I’m Megan, former OHLA intern! I know how busy the OHLA office can get and the team there has been on the road for two weeks straight. As any good former intern would, I thought I would lend a hand and tell you about a recent trip I made!
I’ve recently had the chance to explore the west coast. I am originally from Maine and I am no stranger to the coastline, but like many have told me and now I can confirm, the west coast is a different experience. I graduated from college in the spring and I am finally getting to travel more and now, I undeniably have the travel bug.
My trip began in San Francisco, where I was able to explore the bay area on foot. Which, by the way, I thought was impossible but 12 miles later, we did it. From there we traveled south down the Highway 1 to Big Sur and Monterey, then Venice Beach and finally San Diego. While we stayed in great places along the way, the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego was by far the most historic, luxurious and beautiful.
The Hotel Del Coronado opened in 1888 and resides on Coronado Island, right over the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, minutes from downtown. The
iconic red roof is the first thing you see when approaching the island. The grand entrance leads to a lobby of elegant original wood architecture met with a historic brass elevator and amazing service.
The Hotel Del Coronado had everything you could ever want when on vacation. Beach front, multiple pools and hot tubs, water activities, spa, five beachfront restaurants and bars and the famous Sunday brunch in the historic Crown Room (with a build your own donut bar!). We stayed in the King Resort room with a gorgeous view of the lush courtyard. Despite the cloudy day and breezy weather, we were able to enjoy the beach, pool, and hot tub before getting a front row beach view of the sunset.
My biggest thing I stress when I travel is making reservations. I spend a lot of time researching the best places to eat and drink, so I want to make sure I get to try them. Even when getting a bite in at home in Columbus, it’s always best practice to think ahead (I worked in the service industry for a long time..I know a few things!). So for our two Thursday night endeavors, I made reservations ahead of time in the Gaslamp Quarter at Searsucker and Noble Experiment.
Searsucker is upscale contemporary American fare restaurant, that featured lots of small plates (my favorite) and exquisite entrees. We devoured a savory beef tartar, a fresh salad with duck fat fries and shrimp and grits. The open kitchen, lively bar and rustic lighting was the perfect atmosphere for a relaxed dinner and a couple craft cocktails (pro tip: get the Moulin Rouge).
We made a quick pit-stop to try out a few more drinks at a bar our server recommended, Rustic Root. They had an extravagant roof top bar with a great view over Fifth Avenue and even better atmosphere. The gas fire pits, animal shaped bushes and street lamps on the roof showed character and gave a feel for the neighborhood.
The next stop is a hidden gem in the Gaslamp Quarter – literally hidden. In the back of the bar neighborhood, you’ll find a wall of beer kegs that turn out to be a large door. The Noble Experiment Speakeasy is a fine craft cocktail bar that focuses on providing personalized experiences and delicious drinks. Some friends recommended we check it out and we were not disappointed.
Their embossed 17th-century font menus featured classics and their takes on those classics. For the second round we went off menu and the bartender, Nathaniel, crafted us drinks based on what we like. We were not disappointed and even got a 10% OHIO discount!
Overall the biggest thing that stood out to me, besides the obviously beautiful view that Hotel Del Coronado offered, was the customer service. From the moment we pulled up to the Hotel Del Coronado, the staff was more than accommodating. The quick and easy bag service, fast, pain-free check-in, the friendly and helpful staff is what made our stay.
I highly recommend the Hotel Del Coronado if you’re heading to San Diego, I feel like it’s the only way to truly experience vacation. It also doesn’t hurt that San Diego was my favorite city on this trip, even though I spent the least time there. It has a lot to offer and I am eager to head back at some point to explore further!