Hotel Del Coronado History

Ah…the Hotel Del Coronado’s History… Did I captivate your interest yesterday?  Are you waiting with baited breath to read about the ghost that supposedly haunts the Hotel Del?

Well, here you go…according to the Hotel’s own “Press Room” on it’s web page,

Kate Morgan, age 24, arrived on Thanksgiving Day, alone and unhappy. According to hotel employees, she said she was waiting for a gentleman to join her. After five lonely days, Kate took her own life.

At the time of her death, police could find nothing to positively identify her, so a description of Kate was telegraphed to police agencies around the country. As a result, newspapers began to refer to Kate as the “beautiful stranger.” After Kate Morgan’s identity was confirmed – she was married but estranged from her husband – it was surmised that she had arrived at The Del hoping to rendezvous with a lover.

Kate had been employed as a domestic in a wealthy Los Angeles household. From there, she traveled by train to the hotel, where fellow passengers reported that a woman matching Kate’s description had argued with a male companion, who then deserted her en route. During her stay, Kate was described as sickly and sorrowful, venturing into San Diego to buy a handgun, and the San Diego coroner later confirmed that Kate had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Ghost of Kate Morgan

According to the hotel’s book, Beautiful Stranger: The Ghost of Kate Morgan and the Hotel del Coronado, since that time, guests and employees have attested to ghostly goings-on. Most have to do with Kate’s original third-floor guestroom, where visitors have experienced flickering lights, a television that turns itself on and off, breezes coming from nowhere, inexplicable scents and sounds, items moving of their own accord, doors that randomly open and close, abrupt changes in room temperature, and unexplained footsteps and voices. The story of Kate Morgan continues to intrigue hotel visitors, and the room in which she stayed is the most requested guestroom at the hotel.”

p52-Two-Front-Entrances1-2 A photo from the hotel’s early days.

And that’s not all…In it’s long history, the Hotel Del has played host to many a celebrity.

The list is extensive: Bette Davis, Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas, Judy Garland, Maureen O’Hara, Mickey Rooney, Lana Turner, Rudy Vallee, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Doris Day, Joan Crawford, Walt Disney, Groucho and Harpo Marx, Donna Reed, Dinah Shore, Loretta Young , Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Liberace, Ronald Reagan, Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Burt Lancaster, as well as Goldie Hawn, Sylvester Stallone, and Renee Russo.  Whew!

More current celebs don’t wish to be left out.  They include: Brad Pitt, Kevin Bacon, Seth Rogen, Robert Downey Jr., Eva Mendes, Will Farrell, Shakira, Al Pacino, Jennifer Garner, Kevin Costner, Jack Nicholson, Oprah Winfrey, Julia-Louis-Dreyfus, Whoopie Goldberg, and Steven Spielberg.  (Press Room,

Several movies were made at the Hotel Del, one of the most iconic?  “Some Like it Hot” with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.  HotelDel733


And really…who WOULDN’T want to visit this gorgeousness?  Tomorrow…let’s talk weddings, and why this might be the perfect place to say, “I do”!   (PS – notice the blue bridge in the background of the above photo.  That’s how one travels by car to reach the “island”)


Destination Weddings



Come on…we’ve all thought about it… inviting only your nearest and dearest, and taking off for an exotic local for your wedding. Could it be more romantic? Probably not. Maybe you see yourself having your ceremony in a lodge with beautiful snowy mountains in the background, or maybe you would like the complete opposite of that and want a wedding in Australia? I’ve got a few friends that love a destination wedding and they’ve probably looked at all the central coast wedding photography businesses, looking for the one that can shoot their big day when it comes. Today I begin a series on destination weddings. Now, it is not a discussion on the “Pros and Cons” of destination weddings, but just the beauty of the option.


I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days at the incomparable Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado, California. (The photo above is the iconic main building of the resort). What and where is Coronado, you may ask?

Well, according to Wikepdia, Coronado, also mistakenly known since the 1980’s as Coronado Island, is a resort city located in San Diego County, California, across and around San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego.[8] Its population was 24,697 at the 2010 census,[5][6] up from 24,100 at the 2000 census. It is part of the San Diego-Carlsbad, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Coronado lies on the geographic combination of an island and a tombolo connected to the mainland called the Silver Strand. Coronado is a tied island, connected by a tombolo. In 2012, Dr. Stephen Leatherman, Director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research, ranked Coronado Beach as the best beach in the United States.[9]æ

Now that the facts are stated…just let me say, it’s a magical place. A land of fairy tales.


Above is the view from our room. Truly, one couldn’t ask for more. Not only is Hotel Del, as it is affectionally called, beautiful, it is filled with history. Notice the black roofed building to the very right of the photo. That is the summer home Wallis Warfield Simpson shared with her second husband Ernest Simpson. (Remember, the English King Edward XIII gave up his throne to marry this twice divorced lady?). It was a few miles down the road, but the Hotel Del recognized it’s great historical value and had it moved to it’s current, coveted location. It is presently a part of a private club on the resort.



While the beaches are pristine and luxurious, much can be enjoyed from a room’s balcony, (if you’re lucky enough to have an ocean view!), – as evidenced by my two lovely models.



No time of day is less than perfect at the Hotel Del. After dinner one evening, we took a stroll, and snapped this breath-taking scene.

Ok, I’ll admit it. I can’t write about all I wish in just one post. My “Destination Wedding Series” will have to follow the “Hotel Del” series! So much to share. Tomorrow, I’ll fill you in on the benign ghost that legend says haunts the resort…

With the exception of the iconic “personal stripped beach cabana” photograph, all photos are mine. You can see the magic and beauty are true 🙂 It’s not the product of photo enhancement.