The Coast News Group
Older couple at Hotel del Coronado
Standing in the Grand Courtyard of the Hotel del Coronado, Silvergate San Marcos residents Joy Emmerson and her husband, Bill, embarked on a fun-filled day trip for lunch and a historian’s presentation. Courtesy photo
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Silvergate seniors dazzled by holiday trip

Stories of celebrities, heads of state and famous guests who have roamed the halls of the 133-year-old Hotel del Coronado were colorfully shared by a hotel historian this week with current and future residents of Silvergate Retirement Residence, a boutique collection of senior living communities that places a strong focus on lifestyle enrichment for seniors. 

The entire Silvergate family, including nearly 150 residents and guests, gathered together to celebrate the holiday season in grand style.

“Our annual holiday trip to the Hotel Del has become a Silvergate family tradition,” said Joan Rink-Carroll, Executive Director of Silvergate’s San Marcos community, whose residents and guests enjoyed a fine-dining experience in the same grand ballroom where presidents, royalty and celebrities have gathered for more than a century. 

“Rather than being at home alone during the holidays, our residents have an opportunity to come together and enjoy the magic of the season like extended family.  This event – like so many of our outings – is just one more reason why living at Silvergate makes such a difference for seniors who want unique things to do as part of their retirement lifestyle.” 

The entire Silvergate family, including nearly 150 residents and guests, gathered together to celebrate the holiday season in grand style. Courtesy photo

Surrounded by the grandeur and beauty of the Hotel del Coronado at the holiday season, attendees were treated to an hour-long historical overview of the hotel after meandering through an array of holiday decorations in the grand courtyard during Silvergate’s Hotel del Coronado excursion. 

While dining in the hotel’s historic Coronet Room, Silvergate’s guests were enraptured by the stories imparted by Historian and Heritage Manager, Gina Petrone.  In her talk, Petrone recounted the history of the hotel’s colorful owners, including “Sugar King,” John D. Spreckels in 1888.  She told of the escapades of celebrities like Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Joan Crawford, Thomas Edison and Liberace, who was first discovered at The Del. 

Petrone spoke of the many visits by heads of state and dignitaries like President Franklin D. Roosevelt, The Prince of Wales and Ronald Reagan.  She also described the unexplainable activity of the hotel’s ghostly inhabitants whose eerie antics are still reported by guests to this day.  Guests left with a better understanding of the majesty of the hotel and why it is considered a national treasure on the West Coast.

“I wanted to be a part of this outing today because I had never seen this beautiful old Victorian hotel before,” said Joy Emmerson, who has been a Silvergate San Marcos since 2019.  “I thought I would continue to go places like the Hotel Del as I got older, but planning it and actually making it happen just got to be a chore that I never got around to. 

“At Silvergate, they take care of everything and all I have to do is hop on the bus and go enjoy the day with my new friends and neighbors.  Being part of this community is such a great way to live in retirement.  I just love the lifestyle we get to live here.”

“Because our owners are right here in the area, they are able to regularly attend these kinds of events and be engaged with our residents and guests on a more personal level,” said David Nelson, Marketing Director for Silvergate San Marcos. 

“We are so fortunate to have them so closely involved with all of our communities.  They support these types of events because they are the caliber of activities that they would want for themselves and their own family members.  That type of involvement is rare in senior living and really sets us apart from other retirement communities.”

Events & Activities at Silvergate

Planning events that keep seniors active and engaged has long been the aim of the Activities Teams at Silvergate, whose calendar of events are consistently filled with creative ways to keep residents on-the-go and entertained all year round. 

For those interested in learning more about Silvergate San Marcos by participating in a community outing, call David Nelson at (760) 744-4484.  For general information about the independent living, assisted living and memory care, visit