are two downtown San Diego piers to choose from. The last ferry from the Broadway Pier back to Coronado is 9 p.m. daily except on Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m. The other dropoff is the Convention Center Pier, which is off Fifth Avenue. The last departure back to Coronado is 9:55 p.m. except on Friday and Saturday at 10:55 p.m.
TIP: GO SAN DIEGO FOR SIGHTSEEINGIf you are going to visit downtown San Diego attractions like the USS Midway or venture over to Balboa Park, pick up a Go San Diego Card which is a sightseeing pass that can save you money.
Hotel del Coronado
As a guest of El Cordova Hotel, you’ll find yourself crossing the street to the Hotel del Coronado for access to Coronado Central Beach in front of it. You can actually rent chairs, umbrellas, and cabanettes on Del Beach regardless of whether you’re a hotel guest or not (they serve food and drinks to the sand here, too). Spend the day swimming, playing beach sports, and sunbathing. We suggest shelling in the morning and tide pooling at low tides.
The hotel itself is one of the top tourist attractions in San Diego. Many guests love studying its artistic architecture or experiencing exquisite ocean views from anywhere on the property. The hotel is open to the general public, so you can have drinks or dine at one of the numerous beachfront restaurants and bars. A quick walk through the downstairs shopping area gives guests a glimpse at the hotel’s rich, long history.
A benefit to staying at El Cordova Hotel across the street is access to Hotel del Coronado’s amenities and the beach in front of it, but at a lower price point and in a more relaxed environment.