Glorietta Bay Inn | A Historic Boutique Hotel & Southern California Gem

by Jenna Lee
Glorietta Bay Inn

Post updated on September 4, 2019

Anybody who knows me very well knows that I spend an inordinate amount of time searching random fares. It’s not that I necessarily do this with the intention of booking any and all cheap flights I find on Momondo. It’s mostly self-inflicted torture. Usually, these searches end with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. However, years of obsessively searching routes has at least taught me how to not overpay for flights. It has also taught me when to not wait on hitting the buy button. I guess what I’m saying is that I wasn’t really planning to go to San Diego, much less Glorietta Bay Inn, but when its $59 each way from OKC for non-stop flights during peak season a weekend away is hard to pass up.

Sitting at Starbucks, I asked two questions before booking. Actually, I asked one question twice. “Do you want to go to San Diego?” My boyfriend said no and my BFF said yes. Flights booked. It was time for a girls trip anyway and it didn’t take long for us to narrow our 3 day plans down to relaxing on Coronado Island. It’s just off the coast of San Diego in Southern California. The island itself is no hidden gem. In fact, it’s history is rooted in tourism with the purchase of Coronado Island and the development of Hotel Del Coronado in the late 1800’s. Amazingly, the Hotel Del still stands eminating luxury and catering to wealthy seaside travelers.

Choosing to Stay at Glorietta Bay Inn in Coronado (San Diego), California

Since Hotel Del Coronado was out of our budget for this trip, I did what I do for every trip. The first place I go to research hotels is on Tripadvisor. I sort hotels in a city based on user ranking and read through reviews. After that, I compare prices and reviews on other sites like Booking. If it’s a chain like Marriott or Hilton, I compare with their respective shopping portals. Tripadvisor is how I found Glorietta Bay Inn. At the time, it was ranked as 3rd best in Coronado and what I found most interesting was the history. The Glorietta Bay Inn in Coronado is actually the original home of John D. Sprecklers, a developer and owner of Hotel Del Coronado.

Who is John Spreckles and Why is Glorietta Bay Inn Historic

John D. Spreckels is pretty famous around Coronado and the San Diego area as a whole. After all, he was all but Coronado’s founding father and one of the most influential men in the development of a desolate San Diego into the booming cosmopolitan we know today. He was an incredible visionary and invested much of his time and wealth into an area he adored and called home for nearly 20 years.

Though he held a few investments in constructions companies along the San Diego wharf, the real story begins when he invested half a million dollars with the Coronado Beach Company, developers of the Hotel Del Coronado. Long story short, by 1890, Spreckels controlled the hotel and he remained the owner until his death in 1926. The hotel was one of many acquisitions and investments that Spreckels made into the city. Others include the newspaper, the rail system, the ferry system and the entire North Island. In fact, at one point, he owned all but 5 parcels of land between Coronado and North Island! That’s part of why Glorietta Bay Inn is so special. This Italian Renaissance style mansion was his dream home and is now a beautiful boutique hotel right across the street from Coronado Beach.

Breakfast terrace at Glorietta Bay in in Coronado
Marble entry way at the Glorietta Bay Inn
Original marble staircase upon entrance.

First Impressions

First impressions set the tone for most experiences. I really feel like the staff at Glorietta Bay Inn knocked it out of the park. First of all, our day started at 2:30 in the morning to catch an early flight. Basically, I arrived one tired and hungry hot mess. Exhaustion I can deal with but when I get hungry, things escalates quickly. Walking into the hotel, it wasn’t even 9 am yet and I was borderline hangry. I was hoping to quickly drop off my bags and find breakfast.

Maybe it’s just because she gave me all the answers I really wanted but the front desk receptionist was, in that moment, my angel. First of all, our room was ready. What a relief to be able to immediately relax and freshen up. Secondly, it was still early enough to enjoy breakfast at the hotel. The breakfast buffet filled with pastries and fresh fruit is still something that stands out about our stay.

Fresh fruit and pastries on the terrace for breakfast

The Room

Settling into the room and being able to freshen up before a long day was a relief. I don’t generally require much from a room aside from a working A/C (or heater), a coffee maker and a decent bed. I do, however, always appreciate when I find them to be spacious. Double bonus when the bathroom isn’t the size of the hall closet!

We chose a two-bed room and honestly, I expected it to be on the smaller size since this is a boutique hotel. I was pleasantly surprised! The room is set up with a sleeping area, a study, a sitting area, a full kitchenette, a dual vanity area and the bathroom with shower. There were also your typical things like a dresser, closet area and safe. Our room was located on the outside of the mansion which meant we had our own outside seating area on a small patio. There was also a quaint little sitting area in the garden just around the corner – a great place to hang out and read a book or, like me, work on your computer. 🙂

While the room was well equipped with all the necessities and then some, I do think something could be done to brighten up the space. Even some curtains and some minimal deco would go a long way. Of course, this isn’t a make or break for me but I think for some people it makes a difference. The room itself had a little bit of a dorm room feel rather than the cozy feel one might expect from a boutique hotel. That said, I’m not one to spend much time in a hotel room anyway so it didn’t bother me. I think the rooms inside the mansion may be staged differently and appear more like a home; however, I can’t be sure because I didn’t go inside any of them. Here are a few images of our room.

double bed room at glorietta bay inn hotel reviews
Comfortable Double Beds
tv on swivel mount
TV positioned to the side with a swivel mount.
kitchenette in the hotel room Glorietta Bay Inn San Diego
Kitchenette with mini-fridge, microwave, and coffee bar.
dining area and study
Study and sitting/dining area.
double vanity and separate bathroom at Glorietta Bay Inn hotel San Diego CA
Dual vanity and separate bathroom with shower.


Everybody wants to know what they can expect from a hotel without additional charges. There’s nothing quite like settling in and figuring out you have to pay an extra $10/day just to flip on the TV before bedtime (yes, that has happened) or, worse, discovering there is no coffee pot as you try to peel your eyes open after waking up (yes, that has also happened).  Here’s a rundown of the complimentary services offered by the Glorietta Bay Inn.


Guests can log in to WIFI at no charge and it actually works very well! I had no connection issues for the duration of my stay.


A simple, but satisfactory breakfast is available for each morning of your stay. The breakfast room is full of various pastries, fresh fruits, boiled eggs, pancakes, and a variety of cereals along with an oatmeal bar. Water, coffee, and a few different juices are also available. You can enjoy your breakfast in the music room or outside on the terrace with the ocean in the distance.

Afternoon Snacks

Lemonade and gingerbread cookies are available in the breakfast room each day between 3:00 and 5:00. It’s a nice little refreshment if you find yourself back at the hotel during the afternoon.

Fresh lemonade every afternoon
An afternoon treat.
Music room inside the main house
The Music Room
Breakfast Terrace Glorietta Bay Inn - hotel reviews
Breakfast Terrace

Heated Pool

If the ocean water is too cool for you to take a dip in, you can take advantage of the hotel’s heated pool. It’s outdoors near the sunny south entrance of the mansion. Many pool supplies and toys are available from the hotel.

Beach Chairs

Glorietta Bay Inn is literally right across the street from Coronado Beach so a walk over is only about 5 minutes. If you don’t mind schlepping your own stuff around, you can save some cash by loaning chairs and an umbrella from the hotel. Glorietta Bay Inn will provide them for your use along with beach towels, just don’t forget to bring it back! The alternative is renting beach chairs once you get to the beach. Personally, we borrowed some towels and made do.

3C and North Island at sunset on Coronado Beach
3C and North Island at sunset.

Should You Stay at Glorietta Bay Inn

All in all, this was a great place to stay. The hospitality was on point and that’s something that I happen to believe separates the great hotel stays from the memorable ones. My fondest hotel memories always involve an exceptional staff. Let’s face it, it feels good to feel like someone really cares and appreciates your decision to stay there. I can honestly say that we never passed by a staff member whether in the lobby or on the grounds without being on the receiving end of a smile and a warm greeting.  Everybody was SO nice and we always felt well taken care of.

Despite the need for updates in some of the rooms, the Inn still had a luxurious feel. I’d really like to go back and stay in the main house. The experience as a whole was well above average and I appreciate the charm and history of the home. We met a few different people around town and it was nice to keep hearing from the locals that Glorietta was hands down the best place in town. If you enjoy boutique hotels or would like a little luxury without the price tag, Glorietta Bay Inn in Coronado is a solid choice.

Other FAQ

What is there to do at Glorietta Bay Inn?

There’s plenty to do at and around Glorietta Bay Inn in Coronado. The hotel offers an outdoor pool at hot tub or you can check out beach chairs from the property and walk across the street to the beach. A beautiful golf course is located less than 2 miles away or you can spend the afternoon shopping. Glorietta Bay Inn is located right on the main strip so you can walk to shops and restaurants or jump on the trolley that circuits the island.

What are the check in and check out times?

Check in is at 3:00 pm and check out is at 11:00 am.

Is breakfast free at Glorietta Bay Inn?

Yes! Breakfast is served in the lobby every morning from 7:00 to 10:30 am. The complimentary breakfast includes bakery items, hard-boiled eggs, and fresh fruits as well as yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, and more. Coffee, tea, milk and a variety of juices are also available.

Does the hotel have on-site parking?

The hotels offers overnight parking access on-site for $15 per night for guests driving to Coronado. If the lot is full, the concierge can help you locate nearby parking.

How to get to Glorietta Bay Inn from the Airport?

If you’re flying in and not planning to rent a car, the easiest and least expensive way to reach the hotel is by Uber. Of course ,taxis are also available but are more expensive than ride-share services like Uber or Lyft.

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