Sometimes I miss snow and real winter. In Oklahoma, we had true icy, cold, snowy winters that required flannels and jackets. Basically, everything your favorite Instagrammers are posting about right now. But in SoCal, we can only wear flannels until noon then it’s too hot and we have to take them off. For those wanting a touch of winter without giving up the warmth we’ve grown accustomed to, I give you Skating by the Sea at Hotel del Coronado.
Imagine bundling up in your favorite scarf, gloves and hat and heading to the beach to go ice skating. It’s the perfect mix of winter wonderland and California fun in the sun. The Del is an incredible destination on its own but Skating by the Sea is a perfect family holiday destination to get you in the Christmas spirit.
After Thanksgiving, we packed up the fam and headed south to The Del, just past San Diego, and had no idea what was in store.
This hotel is amazing! There is so much rich history here. I’m a huge nerd for old buildings and architectural history so when I found out this hotel was built in the 1880’s I wanted to know more. Hotel Del has hosted presidents, royalty, celebrities, authors and now, Heather Brooker. What a line up! We checked into this iconic spot and were greeted with Christmas decorations and swift service to our gorgeous room.
We were graciously gifted a junior suite overlooking the beach and grounds at The Del. The suite had a bedroom area, sitting area and the biggest hotel balcony I’ve ever seen in my life.
I quickly made a note to get up early and watch the sunrise with a cup of coffee from the Keurig and sit on that balcony doing absolutely nothing. Then I headed out with my family to explore.
We started under the hotel where there is a huge shopping area. It’s like a mini-mall under there! They had everything from purses and jewelry, to clothes, wine and a toy shop. There are also several dining options from fancy to beachside bar.
We explored the beach for a bit and watched the sunset before heading over to ENO Pizzeria for some wood-fired artisan pizza and small plates.
Hold on to your butt because this pizza will knock it right off! We started with a heavenly cheese plate paired with wine. Then Chris and I picked our pizza and discussed how life couldn’t possibly get any better.
Now that’s a good pizza. We decided to head back up to the room to get lots of rest for the next days adventures (I’m getting to the ice skating I promise!) and we were greeted with a fabulous dessert tray in our room.
The service and attention to detail throughout our stay was phenomenal which is saying a lot because they were really busy. I always find some places forget about things like that when they get busy but it’s so important.
Cut to Sunday morning, coffee in hand and sun rising, and I think I’m on top of the world. But that’s when I went to the spa and realized, THIS is the top of the world!
The spa has its own private pool area as well as hot tub, steam room, and private locker room. I fell asleep in my massage (thanks Jennifer!) and took a leisurely stroll to the main pool to meet up with Chan and Chris.
Apparently it’s still warm enough in late November to get in the pool in SoCal. It also helps that the pool was heated to perfection.
We had lunch and fancy drinks poolside before heading back to the suite to get ready for….Skating by the Sea!
The rink is front and center between the hotel and the beach. You can’t miss it because there’s holiday music playing and literally people having a gay old time everywhere.
Channing was nervous to try it but I held her hand as we went around a few times and watched her confidence grow. She was amazing at ice skating. So brave!
The rink itself is pretty big. Honestly I was expecting something much smaller but even though it was packed, we never felt crowded. There was plenty of room for me to show off. Or just not fall. That was my goal.
It’s surreal to skate around an ice rink wearing a fuzzy hat and scarf and look out across the palm trees into the ocean. It’s truly the best of both worlds and something everyone should experience at least once. Chan kept asking why the ice didn’t melt and I told her that’s because hundreds of tiny snowmen were underneath the rink keeping it cold. I don’t think she believed me.
My favorite part was sitting in our private booth rink side at Frostbite. These cozy couches are perfect for families who want a place to sit, have a hot chocolate or adult cocktail and watch the skaters go by.
There’s also food service and again, an amazing staff to get you anything you need. We ordered more cheese (duh) and I had the most heavenly drink called Gnome for the Holidays that I will be trying to recreate from now until next Christmas. It came in this kitschy copper gnome from Absolute vodka and I’ve since added it to my Christmas wish list.
Our server lit the fire pit (did I mention the fire pit?) and we cozied up to listen to Christmas music, and watch the sunset over the ice rink. If it sounds like I’m still dreaming of this setting it’s because I am.
I truly hope it’s moments like this that are etched in my mind, and Channing’s mind, as she grows up. After our bellies and hearts were full, we headed up to our suite for one last night of hotel sleep (the best) and you guessed it, one last look at that sunrise with my coffee in hand.
If you’d like more information on Skating by the Sea or staying at The Del, visit their website at hoteldel.com. And don’t forget to make your reservation at ENO and Frostbite!
*Disclaimer: I was compensated or given complimentary goods and services for my honest review of this hotel. For more information, please visit my disclaimers page.