The Hotel Del Coronado (or the Del as it’s lovingly called) is a Victorian hotel, perched on the shores of Coronado Island in San Diego.
One of the Del’s biggest draws is its private beach, which is dotted with vintage striped umbrellas and lined with regal palms. It’s a postcard-perfect way to spend a day at the beach.
But is a Hotel Del Coronado cabana rental is worth the $50 – $300 pricetag? Find out how to rent a cabana at this famous resort, whether you’ll get a free rental for staying at the hotel, and how to make the most of your beach day.
Want to stay at the Del? Check out my Hotel Del Coronado review to find out if you should stay on property or if you should find something else nearby.
What comes with a Hotel Del Coronado cabana rental?
Hotel Del Coronado cabana rentals are available from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Stay for as long as you’d like or all day long.
Cabana rentals come with the use of a beach chair and umbrella or a queen-sized daybed.
Chair or Daybed
Choose between a beach chair (with an umbrella) or a daybed. Chairs come with comfy cushions and towel service. Staff is on hand to move your umbrella as the sun’s rays do.
Food, Drink & Towel Service
All Hotel Del Coronado cabana rentals come with food, drink, and towel service. That is to say, they come with access to food and drink services — but you’ll need to pay resort prices for said food and drink.
I spent about $80 there throughout the day, but I ordered tacos from the Hotel Del Coronado taco bar and four Aperol spritzes. I was surprised my bill wasn’t higher, honestly.
There’s an ice water station right in the middle of the serviced beach area. Water is refreshed throughout the day, so you’ll never be parched.
Forgot your sunblock? No worries. Small condiment cups of sunblock are available at ice water stations and the beach concierge station.
Hotel Del Coronado Cabana Rental Cost
Depending on whether you rent a daybed, beach chair, or sand chair, you’ll pay a different price. Beach chairs are the most affordable option and are set up in the service area. Daybed rentals are significantly pricier but get a front-row ocean view.
Daybeds are queen-sized beds that are covered and face the ocean.
They’re right up front, so you’ll get a prime water view if you opt for a daybed. Like chair rentals, these half-moon cabinettes come with food, drink, and towel service.
Chair rentals cost $50 and are located in the second and third rows, right behind the daybeds. Yet, just because the daybeds are in front of you doesn’t mean you won’t be able to see the ocean.
Daybeds are situated to ensure there’s no “bad” view on the beach.
Hotel Del Coronado Sand Chairs & Umbrella Rentals
If you don’t want food or beverage service and don’t mind staking your umbrella further from the bathrooms and bar, you can always rent a sand chair and/or umbrella.
These rentals are available for spots further down the beach, off the sand but closer to the ocean. Chair rentals cost $25 and umbrella rentals cost $30. You’ll end up spending more than the $50 you would on a chair rental in the service area, and sand chairs are slightly less comfy than the beach chairs.
You can still order your own drinks and food at the Hotel Del Coronado taco shack and other onsite takeaway restaurants — you just won’t get someone to help you set up your chair and umbrella and access to towel service.
Hotel Del Coronado Cabana Rental Tips
Want to make the most of your Hotel Del Coronado cabana rental? These tips will ensure your beach day goes swimmingly.
Arrive Early for the Best Spot
Spots may fill up fast during peak seasons. Arriving early (just before 11 a.m.) will ensure you get a spot that has a good view and isn’t too close to the live music or large parties.
Hotel Del Coronado cabana rental concierges will seat you as early as 11:00 a.m., and the food and beverage service starts at 11:30 a.m. (though you may see a waiter as early as 11:10 a.m., preemptively asking for your food and drink orders).
Stay at the Beach Villas for Free Access
Guests of the Del’s Beach Villas get free Hotel Del Coronado cabana rentals!
If you’re a guest of the Del staying in another area of the resort, you won’t get free beach access or even a discount on your cabana rental. But you do if you stay in the Beah Villas.
The Del’s Beach Villas is a high-end offering at the hotel. Many of their long-term guests stay here, and rooms start at over $1,000 a night (during the off-season). Yet, if you’re planning on staying here, don’t pay for the beach access.
You also get free access to Windsor Cottage, once home to Wallis Simpson, wife of Prince Edward, which is now a members-only area.
Hotel Del Coronado Pool Access Is for Guests Only
Want to take a dip in one of the Del’s pools? Unless you’re staying at the resort (any of the buildings), you won’t be able to access any of the pools.
Bring Your Own Food
Definitely order food from the beach menu, but also bring some of your own food if you want. I saw plenty of visitors there with Tupperware containers full of sliced fruit and other beach snacks.
Save Time To Explore the Del
Yes, spend as much time enjoying your Hotel Del Coronado cabana rental as possible. But if you get there early, take some time to do the self-guided tour and explore the Del.
You don’t need to be a guest to wander the grounds (including the main building).
Some of the features include the Del diorama, historic Babcock Bar, gift shops, lobby, and gardens.
Eat Dinner Across the Street
The food you’ll find at the Del’s many restaurants doesn’t vary that much from what you can order at your Hotel Del Coronado cabana rental.
My advice? Don’t eat dinner at the Del. Instead, head across the street to Miguel’s Cocina for some amazing tacos and margaritas at the fraction of the cost of the ones at the Del’s taco shack.
Once you’ve had your fill of the property, you’ll be happy to escape the crowds and head somewhere a bit more low-key anyway.