Almost all the fences have come down, and the construction completed behind them pays homage to the storied 134-year past of the renowned Hotel del Coronado. After a four-year, $400 million multi-phase master plan that will touch every facet of the legendary Hotel del Coronado once completed, “the future will be secured for generations to come,” says General Manager Harold Rapoza. The latest component to open is Shore House, which includes 75 luxurious residential style villas, based on a limited use ownership model, zoned for transient occupancy. Owners can stay up to 25 consecutive days, for a total of 90 days per year. The Del controls the inventory and guests can book the one-, two- or three-bedroom villas through the reservation system starting at $1299 a night.
Adjacent is the new Southpoint Event Center, with a 15,000 square-foot ballroom, divisible into various size rooms, with 10 air walls for flexibility. The 14,000 square-foot Great Lawn is also perfect for a variety of events. The Del plans to host the annual Thanksgiving dinner and New Year’s Eve Ball in the new space, allowing for more guests than the Crown Room, which will continue to host Christmas dinner.
The Del shone brightly for the grand opening of Shore House on Friday evening September 16. Hors d’oeuvres on the Southpoint Lawn were followed by the official ribbon cutting by Hotel del Coronado General Manager Harold Rapoza; Jenna Hackett, Global Brand Head, Curio and Tapestry Collections by Hilton; Coronado City Manager Tina Friend; and Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey.
The project began with shovels in the ground in February 2020 and shut down just weeks later for six months during the pandemic. Following the ribbon cutting, guests were invited into Shore House for beach-themed desserts, gourmet bites prepared at chef’s stations, drinks, and live music. Highlights included a synchronized swimming show by the Aqualillies, and the evening capped off with a spectacular fireworks display.
Originally slated to open in late 2021, with the uncertainty at the beginning of the pandemic, Rapoza said there were questions as to whether the project would proceed. “We knew the product was amazing,” he commented, noting that the attention to detail and proximity to the beach wowed potential owners and Shore House sold out faster than anticipated, in approximately 100 days. The price range for the units, which are between 833 square-feet to 1,925 square-feet, was between $1,300,000 to $5,200,000. “Blackstone are great owners who saw the vision even during this tough time in the industry. We have been able to come back strong,” he said and notes that The Del had a strong summer 2020 and realized the pent up demand for travel was growing, and summer 2021 also saw high occupancy.
I enjoyed a sneak peek prior to the official September 15 opening with Rapoza, Marketing Director Denise Chapman, and Michael Tuesca, Director of Shore House Hotel Operations, who pointed out that it presents “like a living postcard that says you’ve arrived, now it’s time to relax. It’s a hotel within a hotel.” The large antique clock, circa 1980s, which stood for years on Founder’s Lawn on Orange Avenue, has a new prominent home at the Shore House valet area. The entry has an elegant airy coastal vibe, with the adjacent bistro awash in neutral beach colors, rope lined columns, hints of sea blue, and an outdoor fountain provides a soothing effect. The bistro will offer an exclusive breakfast buffet and food throughout the day, with heated and cooled counters, designed for communal dining experiences. Above the fireplace is a surfboard signed by legendary San Diego surfer Rob Machado.
Tuesca pointed out the attention to detail, highlighting features like custom porcelain tile floors, faux wood beams, and nano doors to give an indoor/outdoor experience. On the exterior, the buildings visually connect the iconic Queen Anne revival style with the new construction, featuring crimson window sashes, white lap siding, red shingle roofs, and other details.
The pool is family friendly with a zero-edge beach entrance which slopes to five feet in the middle, and has a capacity of 119 guests and a jacuzzi for 11. There is also a large bar and six cabanas with televisions, fridges, and other amenities that can be reserved. Past the pool is a relaxing seating area, just out of sands reach, which will feature a Blue Hour sunset ritual from 5 pm to 7 pm, offering a pre-dinner happy hour experience. Shore House will have its own beach activity hut with bicycles, surfboards, beach chairs, and needed items. Amenities also include complimentary valet and self-parking and use of the other hotel facilities.
Down the hallways, the murals feel vintage with a local, playful aesthetic. The wood slatted doors, flanked by buoy shaped lights with nautical rope trim, welcome guests into the suites, which include a full kitchen, with top end appliances like Sub-Zero refrigerators and backsplash tile handmade in Oregon. Ideal for longer stays, with washing machines and dryers, the residences offer spacious living and dining rooms, complete with limestone-clad fireplaces, and views that can’t be beat from the wrap-around verandas.
Owned by the Blackstone Group, the Hotel del Coronado is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. Brian Kaufman, Managing Director at Blackstone Real Estate, said, “We are very proud of this project, which represents a continuation of our significant investment in this historic property. Our $400 million investment to date has resulted in the creation of hundreds of local jobs, and we look forward to ensuring that The Del continues to be a top destination for visitors and the community alike.” Rapoza said that Shore House has created 130 new jobs, with predominately new staff members.
With a total of 901 rooms, this 28-acre majestic resort now has three arrival experiences, the new main entry, Beach Village on the North side, and Shore House, just off Avenida del Sol. While the master plan is almost complete, still to finish is a refresh of the existing guestrooms, meeting spaces, and dining options. The timeline for Sheerwater restaurant, which is currently in design, will be next fall. Windsor Cottage, the Beach Village restaurant, is currently under renovation and will be finished by Memorial Day 2023. The Beach Village interior upgrades will begin in January and be completed in three phases through November 2023.
An overview of the master plan timeline ~
In 2019, one of the first projects to be completed was Vista Terrace, formerly Vista Walk, to hold up to 700 guests, featuring panoramic ocean views and the iconic Dragon Tree. Also, Serẽa debuted, in the former 1500 Ocean space, which has hosted a variety of iconic restaurants through the decades, including The Prince of Wales Grille. Serẽa offers an upscale sea-to-table experience featuring San Diego native and Executive Chef and Partner JoJo Ruiz and Clique Hospitality. The Laundry, which operated for nearly 100 years, was updated and now serves as administrative, meeting and event spaces. The North entry and new 700-space parking structure were created to help with the construction transition and now serves as the entry to Beach Village as well.
2020 saw upgrades to the Babcock and Story Bar, a spectacular refresh of the Sun Deck, The Cabanas debut, an update of ENO Market & Pizzeria, and a design refresh of The Spa and Salon.
2021 was the year the most dramatic renovation was completed with the historic restoration of the Front Porch and Lobby to their former grandeur. The Fitness Center was enlarged, as well as the unveiling of The Views Neighborhood, the revitalization of the Windsor Lawn, the addition of the Ice House Museum, and the conversion of the Power Plant to co-working and meeting spaces.
2022 saw the renovation of the retail corridor completed, with some old favorites and new boutiques, as well as the opulent restoration of Founder’s Hall, formerly Grande Hall.
For more details, go to hoteldel.com/stay/shore-house/.