The stretch of Southern California, from Los Angeles to San
Diego/Coronado, has been called the American Riviera. Crossing
over the dramatic 2.1-mile San Diego-Coronado Bridge from San Diego,
California, you’ll arrive in the town of Coronado, home of the
Victorian-style Hotel del Coronado.
|SAN DIEGO-CORONADO BRIDGE|
Hotel del Coronado, (affectionately dubbed “The Del”) may well be the
jewel in the crown of America’s Riviera. This rambling white
clapboard legend, with red-peaked roof, crimson turrets, and
lazy verandas, is said to be “one-third sun, one-third sand,
one-third fairy tale”. Radiating gracious Victorian splendor, this
classic beachfront resort was designated a National Historic Landmark
Have you ever heard of Otis #61? Contrary to some beliefs, Otis
#61 is not a perfume.
Otis #61 is an elevator…a very famous elevator…a very famous 125-year old
elevator. One of the first fully functioning
electric elevators manufactured in America, Otis #61 has graced the main
lobby of the Hotel del Coronado since the resort opened in 1888.
#61 AT THE DEL
In 1960, a Hollywood scenic designer, Al Goodman, was hired to refurbish
The Del’s lobby. Goodman designed a wonderfully
ornate, Victorian-style grill to adorn the lobby elevator. A
primary concern, during one of The Del’s restorations was to safeguard
Otis #61 and bring the famous Goodman grill back to its original
glory. And they did! Andrew “Drew” Lounsbury,
an ebullient man in classic uniform, operated Otis #61 for 30-plus years.
TREE ENHANCES LANDSCAPE AT THE DEL
Hollywood has been making movies at The Del since
1901. In 1958, the Del became the backdrop for
the shenanigans of Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and Joe
E. Brown, when they filmed “Some Like It Hot” at the
hotel. From my luxurious Victorian suite overlooking the
Pacific Ocean, I could almost see Marilyn and Tony toasting their
champagne flutes as they conned each other on Joe E. Brown’s yacht.
The Hotel Del Coronado has sheltered international royalty,
politicians, Hollywood celebrities, and the rich and famous since
1888. Eleven U.S. presidents, starting with Benjamin Harrison, have
visited the Del.
|VIEW OF HOTEL DEL CORONADO FROM THE BEACH|
A ghost is said to haunt Room 3327. But, of
course! What Victorian resort would be complete without a
resident ghost? Kate Morgan checked into the resort on
November 24, 1892, and never checked out. Reports of ghostly happenings,
all thought to be connected to the death of this beautiful young woman,
have been circulating at The Del ever since.
Publisher Rand McNally credited The Del as enjoying “more fame and
historical significance than perhaps any hotel in North America”.
The Hotel del Coronado’s famous Crown Room Sunday Brunch has been
continuously voted San Diego’s best brunch. The Crown Room
features beautiful Victorian style, high vaulted ceilings made of sugar
pine and decorated with four magnificent crown chandeliers
The Crown Room may have been inspired by the romance of Wallis Spencer
Simpson and the Prince of Wales (who would later become King Edward VIII
and then the Duke of Windsor). Many wonder if the Prince may have
first seen Mrs. Simpson during his visit to the hotel in 1920.
1500 OCEAN is The Del’s signature beachfront restaurant with a
farm-to-table culinary approach, unparalleled ocean views, and an
FROM THE DEL’S BEACHFRONT
you can ever pull yourself away from this fabulous resort, you might want
to check out Coronado’s other attractions, including the Ferry
Landing Marketplace, Silver Strand State Beach, Coronado Historical
Museum, and the Naval Air Station at North Island.
After 125 years, the Hotel del Coronado still remains a beacon of grandeur
and refinement among vacation destinations in Southern California and
JANET STElNBERG is the winner of 38 national Travel Writer Awards and
an lnternational Travel Consultant with The Travel Authority
in Mariemont, Ohio.