by Lisa Meyers McClintick
Kids will know they’re going someplace special crossing the expansive bridge from downtown San Diego onto the quiet, family-friendly island of Coronado. Loews’ Resort is about 10 minutes past downtown Coronado shops and restaurants. It sits on the bay side of Coronado’s Silver Strand Road, within walking distance of the Pacific at Silver Strand State Beach.
Loews Coronado guests can enjoy swimming in pools overlooking the marina; taking a gondola ride through the colorful channels; and watching boats come into shipyards at San Diego across the bay.
The bay isn’t a good option for swimming — it looks like mud flats when the tide goes out — but it attracts shorebirds and sailboats. Families can take the Loews shuttle to the beach or walk there using a tunnel painted with ocean scenes beneath Highway 75. Silver Strand State Beach is popular for shell-seeking, sandcastle building, body surfing and sunset strolls. Loews also offers a free shuttle to downtown Coronado and its top-rated beach.
Loews Coronado resort, built in 1992, has five connected buildings with 439 rooms (including 37 suites) that curve around the main pool area. Kids will likely prefer rooms overlooking the pool, but the far side offers views of Navy shipyards and Dole banana boats coming into San Diego harbor.
Lush landscaping wraps around the resort with an herb garden, a small orange grove, palms and flowers that add color to the pool area in particular. It makes it an attractive place to chill out.
Families who crave more action can circle the bay on wave runners, try water skiing, sign up for paddleboard or surf lessons, and bike to downtown for Southern California shopping, oceanfront dining and that kick-back Coronado atmosphere.
Learn more about Loews Hotels and Resorts.
Our Editor Loves
- Large pool area and whirlpools
- Kids' Club with planned activities
- Teen Lounge and spa room
- Theme Park
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
Loews has 439 guestrooms, including 37 suites. Each comes with a television with pay-per-view option, free Wi-Fi, coffee and tea makers and bathrobes. Sumptuous bathrooms offer deep soaking tubs and separate showers. Also, each unit displays a private deck or balcony overlooking the pools, marina, Coronado Bay or lush gardens between buildings. Cribs and rollaway beds are available upon request.
The resort suites feature additional living space with sofa bed and options such as Jacuzzi tubs, full-size refrigerator, fireplace or a dining room space.
This resort is huge and beautiful. There’s so much to do you don’t have to leave but if you want to leave it’s central and easy. There is a shuttle that takes you into town every twenty minutes. The rooms were super clean and nice. I really appreciated all the events they host for the kids. My husband and I liked every cocktail we tried.
We stayed earlier this month and the service was outstanding. What sets Loews apart is the friendliness of the staff. The facility & grounds are well maintained. Juan from Engineering took exceptional care of us> . I look forward to coming back and staying again.
The resort's outdoor centerpiece is its three pools and two whirlpools (one of which is for adults only). Look for special events, such as "dive-in" movies during spring break or summer months.
Seasonal kids' clubs offer GPS scavenger hunts, giant bubbles, make-your-own music videos and magic tricks. Sandcastle building and games are scheduled during holidays and the peak summer season for ages 5 to 12. Full-day sessions are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for $85 per child, which includes lunch. Half-day sessions are from 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 5 p.m. for $50 per child with the option of adding lunch for an additional $10.
Seasonal activities include family cooking classes such as pizza-making, cookie baking, crepes, or S'mores and roasted marshmallows on the Bay Terrace.
Ask a parent what their teen likes to do best, and "Sleep!" could be the answer. If they'd rather chill with video games, their own iPods, DVD movies and fellow teens, there is a room-sized lounge just for them. There also is a game room for kids of all ages next door to it.
The smooth Coronado Bay offers an ideal place to try paddleboarding. It's a fun way to explore the mellow canals. Coronado Surfing Academy also offers group and private surf lessons at the ocean starting at $50.
Loews rents motorboats, sailboats, jet skis, water ski or wakeboard packages, kayaks and paddleboats. Guests who want a sailing experience also can sign up for the two-hour sunset cruise on the resort's 27-foot Catalina for $50 per person.
Grab the resort shuttle, load the car or take the five-minute walk to Silver Strand State Beach for a day on the ocean. Check the resort's activity calendar (available online or at check-in) for special activities such as nature walks on the beach.
Guests can rent a bicycle by the hour or per day. Mountain bikes, kids' bikes and baby trailers are available for rides along the beach or into downtown Coronado. Surrey bikes can accommodate the whole family.
Tennis and Games
The three Plexipave courts below the pool area stay busy with guests taking private or group lessons with the local pro or summer camps at $75 per day. Families also can play Ping-Pong at outdoor tables and challenge each other with oversized chess pieces by the pools.
Loews guests can shop at Sea Shirts for resort wear, Art for Wildlife Gallery II and the Sea Spa Boutique with cosmetics, moisturizers, jewelry, spa wear, and Body Bliss scrubs and body butters.
RRR Market also has items for kids, such as beach hats, whimsical shark- or dolphin-shaped beach bags, hoodie towels, sweets, jewelry and funky shirts that appeal to teens.
This cheery and classic yellow-hued restaurant overlooks the marina with inside and outside seating, Kids' menus and activity books, a combination of regional cuisine and classier versions of well-recognized comfort for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Group Dining at Market Cafe can also accommodate 12 to 25 guests for private dining with three-course, group dinner menus.
Market To Go
In a hurry? Loews guests can grab candy by the pound, pizza by the slice, sandwiches for the beach, giant cookies, cupcakes and baked treats such as Linzer bars 24/7.
This is where grown-ups go for a sophisticated night out and an elegant view of San Diego's glittering skyline and the bridge to Coronado. The global-fusion menu offers many Mediterranean flavors. Younger guests also are welcome and there is a Kid's menu with chicken strips, pasta or Sea Bass.
The juice and smoothie bar specializes in raw, all natural, made-to-order drinks.
This poolside bar also offers burgers, sandwiches and salads.
One of the best seats in the hotel is on the couches surrounding the outdoor fire pit and overlooking the bay and downtown. Cays serves beverages and appetizers indoors or on the spacious terrace. The media wall broadcasts sporting events from the nine flat screen TVs.
Dine any time in your room and special items are available for children.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Loews focuses on fitness in a variety of ways. There is a popular fitness room and classes such as yoga on the beach, BOSU cardio, kickboxing and spinning. Private and group training is also available.
At the onsite spa, the signature treatment is body manipulations and massage that's done while customers float in one of Southern California's only watsu pools, which is kept at body temperature. There are indoor and outdoor massage areas, plus pedicure and manicure stations, beauty salon and whirlpool and steam rooms where guests are welcome to linger in before or after treatments. For a do-it-yourself indulgence, guests can order the Sea Spa Surrender, a $35 room delivery of seasonal cocktail and dessert, plus a fragrant spa scrub and bath soak.
One of the big draws for Loews customers is the welcome it gives pets. Rooms allow cats and dogs, maximum 25 pounds. There are pet walking areas around the resort and even a room-service menu designed just for dogs and cats. Pet walking and pet sitting services are also available.
The Art of Smart Timing
If you have the flexibility, September and October are two of the best months of the year. Prices drop, crowds thin and warm, and balmy weather continues. Depending on the flow of business travelers, you may find the best rates mid-week.
Coronado Island sits 120 miles south of Los Angeles, 16 miles north of the Mexican border and 14 miles from the San Diego International Airport. It's separated from San Diego by a sweeping 2-mile bridge that leads to the 5-square-mile peninsula shared by military bases, residents and resorts that offer approximately 2,000 guestrooms in total.
San Diego also can be reached by Amtrak passenger train. Buses, water taxi and a ferry also shuttle visitors to the Coronado. If you travel by car, valet and self-park are both available for a fee, per night.
You can come and go with a resort parking pass or hop a shuttle to Silver Strand State Beach (a five-minute walk away). Towels, beach chairs, umbrellas and boogie boards available through the Bell Desk.
For Mom and Dad
Loews can help arrange babysitting services with a licensed and trusted sitter. Care providers bring age-appropriate activities.
Take a 50-minute gondola ride for two and let it be a romantic outing for just mom and dad. Striped-shirted gondola drivers set out from the marina next to the resort and steer through the canals of Coronado Cays. Blankets, appetizer or dessert, an ice bucket and glasses are provided. Guests supply their own beverage. Reservations are required at least seven days in advance.
For guests craving learning opportunities and something fresh to do, Loews Resort often has wine-tastings, dance classes, tours of its large herb garden, art classes at the spa, and cocktail mixology classes.
There are more than 50 restaurants on Coronado Island, including a wine bar, lounge and two restaurants that face the sunset and overlook the ocean at Hotel del Coronado. Outdoor fire pits and heaters keep it cozy even on brisk evenings.