I’ve travelled to many sunny destinations, but San Diego, California is one of those exceptional places with a big-time wow factor.

The first thing you notice is the natural beauty of the city, its amazing architecture, stately buildings and friendly vibe.

San Diego one of the few places I've visited where I thought; “Yeah I could live here . . . easily.” Then I walked into the legendary and iconic Hotel Del Coronado, affectionately referred to locally as “The Del”, and thought, “I'm never going home.”

The Del is a truly special destination. It is majestic, charming, elegant and bucket list worthy.

Built in 1888 and designated a national historic landmark in 1977, founders, Elisha Babcock and H.L. Story, dreamt of building a seaside resort that would be “the talk of the Western world.”

They succeeded wildly hosting movie stars, celebrities, dignitaries, U.S. presidents and world leaders.

Today, it retains its glorious reputation with exceptional and styled offerings to guests from the world over. Its original wooden architectural is matched by extraordinary ocean-front views and wonderful restaurants.

My room was on the water with incredible views of both the beach and coastline. I felt rejuvenated just sitting on the deck watching the people stroll along the coastline.

I went for several walks on the beach, joined a free motion-spin bike session and quickly learned that there are sports that test your cardio abilities more than ice hockey. That muscle grinding experience was mitigated by an all too relaxing visit at the Del’s Spa.

Other Del offerings include yoga on the beach, golf, painting by the sea, beach spin and a fitness centre.

I decided to take a paddle boarding lessons and before I knew it, I was half way through a three-hour session and had quickly become a seasoned paddle boarder whipping my way through the waters by the pier. You can also take a sailing lesson, rent a speedboat, jet ski, waterski, kayak, paddleboat or a take a fishing excursion.

Custom services offered include private chef dinners, or beachfront cookouts under the stars with candelabras, music, and wine. Drinks afterwards can be served on the beach next to a large fireplace. The staff even provide blankets for your beach chair in case you get a chill from the evening ocean breeze.

For over a century, the Hotel del Coronado has been the premier convention hotel in San Diego.

The hotel has 65,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor oceanfront meeting space, along with a sprawling 28 acre oceanfront property.

Hotel del Coronado has more than 700 guestrooms featuring a variety of accommodations. Victoria Building, Ocean Towers and Cabanas, and Beach Village give you luxury, comfort and total relaxation to suit your needs and preferences.

The Del offers seven exceptional seaside dining experiences featuring locally sourced ingredients, expert chefs, and impeccable service.

The signature restaurant is 1500 Ocean which spotlights California coastal cuisine with the freshest garden-to-table flavours blended with local artisan products and spices from around the world.

The Sheerwater restaurant  serves fresh local seafood, savory smoked meats complete with house-made barbecue sauces and slaws, sandwiches and salads, plus an expansive breakfast buffet and a special kids menu.

The Crown Room is a chilled seafood bar with regionally inspired dishes and international cuisine. Guests also enjoy a gourmet Bloody Mary bar, made-to-order mimosas, and a spectacular candy and dessert bar — complete with a design-your-own donut station.

ENO is an artisan pizzeria and wine bar in an energetic setting reminiscent of a neighbourhood eatery, all served with a pleasant beachside ambiance and ocean views.

The Coronado Sun Deck Bar & Grill offers tropical drinks and  its famous Del Fish Tacos.

I spent quite a bit of time at The Del at the Babcock & Story Bar, a high-spirited, historic Coronado lounge with excellent Wi-Fi and coffee during the day and great cocktails and live music at night.

Each afternoon, I wondered over to the Sunset Bar on the beach. This classic outdoor bar offers sensational sunset views, warm fire pits, stellar craft beer and cocktails and like elsewhere at The Del, impeccable service.

The Hotel del Coronado is simply a dream. One I hope to revisit.

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