Iconic resort introduces new menus, beach setup, renovations, and summer programs
Everyone will enjoy the new Del Beach.
The Victorian-era Hotel Del Coronado recently completed a $13 million renovation of its facilities, including guestrooms, the Beach villas and cottages, common areas, and dining venues. In May, they launched the new “Del Beach” featuring beach daybeds, half-moon cabanas, and recreational activities for adults and children.
The new programs and activities include a beach playground for kids and surfboard, stand-up paddle, kayak and boogie board rentals. Also available are new furnishings including beach towels, umbrellas, cabanas, daybeds, and chaise lounges in a crisp white and burgundy design.
The new food and beverage beach service includes salads, sandwiches, Mai Tais, and margaritas. Chef John Shelton created light dishes to appeal to beachgoing families. The picnic-like offerings include guacamole and chips, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and margaritas for the grownups.
Additional family activities include the DelVenture program for younger guests ages 4 to 12. At check-in, kids receive a DelVenture explorer pack with a treasure map and all the tools for an exciting adventure. Clues guide explorers to golden crowns hidden throughout the resort, revealing their final destination where a sweet treasure awaits. Kidtopia offers three-hour camps and shorter programs for children featuring beach-themed rooms for crafts and playtime as well as a funhouse. Nightly s’mores can be enjoyed by the entire family under the stars over a crackling beach fire pit while dine-in movies over the main pool every Tuesday provide further entertainment.
New Blue Dolphin and Blue Octopus suites for families feature renovated master bedrooms and sitting parlors along with ocean-inspired kids’ bedrooms with bunk beds, beanbags, a Wii or X-Box, and a treasure chest filled with toys.
San Diego Weekend Guide: June 26-28 – The Beach and a Breakthrough
There’s few places that combine history and scenery better than the Hotel del Coronado. The grand dame re-opens just in time for summer this weekend, but you may choose to turn again to Balboa Park, where another attraction has come back on line.
The Hotel Del will have some rules in place, and the main pool will not be open, but with all that beach right there, it’s not such a loss. Patrons can enjoy the hotel grounds, along with Serẽa restaurant, where tables will be spaced out for social distancing. Masks will be required.
The Japanese Friendship Garden is next up at Balboa Park, but distancing rules also must be followed here, and yes, keep that mask handy. To minimize contact, 200 people will be allowed in the garden at a time. There also will be limited access to the Lower Garden, including the pavilion, and at the koi pond. Admission costs $12.
Parents, we know you need a break. Try Escondido’s San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum for Live Fun Animal Friday on Facebook at 10 a.m. Friday with a sloth and an Argentinian lizard, the tegu. The interactive event is a partnership with Pacific Animal Productions. Come back for more as the museum also offers story time and craft videos throughout the week.
The Hotel del Coronado&rsquos spectacular lobby makes quite the statement, with gleaming wood-coffered ceilings, Oriental carpets, and a massive chandelier dripping with crystals that catch the light just so. From the moment it opened, the Hotel Del Coronado attracted luminaries from around the world, including many Hollywood screen legends and U.S. presidents. One of the Hotel Del's most iconic roles was as the backdrop for the film &ldquoSome Like It Hot,&rdquo which starred Marilyn Monroe. The lobby sets a fitting tone for a place with such a storied past.
Surrounded by chaise lounges and posh private cabanas, the hotel&rsquos large Main Pool is heated year-round and features dedicated lap swim hours in the morning for serious swimmers and plenty of pool toys to keep kids entertained as they splash around. There&rsquos also a hot tub and a poolside bar. The smaller Boardwalk Pool, only open during the summer, is open to guests 18 and up.
Traveling with kids? The hotel’s DelVenture activity center hosts supervised evening and weekend adventures for ages 4 to 12 years old.
The hotel&rsquos Spa at the Del features ocean-inspired treatments that include massages, facials, and body skincare. The spa&rsquos outdoor terrace overlooks the ocean and features an infinity pool.
The Del&rsquos spacious gym features state-of-the-art cardio and strength-training equipment, as well as complimentary fitness classes like Pilates, yoga, circuit work, core-conditioning, body-sculpting and Zumba. For a fee, guests can take Beach Spin or the hotel&rsquos hugely popular Mermaid Fitness, which involves swimming around in a brightly colored mermaid tail -- for real!
Guests can rent bikes, boogie boards, volleyballs, wetsuits, and surfboards.
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
Everyone in your family from babies to big kids will love spending the day at the glorious Omni La Costa Resort & Spa pools. Even if your visit only lasts an afternoon, you'll feel as rejuvenated as if you'd gone on a mini-vacation at this slice of paradise. You're spoiled for choice with an array of pools that all beckon you for a refreshing dip. The Sandy Beach Family Pool is perfect for tots and little kids due to its shallow beach entry and for the fact that kids can build sandcastles and play in the sand. The Splash Landing Pools will keep big kids entertained for hours. There are not one, but two 100-foot waterslides (an open slide and a tunnel slide) that kids will gleefully slide down again and again. There's also a water play area/splash pad complete with plenty of fun features like a raining umbrella and squirt guns kids can aim. If you just want a general swim, there's also a main swimming pool and a large hot tub.
Bonus: The pool menu (served Sat. & Sun. only) boasts plenty of delicious food, tantalizing drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and the wait staff is helpful and quick to serve.
Good to know: Kids must be 48 inches or taller to ride the big waterslides, but there's also a slide for younger kids who are at least 36 inches tall to ride, so they don't feel left out. Also, there are bathrooms located right near the splash pad area and there's plenty of shade provided by pool umbrellas situated above the lounge chairs. Complimentary self-parking is included with your day pass.
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Cost: Starting at $40/adult $20/child
2100 Costa Del Mar Rd.
Carlsbad, CA 92009
A Luxury San Diego Family Vacation Getaway
San Diego might as well be L.A.’s younger sibling. Overall, it’s more relaxed, more of a partier and way better at adventure sports. The mega-metropolis to the north may overshadow it but San Diego doesn’t seem to notice: The weather edges toward perfection, you can surf 365 and even Shamu recently got its act together.
Few U.S. cities offer so much for families on vacation looking for fun in the sun. The San Diego Zoo, Legoland Californa Resort and more than 70 miles of beaches make it a universal favorite for parents traveling with kids. On the luxury end, San Diego delivers a full-service experience that’s polished without being too-too. Over spring break, my wife, 12-year-old son and I stayed at two legendary San Diego properties I’d been hearing about for years. Now I’m wondering why it took so long to get there.
You feel the ghosts of the past the minute you enter Hotel del Coronado, the iconic Victorian-era beach resort set on San Diego Bay. The wooden landmark opened in 1888 and if you squint you can picture gents in bowler hats promenading on the boardwalk. Charlie Chaplin and Mae West loved the place. Marilyn Monroe and company filmed “Some Like It Hot” here. But vacation in 2016 looks like it does elsewhere. Kids huddle around iPads, parents conspire to sneak off for naps, everyone is jonesing for ice cream at the hotel’s MooTime Creamery by four each afternoon.
Nothing about the Del is especially subtle. There are 757 guest rooms, seven teeming restaurants and hundreds of staff members catering to guests who on occasion can be high-maintenance (a young woman by the name of Kate Morgan is said to have been haunting Room 3327 since she was found dead on the premises in 1892).
To keep things on a human scale, Hotel del Coronado in 2007 opened Beach Village, a separate enclave of 78 cottages and villas that resembles a Nantucket village nestled alongside the cruiseliner-of-a-hotel parked next door. Do what you can to book your stay on this side of the property. Breakfast in the oceanfront Windsor cottage, where Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson once spent a month, is today like stepping into a Pinterest board called Beach Chic on Fleek. The pool cabanas aren't too shabby either. The attendants get to know your name, the wifi is superfast, Marco, Polo.
Give over to the size and the prices at the Del (even burgers at the casual Sun Deck Bar & Grill run $26) and you see why the place has endured as long as it has. The California dream is very much alive on a beach that greets you with a sand castle built daily to architectural specs. Beach Spin is a stationary bike ride to music on the resort’s Paseo Lawn overlooking the crashing surf imagine Soul Cycle with dolphins. One night we had a private family beach bonfire & s’mores session at dusk: “Classic Roast” had us upping our s'mores game with fine chocolates from John Kelly Chocolates, fresh fruit and champagne. Putting banana together with peanut butter cup and a perfectly toasted marshmallow is an Elvis-style experience of the highest order. This summer, the Del debuts a new seasonal tradition with a beachfront clambake.
All of which makes The Del a difficult place to leave. Fortunately, we were heading higher into the hills to a quieter, more intimate getaway that won us over the moment the gate guard at our new destination said, "Welcome home."
Recipe for an idyllic California retreat.
Assemble 49 hacienda-style casitas over 45 acres.
Add jasmine, bougainvillea, orange blossoms, all in full bloom.
Mix gracious service, world-class amenities and outdoor activities.
It's a little too easy to fall in love with Rancho Valencia. Open since 1989, Southern California's only Relais & Châteaux property is hidden away in horse country amid manicured gardens and olive groves. There's a staff ratio of 6 to 1. Mediterranean-style villas come with private patio gardens and outdoor fireplaces. Guests have access to a fleet of Porsches. It's the kind of hotel that makes you want to ditch everything, sell the farm and move to California for good.
Rancho Valencia underwent a $30 million renovation in 2013 and the property still has that new casita smell. The Serenity Yoga Pavilion is built around tranquil, infinity-edged pools where outdoor classes are held.. The tennis program is one of the best in Southern California. Two new restaurants -- Veladora and The Pony Room - showcase everything that's fresh and organic from nearby farms and purveyors.
California Girl: Melissa d'Arabian's San Diego
Melissa d'Arabian shows Food Network Magazine the best of San Diego.
Photo by: Coral von Zumwalt
When she moved to California from Seattle two years ago, Melissa d'Arabian reunited with her two best friends: her sister and the sun. The Ten Dollar Dinners star, her husband, Philippe, and their four children (Valentine, 8 Charlotte, 7 Margaux and Océane, both 5) live in Coronado — 5 miles south of San Diego, and just down the street from her sister, Stacy, and her five children. The two big families now spend a lot of time together outdoors. "We ride our bikes everywhere," Melissa says. "We live out of our beach bags — they're always packed. I use my car only to go to the grocery store." The move also brought the Arizona native closer to her roots: "I grew up with Mexican food," she says. "And here, we're just minutes from the border, so we have a lot of it." Melissa took us on a tour of some of her favorite spots in town.
Melissa brings her family to this park near her home for the summer concert series. The acts are varied (Neil Diamond cover band one night, '50s music the next), but the show is beside the point: "The kids run around, and we see everyone we know," she says. "It's like Mayberry."
La Jolla Cove
About 10 miles north of San Diego is the popular coastal village of La Jolla, one of Melissa's favorite mini getaways. She says the town's hidden gem is the small beach at La Jolla Cove. "There's a spot right near the access stairs where you can see — and hear! — hundreds of seals sunbathing on the warm rocks."
Originally opened in 1888, the legendary Hotel del Coronado has reached another milestone in its $400 million Master Plan reimagination with the completion of its new Spa & Salon at The Del. Along with renovations throughout the hotel from its refreshed Cabana guest rooms to its new and reimagined culinary concepts including Serea, Sun Deck and Babcock & Story and an expansive outdoor meeting space titled Vista Terrace, the spa debuted in October and now has reopened back open to the public.
Hotel del Coronado partnered with Miami-based architecture firm Gonzalez Architects on the spa transformation and presents a fun, old-Hollywood, Marilyn Monroe-inspired theme that pays tribute to the filming of "Some Like It Hot" on property. &ldquoWe thoughtfully curated the transformation of the spa and are always discovering ways to create spaces that will enhance our guest experience and inspire them to keep visiting us,&rdquo said Spa & Salon Director Michelle Frye.
Along with giving guests and local residents a truly top-notch spa to enjoy, the focus was to highlight the idyllic San Diego climate and offer the resort&rsquos distinct sense of place. It was to ensure that The Del&rsquos distinct architectural style and charm was preserved with a distinct color palette of gray, pink and green. Evoking a feeling of modern relaxation while keeping the historic value of The Del, the coastal spa provides a sanctuary that mirrors the tranquility and healing power of the adjacent sea.
Providing a path to wellness from head to toe, the 18 treatment room spa presents a refreshing array of offerings, from its signature Seaweed Leaf Wrap to the calming Restorative Ocean Facial. Other spa services available to guests are its vanishing-edge pool on the outdoor co-ed spa terrace, new tranquil relaxation lounges as well as expanded men&rsquos and women&rsquos locker rooms with marble steam rooms and jacuzzis. Furthermore, the dedicated salon offers finishing touches with shampoo and blowout options and an exclusive partnership with Eufora, as well as make-up application and nail services.
H20 Suites in Key West, FL
H20 Suites is a chic adults-only resort in Key West that boasts amenities as good for social distancing as they are for setting a romantic tone, like private entrances and your own plunge pool and wet bar. Fix a cocktail, slip into the cool water, and don't worry about anything going on outside your room – unless, of course, you ask the concierge to help arrange another activity that helps you keep to yourself, like a fishing or sailing adventure out on the ocean.
Where to Eat in Coronado If You Only Have a Weekend, As Told by a Local
The next time you plan a weekend getaway or a quick day trip to the San Diego area, make sure you check out Coronado Island. Coronado is a quaint beach island located south of San Diego known for the famous Hotel Del Coronado that sits on a gorgeous, world-famous beach.
Photo courtesy of tia.photoshelter.com
I was lucky enough to spend the first seven years of my life living on the island where I could pedal around town on my beach cruiser and spot the tourists walking up and down Orange Avenue. I love going back to Coronado to visit friends, check out the new shops and restaurants and escape from reality by hanging at the beach.
Photo by Antonella Cooper
Here’s a complete list of the best places in Coronado to check out to get the most out of your trip and not look like a complete tourist.
Breakfast: Clayton’s Diner
Photo courtesy of @ekayani_musical_yoga on Instagram
Start your morning off at one of the oldest establishments on the Island. Clayton’s features the classic diner foods like saucer-sized pancakes, biscuits and gravy and milkshakes (yes for breakfast).
It is one of my favorite places to go when I visit Coronado because it brings back childhood memories and you get the old school vibes with the on-table jukeboxes. I recommend trying the Buttermilk Hotcakes and the Toad in the Hole.
Photo courtesy of @Readbite on Instagram
After breakfast, head to the northeast side of the island for a European lunch at Tartine. They offer great paninis, quiches, and pastries. I recommend trying their Spinach, Tomato and Gruyere Quiche with a cup of soup.
Coffee Break: The Coronado Coffee Company
Photo courtesy of @maggie_mayy23 on Instagram
Stop for a quick caffeine boost and explore the shops at the Ferry Landing. If you have time, you can even take the ferry over to San Diego.
Dinner: Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge
Photo courtesy of @shotbycolleen on Instagram
This restaurant focuses on bringing farm-to-table dining to the island of Coronado. The menu changes seasonally to offer guests the freshest dishes. I recommend trying Poke Tacos and the Blistered Shishito Peppers.
Breakfast: Bruegger’s Bagels
Photo courtesy of @lettucedine on Instagram
This breakfast joint is also located on Orange Avenue and is the perfect place to get a grab-and-go breakfast to start off your day of exploring the island. I highly recommend one of their breakfast sandwiches because #instagrambagelgoals.
Lunch: Picnic at the Del with Boney’s sandwiches
Photo courtesy of @abbyjaayne on Instagram
Eating at the Hotel Del can be quite pricey, so if you aren’t down to drop some cash on lunch, have a picnic at the beach in front of the hotel. You’ll get the same view and experience for less. I recommend buying a sandwich or salad from Boney’s Bayside Market on Orange Avenue.
Dinner: The Brigantine Seafood Restaurant
Photo courtesy of @jazz_in_april on Instagram
The Brigantine is a Coronado classic with some of the best fish tacos in town. I would recommend making a reservation for dinner during the weekend because the Brigantine is always hoppin’.
Dessert: Moo Time Creamery
Photo courtesy of @mootimecreamery on Instagram
I’m pretty sure this is the only ice cream shop where you’ll find a statue of Elvis and a cow outside. Once upon a time, Elvis had a microphone, but someone stole it. Definitely try one of their handmade waffle cones and don’t forget to take a picture with the King.
Photo courtesy of @gustatory_coronado on Instagram
You won’t find another breakfast spot dishing Benedict Arnold Palmer. It’s a twist on the classic eggs Benedict with a tea-infused hollandaise sauce. There are many more creative dishes at this new breakfast and lunch joint on the island so be sure to check it out.
Sugar Stop: Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory
Photo courtesy of @fatfoodqueen on Instagram
Stock up on some sweets to munch on while you’re walking around town or hanging out at the beach. They have a sweet bulk candy section as well has homemade fudge and caramel apples. If you’re overwhelmed, try the Coronado Crunch, a cluster of peanut butter, white chocolate, marshmallows, rice krispies, and chocolate chips, or munch on an Apple Pie caramel apple.
Dinner: Saiko Sushi
Photo courtesy of @saikosushi on Instagram
End your busy trip with fresh sushi and a killer view of the Ferry Landing at Saiko Sushi. They have a great happy hour with discounted rolls from 2:30-5:30 on the weekdays and feature different fish dishes throughout the year. Try their Shrimp Tots and one of their signature rolls.
The Mom’s Guide to San Diego
I am a San Diego native &mdash a bit of an urban legend, I know. I grew up in a town called Oceanside, about 30 miles north of downtown San Diego, and I’ ve lived in the seaside town of Carlsbad with my two daughters (now 11 and 13) for the past 12 years. I can’t even begin to imagine a better backyard for kids of all ages to explore.
An oasis for outdoor activities year-round, San Diego is an ideal family vacation destination in November &mdash and honestly, virtually every other month of the year. As I write this, the weather is 72 degrees and gorgeous. Seriously: Pack your bags, your kids, and get over here. Here are all the best spots to check out during your visit to San Diego &mdash at least according to this family of locals.
What to do & where to play
A few obvious sights to put on your must-see San Diego list include Legoland in Carlsbad, the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. These family favorites are on everyone&rsquos list for good reason. (I spent countless hours at all three when my kids were younger, and it was always worth buying the year-long pass.)
Best of the beaches
San Diego is home to 31 beaches, and even if you visit a new beach every day for a week, you can’t go wrong.
Coronado Beach, voted one of America&rsquos finest stretches of sand &mdash and home to the infamous Hotel Del Coronado &mdash offers expansive dunes on which to play and chill. You can lie on the beach and watch planes fly overhead (they get pretty darn low) and land at nearby Naval Air Station North Island.
Head about 18 miles north to La Jolla to visit the Children&rsquos Pool here, you will not necessarily want to swim in the ocean, but you can watch tons of seals in their natural habitat &mdash bathing, basking and even giving birth to their seal pups. Drive about 20 more miles, and you’ll arrive at the seaside surfer town of Encinitas, where the fantatic and family-friendly Moonlight Beach offers a playground for kids. Plus, this seaside locale is very close to downtown Encinitas on the 101, with plenty of shops and restaurants that will entice all ages.
Want to combing beachcombing and hiking? Look no further than Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Set on 2,000 acres of coastal state park in the community of La Jolla, the reserve overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is juxtaposed against sandstone canyons and windswept cliffs. Torrey Pines offers visitors true coastal wilderness within the 8 miles of trails ranging from easy to moderate. Hiking down to the beach from the cliffs is an invigorating experience. A few times, we even saw whales swimming in the distance.
Parks & culture
For baseball fans, Petco Park is the most gorgeous stadium to catch a game. Located in the heart of downtown San Diego, the stadium has stunning views of the bay and is easily accessible by foot, car or trolley kids love taking the latter around town. You can also hop on the trolley and stroll Old Town for some San Diego history dating back to 1824 (including 32 restaurants, hotels, shopping and museums).
The New Children&rsquos Museum, also downtown, is a great place for families with younger kids. From interactive activities to art installations, tots will have a ton of fun exploring the center for hours.
And for anyone looking for some maritime adventure, look no further than the nearby USS Midway. San Diego is a naval town, after all, and the USS Midway offers a history museum on the actual aircraft carrier Midway. Explore galleries and flight decks and even go below deck to see the inner workings of an aircraft carrier.
What to eat
Go to Farmer & The Seahorse on any given Sunday, and you’ll see plenty of kiddos running in the private grassy lawn and playing lawn games with their caregivers. Located nearby Torrey Pines Reserve (yep, head here after your hike), the eatery features an approachable menu with plenty of options that little ones will love, including the kids waffle topped with fresh berries and whipped cream.
When you’re in Encinitas, be sure to stop by one of our favorite gourmet sandwich shops, Moto Deli. With an outdoor patio and a low-key motorcycle vibe, it’s a chic family favorite try the turketta sandwich and fried pickles while you’re at it. The Reuben is amazing, and if you are looking for a meatless option, go with the Impossible Burger. The local craft beer selection here is always changing, and they recently added hard kombucha to boot.
For a sweet treat in Encinitas, you mustn’t miss Hendel&rsquos Homemade Ice Cream. There’s a veritable array of house-made flavors, and choosing can be a bit overwhelming. There is also often a line out the door (but the ice cream is totally worth the wait).
Herb & Eatery, the casual market attached to Brian Malarkey&rsquos Herb & Wood, is a gem for all-day fresh fare. Located in Little Italy near downtown, Herb & Eatery offers a menu of salads and sandwiches, plus a selection of entrées and appetizers at lunch and dinner. At breakfast and brunch, guests can dive headfirst into freshly baked croissants from executive pastry chef Adrian Mendoza along with house-made bagels with lox, smoothies, house-made kombucha and fresh-pressed juices.
Where to stay
Back at the Hotel Del Coronado, you can rest your weary heads (and beach feet) in an upscale beach hotel housed in a grand 1888 Victorian property. Just steps from the beach, the hotel offers a huge pool, a large grassy area where kids can play, an ice cream shop and tons of restaurants &mdash and it’w within walking distance of the quaint town of Coronado.
Surfhouse is the recently renovated boutique beach motel in Leucadia that gives 100 percent SoCal surf vibes. It’s located one block from the beach, so take the opportunity to rent bikes or take a surf lesson.
For a more luxe stay, you can’t go wrong with the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa. It’s complete with world-class spa, golf course, tennis courts and kid-specific pool areas featuring two 100-foot waterslides, and a toddler slide.