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“Fine hotel with spotty service and amazing beach location”
Review of Hotel del Coronado

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Hotel del Coronado
Ranked #8 of 16 Hotels in Coronado
Certificate of Excellence
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fine hotel with spotty service and amazing beach location”
Reviewed 4 January 2014

If it were not for the hotel's beautiful and convenient beach scene, I would rate it a 3 star instead of 4. The hotel's beach location cannot be beat.

This historical old victorian hotel is well kept but tired. There are long lines everywhere! It took about 20 minutes for our car to get to the front hotel doors due to traffic and then there was a very long line to check-in. The staff was efficient but not hospitable: from check in to every part of the hotel. The Sunday brunch was very nice and the service there was excellent, unlike the rest of the hotel. Although, the Sunday Brunch food selection was nice, it was not that varied. We also ate breakfast buffet and dinner at the Shearwater restaurant. Dinner food was good; the seabass plate was particularly good; the children's menu has good selection and for $10 you can get a children's meal and dessert! The breakfast brunch at Shearwater was average at best; the selection was limited and the lines were exceptionally long; the service was again subpar. Everything in the hotel is expensive, even by hotel/resort standards, from parking to meals to drinks to ice cream.

The best part about the hotel is that you are right on the beach! The kids in our party loved playing in the sand and the adults loved having dinner/drinks right by the beach. When we visited around new year, there was an ice skating and our kids really enjoyed that as well. The swimming pool area was nice and the water was reasonably warm. You can borrow beach toys and chairs in the pool counter area.

Rooms were fine but not special for the rate we paid. The bathroom is a little small. Housekeeping was very good about bringing our requested toiletry extras.

If you are staying in San Diego, and want immediate/convenient access to the beach, this is the hotel to be at. Otherwise, there are better accommodations in San Diego with better pricing.

Room Tip: Ocean Tower has great access to the beach. However, if you don't pay up for the beach view, you...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Katherine T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barry B, Manager at Hotel del Coronado, responded to this review, 6 January 2014
We appreciate your feedback and are delighted that you enjoyed our spot on the Best Beach in America. As a National Historic Landmark, the resort does get quite busy, especially over the holidays and during the summer. That said, we sincerely apologize for the inconveniences and service issues you encountered and thank you for your valuable input.
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knokke
Level Contributor
33 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2014 via mobile

Ending our trip after a stay for 4 days at the Beverly Wilshere , followed by Carmel at the Sea and 4 days in San Francisco's St-Regis , this was supposed to be the last relaxing part of our journey ..... The place is indeed great but what a deception for the rooms ....
There were a lot of USA Presidents that stayed in this hotel but I think they never up-graded their rooms since President Lincoln was here !! Very very old rooms and terrible bathroom !!! Also the security of the hotel is non existent !! All entrance doors open most of the time and a lot of visitors from outside . This makes the security impossible . But , the service , food and kindness of the concierges and front desk people were more than perfect . I'll will definitely come back when they will have accommodated the rooms to the 21 Th. century . And believe it will be quite a job !! We stayed in a Double Queen Frontal Ocean view and only the perfect view was worth staying there ..... We wish you all the best with the renewing of your hotel .

Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank pandoraOne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barry B, Manager at Hotel del Coronado, responded to this review, 6 January 2014
Thank you for your review and we’re pleased that the view, food and service you experienced was exemplary. We apologize that your room was not to your satisfaction. We like to believe we have something for everyone—from the historic charm of the Victorian building to the more contemporary and spacious Ocean Towers and California Cabanas to the luxury villas and cottages of Beach Village. The resort is continually undergoing a rotation of renovations, some very subtle and others more obvious like the recent room renovations in the Victorian building. We hope you to welcome you back again soon.
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California
Level Contributor
53 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2014

We stayed here for 2 nights for my daughters wedding in December. We had stayed in the villas closest to the water the summer before last and this stay we opted for a one bedroom with a kitchen which landed us on the second floor with a lovely ocean view.

i always prefer the villas over the hotel because they feel newer and more up to date which I like.
Our room was very nice with 2 fireplaces which we used during our stay despite the fact we had weather in the 70's. The kitchen was well stocked and had just about everything you could need.

The bridal party all got ready in the room and it made a perfect backdrop for the video and pictures as the lighting and scenery was just breathtaking. I would suggest anyone getting married at the hotel stay at the Villas, it's just a little more special in my opinion.

As a last note, staying in December as opposed to the summer time was pretty neat as well. The main hotel is buzzing and is beautifully decorated, it's really a sight to see. I would highly recommend staying at the Beach Village but also recommend looking for special pricing deals and packages on the website as the nightly rate can be quite expensive.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ksma23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2014

We so wanted to love every part of "The Del" and have had our trip planned for months. We are just returning from a four night stay and sadly, we were let down by all the things in the hotel's control. The hotel itself to look at is indeed extraordinary - especially all lit up for Christmas. The ocean is magnificent and the views are breathtaking. Certainly there is no shortage of cute little shops right on property including the ice cream shop and candy shop as well as the signature shop. The pool area is lovely. Not at all big enough to handle the crowds they had this week, but lovely nonetheless. In response to my review - management will apologize and highlight all the things they feel make their hotel an asset (the history and charm and amenities) and they certainly aren't wrong, But at $515 a night - you can keep the history and charm - I want flawless, personalized and stress free vacationing.

Lets start at Valet/Check In - let me tell you if you have no experience with this hotel - that at any given part of the day - especially evenings - the hotel is swarming with people - and about 75 percent or more of those people are NOT hotel guests. they are either there to eat or ice skate or simply gawk at the hotel. Just getting to the front desk was a task with the crowds and valet was backed up for almost 20 min before we pulled up. Upon arrival I was barely acknowledged/welcomed and was rushed into the map location tour and almost sent on my way. I was given a room on the ground floor right off the pool. Room 4125 to be exact. When making my reservation I specifically requested an updated room in the Victorian building for ease and comfort (something I feel I am entitled to at those prices) or one on a higher floor. Was told it would be noted and while they couldn't promise, they would certainly be sure to accommodate in some way....WRONG! I travel with a special needs child who has some sensitivities and made that known at the time of booking. When I questioned it at check in - I was told rudely "there is nothing I can do to change your room" well lovely.. thanks a bunch!! I was given my map and keys and sent on my merry way!

I didn't mind the fact that our room was actually set off from the main building however what I DID mind was that the door to that building was wide open for anyone to enter into. With all the non guests of the hotel, this bothered me. There were tons of people walking and all the entrances were wide open. We were told it was secured at 10pm. big deal - what about all the people walking around the hotel at 8 and 9pm. And it wasn't in fact secured at 10pm. Forgive me, but hotel safety means a lot to me and my family. more than the fact that Walt Disney stayed there.

The room itself was ok. Nothing with nothing. definitely dated - old coffee maker, stains on the carpet as well as the shower curtains. An alarm with a cd player! You would think this resort would at least get with the times and change the alarms to ones with a docking station! BUt so be it - that was the least of our concerns! But what appalled me more than anything was the filth in our room. there were hairs on the night stand. sand in the carpet. and crumbs of food on our balcony! gross! called the front desk and was once again rushed off the phone and told they would notify housekeeping and it would be taken care of "tomorrow" ummmm...are you kidding me? once again - I wouldn't even want this from a $150 dollar a night Hampton inn but a $500 a night resort?? Unfathomable!

The pool was loud (closes at 10pm)and so we heard every noise there. The doors that lead from the balcony to the pool slam shut so loud it will knock you off your bed. We were miserable with the room and the location! The shower pressure was horrible, the bathroom grout in the shower tiles was filthy. The robe smelled bad and wasn't even hung up. And the hair dryer was from the 50's I'm convinced. Here is an interesting fact. the hanging closet and safe are located IN the bathroom and have double doors. If your bathroom door is open - you cannot open the closet! you have to shut the bathroom door behind you - then open your closet! a deal breaker? perhaps not - it might have bothered me simply because everything else was so disappointing. Often times walking through the halls of our bldg. at any given time, we saw classes, food, wrappers, red trays, etc. The ground floor of this bldg. was FILTHY - almost all the time.

The two restaurants on site are not at all kid friendly or non seafood eater friendly at all. We ate off property each night. Ventured into old town and also little Italy one night. So glad we did!! The coffee bar downstairs was fine if you order just the coffee. We went one night because it was after the ice cream place closed and got two desserts which were horrible!

Before coming to the hotel, I was certain I was going to be blown away. An activities coordinator called me to help me coordinate activities which I truly loved. BEWARE - they gave wrong info which ended up costing me a great deal of money. They will try to sell you the "smores" experience on the beach. For $130 (which by the way is more expensive than a private surfing lesson at $120). I don't mind spending big money but let it at least be a decent value. When I booked smores, I was told I would have the opportunity to change my day/time upon arrival. Again, I have a sensory special needs child so getting locked into something is difficult for us and days can be unpredictable! Alas - called concierge (which took 6 times of calling and getting disconnected due to nobody answering) and was charged a cancel fee because indeed you cannot change your plans without a couple of days notice. I also asked about Ice skating and if that needed to be done in advance and was told "don't worry - no hotel guest will be turned away". WRONG AGAIN! Called Monday to get tickets for my daughter and myself and they were sold out and could not accommodate me due to the throngs of non hotel guests with tickets. So - no ice skating for us! Also asked about a surf lesson on that call and was told to wait to see what the conditions were like and call the day of. AND AGAIN...WRONG. Called Monday and they offer 1 lesson a day at 3pm for a private and it was booked! So, of course all the wonderful activities we wanted to experience - we didn't experience at all.

We sat at the pool Monday. Its a nice pool with great views. There was no one at the towel pick up so we got our own and found seats. We are Ritz Carlton guests frequently and even when I pay $385 a night - a pool attendant carries the towels, sets them up for you and helps. Definitely not the case here - its fend for yourself. LEts chat about the hot tub - GROSS!! It says nobody under 12 - guess what? It resembled a kiddie pool most of the time and sometimes we counted 18-20 people in it at once with a much smaller capacity sign right there for everyone to read. but with a total absence of any staff - thus was the hot tub. a cesspool of bacteria and swimmy diapers! UGH! Also surprising - no pool attendants! Up until after 12 noon - if you wanted a drink or snack by the pool - good luck and when the grill did open, I had to go to the bar at pool level and order myself where I was told by the oh so personality-less girl "just to let you know the grill got backed up yesterday by almost an hour so your food could take about that long today - its already backed up" YES - exactly what you want to hear at $515 a night! WOOHOO! It took about an hour but at least the food was decent.

The beach is a little walk from the pool and they do have chairs you can take. Yes -you can lug your three or more beach chairs yourself down the beach. Completely surprised that a beach resort doesn't have beach chairs set up and a beach attendant down there.

Valet - we were given our valet number and told we could call ahead for our car. We did each time and not once was our car waiting. Once we called and didn't get to valet until 20 min after we called - STILL no car!

I checked out and would you believe the girl never once asked "how was your stay" because trust me - I was hoping she would so I could let out all my frustrations and displeasures over the course of our stay which cost me over $2000. I presented her with my keys she told me she was printing my bill and simply went back to what she was doing. What a disgrace.

Not once during my stay was I addressed by name. As a matter of fact - on one of my calls to concierge - I was asked if I was a hotel guest. Really? They don't even have the technology to detect when one of their own guests are calling? I was NEVER made to feel welcome or valued and not one staff member made any effort to impact our stay in a positive way.

Yes - its a beautiful hotel rich in history and charm. Yes - its beachside which is wonderful if you desire a beach vacation. Its grand looking and in a wonderful location. But what it offers in history, charm and views - it lacks in customer service and everything else I value as a seasoned traveler.

A complete disappointment. DO NOT stay here if you have a special needs child of any kind - that's for sure. And honestly - with all they offer to non guests - you are better off staying somewhere else and just using the facilities that are there for non hotel guests.

Feel free to contact me for further information nisenson714@gmail.com

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank TravelPrincess1108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baja California Norte, Mexico
Level Contributor
43 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2014

One of my families favorite holiday traditions is going to the Del at Christmas to see the decorations and have a drink in the lobby bar and watch the Christmas tree. The lobby bar is gone, replaced by a bigger gift shop. The bar, relocated to the low level is horrible. Loud, crowded way over priced, without one ounce of charm. For $15, our drinks had a 1.25 oz pour which an embarrassed server finally confessed. No charm, an industrial atmosphere and poor value.

We did discover a lovely bar on the property that would have perfect....would have more than made up for a bad experience. However, we told it was a private, members ony.


Gone are the cozy places, the quiet spot for a drink and the class that used to embody the Del.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank PeacefulBaja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barry B, Manager at Hotel del Coronado, responded to this review, 3 January 2014
Thank you for your feedback and we’re sorry that you did not enjoy your traditional holiday visit to the resort. The lobby bar was removed back in 2007 but there are other alternatives to the B&S Bar, which features its original mahogany bar including the Sunset Bar, a quiet bar inside 1500 OCEAN, ENO, and the Sun Deck. The only private area is Windsor Cottage which is reserved for guests of Beach Village. We hope you reconsider and return to The Del to discover a suitable gathering place.
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West Milford, New Jersey
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2014

The Del is a terrific hotel, but not quite worthy of a 5 star review. It's a grand old Victorian hotel, so the lobby and crown dining room are quite dark because of all the wood. Our rooms (2 adjoining) were clean, but spare and the decor & furnishings were a bit tired. I was expecting a bit more luxury. We stayed at the Del for a week in December, including Christmas. Check-in and check-out were a bit problematic, but every other aspect of our stay was great. The hotel has already compensated us for our check-in issues, which were resolved quickly. The hotel is very expensive. Our rooms were ground-level walk-outs directly onto the beach, so you definitely pay for the location. The sunsets from our patio were spectacular! All of the food was excellent. The hotel was quite crowded throughout the holiday, but there were always available chairs at the pool and tables in the restaurants. I think, for the cost, I would rent in the high-rise condos right next door on our next trip to Coronado.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LCCCG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barry B, Manager at Hotel del Coronado, responded to this review, 3 January 2014
We are pleased that you enjoyed your holiday visit to The Del and had the opportunity to experience its magic. It does get quite busy during the holiday so we’re glad you were able to enjoy your meals and our unseasonal weather. Thank you for your review.
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Rocklin, California, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2014

Let me preface this review by acknowledging my awareness that things happen. Hotel rooms experience problems, which is completely understandable given the amount and type of use they get. The Hotel del Coronado is “an old hotel,” as was told to me more than once by staff with respect to the issues my wife and I experienced during our two-night stay. The truth is The Del “has history,” but it isn't “old.” The hotel has gone through upgrades and renovations over the years, at the very least to bring it up to building codes. It seems, however, that when things happen at this hotel, there tends to be an automatic default blame toward the age of the resort.

Our first night was decent enough. When we returned from breakfast in town the following morning, there was a strong sewage smell in our hallway and in our room. We opened the window and turned on the fan to air the room out, which worked. What we didn't know at the time, what we didn't find out until we returned to the room over six hours later, was a water main broke and cut off water to our wing of the hotel. What was truly amazing was not one employee in the lobby – desk or concierge – seemed to be aware of the problem. “No water? Oh, I’m so sorry.” No signs in the lobby or hallways. No proactive attempt by the hotel to inform guests there was a problem. And the only thing I was offered was a $75 credit for what was essentially the loss of full use of a $300+ room and multiple trips to the lobby for information on the problem. And the hotel was 100% booked, so no other rooms were available.

The following morning, I got out of bed and walked across a water-soaked carpet. The refrigerator had developed a leak. Again, things happen, but in light of what transpired the night before, which included bar staff making us sit for extended time for service AT THE BAR, this added to our frustrating stay.

This is advertised as a “luxury resort.” As such, there are certain things I expect for the high price I pay to enjoy that luxury, the very least of which is a resort staff that is knowledgeable about and competent in managing the services provided. The staff at the front desk seemed unprepared and/or untrained to deal with not only my issues, but those of the other people having booking or room issues. That was when there WAS desk staff as too often there were not enough clerks to accommodate the number of guests needing service checking in, out, or in general. We couldn't even check out when we wanted to because we made purchases in resort stores that weren't posted on our account because the stores weren't in the automated system.

In the end, my wife and I received some compensation for some of our loss, but it was only through our effort that we got anything. Overall, we left unimpressed. For the room prices and fees, expectations were higher than what we experienced. My wife and I were two people out of thousands, and we didn't expect undivided attention to make our vacation memorable. That’s our responsibility. That said, hotels of any size should take a measure of responsibility to ensure the services they provide are on par with or hopefully exceed the prices they charge their guests. And a luxury resort, like the Coronado, should make sure that ANY two people out of ANY thousand find the experience of staying with them pleasant and worry free. That starts with the staff, and if nothing else the Coronado needs to work on that.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barry B, Manager at Hotel del Coronado, responded to this review, 3 January 2014
Thank you for your thorough review. We sincerely apologize for the mishaps you encountered and appreciate your understanding of these unusual maintenance issues. We strive to provide legendary service and it appears we fell short. Whenever a maintenance issue occurs, all staff is notified immediately so they may assist guests with any challenges and I’m sorry that was not your experience. We will share your feedback with the appropriate management so we may improve in this area and appreciate your valuable input.
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Additional Information about Hotel del Coronado

Property: Hotel del Coronado
Address: 1500 Orange Ave, Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA 92118
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Coronado
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Coronado
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Coronado
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Coronado
#5 Business Hotel in Coronado
#7 Romantic Hotel in Coronado
#10 Family Hotel in Coronado
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel del Coronado 4*
Number of rooms: 757
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The legendary Hotel del Coronado is located on 28 oceanfront acres on Coronado Island. Built in 1888 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, The Del continues to maintain its rich history while also offering contemporary conveniences such as unique beachfront dining, an award-winning spa, upscale shopping, recreational activities and the luxurious cottages and villas at Beach Village. The hotel's spectacular setting, impeccable service and award-winning cuisine also makes it the perfect setting for a fairytale wedding. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Resort Del Coronado
Del Coronado

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