Enjoy fall by the ocean at Southern California beach hotels

Locals call it the Del: The San Diego hotel has been a part of their lives since 1888 and has served guests since then, with the exception of three months last year during pandemic-related shutdowns.

Like many hotels, the Del has put the COVID-19 shutdown to good use, progressing into a three-year, $ 400 million facelift.

“We failed to make memories with you,” the hotel tweeted to guests, adding that it had upgraded the pool and added beachfront rooms with fire pits during the shutdown.

Some of the new Cabana rooms overlook the pool, others are steps from the sand and have large decks, walk-in showers, and concrete fireplaces.

The hotel has redesigned the main entrance, modernized its dining rooms, added more bedrooms and extensively renovated its porch and lobby.

If you’re a fan of the 1959 Marilyn Monroe movie “Some Like It Hot”, you might remember the porch scene filmed here. The large veranda seen in the movie disappeared in 1961, but now it’s back. The designers restored it, as well as the lobby, removing layers of non-historic additions.

But the most dramatic change is the hotel entrance, complete with a porte-cochere and central fountain, which now offers arriving guests a grand view of the iconic building and its red-roofed turret.

Further changes are underway, with renovations due to be completed next summer. The master plan includes a new residential-style complex called Shore House, which will bring the hotel’s number of rooms to 902.

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