Photos by Hotel del Coronado
Deservedly, the building became a California Historical Landmark and a National Historic Landmark in the 1970s.
The hotel's impressive size and rare architectural style catch the eye of everyone visiting Coronado. When it opened in 1888, it was the biggest resort in the world.
Even today, it's the largest wooden building in the USA (if we exclude the Tillamook Air Museum's hangar from this list). Unsurprisingly, it became a pop culture superstar, being featured in countless movies and books.
The haunted hotel in San Diego
On November 29, 1892, the dead body of a young lady was found on the stairs of Hotel del Coronado that leads to the beach. The American woman was later identified as 28-year-old Kate Morgan. She checked into the hotel five days before her soul left (or apparently hasn't) our world.
Kate married at the young age of 21 and had a child with Thomas Edwin Morgan. The baby boy only lived two days and changed his mother's life forever. Four years after the tragic event, Kate ran away with her new lover, Albert Allen. Their relationship didn't work out, and she fell into a deep depression.
The next time she was publicly seen was when she arrived at Hotel del Coronado on November 24, using a fake name at the reception: "Mrs. Lottie A. Bernard", from Detroit. The hotel's staff described her as "ladylike, beautiful, reserved and well-dressed, but troubled and very melancholy".
She checked into Room 502 and spent the next five days at the hotel. On her last day, she was heading out to the sea but was shot in the head not far from the hotel's exit.
According to expert opinion at the time, it was a suicide. But Alan May, a San Francisco lawyer, is on a different opinion. The bullet found in Kate's head doesn't match the gun she was allegedly using to kill herself. There is no evidence to prove any theories, so the mystery remains unsolved.
Since Kate Morgan's death, Hotel del Coronado has been the place for numerous ghost sightings and paranormal activities. The story inspired many writers, including the hotel's historian, who published the book The Beautiful Stranger: The Ghost of Kate Morgan and The Hotel del Coronado.
Unlike room number 237 from Kubrick's Shining movie, Room 502 at Hotel del Coronado is available and is the most requested one by the guests to book.
Rotunda, the hotel's lobby, was built in 1888 to provide guests with an immersive space as they enter the establishment.
Throughout the years, it has changed in looks, but the wooden structure, including the second-floor gallery, remains the same and is immaculately renovated.
Another original space at Hotel del Coronado is the Crown Room. The dome-like structure spans 160 feet by 60 feet (49 x 18 meters) and is covered by Oregon sugar pine.
Lyman Frank Baum has designed the spectacular chandeliers, who you may know as the author of The Wizard of Oz. Today, the Crown Room hosts mouthwatering Sunday brunches.
The accommodations at Hotel del Coronado are spread across six neighborhoods: Shore House, The Views, The Cabanas, The Victorian (the hotel's main building), Beach Village Cottages, and Beach Village Villas.
Seaside villas with an oceanfront pool.
These modern suits have a tented extension facing the pool or the beach, where you can enjoy the gorgeous sunsets on the terrace sitting by a fire pit.
The Beach Village consists of a set of cottages in the first row from the sea and right behind a line of large villas.
The pet-friendly hotel welcomes your furry friends with a bowl and a bag of treats. A mile north, you can find the Dog Beach, where they can run leash-free and have the time of their life!
The Spa Salon
The Spa & Salon at The Del is a large relaxation and treatment complex with a Marilyn Monroe-inspired Beauty Bar, various saunas and steam rooms, and a private rooftop terrace with an infinity pool.
Foods & Snacks
There are eleven on-site dining options, from fancy sunset snacks on the rooftop terrace to pizza and sundae by the beach.
The Taco Beach Shack takes care of your hunger with quick bites, and you can enjoy the beach view from here with a cold Margarite cocktail.
The hotel is packed with specialty and apparel shops, so if you forgot something at home, no worries. The S.R.F. sells stylish sports equipment, so you can go for a beachfront ride in your retro roller skates or hit the waves with your newly bought surfboard.
Day activities for families with kids include an underwater aquarium experience at the Ocean Explorers Room.
Every Saturday, the hotel plays classic movies (like Home Alone or Top Gun: Maverick) at the beach under the starry night sky, where you can sit in one of the comfy sand chairs or cozy up around the bonfire with s’mores.
Hotel guests can join the complimentary beach yoga sessions, which, with the exception of Friday, happen in the morning.
Virtual reality headset under the water sounds like a horrible idea until you hear the details.
This VR experience is for the kids who are not big/experienced enough to go out into the deep and dangerous waters of the ocean but would like to see the tropical coral reef. On top of seeing all the colorful marine creatures, kids can explore the ruins of Atlantis.
There is also a dedicated program for the whole family to learn surfing - because you are in California, after all. The Jamie O Brien Surf Experience starts from the basics on the shore, trying how to stand up and balance on the board before going to the water.
Experienced surfers can rent a board from the hotel and hit the waves of the Pacific Ocean.