Thursday, February 10, 2011

Traveling Thursdays: The Hotel del Coronado

Probably the most well-known hotel in San Diego is the Hotel del Coronado. Situated right on the beach, it is a huge Victorian castle that has provided food, lodging, and elegance to many a weary traveler, including royalty, celebrities, and even us common folk. Here is a panoramic photo from 1948 showing the California Federation of Women’s Club. You can even see the china on the tables! My grandmother is on the left side at the bottom edge of the photo.

The Del has been the site of a number of Hollywood films/TV shows, but most notably 1959’s “Some Like It Hot,” starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.

The storyline of the film is actually set in Florida, but the Del in San Diego provided the best preserved example of a hotel that would have existed along the beach in the Roaring 20’s.

Back to the common folk...these ladies appear to be enjoying their summer vacation at the Hotel, circa July 1962.

I have also included an exterior shot from December 2000. Unfortunately, the hotel has been remuddled over the years, and I feel it has been homogenized to the extent that it no longer has as much charm or elegance as it did in the past. Still, it is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

As one reader pointed out, The Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World definitely owes its look to The Hotel Del:

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Anonymous said...

Was the Grand Floridian modeled after this resort?

Davelandweb said...

Yes anonymous - you are correct.

Connie Moreno said...

I love the Del! I always find time to "hang out" at the Del when I'm in San Diego. Do you really think it has changed that much over the years?

Giesela said...
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CoxPilot said...

We spent our Honeymoon at the Del in 1966, and the room we had overlooked the central courtyard. It also had a reputation for being a haunted room, which we did not know about until later. It probably was a good thing we did not know. It was a wonderful week.


having grown up in San Diego I've spent much time at the Dell and love it. Whether it was a anniversary dinner, a wedding, or meeting some frineds for drinks that place is very magical. I don't know how many people know it, but the Hotel Del was Frank Baum's inspiration for the Emerald City in the original Wizard of OZ stories, and many of the books were written right there at the hotel! When you walk around the hotel and property you can see how it does feel like a grand victorian "city" the the book versions of Emeral City were.