Coronado Island, wedged between the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay, is technically a peninsula. It is also a vacation destination, beach town, residential community and home to the U.S. Naval Amphibious Base at North Island. The Coronado Bay Bridge connects San Diego and Coronado. Broad sidewalks line Coronado Village streets, with shops, specialty boutiques and restaurants along the way. Among the hotels and resorts in Coronado, several have the distinction of being AAA three- and four-diamond award winners.
A Victorian Classic
AAA lists Hotel del Coronado, affectionately known as “the Del,” as a four-diamond award winner for 2010. The hotel, a 688-room example of Victorian architecture built in 1888, remains a familiar landmark and focal point in the town. The film "Some Like It Hot" was shot at the hotel, using the hotel’s palm-lined grounds and spires and gables in red and white to signify a bygone era. Guests who want a private, beach-side setting can inquire about Beach Village, the hotel’s villas and cottages.
A Pet-Inclusive Escape
Loews Coronado Bay Resort was awarded an AAA/CAA four-diamond award for 2010. The resort, complete with its own marina, is set apart from neighboring communities, occupying its own small peninsula on Coronado Bay. Guests can access a walkway to Silver Strand State Beach. For visitors who travel with canine family members, Loews Coronado Bay offers a special treat. In fact, Sunset Magazine has named the resort among its "top 10 dog-friendly escapes." For a fee, dogs can attend surf camp, receive "surf & turf" room service, and choose between a sporty new bandanna or board shorts.
A Small Spanish Village
El Cordova Hotel, almost directly across from the Del and a block and a half from a white sand beach, comes with a three-diamond rating. El Cordova, a historic mansion from 1902, fills a different niche from larger resort hotels. The property has been transformed into a Spanish Village. Guest accommodations, which number 23, feature one- and two-bedroom suites, complete with full kitchens. Within the village are nearly two dozen boutique shops, a courtyard, heated pool and three restaurants.
A Sugar Baron's Mansion
Glorietta Bay Inn, a landmark on Coronado Island, has a three-diamond AAA rating. This 1908 Edwardian mansion was once home to John D. Spreckels of the Spreckels sugar empire. The mansion, two floors of 100 rooms and suites, blends both the original, restored building and additional, more contemporary rooms. The hotel overlooks the scenic sailor’s hideaway Glorietta Bay and is only a block from the Pacific Ocean.
- coronado bridge, san diego, california image by Shannon Workman from Fotolia.com