When you think of San Diego, doesn’t the iconic and historic Hotel del Coronado come to mind? Its red roof is visible from just about anywhere on Coronado Island, which is just across the bay from downtown San Diego, and almost everyone has seen or heard of it whether or not you’ve been to San Diego.

My family and I stayed at Hotel del Coronado while on vacation in San Diego, and I highly recommend it to families, couples or anyone traveling to San Diego. It’s a bucket list stay for sure!

Southwest credit card

8 Reasons Why We Love Hotel Del Coronado

Our stay at the Hotel del Coronado was fantastic and a highlight of our visit to San Diego. Here are more tips for what to do in San Diego.

“The Del” is also now part of Hilton’s portfolio, so you can use Hilton Honors points to book a free stay at this classic San Diego property.

1. The view

Hotel del Coronado San Diego Hotels

The view from our room was absolutely unbeatable and one of the best I’ve seen. We could see the beach seemingly for miles, the pool, the iconic read roofs and watch the sun do down over the ocean. Amazing…

2. It has a big military presence

We especially enjoyed watching the Navy Seals, who are based on Coronado Island, swim down the coast one morning, as well as spotting jets and helicopters, which fly over routinely!

Navy jet Coronado Island

3. Ideal for biking

One of the best ways to see Coronado is by bike. We rented bikes from Pedels at the hotel and took a flat, 6-mile tour around the island, pedaling around San Diego Bay and through some of the island’s charming neighborhoods.

San Diego Biking

We loved biking around Coronado Island. Check out the views of downtown San Diego behind me!

4. The beach

We also rented body boards and a surf board to fully take advantage of the gorgeous beach (named Best Beach in America in 2012), pretty large waves and surprisingly comfortable water temperature of the Pacific ocean.

Coronado Beach

5. Dining

While many of the hotel’s restaurants are pretty pricey, the on-site ENO Pizzeria & Wine Bar is a more reasonable and kid-friendly option. You can also walk or bike down Orange Avenue, the main strip on which the hotel sits, to numerous local restaurants. We also made a quick stop at Vons, the local grocery, to stock our fridge with water, snacks and breakfast items.

Coronado Sunset

Sunset over Point Loma viewable from Hotel del Coronado

6. Kid-friendly

My 7-year-old son also had a ball completing a Treasure Hunt with clues set up by the hotel for kids, completing the final clue to get his “reward” from the candy shop.

7. Historic yet modern

Hotel del Coronado room

I was amazed at how old this hotel is, yet how well they have modernized it without losing its historic feel and character. Everything in the room felt up to date, yet traditional, from plenty of outlets to the furnishings to the electronics.

8. It’s haunted

Last but not least, it’s haunted (supposedly :)). It is 125 years old, after all!

Apparently, one young lady is at the center of all the hauntings. She checked into the hotel in 1892, but never checked out… Here’s the story…

The Hotel Del Coronado Ghost Story

Kate Morgan, a 24-year-old woman, arrived at the hotel alone on Thanksgiving Day, waiting for a gentlemen to join her. Witnesses say a woman matching her description had been arguing with a male, who then abandoned her aboard a train while traveling to the island.

Kate, described by employees as unhappy, sickly and sorrowful, stayed at the hotel for five days before taking her own life with a gun. It turns out that she was married but estranged from her husband and was perhaps waiting to meet up with a lover.

What to Expect

Rumor has it, her room on the third floor and the gift shop are where most of the ghostly activity occurs. Lights flicker, TVs turn on and off, things fly off shelves, doors open and close, and there are footsteps, voices and abrupt temperature changes.

The only strange thing we experienced (and we did stay on the third floor) was a knocking at our door shortly upon arrival only to look through the peephole and see nary a soul. The phone also rang just one time when we entered the room. Perhaps, that was her way of welcoming us to the hotel … or perhaps someone had the wrong number!

The Del makes for an iconic stay in San Diego — haunted or not — and it’s set on one of the prettiest beaches and islands in the world with so many options for outdoor fun. Plus, it’s just across the bridge from San Diego, making it easy to access all this great city has to offer!

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