The Coronado beach in front of the Hotel del Coronado is often cited as one of the best in America by national publications. It’s easy to see why.
With its soft break that’s perfect for boogie boarding kids, seemingly-endless white sand complete with gold sparkles (a mineral called mica is the reason), little Coronado tide pools, and plenty of space, it’s one of the most popular in San Diego. The beach is another reason why guests choose the hotel, in addition to its Victorian elegance, of course.
Staying at Hotel del Coronado is a treat and I say it with complete bias because I was married there. However, residents and nearby visitors also have the luxury of enjoying Del Beach—a new addition to the luxury hotel’s offerings—just for the day. Tack on a spa treatment, dinner, or even a s’more roasting and feel like you’re on vacation, even if you’re technically not.
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Del Beach Rental Information
Use the Hotel del Coronado self-parking (fee applies) or take advantage of (limited) free street parking around this part of Coronado Island. You’ll find the Del Beach information booth at the end of the walkway to the beach, just past the chef herb garden on the side of the Windsor Cottage. Del Beach rentals are available to the public as well as hotel guests! Because the experience is popular, your best bet is to arrive early or reserve your spot in advance. Here are your rental options:
- Luxury lounge chairs: The chairs recline fully and are quite comfortable. A towel to cover the chair and another for general use is included in your $25 per chair fee. You can take these to the shoreline.
- Umbrellas: These are $30 for the day and highly recommended in any set up unless you are comfortable with direct sun for long periods of time. The canopies on the daybeds and cabanettes are stationary, so the shade provided moves depending on where the sun is. The good news is that these umbrellas are big, sturdy, and worth the extra spend.
- Daybeds: Located in the front of Del Beach with a prime view of the ocean (pictured in the top photo), daybeds command $300 per day. Instead of two lounge chairs, you have a full bed spanning what appears to be the same width as a cabanette and covered by the same-sized canopy. However, the benefit is that there is no break between the lounge chairs, meaning that this set-up is best for parents with small kids in tow that might need to crawl around or snuggle mom and dad throughout the day. They are a tiny bit more elevated than the lounge chairs, however. The other upshot to these is that if the kids need to sprawl out on the sand, they have what feels like the entire beach to do so because no one is in front of you.
- Del Beach Lounge Area: Your day pass includes access to lounge chairs, umbrellas, beach games, and more. $50/adult and $25/child ages 6-10. Kids ages 5 and under are free.
Beach butlers are on hand to guide guests to their Del Beach area. They will set up the lounge chairs, cabanettes, and daybeds. Cabanettes include two of the above lounge chairs that are shaded by a striped canopy but I do not see them currently available as rental options. We enjoyed this setup but I recommend renting an umbrella, too, if you choose a cabanette.
What to Bring to Del Beach
Unless you plan on renting a boogie board—which is up the walkway on the other side of the main pool and not near the lounging area—bring your own, plus sand toys for the kids.
Del Beach supplies towels and a nice towel cover for the lounge chairs or daybeds. You’ll need your basic beach accessories like sunscreen, hats, and kids’ gear. Speaking of kids, if they are in tow, I suggest snacks and drinks if the servers are busy.
Food Service on Del Beach
We arrived around lunchtime when lunch and margaritas were in full swing. Within about five minutes of arrival to our cabanette, I was able to flag down a server and request a menu. He returned within a few minutes to take our order.
We are now used to luxury hotel pricing, but I think the Del Beach menu is priced. Most of the items are preassembled so that the servers can deliver them to you within about 10 minutes. I might caution that if the server mentions that they are waiting for the main kitchen to restock a particular item, it might be wise to choose something else. In our case, it took longer than expected, but the homemade chips and guac and fruit sticks were worth the wait. My salad came out right away, and I forgot to take a photo of it.
Snacks for kids at the time of our visit included popsicles and ice cream, ants on a log kit, pita chips and dip, the chips and guacamole, and fruit sticks.
The cocktail menu is quite extensive and I overheard plenty of guests place custom orders that the servers were able to accommodate with ease. Remember that alcohol on the beach is otherwise not allowed on other San Diego beaches. Del Beach is an exception.
Note that the only water option is bottled water, so bring your own you like.
Break Up the Day with a Spa Treatment
Your lounging space a Del Beach is yours until you tell them it’s no longer needed. Should you want to break for a bicycle ride down the boardwalk, some ice cream or a spa treatment, that’s totally fine.
Or, finish your beach day at the spa. My daughter and I enjoyed mother-daughter mani/pedis after the beach, but a break for alone time in the spa lounging facilities seems heavenly.
Good to Know
The Coronado beach is huge, which means that since the Del Beach lounge area is set back against the hotel, you can’t exactly eyeball the kids at the water’s edge. You can take beach chair and umbrella rentals down to the shoreline.
Appropriate attire is required in the hotel’s public areas which means bathing suit cover-ups and shoes. Little foot washers are available to wash off sandy feet.
Unless you are headed in for a spa treatment (kids aren’t allowed in the spa changing areas), there isn’t a place at the hotel to shower off and change if you want to stay for dinner. You could do your best to de-sand and slip on some hotel attire to eat at the casual dining spots like Sun Deck by the pool (the pool is for hotel guests only) or even the patio at ENO Wine Bar and Pizzeria. If you’re carrying a ton of gear, take it back to the car, however.
This is a great way for guests of nearby Coronado Island hotels, such as the Coronado Beach Resort, to enjoy the beach. But, if you want to stay overnight, you should definitely use my Virtuoso benefits (to access online rates and booking, you’ll need to be on the desktop version of the site which you can enable from a mobile browser).
Hotel del Coronado
1500 Orange Ave
Coronado, CA 92118
(Hotel del Coronado made my lists of best family hotels in San Diego and best San Diego beach hotels. Check them out!)
Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).
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