Friday, December 1, 2023

A Look Behind the Scenes at Hotel del Coronado’s Construction & Renovation

Current progress on the new entry. Photo courtesy of Hotel del Coronado

As 2020 winds down we are filled with memories of the drastic changes the pandemic forced on businesses and individuals. The Hotel del Coronado closed for the first time in their 130-year history from March 26 through June 26. The upside of having no guests was that the estimated $400 million Master Plan major construction on the hotel was accelerated. The new projected timelines have the new front porch, reminiscent of the historical original, and the lobby slated to open in late spring 2021 with the lower-level retail shops also returning in spring 2021 (some currently have temporary locations). The Views, formerly called Ocean Towers, are in the midst of their renovation and will debut in summer 2021. The Cabanas ‘neighborhood’ is completed, and guests have been enjoying the refreshed suites and new poolside cabanas.

The newly renovated spa recently opened, but had to close due to the purple tier COVID restrictions. The updated Sun Deck, which provides gorgeous ocean views and a menu of delicious offerings, has also had to temporarily close. The newly expanded ENO Market & Pizzeria is currently open only for takeout dining, with the Beach + Taco Shack serving takeout on weekends. Serẽa, Babcock and Story Bar, Sheerwater, and Sundae’s are also closed for the time being. We reached out to The Del to find out how the construction is progressing.

Construction is moving along on the new front porch and entry slated to be completed by late spring 2021. Photo courtesy of Hotel del Coronado

Rendering of the new front porch entry. Photo courtesy of the Hotel del Coronado.

How quickly were you able to escalate the construction when the hotel was vacant? 

We were pleased to be able to keep close to our construction schedule during our temporary closure this year. Some supply chain delays pre-summer did postpone some of the re-openings by a couple of months, as we were initially set to reopen the pool, guest rooms in The Cabanas, and dining outlets in June. But we were able to accelerate our main lobby renovation.

The Del’s iconic lobby is getting a major facelift. Photo courtesy of Hotel del Coronado

Any interesting details uncovered during this portion of construction? 

We continue to enjoy unearthing and preserving historical elements of the property as we go through our transformation. During this phase of the Master Plan, we discovered original beams in The Spa that we kept to accent the newly redesigned salon. And as we work on the lobby renovation, many historical elements were uncovered and salvaged including columns, exterior siding, flooring, and more.

Looking down on the in-progress new front entry. Photo courtesy Hotel del Coronado

What was the reopening like in June? 

We had very strong demand upon reopening, selling out at our limited capacity of 268 of our total 757 guest rooms on many dates over the summer through Labor Day, followed by a softening demand with last-minute reservations being the mainstream. Weekends through early October continued to sell out.

A current bird’s eye view of The Del’s construction. Photo courtesy of Hotel del Coronado
Hotel del Coronado Remodel
Click here to see what the property will look like after the renovation.

When will the shops reopen?

The Signature Shop and Brady’s for Men are both open and located off of the Garden Patio. We have also opened a new weekend pop up shop inside Windsor Cottage, located next to the Windsor Lawn, featuring beach clothing for men, women, and children, including holiday delights. We also have a temporary home for our popular Est. 1888 store, featuring timeless gifts reflecting our legendary past.

Will there be any more pop ups like “On the Rocks” or “Veuve Clicquot”?

We had activated our Frostbite food and bar trailer until the recent Stay Home Order went into effect, but it is now temporarily closed.

The Del Winter Wonderland holiday christmas tree
The Del is decked out for the holidays outside with sporadic snow flurries falling to delight young and old.

The Del’s annual lavishly decorated Christmas tree has been moved outdoors with holiday vignettes spaced around for photo opportunities on the Windsor Lawn. Check The Del’s website for a complete list of holiday activities that are still happening.


Jennifer Velez
Jennifer Velez
Jennifer fell in love with Coronado as a teenager while visiting a college friend. She vowed that someday she would make it her home, and that dream has recently become a reality. Fast forward through completing college with a BA in Journalism, Public Relations and Communications, she then went on to work with a variety of clients. She also taught Journalism and coordinated fundraising for her children’s school, and was a staff writer for San Diego Family Magazine and contributed to other parenting publications. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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