10 Hotel Del Coronado’s Holiday Festivities in 2021

AT FIRST LIGHT at THE DEL

Holidays at The Hotel Del Coronado are brighter this year with the help of EPIC Entertainment Group. This year The Hotel Del Coronado welcomes loyal guests, locals and new travelers to ‘Home for the Holidays’ with 10 different immersive holiday experiences. Here’s what you can see and do while visiting or staying at The Del.

SKATING BY THE SEA
  1. Ice skating is back at The Del. Lace up skates and skim along the ice right next to the beach. Advanced reservations are recommended and sold online.
Multiple drink and food options are available at The Del

2. Before, during or after ice skating ‘Frostbite’ Lounge offers cozy seating and a fire pit by reservation for up to six people. Order food and drinks from a holiday-themed cocktail and snack menu while watching skaters whirl by you and the colorful lights.

Spectacular Lightshow nightly

3. EPIC ENTERTAINMENT Group decorates the legendary Norfolk Pines on the Founder’s Lawn for a dynamic ‘At First Light’ lightshow with colored lights orchestrated to holiday music and snowfall. In 1904 these trees were the first electrically lit outdoor Christmas Tree in America. The show is 11-minutes long and run every thirty minutes from 5 to 9 p.m.

23-ft lobby Christmas tree

4. The return of the perennial favorite includes the spectacular two-story lobby tree decorated with 10,000 sparkling lights with more than 2,000 ornaments in red, gold and forest green. Guests can purchase many of the ornaments dazzling on the tree at the nearby shops.

The Center Tree is a towering 25 feet

5. Go on a scavenger hunt to find 20 themed Christmas trees ranging in size from 8 feet to a breathtaking 25 foot tall tree out in the Victorian Garden. Visit the shops inside The Victorian, the Welcome Center inside the Beach Village, and check for trees in The Cabanas and The Views.

Sand art at The Del Beach

6. See a Holiday Movie on the Beach. Snuggle up with a loved one on Del Beach for a movie in the picturesque theater under the stars on Dec. 11, 18 and 31.

Jingle Roast on the Beach

7. S’mores on the Beach at your own private bonfire on Del Beach. Cozy up for hot beverages, housemade marshmallows, graham crackers and a variety of chocolates. Jingle Roast is from Dec. 15 – 25 at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Jolly St. Nick at The Signature Shop

8. Photos with Santa will take place on the Paseo Lawn on Dec. 16-18 and Dec. 22 – 24. Receive a keepsake photo with jolly Santa when you make a reservation for a visit. Santa is in shops and his spirit is everywhere around the hotel.

Start a new family tradition at The Del

9. Victorian Tea is served during the holidays on Dec. 17, 19, 20 and 21. Take a step back in time with a classic Victorian Tea featuring a variety of teas, finger sandwiches and sweets while beautiful music sets the atmosphere. There are special kids’ plates too, so little ones can join the adults to start a family tradition.

10. Go Holiday Gift Shopping for inspired gifts and The Del’s 29th annual holiday ornament can be found at the various shops at The Del. The beautiful handblown glass ornament is inspired by the hotel’s 1888 stained glass “Coronation Window,” which was restored earlier this year

The Beach Village is a gated community at The Del

Stay in one of the Beach Village Cottages or Villas for ocean, beach, pool and palm tree views. The villas are equipped with a full kitchen to make meals to enjoy outside on the patio or large balcony. A private welcome center checks Beach Village guests into the private and gated section of The Del. The staff are available to cater to guests needs. There are multiple swimming pools and hot whirlpools for guests to use near each cottage or villa. For reservations for a Beach Village, The Victorian, The Cabanas or The Views guest room, click here.

Hollywood History in La Jolla

Only two hours from Los Angeles, the lovely coastal town of La Jolla has a bit of Hollywood lore. While visiting friends living in San Diego, we stayed overnight at the newly refreshed Grande Colonial in the center of La Jolla Village. It’s an ideal location to walk along the scenic walkways to view the seal lions, shop in the charming boutiques, explore caves, and dine while overlooking the Pacific Ocean at sunset.

Grand Colonial HotelChecking into the Grande Colonial we learned some fascinating history about La Jolla’s oldest original hotel. Built in 1913 as apartments by master architect Richard Requa, also the designer of the California Exposition in Balboa Park, the owner of the property George Bane wanted to build a hotel to “rival anything in the west” next to the apartments. It was made of concrete and completed in 1928 becoming the first fireproof hotel west of the Mississippi. When it first opened, The Grande Colonial charged guests $1 per night.

IMG_6733

The La Jolla Drugstore later moved inside the Colonial’s main building, and the pharmacist was the father of actor Gregory Peck. Growing up in La Jolla, Peck helped his father out until he left for Hollywood to become a major movie star. In the 1940s to the 1960s Peck earned multiple Academy Award nominations and an Academy Award for his role of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. When an ice cream parlor was added, the drugstore became a community gathering spot for locals and townspeople.

La Jolla CoveAfter the war in 1947, Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer founded the La Jolla Playhouse as a summer stock retreat for Hollywood luminaries including Vivian Vance, Groucho Marx, Eve Arden, Charlton Heston, Jane Wyatt, Pat O’Brien and David Niven. During this time many of them stayed at the Grande Colonial.

Recently the San Francisco-based architectural and interior design firm Warren Sheets Design, Inc., recaptured the hotel’s classic European ambiance in the main lobby, as well as the onsite Nine-Ten Restaurant and 97 guest rooms and suites.

Ocean-view rooms and suites offer large windows to allow natural light, ocean breezes and views the Pacific Ocean. For guests staying one week or longer, The Grande Colonial hotel offers residential-style, extended stay studios and multiple bedroom suites.The amenities are similar to that of a private residence.

Staying in a standard room on the ground level, we noticed two queen sized Serta iComfort Eurotop mattresses covered with goose down comforters. We appreciated the extra large bathroom with Gilchrist & Soames bath and body products. The bath and shower combination had decorative block glass to allow more light into the bathroom. Inside the closet there was a safe and two plush robes.

Other amenities include free high-speed Internet access; a HD TV; Keurig coffee maker; complimentary in-room bottled water; and twice daily housekeeping including evening turn-down service. Our room had a sliding glass door leading out to a community patio with two chairs and a table. It was an ideal spot for coffee in the morning.

pool sideThe hotel’s round heated swimming pool offers poolside towel and water service. The staff are happy to lend guests beach gear including chairs and umbrellas.

Taking a walk around the village, we discovered The Cave Store near the famous La Jolla Caves. Kayakers can enter seven different ocean-carved caves, one is located inside the Cave Store. It’s the only cave accessible by land along the coastline.

Paying an entrance fee we learned the cave was named “Sunny Jim” by Frank Baum who wrote ‘The Wizard Oz,’ because the opening resembled the 1920s mascot and cartoon character “Sunny Jim” featured on Force Toasted Wheat Flake Cereal. Entrance to this cave began in 1902 and 1903 when Chinese laborers were hired to use picks and shovels to create a tunnel and 145 steps down to the water level. The area is lit, yet can be wet towards the bottom, so solid shoes are advisable. At the bottom deck the ocean views are beautiful. Visitors might see barking sea lions, birds and kayakers.

Nearby is a Historical Coast Walk Trail that meanders along a rocky cliff to a white bridge above the La Jolla Underwater Park. It’s a 0.4 point to point walk to the State Marine Conservation. Along the way there are a variety of flowers on the trail and pelicans flying overhead.

IMG_6709

Another spot to visit is Seal Rock, home to hundreds of seals, and nearby the seawall at Children’s Pool cove. Built in 1932, the seawall was constructed to protect the shore from oncoming waves for children and families to swim and play without danger. Today the area has become an idyllic spot for bathing, sunning and swimming seals and sea lions. Recently it’s also become the birthing spot for seal pups. Walking out on the seawall, visitors can view the pups and their moms, as well as have a 360-degree view of La Jolla, the Pacific Ocean and sunsets. This area is just a two block walk from Grande Colonial. To make a reservation go to https://thegrandecolonial.com or call (888) 828-5498.

This article is also featured in the July issue of Not Born Yesterday.

SeaWorld celebrates 50 Years in San Diego

IMG_7331SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care.

The Company maintains one of the largest animal collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of species in zoological facilities and in the conservation of wild populations. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment also operates one of the world’s most respected programs to rescue and rehabilitate ocean marine animals that are ill, injured and orphaned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 22,000 animals in need over the last four decades.

For nearly five decades, SeaWorld has surprised and amazed guests with unique entertainment, thrilling rides and up-close encounters with marine animals. During SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration visitors will be invited to take part in the celebration through new interactive experiences, shows and pathway performances, even more up-close animal encounters throughout the park and the SeaWorld “Surprise Squad” treating guests with prizes every day.

SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration Sea of Surprises

There will be more surprise encounters with animal ambassadors throughout the day.  A pair of Magellanic penguins, a sloth or even a parade of flamingos could surprise IMG_7347guests at any moment at all three SeaWorld locations.

The SeaWorld “Surprise Squad” will roam the SeaWorld parks on a daily basis giving away prizes and special gifts. Guests could receive exclusive access to rides or behind-the-scenes experiences, celebration T-shirts or Shamu-themed merchandise, reserved show seating.

First impressions make lasting impression. When you walk into the entrance of SeaWorld® San Diego you experience Explorer’s Reef™, a multi-million dollar renovation that opens to the public starting March 21, 2014. The new concept replaces the existing ticket booths with a beach-themed, concierge-style ticketing area that provides guests with a single location to purchase admission, as well as sign up for tours, animal interactions and dining experiences.

IMG_7294Guests enter the park beneath an immense wave sculpture, nearly 30 feet tall and 100 feet long, giving them the impression of actually entering an underwater world. It’s an undersea oasis that allows visitors to interact with a variety of fish in four different touch pools.

The first tank we experienced was the 4,000 cleaner fish touch tank. These tiny fish start kissing or nibbling gently on your hand once you dip it into the water.

Next, were four hundred brown-banded and white-spotted bamboo sharks swimming in a touch tank. SeaWorld staff member, Mike Price gets so excited when he watches children touch a shark for the first time. “All of the sharks in this tank touch tank were born in SeaWorld,” said Price. “These creatures are really mellow and smooth.”

The horseshoe crabs and round sting rays are located in another fascinating tank. “Did you know a horseshoe crab is really not a crab, but more like a scorpion or spider?” shared Price while standing next to me. “They have eight eyes and have been on earth for 450 million years.” Horseshoe crabs won’t win any beauty contests, like the round Sting Rays. “Aren’t they as cute as a button?” said Price.

Horseshoe Crab
Horseshoe Crab

“These rays like shallow water, so we educate guests to do the ‘Sting Ray Shuffle’ when going into the water at the beach. The movement scares the rays and they will get out of your way. If you step on one, their barb can sting you.

There is also  a tank with shark eggs. “Did you know that there are over 470 sharks in the world,” said Price. SeaWorld educates the public about these endangered species. “

To showcase SeaWorld’s commitment to the environment and passion for protecting the ocean, a series of giant sea life sculptures will be displayed throughout the parks. SeaWorld commissioned environmental art group Washed Ashore for a collection of larger-than-life sea-themed sculptures— many weighing more than half a ton.  The materials used to creates these pieces come from the billions of pounds of garbage mostly plastics— that wind up in our oceans. These amazing works of art point to the urgent need to protect marine animals from such dangers and preserve their ocean habitats.  At SeaWorld San Diego (located near Cirque Stadium), the sculptures will depict a sea turtle, a tufted puffin, a trigger fish and sea lilies (sea animals that look like plants, but are related to starfish, sand dollars and sea urchins).

For more information and continuing news about SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration and the Sea of Surprises, visit www.SeaWorld.com/Celebration.

%d bloggers like this: