There may be no better way to start a perfect day in San Diego than to wake up at the Hotel del Coronado — affectionately nicknamed “The Del.” The classic Victorian hotel located on Coronado Island is just a half-mile bridge ride — that offers spectacular coastal views — from the city. Minutes from Sea World, the San Diego Zoo and other world class attractions, take a day on this island retreat for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.

Built in 1888 and reminiscent of a turn-of-the-century European castle, the Del graciously sprawls across grounds covering 28 oceanfront acres. Its magnificence makes it a destination for millions of visitors who will never stay here, but come to see one of nature’s most inherently beautiful landscapes.

If you are one of the lucky few to wake up at the Del, start your day with coffee on your room’s waterfront deck, then enjoy a walk on the beach. The Del has one of the most beautiful and expansive stretches of white sand the Pacific coast has to offer. Take a stroll under the sun and then cool off with a dip in the ocean. The waves are gentle in this area and beckon one to enjoy the sea. Next, head to the hotel’s festive Sun Deck, overlooking the coastline and relax while sipping a cool fresh beverage.

All this is prelude to a visit to the Del’s world renowned spa. Expectations are justifiably high as people fly in from all over the globe to relax and be pampered at this world famous island resort with strong European flair.

And whether you drove down for the weekend from Los Angeles or flew in from Dubai on a private jet, the Del’s magnificent newly renovated spa exceeds all expectations.

Bathed in natural light, the spacious spa includes 21 treatment rooms, sanctuary areas, hydrotherapy tubs and steam rooms with mineral waters. The Spa offers ocean-inspired therapies along with special spa packages for individuals, teens, couples, mothers & daughters and fathers & sons (which includes a 90-minute surf lesson and a Swedish massage!). The signature “Del Massage” is a therapeutic and deep relaxation favorite popular with first timers and regulars alike.

When your treatment is finished, relax by the spa’s private outdoor pool and fire pit — both face the ocean and are an oasis of calm and serenity. Be sure to leave plenty of time to linger, it’s truly spectacular and offers the ultimate therapeutic retreat for mind, body and spirit.

If an afternoon of spa treatment has worked up an appetite, treat yourself to dinner at 1500 OCEAN–The Del’s signature restaurant which features a variety of elegant indoor and outdoor settings. Sip a glass of wine (menu features wine selections from Santa Ynez to Cabo San Lucas) and dine al fresco on the gracious patio, a perfect spot to take in a sunset. Dinner selections include a tantalizing menu of fresh seafood and steaks flawlessly prepared and presented by 1500 Ocean’s internationally ranked chefs.

Complete your day by retiring to your ocean view room; unwind as you gaze from your balcony watching the moonlight dance upon the sea. The rooms are spacious and elegant with classic décor in shades of muted red, yellow and gold. The beds too, are divine — the ultimate in luxury and a perfect end to the perfect day.

The Hotel Del offers an abundance of activities like surfing, biking, boating, kayaking, golfing and a glorious spa. Between the history, the relaxed elegance and the beach, there is something for everyone to enjoy here. And should you ever desire to leave the hotel, you’re walking distance to the quaint town of Coronado.

Helpful Hint: If you’re traveling around holiday time, don’t miss one of the more unusual attractions The Del offers between Thanksgiving and New Year’s: outdoor ice skating overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Here you can don your swimsuit, and ice skates, for a memorable afternoon of ice skating while the temperature may be in the 80s. Don’t forget your camera because it makes a spectacular photo, and a rare one indeed.

What and Where:
Hotel del Coronado (1500 Orange Ave; Coronado; 619-435-6611)