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.
“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.
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.
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?