The Hotel del Coronado, lovingly called Del, is a beachfront hotel located in Coronado. Its unique wooden Victorian architecture sets it apart from the other hotels in the country. It has been designated as a National Historic Landmark since 1977 and a California Historical Landmark. Years have gone by, but the hotel remains very popular, both with the public and with the ghosts of past guests that now call this place “home.”

Hotel del Coronado is not only renowned for its beauty but also for the haunting reported there. Among the hotel’s most famous ghosts is Kate Morgan, who checked in in 1892. She has never checked out since then. She took her own life in the hotel after her husband or lover supposedly jilted her. She remains in her former guestroom until now, Room 3327. A lot of people have reported seeing her lovesick figure in the hotel’s rambling grounds.

One of the most haunted areas in the hotel is the resort’s gift shop. The gift shop was established in 1888, and it was originally located in the hotel’s lower lobby level. Glassware, pictures and other things in the room keep flying off the shelves and walls. In room 3519, a maid hung herself, and it remains one of the most haunted places. Several guests have also reported mysterious temperature changes, disembodied voices, footsteps, and unseen hands touching them.


The Hotel del Coronado began serving guests and tourists in 1888, and back then, it was the largest hotel in the world. Since it opened, it has welcomed numerous presidents, celebrities, and even royalty. It has also featured in a multitude of books, as well as movies. Three people were instrumental in starting the hotel. They were Elisha S. Babcock, Jacob Gruendike, and Hampton L. Story.

The hotel’s construction began in 1887. There were a lot of setbacks during the hotel’s construction phase. One of the biggest problems is the lack of labor and lumber in the San Diego area. This was addressed by getting an exclusive contract with one of the country’s producers of raw lumber. There were also planning mills erected on the hotel’s site. Much of the labor was provided by Chinese immigrants living in Oakland and San Francisco.


Many “firsts” happened in the hotel. The first oil furnace was installed in the Hotel del Coronado, and the first electric lights were installed in the hotel. The hotel’s electric wires were installed in gas lines, and even the genius Thomas Edison inspected the final electrical installation. He returned in 1904 to make sure that the nation’s first-ever outdoor Christmas tree, which was placed on the hotel’s lawn, was just right.

The Crown Room is the hotel’s finest room, and it has a wooden ceiling that was entirely installed using glue and pegs. The hotel finally opened for business in February 1888. Thousands of people from San Diego traveled across the bay to see the hotel and experience it. However, before the hotel was even completed, the real estate boom in Southern California went bust. The hotel’s owners had to get a loan from sugar magnate John D. Spreckels and Charles T. Hinde to ensure that the hotel was completed.

The hotel’s original grounds had a yacht club, an Olympic-sized saltwater swimming pool, a Japanese tea garden, Ostrich farm, and tennis courts, among many other things. Besides being consistently rated as one of the country’s top hotels, Del is also a favorite venue for weddings. It is a wedding location that is unlike any other. The sun-drenched beaches, excellent service, moonlit ocean views, and sumptuous cuisine have made the Del one of the best places to get married in the States.


  • Plush terry robes
  • In-room safe
  • 24-hour in-room dining service
  • Hairdryer
  • Voicemail
  • Television with 26 channels
  • Nintendo Wii
  • Daily newspaper delivery
  • High-speed internet access
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Hotel’s signature line of complimentary bath products and personal products

Things to do

Aside from relaxing and recharging yourself, there are lots of other things to do at the hotel. There really is no excuse for getting bored at Del. If you want to experience the relaxation of the sunset, there’s no better place to do that than on the Del’s golden beach. Fancy something a bit more exerting? You can go biking or go for a swim in the hotel’s stunning pool. The hotel’s award-winning California cuisine is a must-try for all visitors too.

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