Hotel Del Coronado Illuminated

The Hotel Del Coronado was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977. It opened in 1888 and is still going strong.

I finally got to see “The Del” Christmas lights one night last week. We joined two of our good friends to view the lights before going to dinner. Even though I’ve lived in San Diego before, I’d never seen the hotel at Christmastime.

We just missed the sunset, but the beach behind the hotel was still beautiful:


That land mass on the right side is Point Loma, where I photographed the San Diego skyline and Cabrillo National Monument a while back. National Geographic named Coronado Beach the most beautiful in the U.S. in 2012.

A skating rink was set up behind the hotel:


It looked a little slushy, but how often can you say you went ice skating at the beach?

The Del is one of the few surviving examples of an American architectural genre: the wooden Victorian beach resort. I love the red turrets.


When we arrived, the lights were barely visible.


We went inside to see the Christmas tree (sorry, that photo isn’t worth sharing) and by the time we got outside, l’heure bleue (blue hour) had arrived and the lights were pretty magical. . . .



I apologize for the quality–I thought I could hold my iPhone camera steady, even with my purse swinging on my arm. Um, no. Next year I’ll take the Nikon and maybe a tripod.


The palms make such a nice frame, don’t they?



I took this as we were leaving.

According to the hotel web site, one of the resort’s most famous visitors was England’s Prince of Wales in 1920. He would later become King Edward VIII, only to give up his throne in 1936 to marry Coronado divorcée Wallis Spencer Simpson. Many have speculated that they may have first met at The Del.

At least eleven U.S. presidents have stayed at the hotel and L. Frank Baum did a lot of writing there. Several films have been set at the hotel; the most famous is Some Like it Hot starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.

Happy New Year, everyone!


About pearlsandprose

Photography. With a little life thrown in.
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16 Responses to Hotel Del Coronado Illuminated

  1. Caroline says:

    A very nice looking hotel and the lights just enhance it.
    I hope you had great holidays .
    I wish you a fantastic 2013.

  2. Ms. Spock says:

    What great shots . . . something out of a fairyland in the distant past.

  3. I’ve been looking forward to your post on the Hotel Del. This brought back a lot of lovely memories. I remember having a delicious (but expensive!) cocktail on the deck overlooking the beach and watching the sun set. Perfection!
    I wasn’t there at Christmas but seeing the beautiful lights makes me want to go.

  4. I love that top shot. What a stunning hotel. I must visit it again soon! Happy New Year!

  5. TBM says:

    Lots of history there! And ice skating on the beach–very Californian. Happy New Year!

  6. Cheryl says:

    Those red turrets are beautiful, Carole in daylight and lit up!

  7. Lady Jennie says:

    These photos are a vacation for my eyes.

  8. Patti says:

    Such a gorgeous spot – I’ve only seen it from a distance – I’ll have to get a close-up look one of these days. The lights look great!

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