Hotel Del Coronado's Topsy Turvy Tree Gets Mixed Reactions

November 26, 2017

For the 2017 holiday season, San Diego's historic Hotel Del Coronado has taken what many see as an unusual approach with its annual lobby Christmas tree - hanging it upside down - and it may have been more divisive than the resort initially intended.

The 21-foot tree has been hung at 'The Del' as part of the hotel's "A Winter of Whimsy" theme. The 129 year-old resort is a Christmas and holiday hotspot in San Diego, embracing the season with fervor ever since 1904, with staff devoting months planning the annual theme for the resort.

"It’s a 'Winter of Whimsy!'", Hotel Del Coronado announced in a Tweet on November 22. "This year’s holiday theme decks our halls in all things bright, including a whimsical upside down lobby tree."

Whatever your opinion is on the Hotel Del Coronado's topsy-turvy holiday decoration, it's certainly become a topic of conversation on a local and national level. The choice of tree has been discussed in NewsweekCosmopolitanTODAY, Country LivingRefinery29, and more. The trend was even a topic on a recent segment on Fox & Friends, where one host related the move to an alleged "war on Christmas". Target and other national retailers, which are selling artificial flipped trees for upwards of $1,000, are promoting the product as a means of conserving floor space and keeping ornaments out of reach of young hands.

The tradition of hanging a Christmas tree upside down from the ceiling is actually time-honored, dating back to Central and Eastern Europe in the seventh century. Although trees and plants have been used to celebrate winter festivals for thousands of years, long before the advent of Christianity, legend has it that Saint Bonafice used the triangular shape of the upside-down Fir tree to explain to pagans the Holy Trinity and represented the crucifixion of Christ. Eventually, the tradition was replaced with the upright Christmas tree, symbolizing the progression toward heaven after death.

This past summer, the iconic 757-room oceanfront resort was taken over by Hilton Hotels, joining the global hospitality company's Curio Collection of unique and upscale properties. The change of management took place more than eight months after a scheduled sale of the hotel by The Del's owner, The Blackstone Group, to China’s Anbang Insurance Co. The Del was one of 16 luxury properties that were part of a proposed sale, and although 15 of the 16 properties were ultimately transferred, the Hotel Del Coronado was pulled from the portfolio after a Treasury Department committee issued security concerns over its proximity to the Coronado Naval Base.

Hotel Del Coronado also recently launched its popular Skating by the Sea outdoor ice rink for the 13th year, open from Thanksgiving Day through New Years Day. Located seaside on Windsor Lawn, the rink features views of the Pacific and Coronado beach, as well as The Del’s fully decorated building, providing a magical backdrop for holiday photos.

Hotel Del Coronado is located at 1500 Orange Avenue in Coronado. For more information, visit