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A Sunday brunch to die for at the famed Hotel del Coronado in San Diego

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Seafood bar at famed Hotel del Coronado Sunday brunch
Seafood bar at famed Hotel del Coronado Sunday brunch

By Eileen Ogintz

SAN DIEGO, CA. (Day 2) — Don’t eat anything you can have at home!

That’s the suggestion of our waiter Manuel Leon

Plus homemade sausage, all kinds of cheeses—brie, cheddar, smoked gouda with raisins; pecans figs, currants to go with them.

There is pork Veracruz, short ribs, corn bread, beef stew, cauliflower gratin, black beans, salad, fruit salad, even chili.

Who needs an omelet, even if they are made to order, when there are homemade biscuits and gravy, all kinds of salami and a chocolate fountain with fresh berries not to mention bread pudding,  chocolate mousse and all kinds of cupcakes.

Hotel del Coronado entrance
Hotel del Coronado entrance

“You have to pace yourself,” Leon says.   It’s a treat to just sit in the spectacular room  with its wooden ceilings and where the beautiful chandeliers were a gift of Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz.  A two year $13-million refurbishment was just completed with an eye toward preserving the charm of the original resort as well as making it the ultimate in comfort and style for 21st century guests.

The  757-room  beachfront “Del,” as she is affectionately known, opened in  Coronado in 1888 when wealthy East Coasters would come on the train—a seven-day journey–for the entire winter, their maids staying in the smallest rooms on the top floor—there is still the original elevator.

People came to fish and hunt–there was quail, rabbit and other small game that the hotel chef would be happy to cook). But just as it is today, it was a  resort offering all varieties of amusements—swimming and boating, bicycling and golf,  croquet and bowling.

Sunset view from our room at Hotel del Coronado
Sunset view from our room at Hotel del Coronado

There was even a school for children who were staying for months at a time and a  by the early years of the 20th Century a “Tent City” for the emerging middle class offering modest tent and bungalow accommodations.

During World War II, part of the Del was used by the Navy for housing and the hotel became a home away from home for military men and their sweethearts who romanced, married and honeymooned there and eventually returned after the war to celebrate.

Herb garden at Hotel del Coronado
Herb garden at Hotel del Coronado

Today the Del welcomes sophisticated and well-heeled families from around the world and once again seems at the forefront of hotel trends with its luxurious Beach Village oceanfront cottages and villas where families can gather, enjoying all the resort has to offer.  It has activities to engage teens—from the teen spa to surfing and stand up paddling and in the summer, just-for-teens pool parties and Ping-Pong tournaments and this season, encouraging families to take time to make new holiday memories at the oceanfront ice rink.

It was here in 1904, I learn, that in 1904 the first electrically-lit outdoor Christmas Tree was displayed.

We take a long walk down the beach right to the Navy Seals training facility and along with people surfing, walking their dogs and running.  We see marines running with backpacks.

It’ s easy to see why families  continue to gather here  in the summer as well as the holidays when  Santa joins the Sunday Brunch,  you can relax at Victorian Tea, and with  ocean inspired treatments at the spa (the ideal antidote to holiday stress.

Ready for an elf to tuck in the kids?

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