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El Cortez Don Room and Terrace

San Diego , CA
CONTACT US
CONTACT US

LOCATION

702 Ash Street, Lobby Level
San Diego, CA US 92101 (map)

PHONE

619-338-8338

WEBSITE

View website
Please let this vendor know that you found them on the WeddingWire Network.

ABOUT US

The Don Room at El Cortez is San Diego’s most beautiful space designed to embrace your most important day. Since 1927 the Don Room has not only served as host site for Presidential... Read more
The Don Room at El Cortez is San Diego’s most beautiful space designed to embrace your most important day. Since 1927 the Don Room has not only served as host site for Presidential parties and numerous special events, but it has also served to hold the delightful memories of couples who have entrusted their special day to this historic site.

The 24 karat carved ceiling imparts a golden glow over guests, and at its heart hangs the original mica glass and gilt chandelier. The intimate shape of the room gives rise to a sense of connection with your guests who have come to unite with you on your most important day. The room adjoins to a 10,000 square foot outdoor patio with an urban fireplace and gently illuminated fountain. Read less
Wedding Venue

PHOTOS

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INFO FOR WEDDING VENUE

When was your venue built?
1927
When was your venue last renovated?
2000
Describe your venue:
Historic Site
Describe the style of your venue
Classic / Traditional, Glamorous, Vintage
What wedding services does your venue provide?
Bridal Shower, Ceremony, Engagement Party, Reception
What is the maximum capacity of your venue?
400
How many event spaces or rooms does your venue offer?
2
Does your venue offer an indoor space?
Yes
Does your venue offer a covered outdoor space?
No
Does your venue offer an uncovered outdoor space?
Yes
Does your venue have on-site accommodations?
No
What is the minimum rental fee for your venue?
2900
Bar Service
Offered in-house
Is bar service included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Beverage Service
Offered in-house
Is beverage service included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Catering
Outside vendors welcome
Event Coordination
Outside vendors welcome
Event Rentals
Offered in-house
Are event rentals included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Lighting and Sound
Offered in-house, Outside vendors welcome
Are lighting and sound included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Linens
Outside vendors welcome
Seating
Offered in-house
Is seating included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Shuttle / Transportation
Outside vendors welcome
Wedding Cake
Outside vendors welcome

REVIEWS

4.7
out of 5.0
4.8/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.7/5.0
4.0/5.0
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Jeff
Wedding:
8/31/2013
5.0/5.0
The Don Room at the El Cortez was the perfect place for our wedding. Jessica Beiriger was incredible kind and helpful all through the preparations. The room was so beautiful - many people told us it was the best wedding they've been too, and I'm sure the room and the terrace - also awesome - were a big part of that. I wouldn't do it anywhere else if I had to do it again. Thanks so much Jessica and everyone at the El Cortez for helping to make our day so incredible!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Lindsay
Wedding:
6/21/2013
5.0/5.0
Jessica was great to work with. We had an amazing wedding.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
We just got married and loooooved everything about this venue! Our wedding was only 75 people, and this space was perfect. Both my husband and I are in the hotel industry (he is in banquets), so we have seen quite a few weddings. Our expectations were already high, and I must say that we were blown away by everything. We planned the wedding from Texas (where we live now), so we were a bit nervous about how everything would turn out. Jessica from the El Cortez set our minds at ease. She was very responsive and knowledgable. Everything went off without a hitch. Both our wedding and reception were in the Don Room (cocktails on the Terrace). The guests commented on how it felt very intimate and just looked beautiful. Ranch events did our catering, and they also did a great job. Our cake was amazing!!! April, the florist provided with Ranch Events, exceeded our expectations with the flowers. DJ Manny from Sound Illusions was also great, and Godfrey, our wedding officiant, was perfect as well. I would defintely do it all over again the exact way we planned. Great job El Cortez and all those involved in making our wedding day great!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Sherry
Wedding:
10/13/2012
5.0/5.0
The Don Room at the El Cortez is beautiful. Our guests and family raved about how beautiful the ballroom was decorated. The ceiling and the floor of the Don Room is one of kind and added to the elegant theme of our wedding. The circular shape of the ballroom allowed everyone a great view of the wedding party and the dance floor. We had our wedding and cocktail reception outside in the patio and again, it was a wonderful venue for both. The fire place was an ideal area for wedding party pictures. We could not have been happier with this venue.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Giovanna
Wedding:
9/30/2012
5.0/5.0
The Don Room at El Cortez was absolutely beautifully and looked amazing with the floral and all other elements. The Bride & Groom could not have chosen a better venue. Jessica Bereiger, Sales, was great to work with. Always available, attentive and reliable. Her and her team were outstanding and don't skip a beat the day of the wedding. Would recommend this venue a million times over!!!!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Kerry
Wedding:
7/28/2012
5.0/5.0
My husband and I loved the Don Room and Terrace. The space is beautiful, the ornate ceiling is stunning. Aside from the beauty, we loved the space because the layout of the Don Room is a complete octagon, with the dance floor in the middle. So, all guests have a fantastic view of the action. In addition, this setup allows for the room to feel full, whether you have 75 guests or 175.
Jessica was our contact at the El Cortez. She was very receptive to our needs and easy to contact. She recommended some great vendors for us as well (Ranch Events, Best Beverage!)
Overall, we would do it again in a heartbeat. The building is full of history, and it perfectly fit our elegant and modern wedding.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Cheri
Wedding:
6/29/2012
5.0/5.0
The terrace and Don Room were set up beautifully for our wedding/reception. Jessica was amazing to work with throughout the whole process. It could not have been better.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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flowers
Wedding:
4/13/2012
5.0/5.0
All these reviews make me want to host my event there! Can anyone give me an idea of how much it cost to host your event?
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Cynthia
Wedding:
1/14/2012
5.0/5.0
Jessica was so amazing and sweet. She really took great care of me during the planning stages. The man in charge of the room that night was the kindest most helpful person as well. The venue is absolutely gorgeous and has so much history. All of my guest assumed that I paid a ton and I didn't. It was magical and affordable!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Mindy
Wedding:
4/8/2011
5.0/5.0
What's not to love?! The Don Room was so incredibly beautiful! We fell in love with it the moment we walked in. Kathy helped us with the different options, days, times, prices etc. She was very nice and always quick to return my calls and emails with any questions I had. The room is perfect for weddings. I'd highly recommend having your wedding there!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Gretchen
Wedding:
8/21/2010
5.0/5.0
The El Cortez Don Room was absolutely beautiful and the outdoor terrace with a fireplace under the stars was so romantic. The staff at the EL Cortez was extremely responsive and helpful and gave us great recommendations for vendors with experience in doing weddings at the El Cortez
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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zabby
Wedding:
8/8/2010
5.0/5.0
We loved everything about the El Cortez for our wedding - there was an outside terrace for the ceremony and an inside room for the reception. Everyone was incredibly friendly and helpful and so accommodating to what we wanted to do. We found the cost to be extremely competitive - especially for what you get. If I had to do it over again, I would definitely pick the same venue
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Maria Ruggeri
Wedding:
7/31/2010
5.0/5.0
The don was breathtaking. When they opened the doors for the guest to come in everyone was blown away on how beautiful it is.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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luisaglz
Wedding:
4/17/2010
5.0/5.0
I fell in love with the Don Room when I saw a video at the Bridal Bazaar. I knew this is where I wanted to get married and my dream came true. Kathi & Jessica were helpful. If you're looking for a classy & beautiful venue, Don Room at the El Cortez is the one.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Brandi
Wedding:
1/19/2008
5.0/5.0
Amazing service. Amazing venue. My guests were blown away!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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stephanie
Wedding:
10/7/2012
4.9/5.0
After visiting at least 20 sites across San Diego County and researching probably over 100, my fiancee and fell for The El Cortez Don Room. We had chosen a venue twice already, only to have contracts fall through due to an unprofessional errors at the last minute. I finally abandoned traditional methods of searching and typed into Yelp "inexpensive wedding venue" for San Diego. I was floored to see El Cortez pop up.

Meeting Kathi Skillman was the greatest part of our planning process. She really knows how to make you feel special!! She was always professional and alarmingly fast in her email return. We were hooked right away. The building is beautiful and the space is really versatile. We knew from the beginning that we didn't want a big white rectangle ballroom. The Octagon ballroom with its rich colors and gorgeous sprawling ceiling, is something you really wont find anywhere else. The history gives it such personality, but it has been flawlessly maintained and doesn't look 'old' at all. They even provide a doorman dressed in El Cortez finery for your event, which gives such a special and personal touch to your guests before even stepping through the door.

The outside terrace is transformable! Its huge! With tons of space for a lounge, cigar bar, photo booth or really any other activity you would want to entertain your guests with.

For the level of event the El Cortez provides, it really is a tremendous deal. If you're looking for an economy wedding, this is not the place. If you're looking for the feel of a 100,000 wedding at less than half the cost, call Kathi. :-)

Love, Nick and Stephanie
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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kellyforonda
Wedding:
7/16/2011
4.9/5.0
As a bride I could not have asked for a better venue. All staff was so helpful, and catered to our every need. The ability to have all options rolled into a package price was exactly what we needed. Although, trying to plan from far away, Kathi worked with us over the phone and through email to answer any and all questions we had. Thank you so much El Cortez for truly making the day a dream come true.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Lindsay
Wedding:
10/6/2012
4.8/5.0
The El Cortez was beautiful! Jessica was our contact and she was very responsive and helpful.. The venue was amazing, clean, ready to go on the day of. The day of staff did an amazing job.. The only thing that may be a little frustrating for some is that they have preferred vendors that you must use so your options are limited.. However, the vendors vary in pricing so you don't have to go in to major debt just to get married there..
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Renee
Wedding:
10/21/2011
4.8/5.0
From the moment I began planning our wedding we received exceptional service from the coordinators at El Cortez, Jessica was beyond helpful and such a pleasure to work with. Highly recommend the Don Room and Terrace, its a beautiful place to get married!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Ron
Wedding:
4/23/2011
4.8/5.0
Absolutely wonderful setting for our wedding! The room is gorgeous, huge, and has a great dance floor. The terrace is huge as well. The decor is classic and classy. The service was incredible as well! Highly recommend.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
Recently Married
4.6/5.0
I have only great things to say about this place.!! Loved, loved, loved having my wedding here!! I worked with Jessica for the entire year prior to my wedding, and she was very responsive and patient the entire time. On the "day of" the door attendants, especially Joe, were fantastic and met all of our needs. The Don Room is truly classic and elegant with it's gold ceilings and octagonal shape, and the outside terrace is spacious and lovely as well. I noticed that a lot of yelpers have complaints about all of the terrible rules here, but I don't agree:--if you can't deal with rules, then you should have your event in your own backyard... seriously, I don't understand your sense of entitlement. I highly recommend the El Cortez as a wedding venue!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Kristen
Wedding:
5/28/2011
4.6/5.0
Its a beautiful venue and the staff are all so nice! Loved my wedding there!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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zynthia79
Wedding:
8/14/2010
4.6/5.0
I love this venue, the moment my husband and I walked into the venue we were in love with El Cortez. The venue is so romantic and just sets the mood. This place really made our wedding day amazing and just perfect. We loved it here and are so glad we had our wedding reception at this gorgeous venue.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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MariahEllis
Wedding:
3/20/2010
4.6/5.0
The Don Room is an amazingly beautiful place to host a wedding! I couldn't believe that it was actually in our budget. They have packages to fit all budgets and even though I felt like we chose the lowest price package it was exceptional! The only disappointment I had was the lack of flexibility with the ceremony rehearsal time. I was told there was another event happening the evening I wanted to do the rehearsal and had to do it that morning (even though some guests hadn't arrived) instead. Once we arrived to the rehearsal we found out there was not another event that evening. Whether it was a misunderstanding, please be sure to schedule your rehearsal as soon as possible.
In the end, I wouldn't change anything about that wonderful day!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Emily
Wedding:
7/25/2009
4.6/5.0
The place is beautiful and the people are very helpful. I am sure all weddings run smoothly there like mine did!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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stephmw
Wedding:
1/2/2010
4.5/5.0
The venue was absolutely beautiful and our guests were blown away. It's a little pricey but it ended up being worth it. They have rules protecting the building, the residents and the wooden floor but they didn't ruin any of our plans. We had both our wedding and reception in the Don Room and our cocktail reception on the terrace. It was gorgeous.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Genie
Wedding:
5/5/2013
4.4/5.0
Fantastic Historic venue. Huge patio, perfect for larger weddings.
I felt the wedding staff was exceptional, just wonderful people.
It is important to be aware that because the Cortez is an apartment building, there are restrictions on noise and music on the patio. All receptions have to end by 10pm at the latest as well, so be prepared to organize an after party for your guests. The Don Room has severe restrictions for the ballroom floor, no rice, petals, vases, decor, etc. on the floor. No exceptions.
Overall, I'm definitely happy with my venue choice!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
El Cortez Don Room and Terrace responded with the following comments:

Thanks so much for this wonderful review! I do wish to clear up a few misnomers. El Cortez is not an apartment building it is a "mixed use venue" with private condominiums located apart from the Don Room and Terrace (commercial space). We do not have "severe" restrictions by any means and for the floor, you simply cannot toss rice as it can leave little holes if someone steps on them, nor toss rose petals as they can stain this beautiful 100 year old floor (spilling wine is a-okay!). Our event hours are 10:00 pm Sunday through Thursday and 11:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays. We loved this gorgeous bride and her very handsome husband and are pleased that they had a positive experience!
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caitlin
Wedding:
6/15/2012
4.4/5.0
The Don Room at El Cortez was absolutely beautiful the day of our wedding. We had Joe as our day of coordinator and he was amazing! He went out of his way to help us and we really appreciated everything he did for us. We also worked with Jessica who was a gem. Overall, we couldn't have picked a better place to have our wedding ceremony and reception; everything came out just the way we planned.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Flash1617
Wedding:
11/7/2009
4.4/5.0
Kathi at the El Cortez was wonderful. They do have a lot of restrictions because it is an apartment building, however she was able to walk us through everything and bend the rules when necessary. Though the fee is a bit high for just the venue, it was well worth it. There is only one event space, so you never have to worry about seeing another bride. The Don Room is just absolutely gorgeous and the staff (including their fabulous door man Nick in vintage costume) are all wonderful. Kathi is also dedicated to helping her brides find quality vendors and will point you in the right direction for the type of wedding you want. Plus the beautiful dance floor can't be beat!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Frances
Wedding:
4/5/2008
4.3/5.0
They have an HOA so they can not be very flexible with some issues. You can not throw anything, have sparklers or play music too loud but the venue is beautiful!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Megan
Wedding:
11/15/2013
4.2/5.0
Choose the don room as my wedding venue. Most amazing room, we had both the ceremony and reception in the room ( requiring a flip to happen) it's was eververy thing I dreamed of and more. The room is beautiful, not much is needed for wall/room decor. The gold Spanish style ceilings and beautiful wood floor make for a classic wedding. Jessica - is quick at responding and knows her stuff! She was extremely helpful through out the whole process.

A couple cons: you are not allowed to take picture in the main hallway. Do have to pay a connivence fee (1000) for vendors that are not on the preferred list. And are not able to use real flowers or fake on the hard wood floor ( it's considered a historic landmark)


Still wouldn't have changed a thing about my wedding though!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
El Cortez Don Room and Terrace responded with the following comments:

What a wonderful review! The only clarification is that we do allow photos in the main hallway or as we call it the "lobby". Flower petals stain our original 1927 hardwood floor but petals are certainly allowed out on the Terrace and as many as your heart desires!
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Steph
Wedding:
4/15/2011
4.2/5.0
The El Cortez is gorgeous wedding venue! We just got married there this spring and we couldn't have asked for a better venue. Everyone was so helpful, returned calls and emails within a day, and provided great customer service. The El Cortez provides packages for your wedding that makes for super easy planning. They do have a "preferred" vendor list that you are required to use but everyone on the list was hand-picked for great service by the El Cortez. Our pictures turned out amazing in the Don Room and I would recommend this historic and elegant wedding venue to anyone!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
4.1/5.0
El Cortez is the perfect classic venue. We booked it for the reception space, but the terrace is the ideal cocktail space. It wasn't our ideal ceremony space, but it turned out beautiful! The staff is unbelievable-by far one of our favorites to work with.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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renata
Wedding:
9/10/2011
4.1/5.0
The El Cortez Venue is absolutely beautiful. My guest were blown away by the Don Room and attached terrace. Jessica (the main sale rep) was a pleasure to work with and provided excellent customer services throughout the wedding process. It was honestly a beautiful beautiful place and I'm so happy i chose it.

The only down fall to the venue is the extremely strict. Small example, before the wedding my bridal party and I arrived to the venue to take pictures and while we were getting organized we were scolded by some weekend representative of the El Cortez (not Jessica) that we were not allow to stand in the hallway (we hadn't been there but 3 seconds) and in full hair, makeup, and dress she made us all stand outside the front door in the blazing sun. We were melting. Long story short, the venue is not cheap and i would have expected them to treat us better.

Side note: They have a partnership with Ranch catering which i had both good and bad experiences with, read review. And one thing i find important to mention is, after hearing that the staff of Ranch catering was known for steeling, my bridesmaids and I made a conscious effort to not leave our purse in the "bridal room" (it's actually just a utility room down a side hallway). However, we had to for 90 minutes (ceremony and cocktail hour) before the reception room was ready. Within that time their purses were raided and all cash was stolen. We notified the El Cortez on-site representative but no actions were taken since the room was down an "accessible hallway" (even though the door was shut) and they suggested a guest (not likely since they were either in the ceremony or on the terrace plus they didnt even know that was a "bridal" room) or a resident might have taken the money (i was surprised they accused a resident). Whatever happened, it happened to me and another bride i personally know who got married there so somethings going on. your call.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
El Cortez Don Room and Terrace responded with the following comments:

El Cortez was not responsible for lost items the night of this event and took great care in assisting individuals in locating items lost and took allegations of theft seriously, which were never substantiated. In the end,
no official theft reports were filed and management was informed they found their "lost" items by the night's end.
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illydust11
Wedding:
11/11/2011
4.0/5.0
Beautify location, the don room is drop dead gorgeous. The over all pricing is not that bad either. The only small complaints we have with the El Cortez is that, because it is condo complex, the rules are pretty strict, and there are a lot of rules. For example no one can be in the front entrance hall way what so ever at any time. We could not even take a picture there. Also they give you a "package deal" Yet you still have to meet with and pay each vendor separately and sign individual contracts with each one. You would think that a package deal means one check. Its more of a here are the vendors you have to use. But they do cut you a pretty good deal. Overall our wedding was amazing, and we would have done it all over again.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Courtney
Wedding:
7/6/2007
3.2/5.0
though we had a few glitches, and they were not exactly accomodating, those things were relatively minor, and the venue is beautiful! i recommend it.
Services Used: Wedding Venue

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702 Ash Street, Lobby Level, San Diego, CA 92101 See On Map
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