Jet set fine art photographer Gray Malin is famous for his luminous, carefree images, taking us on beach-breeze travels and capturing iconic “moments we want to live within”. Add the legendary Hotel del Coronado and vintage-attired Aqualillies and it’s a match made in heaven!

Visit Coronado: Had you enjoyed a visit to the Hotel del Coronado prior to this shoot? 

Gray Malin: I have always loved the iconic vintage glamor that the Hotel del Coronado evokes. The movie Some Like it Hot perfectly showcases the retro feeling that is just one of the things that makes this hotel so special. I have stayed at the hotel before, a few years back over the July 4th weekend, and it was an all-American blast, roasting s'mores on the beach and seeing the fireworks! I hope to visit again soon with my kids who are now 4 years old and allow them to experience the magic of the hotel.
VC: How would you describe your vision for this photo series?

GM: I wanted to pay homage to the splendor of a timeless day spent at this landmark San Diego hotel. With 1960’s resort lifestyle as my muse, I imagined a unique fine art collection that celebrates design and history, while transporting viewers to the beachside glamor of yesteryear. 
VC: What is your favorite memory associated with the shoot?  

GM: I actually took my whole team to the hotel for the day to see the series hanging in the Hotel Del Coronado Gray Malin suite! (see below) It was so rewarding to celebrate as a team! We had a delicious lunch on property at the Sundeck and attended a launch party around the pool where the Aqualillies even performed a synchronized swim routine for us!
VC: The ladies are enjoying their vintage Vogues, what are your beach essentials?

GM: I always love to have a good book, a card game, sunscreen, my Stanley tumbler to stay hydrated, and stylish sunglasses!
VC: We love the pink ladies with their milkshakes, which image is your favorite? 

GM: I love the uniqueness of Surfing Beauties, Hotel del Coronado - seeing the girls' arms wrapped around the surfboards is so eye-catching and fun!
VC: Any tips for visitors to get their best beach photo?

GM: I always love looking for vibrant colors that contrast with the water. I think it brings a magical feeling to see the light sand next to a colorful umbrella or beach ball.
VC: You are the epitome of jet set, any advice for fellow world travelers?  

GM: Always live in the moment, take in everything you can when you are on vacation. I truly cherish all of the memories I’ve made on vacations with Jeff and my kids, they are so special to me and part of why I wanted to create a brand with the motto: MAKE EVERY DAY A GETAWAY!
Now let's check into the Hotel Del Coronado...
In celebration of Gray Malin's evocative photo series, the Hotel del Coronado has collaborated with Gray's team and Wimberly Interiors (the design firm behind the hotel’s beautifully restored Victorian lobby) to create the Gray Malin Oceanfront Suite, accessorized with a vintage wood surfboard, colorful ottomans, playful throw pillows and, of course, Gray's location beach prints...
VC: How does feel to have a Hotel del suite named for you?

GM: It is such an honor. The suite turned out to be so gorgeous - from the pastel colors, to the ocean side views, adorned with the series artwork, and pieces from my furniture line and products, it is truly such a wonderful blend of my brand and this iconic beachy hotel.

Aside from feeling like you’re stepping into a Gray Malin photo, perks include:

  • Best suite in The Views neighborhood: corner oceanfront unit on top floor
  • “Gray Malin at Hotel del Coronado” artwork in every room
  • Home decor and furniture pieces by Gray Malin
  • Take home your own framed, signed mini print from the series ($199 value)
  • Read Gray’s full set of coffee table books
Gray's new book COASTAL is out now, and you can enjoy further armchair (or sunlounger!) travels from Capri to Cape Cod at graymalin.com 

If you have fallen in love with any of the Hotel del Coronado series you can bring fine art into your home with framed, signed photos ranging from small to limited edition oversized. Which image best sums up your stay?