WHAT I LOVE
- The new Terrace Fire Pit rooms in The Cabanas and The Views buildings
- 700+ Rooms and suites across three 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
- New The Views rooms available for booking in July 2021
- Virtuoso amenities and VIP status (get both through me)
GOOD TO KNOW
- Read about modified offerings in 2021.
- A $400-million renovation is in process (you will likely hear some noise)
- Cabana rooms marked “Property Enhancement View” overlook the Tower Building’s refurbishment (do not book these)
- San Diego’s best full-service, beachfront resort
- Four-star Curio Collection by Hilton property
- You will read mixed reviews (room, service, renovation issues)
- 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
- $35/night resort fee and $40/night self-parking only
- 11 a.m. check-out time
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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’m going to tell you everything you need to know before you check-in.
The Best Way to Make Hotel del Coronado Reservations
TIP: BOOK SUMMER 2021 ASAP!I can tell you based on the volume of emails in my inbox and from searching dates for readers that availability for summer is already low. Book Hotel del Coronado and Beach Village ASAP for summer 2021 and all holidays to avoid disappointment. People are simply more comfortable traveling domestically right now.
Due to continued renovation at the resort, you will book into the Victorian Building or The Cabanas if you plan to stay before July 2021. Stays starting in July 2021, can also book into The Views Building.
The best ways to make a Hotel del Coronado reservation, speaking from extensive experience with this particular hotel, are via Virtuoso or Hilton.
Virtuoso is only accessible via a luxury travel advisor where you have special access to value-added amenities, including daily breakfast for two, $100 resort credit, room upgrades, and more.
Through my affiliation with Cadence, 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
- $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
- 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.
*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. If you’re on a mobile device you can email me through Virtuoso or use my form to request rates. 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.
If you are eligible for AAA, Military or Hilton Honors or rare discounted rates that outweigh Virtuoso benefits, you can book through Hilton.com. I’d check both sites.
Hotel del Coronado Is Open: What to Expect Now
Hotel del Coronado is open with modified offerings inline with County health and safety requirements. You can read more about what to expect, but here are a few highlights.
Guests must wear face coverings in the hotel’s public areas, except for the beach and pool, when a distance of 6′ or more from other guests is maintained.
Check-in has been moved to the Victorian Building’s courtyard, but guests are encouraged to check-in and out using Digital Key on the Hilton app.
Only self-parking is available at $40/night plus tax. Housekeeping will not be allowed to enter your room after you’ve checked in, and in-room dining is temporarily unavailable.
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. Most recently, the Main Pool reopened completely rejuvenated with new cabanas. The new Cabana rooms are open, and some have fire pits.
The old Ocean Towers building is being transformed into The Views with fully-renovated, residential-style accommodations and common areas in addition to an exterior and front entrance refresh. These rooms can be booked now for stays starting in July 2021.
And, next to The Views will be an entirely other new fantastic building with accommodations that have multiple bedrooms.
Rest assured that my Virtuoso bookings will be placed in the best rooms possible to avoid any disruption.
I am in direct communication nearly every day. I will continually update this post with how the renovation impacts (or doesn’t impact) the guest experience.
How to Choose Hotel del Coronado Rooms and Suites
Between now and July 2021, your options are the Hotel del Coronado rooms and suites across the Victorian Building and The Cabanas. I’ve broken down each option and provided a handy map to help you make your decision. Starting in July 2021, you can book into The Views.
You’ll first want to narrow down which building to choose. The choice is easy if you’re looking at suites because all are currently located in the Victorian Building. (Or, you can choose suites and villas in Beach Village.)
Due to the renovation, this Hotel del Coronado map will change a little bit (the main entrance is being relocated), but it does give you an idea of where the main buildings and amenities are located.
Take a second to view the location of these buildings on the map below, outlined in red.
Victorian Building Rooms and Suites
Victorian Building rooms and suites have historic hotel hallmarks like creaky, uneven floors and smaller bathrooms. This charm, though, is why many people prefer these Hotel del Coronado rooms. No two accommodations are exactly alike.
I quite 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.
I like sitting on the patio and getting lost in the buzz of the resort. If you want more ocean in your view, the higher floors of The Cabanas building will have this. And, The Views will have the best ocean views of 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 rooms received a beautiful design upgrade, with some first floor rooms featuring outdoor fire pits, chaises, and cabanas for soaking in the California sunshine.
TIPSome Cabana rooms overlook Ocean Towers refurbishments and will be labeled as property enhancement view. DO NOT BOOK THESE ROOMS.
My new favorite Hotel del Coronado rooms are the Cabana Ocean View Terrace Fire Pit rooms. These rooms open up to your own private covered terrace and grassy area with a fire pit.
The sand is just a few paces from your patio, so it’s more or less direct Coronado beach access. Awesome.
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 both the beach and the Hotel del Coronado pool.
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.
KING ROOMS SLEEP FOURKing 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).
The Views (Formerly The Ocean Towers)
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 being transformed into “a pre- and a post-adventure outpost for active guests” that will open in late July 2021.
Its name reflects what you can expect here — views through new floor-to-ceiling windows. Guest rooms will transform into 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.
I will have more to say about this building soon but all of my contacts on the resort are excited about its opening.
(If you read older Hotel del Coronado reviews, the unhappy people were mostly located in this building, which has bordered the pool and Cabanas renovations for quite some time. It was dated and also didn’t have the same character as the Victorian Building.)
TIPThe Views rooms and suites can be booked now for stays starting in late July 2021. Keep in mind that if you book the first week, you might experience delays which are common in hotel construction. The risk is that you’ll be left without a room since the hotel, I can tell you, will be sold out through most of summer 2021. I think it’s safer to book The Views from the second week of July onward.
View Types to Choose From
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
- Partial Ocean View
- Ocean View
- Terrace Fire Pits
- Partial Ocean View Fire Pits
- Ocean View Terrace Fire Pits
- Property Enhancement View (you may see construction and hear construction noise in these rooms but they are priced lower — do not book these rooms)
The Views views include:
- Resort View
- High Floor
- Partial Ocean View
- Ocean View
- High Floor Ocean View
- Terrace Fire Pit
- Coastal Terrace Fire Pit
- Ocean View Terrace Fire Pit
Resort View 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 Partial Ocean View, Pool View, or Ocean 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. Connecting rooms can be a king room to a double queen room in the same view type.
Junior Suites: The Hotel del Coronado has one of the best rooms for families with two adults and four kids. The Double Queen Victorian Studio Suite 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.
I recommend the King Victorian Studio Suite (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 also now have queen sofa beds in them, so families of four can book these rooms, too.
Do realize that these are junior suites with no wall separation between the living area and a bedroom. Junior suites are in high demand, so it is best to book them as soon as possible.
Suites: If you prefer a fully separate bedroom from the living area, you need to book the Victorian Suite or higher. These larger suites can also suit families of five between a sofa bed and rollaway (an extra charge applies for the rollaway).
Rollaway beds: $25/night fee
Beach Village at The Del
For those who would like the most luxurious 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. Conversely, Beach Village guests have access to 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 $799/night plus tax and resort fee 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.
When making a Beach Village at The Del booking, look at Hilton Honors Semi-Flex rates (if available) but know that I can add Virtuoso benefits to Beach Village bookings at Hilton’s Best Available Rate. If you are wondering 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 in advance of your stay. The following are some of my favorite things to do with my family when we stay at Hotel del Coronado.
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 to be seasonal.
The Hotel del Coronado beach is called Coronado Central Beach. It’s enormous, so note that 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.p
Fun Fitness Classes
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, and meditation.
These classes may require an additional fee, however, the gym (when it’s open) is complimentary, open 24 hours, and offers private personal training.
Hotel del Coronado Pools
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. Seating around the pool maintains an appropriate distance between travelers.
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 are required to 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.
Watersports, Bike Rentals, and Boat Rentals
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’ll usually find these rentals at PeDels in front of the Ocean Towers, but they’ve been moved behind the resort temporarily due to the renovation.
Take a short walk off of 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.
DelVentures Kids’ Club (Temporarily Closed)
Kids’ clubs are hard to find at San Diego hotels, but Hotel del Coronado offered DelVentures for kids ages 4–12. It was an evening supervised kids’ program that ran daily between 6–9 p.m. so that parents could enjoy a private dinner on the resort. Various 50-minute programming ran throughout the week.
There is no DelVentures programming on the calendar right now because of space constraints due to the renovation, but I’ll be sure to revise this when there is an update. The other upshot to DelVentures, when it is on offer, is that guests who are coming only to enjoy dinner or the spa at the resort can use it, too.
I highly recommend booking a Daily Roast during your Hotel del Coronado stay. They’ll set up a private fire pit and s’mores for up to eight people on the beach in front of the hotel.
Just 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.
During a normal summer, guests look forward to seasonal clam bakes, beach movies, and even more outdoor activities.
Come winter, and no San Diego hotel is more festive during the holidays than Hotel del Coronado with its gorgeous Christmas tree, annual ornament tradition, and more. Normally, there is a beachside ice skating rink, but this fun activity was on hiatus in 2020.
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.
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.
Please note: Dining is temporarily modified to suit current state regulations. It is outdoor and takeaway only.
Note: The buffet is temporarily on pause.
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. Right now, Sheerwater is open daily only for a la carte breakfast on its rather expansive patio.
FREE BREAKFASTVirtuoso guests receive daily breakfast for up to two adults at Sheerwater in the form of two $40 breakfast vouchers per day.
Sunday Brunch at the Crown Room (on Pause)
The legendary Hotel del Coronado brunch happens on Sundays in the gorgeous Crown Room. If your stay overlaps a Sunday, I highly 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, the credit can’t be applied toward Sunday brunch in the Crown Room.
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 seafood on offer that day as it sits on the ice near the raw bar. Serea is open daily for dinner and weekend brunch.
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 known for signature cocktails, live music on certain nights, and a lite food menu.
Above the Main Pool and beach, the casual Sun Deck is an excellent place to stop in for a craft cocktail or 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
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 and with an ocean view. The pizzeria opens in September.
The Market with various grab-and-go pastries, drinks, sandwiches, and more is an open and welcome addition to the resort.
Beach + Taco Shack
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 Sundae’s (temporarily closed) and fudge at Spreckels Sweets & Treats. There is also a new B&S Bakery cart located on the Garden Patio open from 6 a.m. to noon.
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, in summer, rates are high if you book last-minute — even now. 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 to be twice as nice. It’s our nicest beachfront resort, and many people are willing to pay a premium to stay here.
After the hotel’s renovation is complete, I predict rates will trend higher than they are 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.
The level of service that all guests receive could be elevated as I, too, am subject to long hold times when calling the hotel, and it sometimes takes a while for the staff to respond to guest requests. It is a busy hotel, and I do think that the service could be drastically improved.
That being said, when I lob in a request for an in-residence Virtuoso guest, it’s dealt with quickly.
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 tell 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 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. Use promo code 1WVK908F on your first Blacklane ride, and we’ll both save 20%.
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 make a rental car worthwhile usually. You’ll avoid the parking fees at the hotel, though, by not having a car. Coronado is also very 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.
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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