If you can’t quite afford a stay at the Del this time, the next best thing might be the Glorietta Bay Inn (1630 Glorietta Blvd., 619/435-3101, www.gloriettabayinn.com, $185–360). Literally across the street from the Del, the stately white mansion was the dream home of John D. Spreckels, who in the latter half of the 19th century owned the Del and most of the rest of San Diego in the bargain.
Today, the lovely structure oozes charm, even as the less-glamorous motel buildings behind it offer spacious budget accommodations. For a premium, you can book a room inside the mansion proper; each of these is uniquely decorated and includes upscale services and amenities.
The “Inn Rooms” behind the mansion are spacious, with adequate amenities and cheerful tropical-resort decor. If you’re bringing your family for several days of beach time, the Inn Suites offer a full kitchen and a living room as well as one or two bedrooms, making them an ideal base of operations.
No matter which building you stay in, a free continental breakfast is served each morning in the mansion’s breakfast room. Grab a pastry and your coffee and enjoy exploring the downtown common rooms boasting photos commemorating the history of the house and the Spreckels family. Then jog across the street to gape at the Del or just pass through onto Coronado Beach.
At Villa Capri By the Sea (1417 Orange Ave., 800/231-3954, www.villacapribythesea.com, $150) you get all the benefits of staying right at the hot center of Coronado (that is, near the Del), without the costs or the ghosts. Bring your whole family or several friends—the suites sleep up to six people, and include a full kitchen with all pots and pans necessary for cooking great meals. Yet you can still walk across the street to enjoy the restaurants and shops of the Del, and to get out onto Coronado Beach.
Inside, the living rooms are dimly lit but comfortable, the kitchens are light and homey, and the bright bedrooms look perfect for a sunny beach vacation. On the hottest days, you’ll appreciate your own oasis of air conditioning, cable TV, and Wi-Fi after hours out on the sand playing with on-loan beach toys. Check the website for special Internet rates.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition