Hotel Del Coronado Review

Hotel Del Coronado Costs, Pet Policy, Parking & More

by Alicia Butler, May 26, 2022

Hotel Del Coronado
Alicia Butler

Alicia Butler is a full-time traveler and freelance writer. She started traveling full time back in 2018, before it was cool to do so. Her favorite cities in the world are NYC, Oaxaca, Lisbon, and Edinburgh.

She was an NYC tour guide for eight years, so she can tell you all the best places to eat pizza, bagels, and falafel — as well as what to pack and what to leave home.

The Hotel Del Coronado (or the Del as locals and visitors lovingly call it) is a historic hotel resort, located on Coronado Island in San Diego. 

I recently spent a night at the Del (and a day lounging on Coronado Beach) on an overnight trip to San Diego from Los Angeles.

Was the room worth the $700 price tag? Let’s answer the question, “How much does it cost to stay at the Hotel Del Coronado?”

Are there better ways to visit the hotel grounds? What are the must-do activities when visiting Coronado Island? Should I take a Hotel Del Coronado tour? Is the beach taco shack worth it? How about the pizza joint? What is the Hotel Del Coronado pet policy?

If you’re planning on traveling in California, read on! All of these questions (and more!) will be answered in my Hotel Del Coronado review.

Hotel Del Coronado History

Built in 1888, the Del offered respite from the heat of the city for both California’s elite and middle classes.

Most guests were long-term and stayed several months at a time. Wealthy “residents” stayed in the main house (which cost around $30 a day), and the lower classes stayed in a tent city on the beach (which cost about $30 a month). 

Famous guests have included a dozen U.S. presidents, as well as celebrities like Thomas Edison, L. Frank Baum, Charlie Chaplin, Vincent Price, Babe Ruth, James Stewart, Bette Davis, and Katharine Hepburn.

Modern-day celebrities like Oprah, Brad Pitt, Madonna, and Keanu Reeves have also been guests of the Del.


The Hotel in Pop Culture

The Del is probably most famous as a West Coast travel destination for the role it played in the Billy Wilder hit, Some Like It Hot, starring Marylin Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon (who were also guests at the hotel while filming).

While Frank L. Baum was staying here, he wrote parts of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at the Del. Stephen King’s short story “1408” was inspired by the hotel. 

Hotel Del Coronado Review

Only a two-hour train ride away, San Diego is an easy day trip from Los Angeles. At the station, take a cab or rideshare to the hotel (about a 10 to 20-minute car ride away). 

The 700-room hotel serves as the backdrop for Coronado Beach and features a boardwalk, a private beach, half a dozen restaurants, a bar, live music, and tours of the grounds. 

This Hotel Del Coronado review will focus on the rooms, service, and grounds. 

Hotel Vibe/Ambiance

The hotel definitely has a vibe to it. If I had to give it a name, that vibe would be “So-Cal bougie”.

You can visit the grounds for free if you like, and you’ll probably notice that most of the people there are day visitors — local San Diego residents who are there for the views and food and beach.

Pretty much any part of the hotel you could explore as a guest you can visit just by stopping by which really removes any illusions of eliteness you might possess while staying here. I loved that about the Del.

The only areas you can’t visit as a day-person are some hotel floors and the pool. 

The grounds are gorgeously maintained, and there’s plenty to explore, including the historic Hotel Del Coronado lobby, shops, restaurants, and bar.

Hotel Service/Staff

For the most part, the hotel staff was amazing. 

The check-in team was friendly and helpful. I managed to get a room upgrade for only $30 and early check-in for no cost. The bellhops were also punctual and friendly and handled my suitcase with care.

Yet, I did spend about 15 minutes wandering the back entrance, trying to find the lobby. Two valets watched me as I dragged my suitcase up and down the stairs. When I approached them, they were suddenly too busy to answer my question.

Not the kind of guest service you’d expect at a $700-a-night hotel. 

Housekeeping called my room at 7:30 p.m. to ask if I needed anything, and I asked for some bottled water that never found its way to my room. Again, not a big deal — but not the kind of service you expect to get for the money you’ll spend here.

The check-in team was friendly and helpful. I managed to get a room upgrade for only $30 and early check-in for no cost. The bellhops were also punctual and friendly and handled my suitcase with care.

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Hotel Del Coronado Tour Review: Visiting the Grounds

The grounds at the Del Coronado are worth the visit. You can explore the main building, including the ballroom, dining rooms, lobby, shops, and restaurants. The only exception is if there is an event closing some rooms to the public.

I didn’t visit the hotel pool while I was here as I spent my time at the beach instead, but the pool area was well-kept, and staff did a good job of keeping non-guests from taking up the pool chairs.

The good news is that you don’t even need to stay at the hotel to use the pool because there are Hotel Del Coronado pool day passes available.

There’s a huge lawn for sunbathing, which anyone can enjoy for free. Nearly all of the hotel’s restaurants either overlook the pool or the ocean. The drive up to the hotel offers a stunning view of the Victorian building. 

There’s live music on the boardwalk on the weekends. 

You can take a tour of the Del on certain days, and the hotel even runs a ghost tour one or two nights on the weekend.

If you want to do the Hotel Del Coronado  tour, I can recommend the self-guided tour. I can’t offer a Hotel Del Coronado Tour review, as I didn’t take the guided tours, but the self-guided tour was worth the $25. It takes about 90 minutes and offers an overview of the property grounds.

Rooms at the Del: How much does it cost to stay at the Hotel Del Coronado?

Just as I did during my trip to Disneyland a few weeks before, I decided to splurge in San Diego.

I got a room for one night at the Del, thinking it would be not only a hotel stay but also an “experience” — and boy was I right. But not in a good way.

hotel del coronado ambiance

So, how much does it cost to stay at the Hotel Del Coronado?

Rooms started at $450 a night, plus a $ 100-per-night California hotel tax. I booked a week in advance, so I paid a bit more, which was $700 a night (with taxes and fees) to stay in the baseline rooms, which are located in the old Victorian section of the hotel.

Room prices go up to thousands of dollars a night in the newer sections of the property. Poolside rooms with built-in cabanas and fire pits started at $800 a night. The Beach House is the priciest section, with rooms over $1,000 for a one-night stay.

My room is what I would consider a three-star room. 

The hotel itself is a four-star hotel, but I believe they combine the quality of the newer sections of the hotel (which seem to be a five-star experience) with the older section to get that four-star rating.

But the room quality reminded me of three-star hotel room quality, and I definitely wouldn’t stay in the old section again — especially for the price. 

Honestly, I didn’t think it was necessarily “worth it” to stay on property at all here. Instead, just book a chair on the beach and enjoy the restaurants. 

While my Disneyland tip was to splurge at the Grand Californian, my advice is the opposite at the Del.

My Hotel Del Coronado review of the rooms? If you’re trying to budget your trip, save your money and stay across the street

How much does it cost to stay at the Hotel Del Coronado? Rooms start at $50 a night, plus a $100-per-night California hotel tax. But I paid about $700 total, during the off-season.

Parking at Hotel Del Coronado

Parking at Hotel Del Coronado isn’t cheap. 

If you’re planning on staying at the hotel overnight, you’ll need to pay to park in the hotel garage. But if you’re planning on going for just a few hours, you could park on the street for a lot less than it costs to park right at The Del.


How much is parking at Hotel Del Coronado?

If you’re spending the night at The Del, your only option is to park in the hotel’s covered garage.

There are other hotels on the island that offer free parking — but The Del isn’t one of them.

Parking at the Hotel Del Coronado costs $55 per night. Valet parking costs $75 per night.

Hourly parking costs $25 for the first two hours and $10 per hour after that. You can get $10 off day parking by shopping at the Hotel Del Coronado restaurants or gift shop and getting your ticket validated.

Parking Near the Hotel Del Coronado

Parking near the Hotel Del Coronado is a bit cheaper than parking at the hotel, but it’s less convenient.

The island offers two-hour parking on Orange Avenue and Ocean Avenue. It’s free to park on Sundays, but the max time is two hours.

RVs can park on either street for up to 72 hours max.


Hotel Del Coronado Pet Policy

The official Hotel Del Coronado pet policy? The Del welcomes pets!

The Hotel Del Coronado pet policy states that you must pay a non-negotiable cleaning fee of:

  • $125 per stay at the Hotel del Coronado 
  • $200 per stay at the Beach Village at The Del 

You can request a welcome amenity of a bowl and a bag of treats before your stay, and there’s even a dog beach that’s a mile north of the hotel. 

The Del allows you to bring your leashed furry friend to the Sun Deck and Beach + Taco Shack.

The Hotel Del Coronado pet policy also states:


  • You must sign a pet waiver at check-in.
  • Pets can weigh no more than 40 pounds.
  • There is a limit of 2 pets per room.
  • Some pet breeds are not allowed.
  • Pets must be leashed or in a carrier in common areas.
  • There are some off-areas for pets on the resort.
Hotel Del Coronado Booking

Hotel Del Coronado Restaurants

The Del is home to a half-dozen restaurants, all of which offer similar menus. But really, there’s a good chance you’re here for the ocean views if you’ve chosen to eat at the Del on any given day.

I ate at the Beach & Taco Shack for lunch, the pizzeria for dinner, and the Sheerwater for breakfast. 

Hotel Del Coronado Taco Shack

The Hotel Del Coronado Taco Shack gets really terrible reviews online, but I thought the food was great. 

I didn’t eat at the shack itself (all food ordered on the beach is from the Beach & Taco Shack), but the vibe seemed lively, as it was right next to the live music. 

Tacos were my menu option of choice, and I got ones stuffed with fish. They were pretty run-of-the-mill fish tacos (they cost $16 for two), but what do you expect at a hotel resort?

Hotel Del Coronado Pizza: ENO PIzzeria + Grab-and-Go Market

I got a pizza at the Del to eat in my room at ENO, a pizzeria that also has a grab-and-go market.

The Hotel Del Coronado’s pizza was coal-oven style and really good. The market across the walkway offered single-serving sizes of wine, hard liquor, and beer, as well as baked goods, sandwiches, and some grab-and-go meals.

A bottle of vodka with two shots cost $12, and a half-bottle of wine cost $30. So, I ordered two glasses of wine to go from the pizza place and called it a night.

My Hotel Del Coronado review of the restaurants? You can skip most of them, especially if you’re visiting during high season. 

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For breakfast, I opted for the Sheerwater, one of two restaurants open for brunch on the weekends. 

I got the potato hash with chorizo and an egg. It came with some kind of chipotle may or aioli, and it was one of the best hashes I’ve ever had. I washed it all down with a glass of prosecco and some coffee. 

My bill was about $40, not bad for brunch at a resort with booze. 

Babcock & Story Bar

I didn’t get a drink or food at the Babcock & Story Bar because it didn’t have great ambiance and was insanely crowded, but I walked through it a few times.

The bar is situated between the boardwalk and the hotel and is used as an entrance/exit to the public bathrooms. The food seemed like it came off the same menu as the other restaurants. It seemed a little overpriced (again, not surprising for a resort), but was not worth it because of the lack of ambiance. 

Miguel’s Cocina

Miguel’s Cocina (which is across the street from the Del) isn’t owned by Hilton or affiliated with it in any way. But I did walk across the street and eat lunch here the day I checked out, and boy was it awesome — and totally worth including in my review.

Coronado Beach

Coronado Beach 

I spent about six hours on the beach at the Del, and I can’t recommend the experience enough. 

There are two ways to spend a day at the beach here: 

  • Spend $15 on a chair and $15 on an umbrella to sit on a rocky beach by the water with the peasants
  • Spend $50 to sit on soft sand (chair and luxury umbrella included) and get waited on by these guys who are all-too happy to take your drink or food orders or move your umbrella a few inches when the sun moves

I opted for the latter, and it was totally worth the extra $20. 

My bar bill was about $80, which wasn’t surprising as I spent the day eating tacos and drinking Aperol spritzes. 

You can’t see the water from this area (there’s a sand dune in the way), but the shore is just a one-minute walk away, and you’re still close enough to the public bathrooms. There’s also free ice water and suntan lotion. 

If you really wanted to splurge, you could rent a queen-sized daybed, which is kind of like renting a cabana.

The Hotel del Coronado cabana rental price isn’t bad if you’re splitting the bill with someone else.

Ice House Museum

This pint-sized jewel-box museum is located in the property’s old ice house. Now that modern refrigeration has replaced giant ice blocks to keep food cool, the structure is better suited as a museum.

I’m not sure I would recommend a trip to the museum on its own. There aren’t any “exhibits”, only a few photos plastered on the walls that explain the throughline of the Del’s existence. 

What I would recommend is renting the self-guided headset for $6. I would have loved to have taken a Hotel Del Coronado tour, but with all that beach lounging, I just didn’t find the time.

Hotel Del Coronado Splurges

The entire experience of staying at the Del (and visiting as a day guest) is a splurge. 

Though there are some “free” experiences, such as cruising down the boardwalk, enjoying live music, lounging on the lawn, or wandering the property, most activities cost some cash. 

Coronado Beach Rental

I can’t think of a better way to spend the day than sprawled out on a lounger on Coronado Beach. 

With the backdrop of the hotel behind you, the ocean in front of you, and waiters ready to bring you drinks and food and fix your umbrella, there’s no place I’d rather be. 

$50 a day may feel like a splurge, but I think it’s a bargain. If you spend six hours here like I did, that comes out to less than $10 an hour for Victorian seaside ambiance.

Cabana Rooms

I didn’t stay at the Cabanas, but I wish I had. For an extra $200 for the night, I would have stayed in a five-star room, gotten access to a poolside cabana (just outside of the room), and possibly even a fire pit. 

These rooms start at $800 a night, and they seemed worth it. 

Since I don’t recommend staying in the Victorian section, these are your best bet if you want to stay on property.


Hotel Del Coronado Saves

There are a few ways to “save” at the Hotel Del Coronado. Not everything is super pricey here, and I’m happy to report that I found some ways to keep a few extra dollars in my pocket.

Hotel Tours

If you want to really explore the hotel, I recommend taking a Hotel Del Coronado tour.

I didn’t have time to do a full guided property tour, but they do offer them for $25 to $30 (without tip). 

Instead, I took the self-guided tour for $20. The tour takes about 90 minutes and was really informative. I’m sure I would have enjoyed the guided tour more, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me.

Premium Room Upgrade

The hotel booking site offered me the option to bid on a room upgrade. 

I won the bid and for only $30, I got a room on an upper floor that looked over the courtyard (with a peekaboo view of the ocean). 

Despite my overall displeasure with the quality of the room in the historic building, the room upgrade was totally worth the extra money. 

Miguel’s Cocina

Across the street from the Del is a Mexican restaurant called Miguel’s Cocina. I ate lunch here with a friend the day I checked out.

Only a three-minute walk from the hotel, Miguel’s is worth the “trek”. 

The food is outstanding (I got the mole tacos and a giant margarita), and is reasonably priced. For two margaritas, two entrees, one child’s meal, and three sodas, I paid about $85 with tax and tip. 

No ocean views, but the food was way better than at the Del. 

Have you stayed at The Del? Do you think this Hotel Del Coronado review is accurate? Let me know in the comments!