Who doesn’t love Coronado? The Coronado beach is hands-down my favorite of all the beaches in San Diego county, not to mention they have a section of the beach dedicated to dogs year round. The small island village is so relaxing and takes you back in time. During the tourist season the population doubles, but on the off-season, especially fall, Coronado is the best place in San Diego County to be.
Derived from the Spanish word “crowned”, Coronado’s main fame is the Hotel Del Coronado and bridge connecting the small peninsula. Hotel Del was built in 1888, is a historic Victorian beachfront hotel and the second largest wooden structure in the United States (first being Tillamook Air Museum in Tillamook, Oregon). Designed by architect James W. Reid, (a native of New Brunswick, Canada), the 399-room hotel was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977 and a California Historical Landmark in 1970. Built in the real estate boom eras of the mid-1880s, it was at the time the largest resort hotel in the world and has been visited by celebrities, dignitaries and U.S. presidents. In 1885, five investors under the Coronado Beach Company (E.S.Babcock, Hampton L. Story, Jacob Gruendike, Heber Ingle, Joseph Collett) purchased all of Coronado and North Island (over 4,000 acres) for $110,000 where they developed the wharves, storage facilities, ferryboat, water company, railroads and electrical power plant.
Hotel del Coronado History: This 208-page coffee table book details Hotel del Coronado’s 125-year history and contains more than 440 photos, which many have never been published. Click here for more info.
Over the years, the property was featured in numerous movies and books such as: The Flying Fleet (1927), Some Like It Hot (1959), Wicked, Wicked(1973), The Stunt Man (1980), My Blue Heaven (1990). The ghost that is known to haunt the hotel, is Kate Morgan, who died there misteriously November 24, 1892. She checked into room 302 (now 3327).
The Legend of Kate Morgan: Stories of ghostly happenings have been circulating at the Hotel del Coronado for many years, all thought to be related to the death of a beautiful young woman, Kate Morgan, who stayed at the hotel in November 1892. Hotel guests, employees, and even paranormal researchers have attested to some supernatural occurrences at The Del. Click here for more info.
Over the years, the hotel has grown: In 2005, 37 limited-term occupancy cottages along with 205 additional hotel rooms were added and a $10 million upgrade of 381 rooms.
It’s owners over the years were many: (prior to 2003) Travelers(prior to 2003) | 2003: CNL Hospitality Properties Inc. and KSL Recreation Corp (CNL/KSL) | 2005: Blackstone Group LP (60%), Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. (34.5%), and KSL Resorts (5.5%)- later Blackstone purchased out the others and remains the full owners. In 2017, Hilton Hotels and Resorts took over the management.
With The Hotel del Coronado Cookbook, visitors, passersby, and even would-be Rockefellers can now take home more than just memories. This catalog of classic cuisine lists complete meals as served in the ballrooms and dining rooms of the Del. Included among the menus are their presidential banquets, their world-famous Sunday brunch, wedding-reception menus, holiday specials, choice dishes of celebrities, and the centennial menu from the hotel’s million-dollar birthday bash. Click on the link for more info.
Coronado was originally only accessible from either the Silver Strand or boat across the harbor from San Diego downtown. In 1967, construction began on the Coronado Bridge and 2 years later opened August 3,
The pillars supporting the bridge on the eastern end are painted with huge murals as part of Chicano Park located beneath the bridge and the largest collection of Chicano art murals in the world.