Hey, Weekend: Hotels With History

Treat yourself to a weekend at one of these California properties with a storied past.

  • Category
    Life Outside
  • Written by
    Jennie Nunn
  • Above
    Hotel del Coronado, San Diego

From a refreshed and reconceived midcentury icon in Santa Rosa, to a beloved and historical hotel in San Diego with a new museum, here’s four properties to escape to this summer—and famous guests who have checked-in along the way.

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego


Opened in 1888 by Elisha Babcock, Jr., and Hampton L. Story and long frequented by Hollywood luminaries and dignitaries, the hotel (most commonly as “The Del”) was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977. Next month, the property will debut 217 guest rooms as part of a new beachfront wing, The Views (in the previous Ocean Towers building), replete with an adventure outpost and activity center, a fully restored Front Porch and Lobby, and a new Ice House Museum with guided tours and memorabilia of bygone days.


Guest List: Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Rita Hayworth and Walt Disney

Venice V Hotel, Venice Beach

Inspired by the oceanfront setting, rooms and suites at Venice V (which opens June 18th), fall within three categories: bohemian, artist studio, and surf/skate park. Set within The Waldorf, a historic landmark dating to 1915 that was formerly a favored residence for Hollywood greats and legends, the restored property is fashioned with exposed brick walls, custom wood headboards, and a refurbished elevator with etched bronze doors. Guest experiences that can be arranged upon request include beach yoga, curated picnics, and guided bike tours.


Guest List: Charlie Chaplin, Wallace Beery and Clara Bow

San Ysidro Ranch, Montecito


Since opening in 1893, San Ysidro Ranch has beckoned travelers from around the world with its bucolic setting stretching more than 550 acres. Serving as a well-established citrus ranch with lemon and orange groves in the late 1800s, the secluded refuge located 90 miles north of Los Angeles, features 38 bungalow-style cottages with four-poster beds, fireplaces, private patios, outdoor rain showers, and minibars with complimentary snacks from local vendors. On property, guests have access to 17 miles of hiking trails, a fitness studio, and a heated swimming pool. There’s also a new outdoor spa patio with manicures and pedicures offered in zero-gravity chairs; a brand new pool bar, bocce court, and professional, golf-style putting course (opening next month); and complimentary dining inclusive in the room rate.


Guest List: Bing Crosby, Winston Churchill, Audrey Hepburn and John and Jackie Kennedy

The Flamingo Resort, Santa Rosa


Originally masterminded in 1957 by architect Homer A. Rissman, the 170-room lush hideaway has just undergone a painstaking multimillion-dollar renovation with design touches such as a cantilevered porte-cochère, a lobby mural by San Francisco artist Serge Gay Jr., and an intricate rope sculpture by rope artist Windy Chien. A preferred spot for A-listers and the Hollywood elite, the refreshed, 10-acre midcentury gem includes a 20,000-square-foot full-service health club, fitness center, and spa; two swimming pools; five tennis courts; and just about every offering imaginable from pickle ball and astrology readings, to activities arranged with local partners such as self-guided canoe trips and expert-led photography hikes.


Guest List: Jayne Mansfield and Frankie Avalon

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