Cities Journal

Coronado Island: American Classic

In 1888, a great thing came to be: the Hotel del Coronado. Little appears to have changed in the past 126 years except for the attire of the people passing through.

However, this iconic hotel isn’t frozen in time. The Del has hung on to its storied past while keeping up with the expectations of modern guests (with only one exception: the original Victorian-era building’s walls are paper-thin).

While the dining room of the past, the one in which children ate in a separated from their parents, has been turned into meeting space, guests now have more dining options, from a poolside burger or an ice cream cone at the Moo Time Creamery to the Del’s two fancy restaurants, 1500 Ocean and  Sheerwater.

Christine Donovan, the Del’s director of heritage programs, said that Coronado is a hometown.

“Coronado is a hometown more than anything else.”

She has published her knowledge of the hotel’s history, in six books, but after raising two children there, she’s also focused on the Coronado of the modern time.

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