When most people think of San Diego's Coronado Island, they picture the iconic Hotel Del Coronado. Built in 1888, this beautiful resort has been designated both a National Historic Landmark and a California Historic Landmark. Built in the late Victorian style, The Del is unique in that it is completely constructed of wood and has never suffered any fire damage. Though we didn't stay at the hotel, we spent plenty of time enjoying the property and its amenities.
One of the highlights of our stay was a guided tour of The Del led by the Coronado Historical Association. This was the perfect opportunity to see the inside of the hotel and hear about its history. We got a peek at the famous Crown Room, where many celebrities and heads-of-state have attended important functions over the years. I loved the crown chandeliers, which are thought to have been designed by The Wizard of Oz writer L. Frank Baum. We also got to see the original elevator and chandeliers in the lobby, as well as some beautiful period furniture. One of the most interesting features of the guestrooms were their unusual looking balconies. Made of wood and offering privacy between the rooms, they were elegant and different than anything I've seen before. They reminded my of boxes at the theater or opera!
If you are a history or architecture buff, I would recommend taking the tour. I really enjoyed seeing parts of the hotel most visitors don't get to see, and our docent was a wealth of information about the building and it's history. We heard stories about Kate Morgan, the infamous Del ghost. She also told us about the nearby Tent City, where travelers could rent a tent if they were unable to afford a room at The Del. There are so many other interesting stories about the property, but you will just have to take the tour for yourself if you want to know more. Between visits to the beach, the ice cream parlor and this walking tour, I loved every minute we spent at the beautiful Del resort!