When it comes to writing “Coffee & Chiffon,” I tend to keep things as light and as stress-free as possible. I try not to get political or discuss current events too much- typically saving up that energy for my recap of all the headlines from over the year for a pre-NYE post (which I’ve recently started drafting and let me tell you, it’s a doozy already.)
While I consider myself to be pretty outspoken to the point of obnoxiousness, and maybe even an activist for the things I believe in throughout my every day life and on some forms of social media- “Coffee & Chiffon” is, in many ways, my escape from the doom and gloom in the world. Here, I can write about food, makeup, fashion, my travel (albeit limited in the pandemic) and feel at peace for 20-30 minutes a few times a week.
So, with yesterday’s election being an emotionally and mentally draining experience to get through- I thought I’d share the afternoon I spent in Coronado last week during my brief stay in California, and specifically- my time at one of the most famous (and possibly haunted!) hotels in California.
Opened in the Winter of 1888, the Hotel del Coronado- a sprawling wooden Victorian beach resort just across the way from San Diego Bay- quickly became the “must visit” spot for vacationing celebrities, politicians and royalty with it’s impressive amenities and scenic surroundings. The resort, picturesque and majestic all on it’s own- was frequently used as a backdrop in popular movies- including “Some Like It Hot” and “My Blue Heaven.”
And, like most historic hotels that have been around for over a century- the Hotel del Coronado is not without darker parts of it’s past, too. In 1904, vaudeville actress Isadore Rush drowned on the beach beyond the hotel- but it was the 1892 death of Kate Morgan that is perhaps the most intriguing. After checking into the hotel under a fake name in November of that year- Kate was found dead three days later from a gunshot wound to the head on an exterior staircase that led from the hotel to the beach.
While the wound was eventually determined to have been self-inflicted- the coroner’s report indicated that the bullet located was not a match to the gun Kate had on her at the time- and the case has neither been reopened or “solved.”
Since then, it’s rumored that Kate’s ghost haunts the hallways and the lobby of the resort. Of course, the hotel has used this unsettling story to their advantage- and when I was exploring the grounds- they had a whole set up for Kate and her story in the central courtyard in preparation for Halloween.
The hotel itself is beautiful. The grounds are immaculate and the building, despite it’s age- is still so well-maintained and gorgeous. Most impressive of all, though- is the Crown Room- a stunning dining hall I sort of stumbled into by accident while walking around. The ceiling and crown-shaped chandeliers actually stopped me in my tracks and made me gasp.
The hotel also houses a couple of shops I was able to poke around in before I had to head back to downtown San Diego to prepare for plans I’d made.
And, while I didn’t spot any ghosts during my short stay- I did fall in love with the place. I’d love to stay there sometime! Maybe for my 2021 “To Do” list?
We’ll just have to wait and see!