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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DVC Conciegre Collection: Hotel del Coronado

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I love to travel, and believe it or not I've even been known to head off to a location other than a Disney Resort every now and again, but even on those trips being a Disney Vacation Club member has come in handy more than once.  As many a geek knows getting a great hotel room for the week of San Diego Comic-Con International is an experience more ten times more difficult than snagging a Magic Kingdom View on the Fourth of July.  I was thrilled that when I called up DVC member services to see about booking a room on DVC points at the famous Hotel del Coronado for Comic-Con week I had no trouble what so ever.

Before I get into my review of the Hotel del, let me say up front that using your DVC points for a Concierge Collection Hotel is NOT an economical way to use your vacation club points.  If you are a point miser who likes to squeeze every bit of value out of your DVC, rent out your points and book on cash.  Using points on this trip was the only way that I could afford to go, so for me using points was perfect. On to the review!

Disney Vacation Club's Concierge Collection is a group of carefully selected non-Disney resorts and hotels that DVC members can stay at using points.   These exquisite resorts offer options in some of the most popular vacation destinations both in the US and abroad.  I've had the opportunity to visit two of these  Concierge Collection properties so far and enjoyed them both very much.  Though the number of points that need to be used per night is high, so is the quality of the properties.

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The Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, California is a National Historic Landmark and for more than 125 years, has been the symbol of Victorian elegance and refined luxury.  "The del" has been a destination for Presidents, Royalty, and in the Golden age of Hollywood it was the "it" destination for glamorous starlettes and movie power.   An idyllic beachfront family retreat, it has earned a AAA four diamond rating as well as a slew of other awards in its substantial history.   It is widely considered one of the top hotels in the world.  The conical turrets and orange roof against it's white Victorian gingerbread featured inspired Disney Imagineers in building Walt Disney World's flagship hotel, The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

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This may be one of the most beautiful and luxurious resorts I have ever stayed in outside of Walt Disney World. The historic lady has not lost an ounce of her charm. Our room was not in the Victorian building but instead was in a newer section of the property. just off the main pool.  At first I was disappointed - but as we were lead down the hall by the charming bellman I had to chuckle.  The inside felt just like I was walking through the comfortable halls at the Grand Floridian, only in highlighted yellow instead of peach.  When we walked into our room all disappointment faded away, it was spacious and absolutely lovely, decorated in a beachy turquoise and lime color palette with a mid-century feel to it.  The pretty white shutters over the window let in ample amounts of light during the day.  Those shutters had their ups and downs though, because I had been looking forward to sleeping with black-out curtains and these let in more light that I cared for early in the morning.

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The large bathroom allowed plenty of space for two people to get ready at the same time after everyone was done showering.  The one puzzling feature to me was that the closet was inside of the bathroom, and hid behind the bathroom door when it was open.  It proved a slightly awkward location if nothing else.  However the closet was large, with many hangers, had complimentary robes for us to use, extra pillows, and a small safe similar to those at Walt Disney World.

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Stepping out onto the balcony it became apparent that we had a great view of the main pool, turret building, and the ocean in the distance. How could you not be happy with that?  Plus PALM TREES! The grounds were an absolute plethora of palm trees. So many different types! I miss palm tress so much when I'm at home, and I never really realize it until I arrive some place that has them. I don't think Becks knew quite how obsessed with palm trees I actually am. I will note that the pool was really loud during the day full of families splashing and enjoying their time at the resort, but was locked up at 10pm each night so it didn't cause a problem at all when trying to sleep.

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Staying at the Hotel del Coronado may have actually turned me into a beach girl. The soft sand sparkled and glittered in the sun. The cool pacific waters were fun to play in, even though we only dipped out toes. The U.S. Navy was frequently running exercises off-shore and we were able to watch helicopters, ships, and Navy Seals training to protect our country. I didn't stay at the bech for long but I am so glad that I did make the effort. However I much preferred sitting under an umbrella on the sun deck with a cocktail in my hand. I could easily lose hours or days just sitting back and enjoying the ocean view and breeze.

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Turn-down service is provided to resort guests upon request, so I decided to indulge. All it took was one simple phone call to the front desk and when we returned at night after en evening out on the town our comfortable beds were turned down neatly with a small gift of seashells on our pillows. I love turn-down service, it always makes me feel especially pampered and it is one little treat I really appreciate. Though I often have trouble sleeping on vacation and can't always get comfortable on hotel beds, this was not one of those times. The Hotel del Coronado has very comfortable beds and ample numbers of pillows for cuddling and support.

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Without a doubt my favorite part of this trip was the beautiful Hotel del CoronadoMy time spent here was lovely and relaxing, the ocean views nothing short of spectacular.  The weather was absolutely perfect with steady ocean breezes and the smell of salt air.  I wouldn't hesitate for a second to stay at the Hotel del again.  It was everything I dreamed it to be.


More Concierge Collection Hotel Reviews from the DVC Mom can be found at the links below.

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