California is a delightfully diverse destination with a colorful history. Long a magnet for visitors with its warm weather, spectacular scenery and reputation where fortunes can be made if you’re willing to take a chance, California is understandably chock full of hotels with histories as interesting as the state in which they reside. From seaside resorts and legendary cruise ships to Hollywood playgrounds for the rich and famous and desert oases, California’s historic hotels are fantastic and fascinating.
10. Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado Island
The Hotel Del Coronado, aka, The Del, has been a legendary resort from the moment it opened on Coronado Island in 1888. It attracted a wealthy clientele, with elegant amenities like electricity, telephones, elevators and even private bathrooms. In fact, it was one of the largest buildings in the U.S.to have electric lights when it opened. A sunny playground for the rich, it offered billiards, bowling, croquet, boating, cycling, archery, golf, swimming and fine dining. Meticulously maintained to present day, the 28-acre, 757-room resort has been a haven for Hollywood’s elite and a backdrop for many films and TV shows. In 1918, Rudolph Valentino starred in “The Married Virgin” there, while Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis filmed “Some Like It Hot” on The Del’s beach. The ghost of Kate Morgan is among The Del’s most famous celebrities. She has been a ‘guest’ since she died there in 1892.