If you’re in dire need of a vacation want to get away from it all in a gorgeous, low-key environment, where better to beat the winter blues than in sunny San Diego? We highly advise you to put the top down in your Mercedes-Benz convertible so that you can feel the wind in your hair and ocean air on your face, and head to a place that Californians fondly refer to as the “City in Motion.” Here is a guide for where to stay, play, eat, drink and be merry if you have 48 hours in San Diego.
For a truly indulgent getaway, head to the picture perfect town of Coronado, located just on the outskirts of San Diego, which is far away to feel like its own private paradise and close enough to downtown San Diego so you can take advantage of its nightlife. Stay at the Hotel del Coronado, a stunning, historic Victorian-style hotel — it’s 125 years old — with a ton of famous visitors. This is the spot where President William H. Taft said he spent his “first real vacation I have had for years”, where Charlie Chaplin once played polo, where Charles Lindbergh was honored, where Ronald Reagan made the decision to marry his future wife, Nancy, and where President Nixon hosted a state dinner.
It is the place w L. Frank Baum, the writer of The Wizard of Oz, is said to have based his Emerald City on and where Marilyn Monroe filmed Some Like it Hot. It is just as beloved by the modern day A-list, as guests have included Kevin Costner, Whoopie Goldberg, Gene Hackman, Brad Pitt, Madonna, Barbra Streisand and Oprah Winfrey.
It isn’t just the Victorian beauty or the beachfront access of the Del that makes it special, or that makes it so beloved by a whole new generation of guests. It’s newly renovated Beach Village cottages and villages have every modern-day amenity you can imagine. The elegant rooms have French doors that open up to a terrace overlooking the most beautiful beach imaginable. Each have TVs complete with Bose® surround-sound systems, spacious dining areas, great rooms with cozy fireplaces, indulgent beds adorned with 400-thread count linens, unique five-fixture bathrooms and top-of-the-line gourmet kitchens. The Beach Village is truly the spot for VIPS: all of the accommodations here provide gated, direct access to the beach, have their own private valet and check-in area. Even if you aren’t a VIP, you’ll feel like one.
Hotel del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118, (619) 435-6611
If you don’t feel like leaving the beauty of the Del, you’re in luck: it’s high-end eatery, 1500 Ocean, has been dubbed the Best Outdoor Dining spot in San Diego. The eatery features seafood and seasonal produce, with items such as Maine lobster risotto, mustard and herb crusted lamb loin and Moulard duck breast burning up the menu. There are also delightful hand-crafted cocktails using ingredients from the resort’s on-site herb garden that will definitely hit your sweet spot.
If you do feel like having a night on the town downtown, you can’t find a better, more glamorous place that the newly opened Encore Champagne Bar & Dining Room. Champagne enthusiasts will simply sparkle when they see the menu of champagne, champagne and more champagne. The menu of small bites courtesy of Ryan Studebaker really lets the libations shine (and complimenting them perfectly, might we add) with perfect pairing items that include caviar, oysters and fromage. But let’s talk about the champers first. We loved the extensive bellini list — they include pineapple, litchi, pear, peach, raspberry and, our favorite, strawberry — and that there are craft champagne cocktails for the non-purist such as a sparkling hibiscus margarita and a champagne lemongrass mojito. But we were happiest to find a lengthy list of fabulous champagnes from brands like Piper-Heidsieck, Nicolas Feuillatte and Tattinger. We were happiest pairing our bubbly with dishes like a black kale salad with bourbon molasses vin and potato gnocchi with bacon lardon. The sleek, chic decor at this Gaslamp eatery paired with its fabulous menu and great list of libations is sure to make this San Diego’s newest hot spot.Encore Champagne Bar & Dining Room, 531 F St, San Diego, CA 92101, (619) 255-5152 1500 Ocean, 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118, (619) 522-8490
We can honestly say the facial we received at the Del’s spa is one of the best we’ve ever had. After our Vitamin Sea facial (with celebrity favorite organic skincare line Eminence’s Lime Stimulating Masque as an add-on) we walked out with radiant, glowing skin. But it isn’t just the facials here that are ace: the spa offers a variety of treatments and massages that eliminate cellulite, banish sunburn and promote lymphatic drainage. There’s also something for men here: the “Commander in Chief” is tailored for a man’s unique skincare needs and focuses on providing relaxation and wellness. Bonus: he won’t feel girly when you call him “The Commander.” The spa features 21 treatment rooms, relaxation areas for men and women, hydrotherapy tubs and steam rooms. There is also a co-ed private terrace with vanishing-edge pool overlooking the Pacific that provides the ultimate in relaxing retreats.
Spa at the Del, 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA, (619) 522-8100
Driving up the coast, you clearly need a convertible, and you really can’t beat traveling in Mercedes-Benz’s E550 Cabrio convertible. You really need to put the top down and feel the ocean air, as we mentioned before, but what we didn’t say is that you can still stay warm while doing so. If the high temps are in the low sixties — as they were on our trip — you’ll be pleased to know that there are vents on the driver and passenger’s seats that blow warm air on the back of your neck to keep you warm as well as AIRCAP®, an innovative and automatic wind blocking system. The luxury automobile drives like a dream with its 4.6L biturbo V-8 engine, 7-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles and adaptive breaking. It looks stunning as well (as will you when you’re sitting in it) with its leather upholstery, sport body styling, sleek metallic trim and all new dash. Happy haute traveling!
The 2014 E550 Cabio has a MSRP of $67, 300*.