Press Room

National Historic Landmark – Hotel Del Coronado turns 125

Coronado, CA– Hotel del Coronado – California’s premier Pacific resort – will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2013 with a series of community events, charitable promotions and guest packages. A yearlong calendar of activities has been planned for The Del’s milestone anniversary, including citywide historic exhibits, special events and a variety of historic-themed offerings.

The centerpiece of the celebration is the release of a new 208-page history book, Hotel del Coronado History, featuring over 440 images, most of which have never been published before, including behind-the-scenes snapshots of Marilyn Monroe during the 1958 filming of Some Like It Hot! There are also personal photos and reminiscences that go back to the resort’s earliest days, along with vintage memorabilia such as menus and brochures.

The Del will also honor its 125th anniversary with a year-long partnership with United Through Reading (UTR), a national military program which helps ease the stress of separation for military families by having deployed parents read and record books for their children to watch as DVDs. To help fund this effort, the hotel will donate $1.25 from the sale of each new history book and sponsor additional fund-raising events throughout 2013.

The Legend Lives On

Conceived in the 19th century, Hotel del Coronado came of age during the Victorian era, debuting as one of the country’s preeminent seaside resorts, drawing moneyed guests from across the country and around the world. According to Del historian Christine Donovan, in the intervening years, The Del continued to prosper thanks to dedicated leadership … and some good fortune.

As Donovan points out, while many resorts lost their patronage early in the 20th century due to the First World War (1917-18) and Prohibition (1920), The Del was in a unique position: “World War I brought guests to The Del via a growing Navy establishment in San Diego. Prohibition, likewise, favored the hotel because of its proximity to prohibition-free Mexico.”

Later years were no more kind to America’s other vintage Victorian resorts. Says Donovan, “Many hotels could not survive the long years of the Great Depression and World War II, but, again, wartime build-up favored The Del with an influx of Navy, including fighter pilots trained in Coronado and housed at the hotel. According to Donovan, after the war, massive urbanization efforts brought down many of America’s last surviving grand resorts, leaving The Del as one of a very few to remain.

Donovan adds, “Through the years, Hotel del Coronado had a series of owners who fell in love with their ‘lady by the sea,’ wanting to both preserve her past and secure her future. Prudent restoration efforts and modernizations have helped The Del keep pace with a discerning clientele while retaining all the charm of the resort’s 1888 architecture, spectacular setting and fabled past.”

Today, Hotel del Coronado is a National Historic Landmark and an American treasure. With a world-class spa, seaside dining venues, and the addition of Beach Village, an enclave of luxury beach cottages, The Del is perfectly poised for another 125 years of historic excellence.

125th Anniversary Calendar


  • The Del will debut a new 208-page coffee table book, Hotel del Coronado History, featuring over 440 images, most of which have never been published before.
  • The Del will honor its 125th anniversary with a year-long partnership with United Through Reading (UTR), a national military program which helps ease the stress of separation for military families. To help fund this effort, the hotel will donate $1.25 from each new history book sold in 2013.
  • A variety of special room packages will also be offered throughout the year.


  • Let the celebration begin! A giant bow will decorate the resort’s iconic red turret, anniversary banners will be displayed throughout the property.
  • The City of Coronado will join in the celebration with festive anniversary banners along Orange Avenue, which the hotel will later donate to and raffle off for Coronado non-profit organizations.
  • To keep Del fans up-to-the-minute on 125th activities, the hotel will host an anniversary micro web site, featuring a historic timeline, guest blogger postings and the opportunity to donate directly to UTR.

Spring Break and Summer Season

  • Historic-themed activities will be highlighted in Kidtopia, the hotel’s children’s program; special treatments will be featured in Spa at Del; and anniversary-themed dining options will be offered in 1500 OCEAN and Shearwater and at Sunday Brunch in the Crown Room.

June – July

  • In conjunction with the hotel’s Heritage Department, the Coronado Public Library will feature an exclusive exhibit highlighting The Del’s 125 year history, with the hotel’s historian scheduled to speak. Never-before-seen images from the resort’s new history book will be featured, along with archival items rarely on display.

June – September

  • The Coronado Historical Association, in collaboration with Hotel Del, will offer a historic exhibit that pays tribute to the resort’s contribution to the development of Coronado. Hotel founders not only designed the picture-perfect island community (preserving Coronado’s beautiful beach and coastline), they donated parkland, planted trees and were responsible for building the city’s first school and library. The hotel’s second owner, John D. Spreckels, continued this tradition and was also an early sponsor of Coronado’s famed Navy aviation. A special presentation will be provided by the Hotel Del historian.
  • The Del will launch a Facebook photo contest for guests to recreate their favorite historic photo and reminiscence.


  • The Del’s ever-popular Hallow-wine party will give special prizes and photo opportunities to guests dressed in Del-themed costumes such as hotel founder Elisha Babcock, Some Like It Hot star Marilyn Monroe or the ghost of Kate Morgan.


  • A special 125th Hotel del Coronado ornament will be offered.
  • The Del will continue to partner with Make-A-Wish Foundation for The Del’s ninth annual “Skating by the Sea, “ held at the resort’s beachfront ice-skating rink. “So You Wish You Could Skate,” the 3rd annual Make-A-Wish event, will target national celebrities and media
  • The historic Norfolk Island pine outside the Crown Room, the first electrically lit outdoor Christmas tree in America, will be lighted once again, commemorating its inaugural lighting in 1904.

Hotel del Coronado

1500 Orange Ave
Coronado, CA 92118

Phone: (619) 435-6611

Hotel del Coronado:
1500 Orange Avenue Coronado, CA 92118

Hotel del Coronado Phone Number:
1-800-HOTELDEL (1-800-468-3533);

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