Community Voices: Hotel del Coronado's "Del Beach"

As a friend and I walked down to the beach this past weekend we were in for a very rude surprise.  Beginning at the start of the beach walk, halfway down to the shoreline, from the start of the beach walk all the way to the rocks, were new signs:  Welcome to 'Del Beach',  ask an attendant for help.  Over half of South beach is now seemingly the private property of the Hotel Del Coronado.

There were hundreds of red and white lounges, many cabanas, and one or two shacks set up on this "new" beach. I asked a young man in a white shirt what this was, did they have a permit to take over so much of the beach, and he told me that the beach was private property.  Later when I attempted to walk on that beach I was approached and asked if I needed assistance and basically that I needed to check in with them (and pay?) to step foot on a beach that I have used and grown up with for over 50 years.

I didn't see anything in the local papers, or in my news to prepare me for this.  Is the Del legally allowed to be there?  Oh, did I mention that they sell (and encourage) alcoholic beverages on this new beach! The bar line was long, and there was service to the cabanas and lounges as well.  I thought our beach was a no-alcohol beach?  Why isn't this a huge story?  A huge chunk of our beautiful and pristine beach has been taken over by a single entity and it seems to be okay with our city officials.  Was a deal made that we, the residents don't know about?  Please, find out what is going on here!

I know that tourists are important to our community, and the beach is what brings many of them. But not all our visitors stay at the Del, and allowing one single hotel to claim so much beach front is unfair and unwise. What about the rest of our tourists? and residents who bring their friends and family down to the beach? To see what I saw last weekend sickened me. It looked like a Las Vegas pool scene, but it was our beach.  City leaders, step up and return our beach to it's natural state, where it is open for everyone to use!

Editor's Note:  

Yes, this is legal. spoke to the City of Coronado and they confirmed that the Hotel del Coronado does have a private beach area in front of their hotel in which they may provide or sell services/goods.  There is a public beach around and beyond the private hotel property where they are not allowed to offer 'beach service' (in the photo below, the staked signs represent the end of Del Beach and the beginning of the public beach).  The City monitors the activity to ensure they remain on the private beach.

You can learn more about "Del Beach" here:






Views: 576

Tags: business, community, entertainment

Comment by eCoronado on June 2, 2014 at 11:12am

Hi Cheri, thanks for your post.  We added some additional information at the bottom after hearing back from the City of Coronado.  The Hotel del Coronado is permitted to operate a private beach in front of their business property.  The City of Coronado is aware of "Del Beach" and does monitor it. 

Comment by Cathy Askenasy on June 2, 2014 at 12:49pm

Hi, I walk the beach each morning from The Shores to the Navy fence in the summer. I have not seen the "Del Beach" yet. Will this new beach area impede walking straight along the water's edge along the beach?  Thanks for any info. Cathy

Comment by Leslie Castellanos on June 2, 2014 at 4:28pm

The state of CA owns the tide and submerged land seaward of the high tide line, so you are perfectly within the law to walk on the beach west of the high tide line and water anywhere in the state of CA (unless it's military owned).

Though I really am blown away that the public cannot use the beach in front of the del?  I was under the impression that all of Coronado Beach was a public beach??  I have fond memories of taking my son there when he was young. Too bad residents now can't have the same pleasure.

Comment by Kim Moreno on June 3, 2014 at 7:41am

The new owners of the Del are trying to "push the envelope" about their beach ownership. Nearly every past court decision flies in their face, but they will try and intimidate walkers and sunbathers. It sounds as if the City of Coronado will be a quiet enabler of this overreach. I say we all push back.

Comment by Community Manager on June 3, 2014 at 12:31pm

The story has been updated with a photo of the new Del Beach, as well as as a photo showing the staked signs at the edges of Del Beach.  Here is a closeup of the staked signs as you leave the Del Beach:  

Comment by roberto cornejo on June 9, 2014 at 10:37pm
Oír "good neighbor "" is making a joke of Coronado let's make a "biocot" do not use or recomend the hotel to our friends
Comment by Crystal on July 30, 2015 at 10:51am
My family and I were just there this weekend. Not knowing what the hotel was doing, I asked three people to put their cigarettes and cigars out. I asked nicely and the two people from Texas kindly extinguished their cigars. The one gentleman who wasn't nice extinguished his into the sand and left it for the water to bring back into the ocean. I had heart surgery last year and I'm very sensitive to smoke. The children that were playing in the area are just a sensitive and it amazes me that they have to inhale this.

I'm under the understanding that there is no such thing as a private beach in the state of California unless it's military. This is a shame what the hotel is doing. It's illegal.

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