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The Hotel California Ain’t Got Nothin’ On the Hotel del Coronado.

In case you’re worried (which I’m thinking you’re probably not), I’m working on the mother of all instructional posts so that you, too, can build your very own closet organizer out of plumbing fixtures.

Because, you know, I’m pretty sure this is the kind of stuff that keeps you up at night.

It does for me.

In the meantime, Let me tell you a little more about my time in San Diego.

As you can tell from my ah-maz-ing view from a balcony at the Marriott Marquis & Marina, the city itself does not actually sit directly beside the Pacific Ocean.

View From Mariott Marquis & Marina Balcony San Diego

Wait.  That’s looking directly down.  Let’s tilt her up a little.

View From Mariott Marquis & Marina Balcony San Diego

There.  If you follow my Facebook page, this shot might look familiar.

The water behind the American flag is actually a bay, which is protected from the rough oceanic elements by the spit of land you see beyond, known as Coronado.

Some people call Coronado an island, which gives my inner geoscience student a veritable eye twitch.  It’s not an island.  It’s technically a peninsula.  The main part you see above is the widest — over a mile across — while further south (beyond the bridge in the photo), it narrows down to a small strip that eventually connects back with the main California coast just north of Mexico.  So technically you could cross over to Coronado and walk to Tijuana, making this… not an island.

UPDATE: A marketing representative from the Hotel del Coronado (known to locals as the “Hotel Del,” according to Dennis) actually read this post on my blog (whoa!) and submitted the following comment: “To give you a bit of history, Coronado used to be an island … at high tide. The skinny strip of land now called Silver Strand that connects Coronado to Imperial Beach used to be a lot smaller. During high tide it would become submerged (thus turning Coronado into a true island). It was later filled in with sand, turning it into the peninsula we know today.”  Thanks for the clarification!  That definitely explains why it’s often referred to as “Coronado Island.”

The last time I was in San Diego, I took the Coronado bridge across the bay and rode directly to the beach.  This time, my friend Angie and I opted for a ferry, since we didn’t have a car.  There are a couple of ferry options, including the Coronado Ferry and the ferry operated by the Marriott.  The Coronado Ferry is cheaper, costing $4.25 (I think) each way for an adult, while the Marriott ferry is $6.00 each way.  We still opted for the Marriott ferry since it left from nearby and ran every half hour.  Anyone can take it — you don’t have to be staying at the hotel.

The captain was exceedingly helpful, and the ride only lasted about 10 minutes (if that).

Marriott Ferry San Diego Coronado
Coronado Bridge

Of course, once we got to Coronado, we realized the Coronado ferry actually drops you a little closer to actual… stuff.

Coronado Marriott Ferry Landing

About half of the fat part of the “island” is occupied by a Naval base.  The other half is a small town with shops, restaurants, pasty tourists, beautiful homes, and tanned Seals (not the kind with flippers).  We decided to walk across the width, just to get a feel of the place and catch a glimpse of the ocean.  If you’re wearing decent shoes, let me just say that a walking tour is the perfect way to appreciate the beauty of this place.

Skyline views…

Gorgeous homes…

Flowers and fruits to smell along the way…

Cozy niches to wine and dine…

Wine Styles Coronado

And finally, at long last, the Pacific.

The beach here was fairly crowded.  Of course, we had to walk through the famous Hotel del Coronado and couldn’t help but gawk at the extravagant wood moldings and opulence dripping from the giant crystal chandelier.

Hotel del Coronado

I’m pretty sure I flipped out over this old school cage elevator.

Unfortunately, my iPhone could do nothing to capture the sheer size of the place.  If you make it to Coronado, the hotel is definitely worth a look.  We hiked back a different way from where we came.  If you find yourself walking, take care when crossing some of the busier roads.  We thought we were avoiding the hustle of tourism and commuters by walking through quiet neighborhood side streets.  Unfortunately, those led to a major thoroughfare near the bridge, which is the only way by vehicle to cross the bay.

Honestly, I’m surprised we didn’t end up tiny smears on the side of the road.

But hey.

As you can tell from the photos, there are worse places to die.


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Hotel del Coronado

Great post and photos about your trip to San Diego/Coronado! We’re so glad you enjoyed your brief visit to the hotel. To give you a bit of history, Coronado used to be an island … at high tide. The skinny strip of land now called Silver Strand that connects Coronado to Imperial Beach used to be a lot smaller. During high tide it would become submerged (thus turning Coronado into a true island). It was later filled in with sand, turning it into the peninsula we know today.


Fantastic information!!! I suppose I should have done a little more digging as to why it’s called an island, but the science snob in me was too distracted by the glaring inaccuracy. Thank you for clearing that up!

I really enjoyed my visit — next time I will have to save up so I can spend an actual night at the hotel to experience the real deal. :)

Dennis Hong

FYI, locals call it the Hotel Del, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever….

“Hello! And welcome to the Hotel Of The!”

“Wait, what? Hotel of the what?”

“Just the Hotel Of The, sir.”

“Hotel of the Sir? That’s weird.”

“No, sir. Just Hotel Of The.”

“But… but… it’s a preposition. It’s, like, transitive and shit. It’s GOTTA be of something.”

“No, sir. Just Hotel Of The.”

“Fuck you.”


Hilarious! Although your average American would have to understand Spanish in order to get that, and most of them refuse to learn, so it’s kind of a moot point. ;)


I love Coronado and the Hotel Del is so beautiful!! We walked through, too (in 1986). I have dreamed of staying there, and wanted to see rooms, but I’ve always suspected that at its age, they may not be as grand as I might imagine.


I don’t know… I’ve looked at some photos, and the rooms still look pretty spectacular to me. Of course, I’m easily impressed. ;)


I’ll have to look up some photos of the rooms. They could very well be as spectacular as the rest. I wonder if in “Some Like it Hot,” their rooms were hotel rooms or just a hollywood set made to look like hotel rooms. Maybe I can find that out, too, if I quit wondering and look it up!


Okay, well maybe not “spectacular,” but they looked nice. ;) (I’m easily impressed.)


Thanks for all the photos and tips! My hubby and I are headed to Cornado tomorrow for a little vacay, and I can’t wait to see all these cute houses and pretty flowers!


Oooh I hope you have a wonderful time!! I love that town. :)

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