One of Alex and my favorite places to go when we need a quick little escape is the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. It has a five-star rating on Tripadvisor, with reviews raving about its spa treatments, private golf course, kind staff, and the bar at the pool. (Does it get any better than that?) It sits on 400 acres and is just a five-mile drive to the ocean, making it a relaxing option for a luxurious getaway. This resort really is the best damn vacation in California.
The Hotel Atmosphere
The hotel is done in a Mediterranean style, with only 249 rooms, plenty of beautiful landscaping, and old-world architecture and furnishings. Our favorite room is a Prado Suite with a pool view, but honestly, you can’t go wrong here. Even the most basic room generally has a beautiful natural view and lovely furnishings. At 500 sq ft for the smallest room type, you won’t feel cramped. The bathrooms are all marble, with a separate soaking tub and shower, two sinks and plush linens, robes, and more.
Dining at Grand Del Mar
Dining here, you have the premier restaurant, Addison, home to not one, but two chefs’ tasting menus. It’s our favorite special occasion restaurant in all of California (and it’s San Diego’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, so you know it’s delicious). For an alternative, and also extremely good, is Amaya, serving food all day. For breakfast or lunch, I highly recommend the terrace – it feels like you’re in Italy or the South of France. They serve brunch on the weekends including a buffet. We like to take advantage of the Lobby Lounge as well, the drinks are superb and they serve a modified version of the Amaya menu. With views of the garden below and fountains, all you need is to open the terrace doors and you’ll walk straight into heaven. You can also request afternoon tea in the Lobby on select days. How very European! They also serve food all day at the Clubhouse Grill overlooking the golf course. There is an excellent cafe off the lobby serving coffee, gelato, and pastries as well as some deli items open most of the day. And next door to Addison is a nightclub (throwback anyone?).
Relaxation and Pool Time
There are four pools to choose from at the Grand Del Mar, including a children’s pool with: a wading area and white sand beach, a Pool swim up bar, cabanas, and underwater speakers. We prefer the adults only pool adjacent to the Spa where it’s quiet and serene. Drinks and food are served poolside. There’s also tennis, golf, an equestrian center, and a Forbes Five Star rated Spa. Children can spend time in the Explorer’s Club while mom hits the Spa and dad hits the golf course. Yoga classes are part of your stay and I loved watching people take FloatFit classes on floating mats in the Spa pool. The Center for Wellbeing is open 24 hours a day and has the latest in technology. We prefer to relax while we are here, but hey, I admire the commitment.
Our Editor-In-Chief’s Review of Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Fairmont Grand Del Mar is just far enough away from home to feel “away” but close enough so we can be back and forth in practically no time. Plus it’s home to our favorite restaurant in California, Addison. Choose from a five course (amateur!) or a ten course (much better) meal. The first time we ate here, I was just awe struck by each course, some actually gilded with edible gold leaf, each one better than the last and with the most impeccable service.
Every time we come to the Grand Del Mar, we dread leaving and we always debate extending our stay one more night. The grounds are so beautiful, the service so attentive, the hotel so relaxing, and the dining so delicious – it’s one of the best overall experiences locally that I can recommend. We always look forward to our getaways here and can’t wait until we are able to visit again.
What’s your favorite vacation spot? Let us know in the comments!
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