Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Del’s Grand New Entry Leads to Iconic Porch and Restored Lobby

Preservationist Architect David Marshall, Hotel Del Coronado General Manager Harold Rapoza, and Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey did a triple ribbon cutting to open the newly restored front porch and lobby of The Del.

A grand sense of arrival has been brought back to the 133-year-old Hotel del Coronado as the main entry had its grand reopening on October 21. Originally, guests arrived via the Strand by train and approached the hotel towards the grand front porch, which was covered over in 1961 and has now been meticulously restored.

The iconic porch, complete with rocking chairs, is best remembered from the 1959 movie “Some Like it Hot” starring Marilyn Monroe. “The opening of the front porch, lobby and entrance are the most important parts of the $400 million masterplan restoration,”  commented General Manager Harold Rapoza. The lobby has been closed for a year and a half during the massive restoration.

Tours, signature cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and fancy desserts were hosted at a reception on October 20 for VIPs and the media. Swing tunes played by the Allison Tucker Swing Band were reminiscent of the historic hotel in its heyday. There was a drum roll for the triple ribbon cutting by Rapoza, Mayor Bailey, and Preservationist Architect David Marshall.

The Allison Tucker Swing Band performed nostalgic tunes at the preview.

Marshall, President of Heritage Architecture and Planning, noted that it took a large team to make all the details come together. “This is the front porch to the whole island,” he commented and remarked that he enjoys relaxing in the rocking chairs and watching people pass by.

Mayor Bailey expressed gratitude to everyone who made this restoration possible and for staying true to history for this crown jewel of the community. “We are bringing The Del back to life for the next 100 years,“ Rapoza said.

Located off of Avenida del Sol, the new entry will now be available for valet parking and drop off, with self-parking located on the north side parking lot on RH Dana Place.

Photo collage courtesy of Hotel del Coronado

RELATED:

The Del’s Historic Porch and Lobby Unveiled (video)



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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: manager@coronadotimes.com
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