02 Dec Holiday Magic at Hotel del Coronado
After graduating from UCLA, JIll traveled the world looking for unique destinations. She’s been writing about her travels for almost 30 years in various publications.
She writes a weekly restaurant review for the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News. It’s inserted into the Los Angeles Times every Thursday and delivered to subscribers from Hancock Park to Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills to the Wilshire Corridor.
Holiday Magic at Hotel del Coronado
BY JILL WEINLEIN
One of my favorite multigenerational vacation destinations in Southern California is the legendary Hotel del Coronado. The charm and Victorian character of the historic Queen Ann design hotel appeals to all ages.
Travelers looking for a coastal getaway have been coming to the Hotel del Coronado for more than 134 years. The property’s storied past blends seamlessly with its contemporary accommodations and amenities.
When the hotel opened in 1888, it was built for $600,000 and room rates were around $2.50 per day, and included three meals a day. In 1904, The Del made history when it unveiled the world’s first electrically lit, outdoor, living Christmas tree. Holiday lights were strung from the hotel to a nearby Norfolk Island Pine.
While staying in the newer The Views neighborhood inside the Beach Village community, I appreciated the unobstructed vistas of the rolling waves, boats sailing in the horizon and picturesque sunsets. This area has a separate personalized welcome check-in center with concierge service.
Each of the villas in this quieter complex offer a separate bedroom, spacious living area, marble bathroom with a separate shower and bathtub, and a full kitchen for preparing meals to enjoy inside or out on the terrace or patio. All have ocean, beach and pool views.
I walked over to the main lobby of the Hotel del Coronado to meet Charity Hill, co-founder of Epic Entertainment Group. She and her partner Steve Sheldon collaborated with Hotel del Coronado to turn the resort into a festive holiday wonderland.
The lobby has been transformed into a magical site with a massive 23-foot Christmas tree lit with ten thousand lights and nearly two thousand ornaments.
EPIC decked the halls and outside areas with beautiful bows of lush garland, shimmering oversized ornament displays, and over 20 themed Christmas trees ranging in size from 8 feet to a 25 foot garden tree.
Walking around the resort with Hill, she shared with me, “As experts in storytelling through creative activations, we are honored to be the team who dreams up new experiences for Hotel del Coronado. We can’t wait for everyone to be a part of the holiday spirit this season.”
Last year when I met Hill, it was the first year EPIC worked at Hotel del Coronado during the holidays. They have returned again to decorate and design “At First Light,” a 12-minute light show displayed on the 100+ year old Norfolk Island trees. The creative company brings epic ideas to life by hanging over 75,000 lights that are choreographed with shimmering illuminations that include images of snow falling.
Hotel del Coronado’s guests can also celebrate the holidays at Frosted by the Sea, a new heated beachside igloos venue. Each igloo is decorated with twinkling lights, cozy seating, and seasonal décor.
During sunset and in the evening, guests can reserve a bonfire on the beach. It’s a favorite family tradition. We wiggled our toes in the sand as we roasted marshmallows and chose different types of chocolates to melt in-between graham crackers. Guest can purchase items at ENO Market & Pizzeria or the Beach + Taco Shack to take down to the bonfire and to enjoy grab-and-go dinner on the beach.
Once again the Hotel del Coronado has turned their lawn area into Skating by the Sea. This spectacular beachfront ice rink features stunning views of the Pacific. A portion of the sales benefits Make-A-Wish San Diego. Rent ice skates or sit in the comfortable Frostbite Lounge next to a warm fire pit to enjoy festive food and beverage options.
The next morning I rented one of The Del’s beach cruiser bikes and rode around Coronado Island. The paths are flat, so you can ride for miles on paved roads along the Silver Strand to Imperial Beach. Another popular bike path is to the Coronado’s Ferry Landing, where you can hop on one of the ferry boats with your bike to explore Seaside Village and Downtown San Diego. Bike rentals are available daily on the Wellness Terrace in front of the Spa & Salon at Hotel del Coronado.
Now through January 1, 2023, enjoy a Seaside Holiday “Frosted by the Sea.” The Seaside Holiday Package includes a $150 daily resort credit (or a $200 daily resort credit for guests staying at Shore House or Beach Village). This daily credit can be used for dining or activities including one of the The Del’s Holiday-themed events. This offer is subject to availability and some blackout dates may apply. https://hoteldel.com. 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado (619)435-6611.