Readers book into Hotel del Coronado through me more than any other hotel in San Diego. There are reasons for this, including that it’s our best full-service beachfront resort and one of the most historic buildings in California. Built in 1888, it’s been the top choice of U.S. Presidents, dignitaries, and the Hollywood elite for over 130 years now.

I’ve stayed at the resort multiple times and got married there. You need to know things to make sure it’s a good fit for your vacation, including how to choose the best rooms and suites, and I’m going to lay them all out for you here. It’s a lot of detail that is also based on reader feedback, but I promise it will help you plan.

Hotel del Coronado Reservations with Value-Added Virtuoso Amenities

You have access to special Virtuoso amenities at Hotel del Coronado that include:

  • Daily breakfast credit of $40 per person for two guests per bedroom.
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit.
  • Upgrade at check-in, subject to availability (main resort only).

*When searching rates on Virtuoso, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation.

Outdoor booth and table seating at Serea restaurant.

WHAT I LOVE

  • The new Terrace Fire Pit rooms in The Cabanas and The Views buildings
  • 700+ Rooms and suites across multiple buildings
  • Del Beach rentals with seasonal food and drink service
  • Newly-renovated Main Pool with cabanas
  • One of San Diego’s most lavish Sunday brunches (on pause)
  • Multiple restaurants and shops
  • A haunted room (yes, really)
  • Robust holiday activities
  • Beach s’mores, clambakes, and movies
  • Beach Village at The Del
  • Ocean Explorers kids’ programming (Friday-Sunday)
  • Virtuoso amenities and VIP status (get both through me)

GOOD TO KNOW

  • Read about modified offerings in 2022
  • A $400-million renovation is almost finished
  • Avoid rooms without a listed view type or Resort View rooms in The Views or The Cabanas for sub-par or construction exposure
  • San Diego’s best full-service, beachfront resort
  • Four-star Curio Collection by Hilton property
  • You will read mixed reviews (room, service, renovation issues)
  • Do not expect five-star service
  • Prices usually increase closer to the date during peak season
  • People who aren’t staying in the hotel visit its shops and restaurants (common areas can be busy)
  • Expect to pay luxury hotel pricing for drinks and food
  • $50/night resort fee, $40/night self-parking, or $75/night valet parking
  • Early check-in and late check-out are nearly impossible to receive (4 p.m. check-in time and 11 a.m. check-out time)
  • Calling the resort may result in long hold times
  • Calling reservations may send you to Hilton central reservations who may give you the wrong information

ALSO FEATURED IN

Best Coronado Island HotelsBest San Diego Family HotelsBest Hotel Pools in San DiegoBest Resorts in San DiegoHaunted Hotels in San DiegoBest San Diego Beach HotelsBest Historic Hotels in San DiegoBest San Diego Hotels with BalconiesBest Southern California Beach Resorts

When someone emails in to say that they’d like to stay on the beach in a nice, big resort with lots of amenities, Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton is the only answer in San Diego. I will tell you everything you need to know before you check-in.

The Best Way to Make Hotel del Coronado Reservations

TIP: BOOK SUMMER AND WINTER 2022 HOLIDAY STAYS ASAP!

I can tell you based on the volume of emails in my inbox and from searching dates for readers that availability for summer breaks is getting very low. Book Hotel del Coronado and Beach Village ASAP for all holidays to avoid disappointment.

The best way to make a Hotel del Coronado reservation, speaking from extensive experience with this particular hotel, is through Virtuoso, which is about the same price as the Hilton Honors rate.

Virtuoso is only accessible via a luxury travel advisor and will give you special access to value-added amenities, including daily breakfast for two, $100 resort credit, possible room upgrades, and more.

Virtuoso Rate

I’m pleased to offer Hotel del Coronado with Virtuoso amenities that include:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability (room upgrades are not possible in Beach Village)
  • Daily breakfast credit of $40 per person for two guests per bedroom to use at Sheerwater restaurant.
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability (it’s not often available at this resort)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

More often than not, the Virtuoso rate puts you ahead of what’s available elsewhere, and I can handle any special requests on your behalf.

*When searching rates on Virtuoso, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation.

Hilton.com

If you are eligible for AAA, Military, or Hilton Honors or rarely discounted rates that may outweigh Virtuoso benefits, you can book through Hilton.com. I’d check both sites.


Hotel del Coronado: What to Expect Now

Hotel del Coronado is open and operating in line with County health and safety requirements. You can read more about what to expect.

There is very little that isn’t up and running, but two things come to mind. One is that you can have housekeeping, but you’ll need to request it. And, there still isn’t in-room dining available.

Otherwise, activities, fitness classes, beach rentals, pools, and restaurants operate normally!


The Hotel del Coronado Renovation Is Still in Progress

Hotel del Coronado’s $400 million renovation has been 18 years in the making and should wrap up by the end of 2022. I keep a close eye on how it impacts the guest experience (or doesn’t).

What’s been completed so far has been fantastic. It started with practical enhancements, like putting the parking lot underground and installing wheelchair access. New dining outlets like Beach + Taco Shack opened. The signature restaurant received an overhaul, reopening as sea-to-table Serea. The Main Pool reopened, completely rejuvenated with new cabanas. The new Cabana and Views rooms are open for booking, and some have fire pits.

On the south side of The Views, you’ll see a new building going up that will be the Shore House neighborhood and Southpointe Event Center, both expected to open in late 2022. Any Views rooms without a view listed in its title or marked as resort view may have exposure to this work.

Some but not all Ocean View and Oceanfront rooms in The Views are also impacted even though these rooms are not marked property development view. If you’re booking in the fall and onward, The Views should be okay.

Rest assured that my Virtuoso bookings will be placed in the best rooms possible to *usually* avoid any disruption.

I am in direct communication with the resort nearly every day. I will continually update this post with how the renovation impacts (or doesn’t impact) the guest experience.

What’s happening now: They’re working on the Southpointe Event Center and the Shore House neighborhood. I’m told it’s mostly interior work.


How to Choose Hotel del Coronado Rooms and Suites

Right now, you can safely book into Hotel del Coronado rooms and suites that do not say property enhancement view, with one exception we’ll talk about below. Outside of that, there are definitely things to know to figure out which building is best for you.

I’ve broken down each option and provided a handy map to help you decide where to stay.

You’ll first want to narrow down which building to choose. The choice is easy if you’re looking at suites because they are only located in the Victorian and Views buildings.

Hotel del Coronado has an online map you should look at before choosing a room. It will give you an idea of where the main buildings and amenities are located. Here is a screenshot of the map.

An illustrated map of Hotel del Coronado.
Look at the property map when choosing a building.

Here’s a quick run-down on how to interpret the map.

  • Beach Village: Multiple small buildings on the left. The villas are in the second row, and the cottages are in the beachfront row.
  • The Victorian: The historic building behind the oval Windsor Lawn.
  • The Cabanas: Located under and to the right of the rectangular main pool (you can see the fire pit terrace rooms on the ground floor)
  • The Views: The two connected dumbbell-shaped buildings on the right of The Cabanas.
  • The Shorehouse: The building wrapped around the pool on the far right of the map (opening in Fall 2022)

Victorian Building Rooms and Suites

Hotel del Coronado rooms: King Junior Suite view from living room to bedroom.
An Ocean View King Victorian Studio Suite at Hotel del Coronado

Victorian Building rooms and suites have historic hotel hallmarks like creaky, uneven floors and smaller, single-sink bathrooms with shower/tub combos. There isn’t a lot of shelf or storage space in the bathrooms.

This charm, though, is why many people prefer these Hotel del Coronado rooms. No two accommodations are alike because this building is over 130 years old.

Are They Worth the Price?

  • Compared to rooms in The Cabanas or The Views, Victorian rooms feel like they have wear and tear (some do, thanks to sea air).
  • Victorian rooms and suites do not feel new and can never, no matter what they do, feel as new as the renovated Cabanas or The Views rooms.
  • That’s the nature of the building, though. Some guests strongly prefer them because they appreciate historic hotels.

I enjoyed a recent stay in an Ocean View King Victorian Studio Suite, which had a layout in reverse of what is pictured above (the living room was by the window).

Victorian Building ocean view rooms and suites overlook the resort out to the ocean.

Hotel del Coronado rooms: Ocean View Victorian Studio Suite view looking over the spa pool and Windsor Lawn.
View from my Victorian Ocean View King Studio Suite over the spa pool.

I like sitting on the patio and getting lost in the buzz of the resort. If you want more ocean in your view, The Views Oceanfront rooms and suites have the best ocean views on the entire property.

Some Victorian Building rooms have balconies or terraces, but you are not guaranteed to have one in your room. If a balcony is important to you, request it at the time of booking. Partial Ocean View Victorian rooms do not have balconies.

The Cabanas

The Cabanas rooms received a beautiful design upgrade. Some first-floor rooms feature outdoor fire pits, chaises, and covered terraces for soaking in the California sunshine.

The Cabana Beachfront Terrace Fire Pit rooms at Hotel del Coronado with nice lounge furniture.
How awesome are these fire pit rooms?

The Cabana Beachfront Terrace Fire Pit rooms are among my favorite Hotel del Coronado rooms. These rooms open up to your own covered terrace and grassy area with a fire pit.

Many families use the terrace as an extra outdoor room. Meaning, parents hang out here while babies and younger kids sleep in the room.

The sand is just a few paces from your patio, so it’s more or less direct Coronado beach access. Awesome.

A Cabana King room with refreshed decor at Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton
A Cabana King room with refreshed decor

Rooms in The Cabanas are closest to the Main Pool and steps from the beach. This building is an excellent location for families and those who want to be close to the beach and the Hotel del Coronado pool.

The renovated swimming pool surrounded by black and white lounge furniture and the Cabana building.
The Cabana building surrounds the pool. You can see the Ocean Towers renovation in the background.

Some rooms in The Cabanas border busy public areas, but some think this is a fair trade-off, especially if they have young kids who don’t want to walk very far to the pool or beach.

KING ROOMS SLEEP FOUR PEOPLE

King rooms in The Cabanas now have queen-sized sofa sleepers. A family of four can sleep in king rooms! Double queen rooms do not have sofa sleepers and can not have rollaway beds due to local fire codes.

Most Popular Cabanas Rooms

  • Cabana Beachfront Terrace Fire Pit King or Two Queens: These open up to the beach.
  • Chocolate bar marzipan jujubes jelly-o carrot cake caramels. Tootsie roll cookie jujubes powder icing lemon drops. Pastry brownie topping oat cake chocolate cake jelly candy gingerbread tart.
  • Chocolate bar marzipan jujubes jelly-o carrot cake caramels. Tootsie roll cookie jujubes powder icing lemon drops. Pastry brownie topping oat cake chocolate cake jelly candy gingerbread tart.

The Views (Formerly The Ocean Towers)

View of the ocean through floor-to-ceiling windows in an Oceanfront room in The Views neighborhood.
Ocean views from The Views Oceanfront room.

This building is off to the side of the Main Pool (you can see it on the right behind black mesh behind The Cabanas building in the photo above) and is “a pre- and a post-adventure outpost for active guests” that is now open.

Its name, The Views, reflects what you can expect here — views through new floor-to-ceiling windows. Guest rooms offer white, bright sanctuaries with coastal color accents.

It’s the tallest of the resort’s buildings and closer to the beach than the Victorian Building, so you can expect panoramic ocean views from the top floors.

Your choices are The Views – King or Two Queens (no-view king and two queens), Resort View, Ocean View, Oceanfront, and Beachside Terrace. Book Oceanfront or Beachside if you can because these are in the front of the buildings. Ocean View is mostly okay to book as well. However, on the south side and behind The Views you may see or hear the construction of the new event center and Shore House neighborhood.

Some Ocean View rooms have exposure to this construction even though they are not marked property enhancement view. The exterior construction is diminishing, and they should mainly work on interior finishes throughout summer 2022. Also, do not book Resort View, The Views – King, or The Views – Two Queens rooms in The Views. Many of these DO have construction exposure.

KNOW THIS ABOUT THE VIEWS OCEAN VIEW ROOMS

These rooms are really partial ocean view rooms. They have a side ocean view or angled ocean view from the room and balcony. You’ll also overlook part of the resort on the way out to the ocean.

So, if you are okay with this and want a modern room with outstanding views, by all means, book The Views. If you want the least exposure possible to construction, book The Cabanas or Victorian buildings.

(If you read older Hotel del Coronado reviews, the unhappy people were primarily located in this building, which has bordered the pool and Cabanas renovations for quite some time. It was dated and didn’t have the same character as the Victorian Building.)

Shore House

Shore House is the place to stay. It’s a private neighborhood of seaside residences that are brand new with beautiful, clean, coastal design.

Highlights include the ocean view pool with poolside bar, the communal indoor-outdoor living room area, and bistro.

These residences are brand new and available for booking from fall 2022.

View Types to Choose From in Each Building

Rooms and suites in the Victorian Building come with the following views:

  • Resort View
  • Partial Ocean View
  • Ocean View

The Cabanas views include:

  • Resort View*
  • Pool View
  • Pool View Terrace (no fire pits or direct pool access from the patio, but it’s closer to the pool)
  • Terrace Fire Pits *
  • Oceanfront
  • Beachfront Terrace Fire Pits

Every room in The Cabanas has a balcony or terrace except for some Resort View rooms.

The Views views include:

  • King or Two Queens* (the no-named view category that is worse than resort view – please don’t book this)
  • Resort View*
  • Ocean View
  • Terrace with Fire Pit* (resort view)
  • Oceanfront
  • Beachside Terrace with Fire Pit

Resort View in any building at Hotel del Coronado can overlook some lovely greenery but also a wall or a parking lot. If what you see out the window is important to you, book Ocean View, Oceanfront, or Beachfront. Even Pool View can be better than Resort View.

The Shore House views include:

  • Residence
  • Resort View
  • Ocean View
  • Oceanfront
  • Bay View (2-3 bedroom Loft Residences only)

Best Hotel del Coronado Rooms


If budget is not a concern, I would book…

  • Anything in Beach Village or The Shore House luxury enclaves
  • Cabana Beachfront Terrace Fire Pit Rooms
  • Cabana Oceanfront Rooms
  • The Views Oceanfront
  • The Views Beachside Terrace Fire Pit Rooms
  • Cabana Poolside Terrace Rooms (no fire pit, but easier pool access through the back patio)
  • Ocean View Victorian (only if you prefer historic hotels)

These rooms work at a lower price point

  • The Views Ocean View (only if you book through Virtuoso where we can help you get a location without renovation exposure)
  • Cabana Pool View Rooms
  • Partial Ocean View Victorian Rooms (no balconies)
  • Victorian Rooms (these will say Victorian King or Victorian Two Queens without a view mentioned in the room name, but they have a resort view)

Hotel del Coronado Rooms for Larger Families

The maximum occupancy for rooms at Hotel del Coronado is four people of any age. If your family is larger, look to these options.

Connecting rooms: They can be requested but are not guaranteed and are difficult to achieve during peak season. Connecting rooms can be a king room to a double queen room in the same view type. The Cabanas building has very few connecting sets, so you’ll want to look to the Victorian and Views buildings for the best chances of a connection.

Studio Suites (one-room junior suites): The Hotel del Coronado has one of the best rooms for families with two adults and four kids. The Victorian Studio Suite Two Queens can sleep six people across two queen beds and a queen sofa sleeper. This junior suite is also popular with families of four traveling with two kids who don’t want to share a bed. Victorian Studio Suites come with Resort Views or Ocean Views.

These junior suites are one-room suites and do not have wall separation between the living area and bedroom. Junior suites are in high demand, so it is best to book them as soon as possible.

I recommend the Victorian Studio Suite King (king bed and a queen sofa sleeper) to families of four with parents who prefer to sleep in a king bed. King rooms in The Cabanas and The Views also now have full-sized sofa beds in them, so families of four can book these rooms, too.

Suites: If you prefer a fully separate bedroom from the living area, you need to book the Victorian Suite with an ocean view or resort view. These larger suites can also suit families of five between a sofa bed and rollaway (an extra charge applies for the rollaway) in the Victorian Building.

The Views offers gorgeous suites with king beds and sofa beds that sleep up to three adults or two adults and two kids. The Views suites can have rollaway beds.

Rollaway beds: $25/night fee

Cribs: Complimentary

BEWARE OF SITES CLAIMING THEY CAN GUARANTEE CONNECTING ROOMS

They can’t. Seriously. You’ll see websites like Suiteness and others guarantee connecting rooms or multiple-bedroom suites. Even Hilton.com can not guarantee connecting rooms here. If you book through one of these websites thinking that you have guaranteed connecting rooms you may arrive at check-in to be disappointed. Hotel del Coronado can not guarantee connecting rooms – this is an ongoing struggle for in-house reservations as they do not have the inventory.

Beach Village at The Del

Designer living room interior with kitchen and dining area inside Beach Village at The Del.
Interiors are similar to designer residences.

If you want to minimize exposure to resort renovations, please choose Beach Village at The Del. Or, if you want the most luxurious San Diego beach vacation possible, make reservations at Beach Village at The Del.

The exclusive private enclave adjacent to Hotel del Coronado is only accessible by Beach Village guests. Beach Village guests can access everything on the Main Resort, including the Main Resort pool.

Designer villa rooms and suites go up to three bedrooms. Rates here typically start at $999/night ($1400+/night during the summer) plus taxes and resort fees and are significantly higher during peak season.

Beach Village at The Del has its own check-in and amenities, so I’ve written separately about why Beach Village at The Del may be a fit for you.

I can add Virtuoso benefits to Beach Village bookings at the Semi-Flex Hilton Honors rate. If you wonder which rate is best for you, submit your dates, and I can tell you.


Hotel del Coronado Activities

Plan to spend a decent amount of time at the resort because there is quite a bit to do. You’ll receive an event calendar in your room but can also check it online before your stay.

The following are some of my favorite things to do with my family when we stay at Hotel del Coronado. 

Del Beach

Red and white striped lounge chairs and umbrellas set up at Del Beach in front of Hotel del Coronado.
Get food and drinks delivered to your comfy lounge chairs.

Del Beach offers guests the ability to rent lounge chairs, cabanas, and cabanettes in a full-service area with a menu of sandwiches, salads, snacks, and drinks (including adult beverages). It’s a lovely way to spend a beach day. Beach rentals are offered daily. However, food and drink service seems is seasonal.

The Hotel del Coronado beach is called Coronado Central Beach. It’s enormous, so if you do choose a Del Beach rental, you won’t be able to see kids playing in the water from the cabanas and cabanettes.

However, they will set up smaller chairs and umbrellas at the water’s edge, if you ask.

See also: Rentals for Residents and Hotel Guests at Del Beach

FAQ: SHOULD I BOOK A BEACH CABANA?

Yes! It’s fantastic to have food and drinks delivered to your luxe, comfy cabana! However, this is a very wide beach. If you have young children who will want to play at the water’s edge, rent chairs and an umbrella instead and take them closer to the ocean. You can not see the water’s edge from Del Beach.

Fun Fitness Classes

Beach spinning class in session on the Windsor Lawn at Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton
Morning spin class at Hotel del Coronado

Opt for the morning spinning or beach yoga. Have you ever wanted to try a mermaid fitness class? Here, you can put on a tail for a surprisingly robust pool workout. Fitness classes on the beach also include boot camp, pilates, fitness walk, hula hooping, and meditation.

These classes may require an additional fee. However, the gym is complimentary, open 24 hours, and offers private personal training.

Hotel del Coronado Pools

A woman works on a computer in a swimming pool cabana overlooking the pool deck.
Main Pool cabana with lounge furniture.

The Main Pool has been completely refreshed and is heated to 82 degrees year-round. In addition to complimentary lounge chairs and towels, guests can reserve shaded private cabanas for up to eight people.

These luxury seating areas have 2-4 lounge chairs, an L-shaped sofa, a mini-refrigerator with soda and snacks, and a fruit bowl though you can order additional food and drinks.

There are a couple of requirements. Guests need to grab a new wristband daily to use the pool, and they enforced a kids’ break policy (though I’ve been told this isn’t always the case during the off-peak season).

Kids must take a short pool break at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. to use the restroom, rehydrate, re-apply sunscreen, grab a snack, etc. There is no lifeguard on duty.

A small spa pool is available to spa guests, too.

TIP: BOOK CABANAS AND DAY PASSES ASAP

The new pool cabanas sell out quickly. Book them ASAP if you have a room reservation, even if your stay is months ahead. You can also book pool day passes if you are not staying at the resort through ResortPass.

Watersports, Bike Rentals, and Boat Rentals

Hotel del Coronado bike rentals for families

The resort offers a variety of rental options to help keep your whole family entertained during your stay. Private surf and SUP lessons can be arranged year-round (though they can be canceled in poor weather or when the surf isn’t cooperating). Group surf lessons and surf kids’ camps are offered seasonally, too.

It’s also possible to rent a boogie board, surfboard, SUP board and paddle, wetsuits, kayaks, and more to head out on your own for the day at Del Watersports.

Bike rentals are a must-do as Coronado is fantastic when explored by bike. The boardwalk in front of the hotel is perfect for a surrey ride. You can ride a bike across the island to the ferry terminal or down the Silver Strand and back (the latter is great exercise). Pick up a bike at the Wellness Terrace in front of the Spa & Salon.

Take a short walk off the resort to Coronado Boathouse at Glorietta Marina for speedboat rentals, sailing, jet-skiing, and other fun options. Seaforth Boat Rentals is also right across the street.

Ocean Explorers Kids’ Club

Kids’ clubs are hard to find at San Diego hotels, but Hotel del Coronado offers Ocean Explorers (formerly DelVentures) for kids ages 5–12.

You can book a full-day or half-day session seven days a week during peak season. I suspect that this will revert back to select days of the week in the shoulder seasons.

Two supervised sessions are on offer from 9 a.m.–noon and 1–4 p.m. so that parents can enjoy spa treatments and some rest and relaxation at the resort. You can also book the full day from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., including lunch. On Fridays and Saturdays, the Explorers’ Night Out program runs from 6-9 p.m. and includes dinner.

What will the kids be up to? We’re talking about edutainment that can include scavenger hunts, tide pooling, crafts, beach Olympics, and fun things your kids will love.

The schedule is usually more robust during the peak seasons like summer and holidays and a little more limited during the offseason. Check the schedule and programming before you book if a kids’ club is important to you.

Beach Roasts

A gourmet dessert buffet at a night beach roast in front of Hotel del Coronado.
A rather elaborate s’more and more setup I enjoyed at an event

I highly recommend booking a Roast during your Hotel del Coronado stay. They’ll set up a private fire pit and chairs for up to eight people on the beach in front of the hotel. S’mores kits are included and the experience lasts for an hour.

Reserve your fire pit in advance during one of the two offered evening times. It’s a lovely opportunity to watch the sunset and enjoy the beachfront location.

Tip: You may order additional food and drinks from Beach + Taco Shack or ENO to pick up and bring to your fire pit.

Seasonal Activities

During a typical summer, guests look forward to seasonal clam bakes, beach movies, and more outdoor activities.

San Diego hotel is more festive during the winter holidays than Hotel del Coronado with its gorgeous Christmas tree, annual ornament tradition, and beachfront ice skating rink.

TIP: WINTER ACTIVITIES ARE ON THE WINDSOR LAWN

Some room around the resort overlook the bustling winter activities on the Windsor Lawn. Consider this before booking Partial Ocean View Cabana or Victorian as well as Ocean View Victorian rooms that may over look the events.

It’s busier in the common areas during this time of year, but it is a lot of fun. We always head down to enjoy the winter programming, and many people check in to the hotel to experience it.

People enjoying beachside Hotel del Coronado ice skating during the holiday season.
Where else can you ice skate near the beach?

See also: Things to Do at Hotel del Coronado During the Holidays


Hotel del Coronado Restaurants

The hotel’s food and beverage program recently went through a revamp that has been well-received. You should understand that you will pay luxury hotel pricing for food and drinks at the resort.

Sheerwater

Sheerwater usually offers nearly all-day dining (breakfast, lunch, dinner, though closes for a few hours in the late afternoon) with a California Cuisine menu full of seafood, sandwiches, salads, and more.

This breakfast restaurant used to offer a buffet but has transitioned to a la carte dining. It is open seasonally (daily during peak seasons), so check its hours during your stay.

FREE BREAKFAST

Virtuoso guests can use their daily $40 breakfast vouchers (for up to two adults) at Sheerwater.

Sunday Brunch at the Crown Room (on Pause)

The legendary Hotel del Coronado brunch happens in the gorgeous Crown Room on Sundays. If your stay overlaps a Sunday, I recommend reserving this experience in advance. We’re talking about gourmet Bloody Mary bars, made-to-order mimosas, gorgeous dessert bars, seafood towers, and everything that a genuinely fabulous opulent brunch should have.

Note: If you are booking in with complimentary breakfast through Virtuoso, the breakfast credit can’t be applied toward Sunday brunch in the Crown Room.

Serea

Outdoor booth and table seating at Serea restaurant.
I love the new patio.

The newest Hotel del Coronado restaurant, Serea, is just what the resort needed. Here, guests enjoy sustainable seafood served in a relaxed, ocean-view environment. Guests can take an up-close look at the seafood on offer that day as it sits on the ice near the raw bar. Serea is open daily for dinner and weekend brunch.

Serea is popular, so make reservations in advance.

Babcock and Story Bar

For the times you want to plop down for a drink in a casual bar atmosphere, Babcock and Story is the place. It’s named after the hotel’s founders and is known for signature cocktails, live music on certain nights, and a lite food menu.

Sun Deck

Above the Main Pool and beach, the casual Sun Deck is an excellent place for a craft cocktail or a casual meal. They have some fire pit tables and special events like a dog-friendly happy hour on Sundays in the late afternoon. The menu has been completely refreshed, and you’ll find California cuisine like grilled octopus, seared tuna tostadas, salads, and burgers.

ENO Market + Pizzeria

The market inside ENO restaurant at Hotel del Coronado.
Love the grab and go ENO Market

I’ve always enjoyed ENO, but recently they’ve gone to great lengths to perfect their pizza crust, and It’s a casual neighborhood eatery with pizzas and salads and plenty of wine to pair with them. Dine near the open kitchen or on the patio near the fire pit with an ocean view.

The Market with various grab-and-go pastries, drinks, sandwiches, and more is an open and welcome addition to the resort.

Beach + Taco Shack

This is a fun little spot by the beach.

Come barefoot; it doesn’t matter, to the beachside Beach + Taco Shack for festive cocktails, mocktails, and daily taco offerings. It’s open on the weekends for breakfast if you’d like a hearty breakfast burrito — another San Diego staple. I can vouch for the Mai Tais.

More Grab and Go Options

Sodas, water, wine, sandwiches, snacks, pastries, and more can be purchased on a grab-and-go basis in several small gift shop outlets around the property. Kids will love grabbing a gigantic ice cream cone at Sundaes and fudge at Spreckels Sweets & Treats.

For restaurants near Hotel del Coronado (within a short walk or short Uber ride), see Best Coronado Restaurants.


Full-Service Spa and Salon

The renovated space integrates the coastal location, the hotel’s vibrant history, and a Marilyn Monroe-inspired theme —”Some Like It Hot” was filmed at the property.

The dedicated salon offers shampoo and blowouts in addition to nail treatments and makeup applications. You can also treat yourself to massages, facials, and specialty treatments like hydrafacials and prenatal massages. Make reservations online.


What You Must Understand Before Booking In

Hotel del Coronado is a famous local icon, which means that people who are not staying there visit to take photos, dine in restaurants, and browse the shops. It is a busy hotel, but most people genuinely don’t mind.

It is also incredibly important to remember a location on the best Coronado beach (also considered one of the nation’s best beaches) commands premium pricing.

For example, rates are high in summer if you book last minute. You can’t make the mistake of comparing your rate to a European palace or sprawling Mexico all-inclusive that you paid the same price for and consider twice as nice. It’s our nicest beachfront resort, and many people are willing to pay a premium to stay here.

The Cabanas and The Views rooms price higher because they are new. They are very different from the older, typically less-expensive Victorian rooms.

Book everything you can in advance of your stay online, from beach chairs to pool cabanas to fitness classes during peak season. Do not wait until you arrive as activities sell out.

After the hotel’s renovation is complete, I predict rates will trend higher than now because the changes cater to modern luxury travelers. It will be a five-star resort (versus the four-stars it is currently) if they can get a handle on one aspect — service.

The level of service that all guests receive could be elevated as I, too, am subject to long hold times when calling the hotel. It sometimes takes a while for the staff to respond to guest requests. It is a busy hotel, but the service is getting better as time progresses. I send out a survey to all guests after their stays, and I get more positive feedback about it than in years past.

That said, when I lob in a request for an in-residence Virtuoso guest, it’s dealt with quickly.

Hotel del Coronado check-out line in the lobby.
A too-long check-out line during a recent Hotel del Coronado stay (the lobby has since been renovated).

What you can expect the hotel to deliver is the basis for a fantastic San Diego beach vacation. Book in with the correct expectations, and you will get the most out of your stay.

Take advantage of the activities and amenities on offer (and schedule as many as you can in advance), enjoy the beach, relax, and you will have a great time. The ability to run back and forth from your room to the beach, especially when in San Diego with kids, is indeed a treat.

People often tell me that Hotel del Coronado is one of their favorite resorts. I personally know and work with many repeat guests, some of who I now book every year or multiple times per year.


Getting to Hotel del Coronado

Coronado is located south of the San Diego International Airport and Downtown San Diego. While there is a pedestrian ferry between Downtown and Coronado, it’s easiest to drive to Coronado from the airport. Unless it’s rush hour, it should take about 15-20 minutes to reach the resort by car.

Follow signs from baggage claim at the airport to the taxis or rideshare waiting area if you’re taking Uber or Lyft. Signage here also points to the rental car shuttle waiting for areas. An app-based black car/SUV service we use in San Diego and worldwide called Blacklane works well, and they’ll meet you at the baggage claim.

Marilyn Monroe stands in a white shirt in front of Hotel del Coronado.
Marilyn Monroe during the filming of “Some Like it Hot” in 1958.

The summer Coronado shuttle that takes guests around the island, including from the hotel to the ferry (otherwise a 30-minute walk), also makes Hotel del Coronado one of the easiest places to go carless in San Diego. You can use Uber for short distances or supplement by renting a car for the day. The closest rental car outlet to Hotel del Coronado is Enterprise, a few blocks away.

The sights in North County San Diego are far enough to usually make a rental car worthwhile if you need to make multiple trips north. You’ll avoid the parking fees at the hotel, though, by not having a car. Coronado is also easily seen by bike, which, as I mentioned, you can rent within steps of Hotel del Coronado.


FAQs About Hotel del Coronado

I am asked many questions about this popular resort, so I have answered the most frequently asked here to plan your stay.

If you’re looking to request or avoid the Hotel del Coronado haunted room where Kate Morgan stayed in 1892, it’s room 3327. The hotel doesn’t mention the room number much publicly, but we were told the number by a bellman once and have seen other sources confirm this.

Kate Morgan died at the hotel under mysterious circumstances (believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but there is some controversy around this). She is said to haunt the hotel to this day.

Yes. Hotel del Coronado is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, a collection of independent four- and five-star properties worldwide. You can earn and redeem Hilton Honors points when staying here and at Beach Village at The Del. Virtuoso guests also earn Hilton Honors points.

The Hotel del Coronado and Beach Village at The Del levy a $50/night plus tax resort fee that includes guest internet access; unlimited indoor fitness classes and beach yoga; live streaming of Netflix, Pandora, Hulu, YouTube & Crackle; local and toll-free calls. It includes access to discounted tickets, but I have the same (or better) here.

The best Hotel del Coronado breakfast is served at Sheerwater restaurant. Seasonally, breakfast is also served at Beach + Taco Shack. You can also grab breakfast to-go at the ENO Marketplace.

Beach Village at The Del guests can enjoy breakfast at any of the above options. Virtuoso guests receive free breakfast vouchers of $40 per person, for up to two people to use at Sheerware.

Hotel del Coronado guests are within walking distance of many of the best Coronado restaurants. We quite like Bluewater Boathouse for a seafood dinner and view.

Clayton’s Coffee Shop is a local institution with diner favorites and a take-out window for awesome burritos. If you want a good happy hour fried fish taco, head to Brigantine. The list goes on.

No, the Virtuoso breakfast for two benefit that I can add to your reservation can only be used daily at the breakfast outlets and not Sunday brunch.

Valet parking is $75/night for overnight guests, and self-parking is $40/night for overnight guests.

If you are visiting for the day, the rates are as follows:

  • Self-parking: $20 for the first 2 hours (receive a $10 discount with any purchase) and $10 each additional hour. The daily maximum is $70.
  • Valet parking: $30 for the first 2 hours (receive a $10 discount with any purchase) and $10 each additional hour. The daily maximum is $80.

A one-night deposit is required at the time of booking. At Hotel del Coronado, this deposit is refundable should you cancel no later than three days before check-in (seven days during peak dates).

At Beach Village at The Del, this deposit is refundable should you cancel no later than seven days before check-in (14 days during peak dates). The balance of your stay will be paid at check-out.

Check-in time is at 4 p.m. It always helps to let the hotel know what time to expect you, either through me or the Hilton app. The Hilton app allows users to check in the day prior and set an arrival time.

Virtuoso guests are entitled to early check-in, subject to availability, but it is challenging to achieve this during peak seasons like summer and school breaks. Don’t plan on it.

Early check-in may be granted if enough guests check out early (remember they are entitled to stay until 11 a.m), and housekeeping can clean the room. The other limiting factor is if you’ve given specific room parameters, which many people do, this decreases the odds of you being able to check in early.

You may drop your bags and use the facilities if your room or suite isn’t ready. There is plenty to keep you busy.

Guests need to check out by 11 a.m. Virtuoso guests are entitled to a late check-out subject to availability. It is unusual that the hotel can extend a late check-out for more than an hour or two past 11 a.m. — if they can even extend one. Again, don’t plan on a late check-out during peak season especially.

If you are a Virtuoso guest of mine, do not choose a room through the Hilton app. I work with guest relations, and they select the best room for you based on your parameters.

Otherwise, you may want to select the room on the Hilton app (which you can do the day prior). I often get asked what the best ones are. It’s a hard question to answer because it depends on your preferences. I would use the map to choose a room with reference to where the various amenities, parking lots, gardens, and panoramic views (beach and ocean) are on the property.

Yes, you may enjoy Hotel del Coronado on a day-use basis. This means that day guests can shop and dine at the resort. They may also pass through to walk on the boardwalk or to use the beach, even Del Beach rentals.

Day guests will not have access to pools except for the spa pool if booking a spa treatment. Whether you’re a day or overnight guest, visiting Hotel del Coronado is on my list of top things to do in Coronado.

If you are not an overnight guest, you can buy day passes to the Main Pool through ResortPass.

Hotel del Coronado is about 9 miles from the San Diego International Airport. The drive should take just over 15 minutes without traffic. The easiest way to get to the hotel is via Uber or car service.

The AAA rate at Hotel del Coronado is usually 10% off of Hilton’s Best Flexible Rate. You can book it through Hilton, by selecting AAA in the Special Rate section of the booking engine.

The rate may be lower than Virtuoso, but it will not usually be better on an all-in basis. The AAA rate is not combinable with Virtuoso amenities, so you will not receive the $100 resort credit, $40/day daily breakfast credit for up to two adults, or a possible room upgrade.

The same applies to the AARP, military, and other special rates offered by Hilton.

I get this question all the time. People comb TripAdvisor and see reviews that cause them to hesitate to book a stay.

I covered some of this already, but the bottom line is that people go in with the wrong expectations. This hotel is expensive because of its offerings and location. It’s our best beach resort. It’s NOT a Four Seasons or a Ritz-Carlton, nor does it bill itself to be. It does not have five-star service. But it can price higher than a lot of five-star hotels. Yet people are willing to pay this, hence the pricing.

People also accidentally book the older Victorian rooms and are surprised that they are not new for the price. Or, they book renovation view rooms and complain about the construction noise (I know).

You will have a great time if you go in with the right expectations, choose your room wisely, and are not a high-needs traveler. Also, understand that there are not a lot of alternatives in San Diego if you would like to stay at a big beach resort.

It is still more beneficial for Hilton Diamond members to book into Hotel del Coronado through Virtuoso.

If you are a Hilton Diamond member (or any level of Hilton Honors member), you will earn points with a Virtuoso booking.

You will not receive the Hilton Diamond or Hilton Gold daily food and beverage credit (which at the time of this writing is $20/day) as a Virtuoso guest. Remember, with Virtuoso, you receive a $40/day breakfast credit for up to two people and a one-time $100 food and beverage credit.

Ready to Book?

You can check Hotel del Coronado prices on my Virtuoso page and compare them to Hilton.com. However, you will receive a better level of service and VIP status in addition to my San Diego vacation planning email series if you book with me.

I update this Hotel del Coronado review regularly, so if your stay falls in the future, bookmark this page. You are always welcome to email me with questions.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Katie, when booking through the Virtuoso link there are The Views rooms listed as ‘The Views – 2 Queen 50Usd Mand Chg – Balcony Or Patio’ but with no description as to the actual view itself. Is there a way I can book through you so that I don’t end up with a view facing a wall/lot/construction?

    Many thanks,
    Max

    1. This is a great question. If there is no view listed (such as Pool View, Oceanfront, Partial Ocean View, Beachfront), this means that it is a resort view room. I am trying not to book these in The Views or Cabanas buildings until the renovation is totally over which is supposed to be in the late summer/early fall. Even though it’s mostly done you can hear some noise from the Shore House finishes from some of these resort view rooms in The Views and Cabanas. And you’re right you may end up facing a wall, parking lot or construction (though it’s not as messy as it used to be).