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!