The Hotel del Coronado, a California landmark since 1888, has just emerged from a renovation that lasted two years and cost $13 million. Reason enough for us to compile a list of the San Diego resort’s most destination-wedding worthy assets.
1. One Mighty Fine Beach. None other than Stephen Leatherman, a.k.a. Dr. Beach, named it “America’s Best Beach” in 2012, calling it a “veritable oasis by the sea.” Mild surf and fine sand make it the kind of place where you could settle down under a fringed umbrella after breakfast and not return to your room until sunset. There’s drink and food service, daybeds, cabanettes…not a bad way to prep for a destination wedding.
2. Wowser Architecture. The Del, as the Hotel del Coronado is often called, was built in exuberant Queen Anne Victorian style—a riot of red-shingled turrets and cupolas, verandas, pavilions,and courtyards sprawling over 28 acres. For couples whose design credo is More Is More, there are photo ops around every balcony.
3. Sheer Size. Some couples planning a destination wedding want a location where everyone is together 24/7. And others…not so much. If your guest list includes a few people you’d rather not spend every moment with, the Hotel del Coronado is your place: With 757 guest rooms, you won’t even know Uncle Dudley arrived until the rehearsal dinner.
4. A Hotel Within the Hotel. On the other hand, if you’d like a more intimate experience, the Hotel del Coronado’s 78 cottages and villas share a pool and club separate from the main hotel building. Book one of the three-bedroom villas as your destination wedding headquarters and you’ll have plenty of space for a beachside cocktail party—and one very deluxe kitchen, should you want to blend those margaritas yourself.
5. Surfing Lessons. Other destination wedding couples might organize a golf outing or a girls’ day at the spa, but how many can treat their wedding party to surf lessons?
6. Sunset Sails. Glorietta Bay at sunset has to be one of SoCal’s most spectacular places to be–especially if you’re on a private sailboat with a handful of your nearest and dearest.
7. Kid-friendly Everything. The Del’s children’s program, Kidtopia, offers dino digs, henna tattoos, treasure hunts, and movie-making. The Blue Dolphin family suites come with a beach-inspired kids’ bedroom outfitted with bunk beds and a treasure chest filled with toys. There’s even a pizza oven by the beach. The families on your guest list can turn this into the vacation of the decade.
8. Celeb Cred. If you get a little thrill from marrying at a venue that’s been vetted by 11 U.S. Presidents, hundreds of movie stars, Charles Lindbergh, and the Duke of Windsor, the Hotel del Coronado is your spot.
9. Barefoot or Ballroom. Couples who can’t imagine a better soundtrack for their wedding than gentle surf and seagulls can walk a seashell-lined aisle, mingle over craft beers and a grilled-cheese-and-tater-tots station, and finish the eve with s’mores and champagne by a bonfire. For those with a more formal attitude, the resort boasts a ballroom dripping with chandeliers and tapestries, a circular party space ringed with columns and Victorian sconces, and venues with French doors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and Pacific views.
10. Flower Dogs Welcome. Can’t picture your wedding without Harley walking you down the aisle? No worries: The Del accommodates both cats and dogs, hosts Yappy Hours, offers dog-walking services, and provides a pet-friendly guide to Coronado Island.
Want to know more about planning destination wedding travel to the Hotel del Coronado, or anywhere else in the world? Our travel partners at Coastline Travel Advisors, a Virtuoso agency, are ready to help.