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Exclusive Staycation for the Holidays in San Diego

Hotel del Coronado's new Shore House makes a staycation luxurious for local residents

The Hotel del Coronado’s signature turrets are draped in thousands of sparkling lights
Image Credits All other photography courtesy of Hotel del Coronado

The struggle is perennial. I love the idea of being away for the winter holidays. I visualize our family lounging on a beach or roasting marshmallows in a beautiful location. And then I think about our traditional multi-gen pancake breakfasts in my kitchen and raiding the fridge at odd hours and I’m torn between the two alternatives. Hotel or home? Either way, there are compromises. But now, thanks to the Hotel del Coronado, it’s possible to have the best of both worlds. 

Shore House at the Del, the hotel’s newest of five neighborhood experiences, offers 75 residences with one to three bedrooms. The attractive interiors are in the style of a modern beach house and include cozy fireplaces. The hotel opened at the southernmost point on the legendary property in late September and is the only one of the neighborhoods that offers full kitchens. Shore House also has direct beach access, an appealing bistro with indoor/outdoor seating, communal fire pits, and a gorgeous zero-edge pool that seems to flow into the ocean.  

Like the Beach Villages neighborhood at the north end of the property, Shore House is exclusive — only guests can enter and enjoy the facilities. Nearby, The View and The Cabanas have both been recently renovated and are popular with families. The Victorian, the iconic beachfront hotel that dates from 1888, remains the grand dame of the property.

Thanks to The Del, I’m no longer torn between holidays at home or away. At Shore House, we can cook and bake and raid the fridge knowing that groceries can be delivered and room service includes dish washing. And with 36 decorated trees on the property, I don’t have to feel guilty about not putting up one of our own. Oh, and did I mention that the hotel is pet-friendly? And all pools are heated to 82 degrees?

Holiday Fun at The Del

While the hotel is a great year-round destination, it shines the brightest during the holidays when its signature red turrets are draped in thousands of sparkling lights. November 17 marks the start of the festive season and the opening of Skating by the Sea, the popular beachfront ice rink. 

Skating By the Sea starts on November 17

Other holiday events include “At First Light,” a dynamic light show orchestrated to music that takes place in the grove of towering Norfolk Island Pines on the Founders Lawn in front of the hotel. The complimentary 11-minute show takes place every 30 minutes from 5-9pm nightly. 

Little girl sipping hot chocolate in front of the ice rink at the Hotel Del Coronado at twilight in San Diego, CA
The beachfront ice rink at the Hotel del Coronado benefits Make-A-Wish San Diego

My personal favorite of The Del’s holiday lineup is its Movies on the Beach. This year, these will take place on December 3, 10, 17, and 31. I think our whole family will enjoy cuddling up around a bonfire with s’mores and watching Top Gun: Maverick on New Year’s Eve.  

Delicious Del Meals

Thanksgiving dinner will be served at the new Southpointe Ballroom near Shore House. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals will be served in the elegant Crown Room and Coronet Room in The Victorian. We’ve been enjoying Christmas dinner in the Crown Room since our now-teenage granddaughter was six months old. Last year, she skated by the sea. 

Serea Restaurant

In addition to holiday meals, several good restaurants have a home at The Del. Sheerwater, the hotel’s signature restaurant, is a popular spot for brunch with a beach view. Next to Sheerwater, Serea is much loved for innovative seafood. 

Nearby, Taco Shack is always busy, but for traditional Mexican meals, guests and locals alike gravitate to Miguel’s Cantina on Orange Avenue. Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill, on Glorietta Bay and very near Shore House, is housed in a building that dates from 1887. It once served as the hotel’s boathouse, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography conducted research from the building’s second floor from 1903 to 1905.

The Taco Shack at the Hotel Del Coronado offers bites and tropical drinks just steps from the sand
The Taco Shack offers bites and tropical drinks just steps from the sand

Holidays at home or in a hotel? I no longer have to choose because now I’ve found my home away from home.

For more ways to enjoy Coronado Island this holiday season, click here.


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