David R. Meldrum, MD
Our 2017 30th UC Comprehensive Postgraduate course on IVF/ET
on Coronado Island at the renowned Hotel Del Coronado was a spectacular success!
Save the dates for next year! July 30 – Aug 1, 2018
Two years ago, we changed to a spectacular new venue! 3-400 professionals each year have travelled from around the world, with attendees from Great Britain, France, Jordan, Nigeria, Argentina, Nepal, Turkey, Australia and many other far-flung countries.
The Del Coronado on Coronado Island in San Diego is one of the most famous and historic hotels in the nation. Over the last two years the hotel and facilities have been extensively renovated and now with Hilton having taken over management, further renovation will continue and the computer processes and procedures will be further updated. We have been able to negotiate a room rate about $100 lower than what was offered by the Santa Barbara Four Seasons and extended at the conference rate for 3 days before and after the meeting. The conference room is like no other I have ever seen. It allows classroom seating for all attendees with room for growth. For Q&A, panels, and breaks, we retracted the blackout blinds and the entire curved back wall became a panoramic view of sand and ocean! (below) A large exhibit hall (the famous Crown room) has given us lots of room for more exhibitors and breakfast and breaks. Next year lunches will be in the interior courtyard of the old section close to the conference room and with ample shade, which had not been possible the last two years on the grass out front (below). Registration Sunday morning will continue to be on a landing outside of the conference room (below). Just walk along the path toward the ocean from outside of the main entrance (below). The Del is unique in owning their section of beach with lounge chairs and umbrellas and watersports available. And don’t miss the famous California sunsets! The hotel is immediately adjacent to the quaint town of Coronado which has a variety of restaurants in different price ranges, and there are alternative accommodations on the island and across the bridge on the mainland for spillover and for those wishing to spend less for lodging. Also there are over 70 B&Bs on the island. The hotel is only 10-15 minutes from Lindbergh Field and there are many more airlines and flights offering connections to San Diego.
Most of you are probably aware of what a great city San Diego is for weather and activities. In late July there is very little fog. The island is close to Old Town across the bay and to the world famous SeaWorld and San Diego Zoo, and within a reasonable drive to Safari Park, LEGOLAND and Disneyland. The other attractions are too numerous to list and make it a place to enjoy year after year for individuals or families (https://www.google.com/#q=what+to+do+in+San+Diego ).
The Santa Barbara Four Seasons was a great venue, but the Del is even more spectacular and allowed us the room we needed to grow. As you can see I am really excited at being able to find such a fabulous venue for the next quarter century of the course!
The historic Del Coronado Hotel
Completed in the late 1880s’, “The Del” has been a southern California landmark for well over a century. Built by the wealthy industrial Barons of the late 19th century, The Del has long been a playground for the rich and famous, the setting for films such as Marilyn Monroe’s “Some like it hot”, and an escape for celebs such as Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Valentino, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn and Mae West wishing to party during prohibition (its basement cisterns, originally built to house water, were reputed to have been secret storage places for booze). Too many celebrities have stayed there to mention them all, but Thomas Edison, Charlie Chaplin, Vincent Price, Babe Ruth, James Stewart, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Kevin Costner, Whoopi Goldberg, Gene Hackman, George Harrison, Brad Pitt, Madonna, Barbra Streisand and Oprah Winfrey are just a few. Presidents Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have been guests at one time or another. The Del was the world’s largest all-wood building at the time and the first hotel to be lit by new-fangled electricity, its installation inspected by none other than Thomas Edison. Interesting vestiges of those times are the extremely wide hallways one can still see on the lower floors of rooms. The help occupied the upper floors which were harder to get to, whereas the ladies of the day needed a lot of room to pass each other in their wide, flowing skirts.
The Del is right on the beach, where guests will be able to relax with lounges and umbrellas and have food and drinks- or better yet, can get their exercise walking for miles along the sand. Numerous water sports are available including surfing, sailing, boating and standup paddle boarding. There is a nearby golf course with ocean views and reasonable green fees.
And there is certainly nothing wrong with just relaxing!
We are sure with all of the attractions San Diego has to offer, many attendees will make it a family vacation, and the hotel has 3 hour camps and 1 hour children’s activities for during the meeting. Fortunately the Del is extending the conference rate for 3 days before and after, so you can enjoy world-famous Sea World and the San Diego Zoo. Even Safari Park, LEGOLAND and Disneyland are close enough to go back and forth.
More things to do:
Rent a bike just to the south along the beach (take a tight U-turn when you get to the dead-end street) at “wheel fun rentals”. Bikes rent for $26-40 for a half day (http://www.wheelfunrentals.com/Locations/Coronado )
There are bike paths that go for a long distance south along the beach, but two very nice shorter bike paths are:
Along the south side of the island past the marina and golf course, past the bridge to the mainland to the east side looking across to the convention center where you can take a frequent ferry boat across to the mainland or have a nice meal and enjoy the view. We enjoy Peohe’s, pictured below. Once on the mainland you can walk to old town or tour an aircraft carrier.
Another short walk or bike ride is north along the sand dunes to the naval base. Start out in front of the pool, past picturesque rocks, sand dunes and coastline with beautiful homes along your right. When you get to the end, cross over the beach, take off your shoes and walk back along the surf!! Note that all water sports are available close by.
Where to eat? We’ll give you a list of places in town, but at the risk of having to stand in line, I’ll tell you where our favorite is. Just go out the front entrance, left to the main street, then right and cross at the crosswalk and you will see the Blue Water Seafood restaurant (below, overlooking the marina). It’s in a historic building where they first installed the new-fangled electricity so they could be sure it didn’t burn down before putting it in the hotel. There has been a Blue Water Grill for many years where we live in Redondo Beach and recently the owners opened others on Catalina Island and now in Coronado. We most enjoy the crab and avocado salad, which is large enough to split, and the rainbow trout (ask for medium rare, no charring and the Mediterranean sauce). Save some room to share a piece of their famous “mud pie”, which is coffee ice cream topped with chocolate and caramel on an Oreo cookie crust (to die for!). Is this Dr. Meldrum, recommending SUGAR? Well, as long as you are insulin sensitive, an occasional sugar hit and the resulting insulin surge stimulates vascular nitric oxide (how is that for rationalization!).
Of course, “The Del” also has great places to eat, either at the less formal Sheerwater restaurant (below), or at their signature restaurant, the 1500 Ocean (below). At both you can dine either inside or outside closer to the sand and coastline. We found the food to be excellent.
Join us at “The Del” next year and for many years to come!
Dave Meldrum, Course Director