The legendary Hotel del Coronado in San Diego has reached another milestone in its $400-million Master Plan reimagination with the completion of a historic restoration of the hotel’s front porch and lobby, entirely redesigned main entry and drive experience, brand new guestrooms in The Views ‘neighborhood,’ plus completely refreshed retail concepts. This third phase of completion follows the summer 2020 opening of The Cabanas ‘neighborhood’ and new main pool, plus four upgraded dining concepts—Sun Deck, Babcock & Story, ENO Market and ENO Pizzeria.
Discover Hotel del Coronado’s Most Recent Renovations:
Front porch & lobby restoration
With meticulous attention to historic detail in consultation with Heritage Architecture & Planning, layers of non-historic additions were removed, restoring the lobby and front porch to their original grandeur. A wide veranda that hasn’t been seen since 1961 offers a place for guests to relax in rocking chairs while enjoying the beautiful historic setting. A second set of entry stairs was re-created; non-historic windows were replaced and 21 stained-glass windows that were lost to time were reproduced along with four original stained-glass windows that were refurbished and now installed in their original locations. The existing 1888 stained-glass Coronation Window was restored and returned to its original location on the second floor, surrounded by intricate brickwork.
In partnership with Wimberly Interiors and WATG, the transformation also includes a refresh to the Victorian Building lobby with an expansion of the lobby floor space. The lobby’s original Illinois white oak was stripped and re-stained its original color, allowing for detailed grains and textures to highlight the history and beauty of this treasured material.
“Our vision was to create a delicate balance of design that purge the traditional idea of mixing ‘old and new,’ but rather restore original items to their natural state of beauty and introduce new layered elements that enhance the heritage in a modern way,” said Liana Hawes Young, creative director, Wimberly Interiors.
With a layered design approach inspired by classical elements, palettes are now lighter and brighter, but accents remain anchored in proper Victorian hues. Further adding a vibrant, modern burst to the space, a hand-painted silk wall covering was commissioned and placed behind the reception desk. Custom made by de Gournay and titled Amazonia, the wall covering is a whimsical depiction of tropical animals in a garden setting in reference to the wildlife that once lived in the Garden Patio. It serves as a showstopping focal point for guests in the first moments of entering the hotel.
The hotel’s iconic birdcage elevator also received mechanical upgrades to operate automatically, though it also has an “attendant mode” so guests can continue to enjoy the novelty of having the assistance of an elevator operator in a buttoned uniform and pillbox cap. The front grate of the elevator has also been recreated to reflect the original mesh design. Wood beams throughout the lobby have been reinforced with steel, plus a new period-appropriate wood parquet floor and carpet is installed, with both recreations of and original Victorian-era fixtures. Adding to the historic grandeur of the space, the lobby is now also crowned by a new chandelier featuring hand-blown glass and cut crystal inspired by the original that graced the lobby in 1888.
“The vision ensured public areas remained truly Victorian with original finishes remaining intact and focusing the design on enhancing and refreshing what exists today in the hotel,” Hawes Young said. “Light—both natural and new—was used strategically throughout the space through architectural and decorative fixtures to illuminate the Victorian heritage.”
A completely redesigned main entry in its original location will create a grand and historic sense of arrival. Guests will approach the hotel from Orange Avenue with a new drive that frames a grand view of the hotel’s iconic turret along with a newly redesigned porte-cochere and central fountain. Additional improvements to the main entry include a signalized intersection with pedestrian crosswalk connecting the hotel with the bay and marina.
The Views ‘neighborhood'
The Views ‘neighborhood’ offers a pre- and post-adventure outpost for active guests and is situated right on the beach, featuring 217 enhanced guestrooms and suites. The fully renovated building boasts an upscale coastal design in seafoam and driftwood with new glass balcony railings to allow uninterrupted views. Ground level rooms feature luxurious outdoor terraces with fire pits for guests to enjoy the picturesque Coronado evenings.
Framed by swaying palm trees, lush landscaping and nestled against the hotel’s iconic Victorian building, the expansive Windsor Lawn directly overlooks the Pacific, rendering it ideal for alfresco cocktails or an outdoor event for up to 700 guests. The revitalized Windsor Lawn features new turf, trees, landscaping, lighting, power and a complete restructuring of the Paseo Lawns into one larger space (with beach access relocated to the north and south ends).
Reflecting the quintessential Southern California coastal mindset, Weekends boutique offers a curated selection of casual apparel from a variety of notable brands including L Space, Vuori, Beach Riot, Spiritual Gangster, Melissa Odabash, Seafolly 9Seed and more. Guests looking for a unique selection of gifts and home décor inspired by the California beach-loving lifestyle can visit Beachouse. From alfresco tabletop entertaining pieces and cozy beach blankets to bespoke Hotel del Coronado gifts and signature scents, Beachouse has it all.
Ice House Museum
Built in 1889, the hotel’s former working ice house has been restored to serve as a museum showcasing the hotel’s storied past. Along with permanent and rotating exhibit space, the Ice House Museum serves as the starting place for the hotel’s history tours, as well as a unique venue for private events.
Power Plant meeting space
Initially built to provide power to the hotel and the island of Coronado, this historic space has been restored and reimagined as a unique co-working and meeting space at The Del.
A U.S. National Historic Landmark and a treasured member of Historic Hotels of America, Hotel del Coronado has been a premier luxury destinations for decades. These restorations allow today's guests to travel back in time and experience the original grandeour of this iconic hotel.
Discover the rich history of Hotel del Coronado and add your name to the hotel's impressive guest list when you book your stay.
Read the full article from Inspire Design here.
About Historic Hotels of America®
Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America has more than 300 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance.