Hotel Del Coronado Lobby

The lobby at The Del Hotel is worth the visit.

by Alicia Butler, June 4, 2023

Hotel Del Coronado Lobby

The Hotel Del Coronado is an iconic historic hotel, located on Coronado Island in San Diego. 

One of the most stunning areas of the property is the Hotel Del Coronado Lobby. The hotel was finished in 1888 and is a testament to Queen Anne Victorian architecture. 

You may recognize the hotel from the movie Some Like It Hot, which was filmed here in 1957. 

Find out the best ways to explore the Hotel Del Coronado lobby, as well as the surrounding grounds and beach.

This post may contain affiliate links, so if you buy something after clicking on a link, I might (fingers crossed!) just get a little commission. Good news: I only recommend products that I love! Which means you can feel good about all of my recs.

Hotel Del Coronado Lobby Queue

Hotel Del Coronado Lobby Renovation 

Starting in April 2020 (yup, the “beginning” of COVID), the Hotel Del Coronado began undergoing massive renovations. 

First up? Its ornate lobby. 

The first thing you notice when you enter the Hotel Del Coronado lobby is that its fixtures are (for the most part) the same as its original fixtures — they’re just reproductions. 

This means that the restoration gave The Del’s lobby an updated, shiny new look, without compromising its historic integrity.

The first thing you notice when you enter the Hotel Del Coronado lobby is that its fixtures are (for the most part) the same as its original fixtures — they’re just reproductions. 

Hotel Del Coronado Lobby Areas

In addition to the main lobby area, where you’d find the check-in desk, bellhop, and other services, you’ll also find a few other spots to explore. Just a few of these include the Rotunda, the shops at The Del, the spa and salon, and the balcony.

The Rotunda

One of the big draws of the Hotel Del Coronado is brunch on Sundays, which is always served in the rotunda, a Victorian room with vaulted ceilings. 

On other days, sometimes the rotunda is closed for private events, but you’ll often see tours wandering through this room. 

Shops at The Del

There are two levels of shopping at the hotel, including the main gift shop in the lobby and the shops downstairs on the arcade level. 

Both offer a decent selection of souvenirs, clothing, and toiletries (albeit a little overpriced, but that’s what you get at a resort). 

Spa & Salon

Though the spa and salon aren’t necessarily areas you can just wander through, you can book appointments for high-end services here, regardless if you’re a guest or not. 

The Balcony

To get one of the best views of the Hotel Del Coronado lobby, walk up the stairs (or take the elevator) up to the balcony. 

Hotel Del Coronado History

Take a Self-Guided Tour

One of my favorite ways to explore the Hotel Del Coronado lobby is to take the self-guided tour. You can rent a self-guided tour at the Ice House Museum (which is an interesting area of The Del to explore). 

The museum is free, but the self-guided tour audio guide costs $7. You can also grab a map at the museum, which includes all the stops on the self-guided tour.

While much of this tour takes place in the Hotel Del Coronado lobby, you’ll be able to see so much more than just a few small rooms. A few self-guided tour highlights include the lawn, the Babcock Bar, the Dragon Tree, and the courtyard. 

You’ll hear stories about the filming of Some Like It Hot, the hotel’s construction, and the many guests who have lived and stayed at The Del over the years. 

Book a Guided Tour

The Del is known for its guided tours, and you’ll learn so much more from a live guide than an audio one.

Currently, The Del offers two tours, including a history tour and a haunted tour. Both tours include the lobby, and the haunted tour includes areas of the hotel that are off-limits to visitors and some guests!

Stay at The Del

If you want to stay at the Hotel Del Coronado, you’ll need to check in at the front desk in the lobby. 

Is a stay at this hotel worth the hefty nightly price? Check out my Hotel Del Coronado review to find out.

Just Stop By!

Of course, you don’t need to book a tour or stay at the Hotel Del Coronado to see the lobby. The grounds and property are (mostly) free for anyone to enjoy.

San Diego locals often stop by to grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants, lounge on the lawn, or take a walk on the boardwalk. You’re also welcome to explore the public areas, including the lobby, the lobby’s balcony, gift shop, and restaurant in the rotunda. 

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Hotel Del Coronado Grounds

Want to explore the grounds even further? Good news: you can!

In fact, you can explore much of The Del, including the interior courtyard (where you’ll see dozens of species of plants), the lawn, the beach, and the Ice House Museum. 

The Veranda

The veranda is one of the most iconic spaces at The Del. Here, you’ll see guests and visitors lounging on giant wooden rocking chairs, sipping a cold beverage and people-watching. 

Interior Courtyard

Many of the rooms in the historic building overlook the interior courtyard. Here, you’ll find dozens of species of plants and trees.

The Lawn

During the day, guests and visitors lounge on the lawn, enjoying snacks purchased at ENO Market and soaking in the sun. 

At night, you can enjoy movies underneath the stars and live music. 

Hotel Del Coronado Pool

The Hotel Del Coronado pool is one area you can’t visit unless you’re a guest (or unless you have a pool pass).

Find out how to get a Hotel Del Coronado Pool Pass and enjoy a day lounging in the sun (hint: you don’t need to be a guest to do so!). 

Hotel Del Coronado Booking

Coronado Beach

There are even Hotel Del Coronado cabana rentals and beach chair rentals. 

The best part? You don’t need to stay at The Del to enjoy a day at the beach — in fact, the cost of a beach chair or cabana rental isn’t even included in the price of a hotel room.

The Ice House Museum

Located a short, seven-minute walk from the Hotel Del Coronado lobby is the Ice House Museum, a small gallery space dedicated to the history of The Del.

Here, you’ll find some basic background information on its historic significance. This is also where you’ll rent self-guided audio tours or meet up with your group for a guided tour.