If you are a fan of classic comedies there is a good chance that you will have watched “Some Like it Hot” more than a few times. The comedy set in 1920’s Chicago and Florida is generally accepted as one of Marilyn Monroe’s best comedy films, and with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon disguised as 20’s flappers it is hard to forget.
Most of the film is set in the “Miami Hotel” in Florida. Hollywood, always looking to save a buck or two, actually just moved down the coast to San Diego for filming, to the wonderful Victorian beachfront hotel, The Del Coronado.
Built in 1888 it was America’s largest hotel, and also the first to be completely lit by electricity. It boasted steam powered elevators, in-room telephones and generated enough electricity to supply the rest of Coronada Island.
The main dining room, The Crown Room is considered an architectural achievement spanning 160 feet by 60 feet without any pillars to interrupt the view. This iconic San Diego venue is also famous for its 33 foot high ceiling, paneled in beautiful Oregon sugar pine. Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum is credited for designing the famous crown chandeliers, which were installed c. 1911. In 1920, an enormous banquet was held here for England’s Prince of Wales, and in 1927 Charles Lindbergh was honored with his own celebration after his successful solo trans-Atlantic flight. Today, the Crown Room’s tradition of elegance continues as it plays host to a spectacular Sunday Brunch.
Today, The Del Coronada is part of the Hilton Group, and boasts not only the original Victorian building but The Cabanas, The Views, Beach Village and Shore House, making this an outstanding south California resort destination, complete with white sand beaches and some of the best chef’s on the west coast.
If the property looks familiar, well they say that imitation is the purest form of flattery. When Disney designed it premier property at Disney World in Orlando, The Grand Floridian, architecturally it gave its more than a passing resemblance to grand old lady of California, the original – Hotel Del Coronado.