On Location: Glorietta Bay Inn, Coronado

Glorietta Bay Inn Coronado

Located in Coronado in San Diego Bay, the beachside Glorietta Bay Inn was formerly the private mansion of John D. Spreckels, the original owner of the legendary Hotel Del Coronado. Accommodations consist of 11 guest rooms in the original building and 89 rooms and suites in a modern.

GM Claudia Ludlow-Gonzalez, pulls me into the open-cubicle offices behind the reservation desk. Unlike any other property, guests are allowed to storm the office and chat with the employees, a scheme that definitely plays a role in the various customer service awards I see hanging on the walls. Sixty percent of the summer guests are return business, Claudia tells me, adding that she even occasionally works behind the reservation desk—unheard of for a GM.

“I’ve gone to the beach in a full suit, just to be with guests,” she says. “They think I’m insane.”

The Glorietta regularly accommodates overflow business for various groups that takeover the Hotel Del Coronado —aka “The Del”—across the street. In fact, board members, planners and C-level executives often book Glorietta for themselves while the rest of the delegates enjoy the Del.

For VIPs in the Glorietta, there’s a 2-person old-style brass elevator that ascends from the lobby up to the 1,000-sf Penthouse Suite, the only room on the top floor. The suite includes a private deck and grandiose views of the bay. From the lobby, all one sees is a door that says, “Private Elevator,” as this was an original component that Spreckels built into the property.

For small groups, the Glorietta accommodates 20 people in its meeting room, which includes an outdoor patio. In the meeting room, as with most of San Diego, the sunlight is beaming just about 95 percent of the year.