It’s never that cold in San Diego, but there is an annual winter chill here that’s a welcome tradition. Ice skating at the Hotel Del Coronado is one of our family’s favorite holiday activities, and it just keeps getting better. There’s just something magical about ice skating outdoors, right next to the famous Coronado Beach with waves breaking nearby. Where else but in Southern California could we experience something this special?
As if ice skating on the beach at the Hotel Del Coronado wasn’t cool enough, the hotel is offering an upscale rink side lounge called Frostbite – A Place to Chill. Our family had the chance to check it out, and we all give it big thumbs up!
Ice Skating at the Hotel Del Coronado
Ice skating at the Hotel Del Coronado has long been one of San Diego’s favorite traditions. With sunny days and blue skies practically all year around, San Diego is not the place anyone would normally think of outdoor ice skating. Capitalizing on its beachfront location, the Hotel Del (as locals lovingly call it) puts up an ice rink each year. The rink opens this year on November 22 through the first week or so of January. Locals and guests flock from all over for Skating by the Sea under palm trees with an ocean view. It’s just a one-of-a-kind experience.
Frostbite – A Place to Chill
Now there is even more to the experience. Positioned around two sides of the oval ice rink, Frostbite is a welcome addition and most definitely a good place to chill. Comfortable sofas, padded chairs and tables are circled around private fire pits. These spots available by reservation only, open to both guests of the hotel and outside visitors. Our family’s fire pit had great real estate. We were positioned right at the north end of the rink so we could take in all the fun.
We bundled up and got cozy next to the fire, with twinkling white lights and holiday garlands all around us. With table service offering a limited menu of delicious treats, we ordered hot cocoas for the girls and warm adults beverages for the dads. Everyone was happy with their drinks of choice. Triton tried the Naughty and Spice ($16), made with Avion Silver, St. Germain, apple cider and lemon juice. I enjoyed Gnome for the Holidays ($16), a frothy concoction of Absolut Elyx, Kahlua peppermint mocha, Godiva dark chocolate and Bailey’s.
Nosh and Watch
While skaters both terrific and atrocious made their ways around the rink, we watched with drinks and munchies. Nestled around our private fire pit, we noshed on several menu items worthy of another visit. We tried the Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip ($19), which was slurpilicious with slices of french bread for dipping. The family favorite was the Crispy Short Rib Poppers (6 for $23), which we would go back for again and again.
Pricey But Worth It
Sometimes you have to splurge at the holidays, and this is one of those experiences worth the dollars. For Frostbite, food and beverage minimums are $150 for 1-3 people and $40 per person thereafter (children ages 3 and under are free). A separate $50 reservation fee will be charged upon booking to reserve each lounge. (This is not applicable to the food and beverage minimum.) And tickets for Skating by the Sea are reserved separately for $35. This includes skate rental + 90-minutes of ice skating time is included with each ticket.
Drinks average about $15, and menu items range from $12 to $28. After all, it is the Hotel Del Coronado and unique experiences like this have a special value.
Next time we visit Frostbite, we’re bringing a photographer with us – our iPhone photos at night did not turn out the best but you get the idea. It’s a really fun time, and a holiday tradition we plan on repeating next year.