Home DESTINATION SPOTLIGHT Senior Travel Destination: The Historic Hotel del Coronado
Senior Travel Destination: The Historic Hotel del Coronado PDF Print E-mail

We seniors often listen to the stand-up comedy lines that begin with, “You know you’re getting old when ....” Well, here’s the latest for me. You know you’re getting old when you realize that one of your favorite movies of all time celebrates its 50th birthday this year. Was it really that long ago when “Some Like It Hot” had its premiere showing at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood on March 29, 1959? Except for star Tony Curtis, now in his mid-80s, all the stars of the film are gone. The all-star cast also included Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, George Raft, Pat O’Brien and Joe E. Brown, and directed by the multi-Academy Award winner, Billy Wilder.

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego


Although the setting of most of the movie was supposed to be in a 1920s Florida beachfront hotel, all was filmed at the famed Hotel Del Coronado, a beautiful resort on an island connected by bridge to the city of San Diego, California. We visited the hotel several years ago, and the unique, Cindarella-castle, red-peaked roof style of the original 1888 structure is still intact, and the inside decor as exquisite as ever.

Except for a contemporary, high-rise hotel annex next door, everything is just about the same as it was when Lemmon, Curtis and Monroe danced, sang, escaped the bad guys and frolicked on the sandy beach there in 1959. Do you remember the ending? It had one of the greatest lines in movie history. Millionaire Joe E. Brown proposes to Jack Lemmon, who has been in female disguise to escape the mob.

After Lemmon, still in drag, gives several reasons why they can’t be married, and Brown answers that it doesn’t matter. Finally, Lemmon pulls off his blonde wig and confesses they can’t get married because he’s a man. The final line from a grinning Brown is, “Well, nobody’s perfect.” And this was two generations before same sex marriage was ever even part of the vocabulary!

Inside the hotel is a gallery of historic photos and artifacts from the 1959 movie and the hotel’s long history. Speaking of hotel history, reports are that the del Coronado was where England's Prince of Wales met local divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson in 1934, and because of their love, Edward gave up his king’s crown two years later to marry her. Maybe that’s why the hotel was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, and recently named one of the top ten resorts in the world by USA Today.

If your travels take you to the San Diego area, make a special trip across the bridge to visit the Hotel del Coronado. Better yet, stay a couple of nights in the magnificant original building. You may be given the room where the Prince met and romanced his lady love, or where Marilyn Monroe once slept in the altogether.        
For more information, check with your favorite hometown or online travel agency, or call (619) 435-6611 or email to www.HotelDel.com.

Stay in-the-know about the latest Sports, Life, Money, Tech, and Travel stories. You'll get your first 2 months of USA TODAY for $25 (charged monthly). All print subscribers receive the e-Newspaper included with their subscription.