Fairmont Grand Del Mar makes quite the first impression. Inspired by the Spanish-influenced architecture of South Florida designer Addison Mizner, this palatial, Mediterranean-style resort rises out of the lush green landscape like a burnt-orange beacon of luxury.
This Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star property is a delightful retreat that tempts you to stay forever with elegant décor and stunning manicured grounds, but these are the four aspects of the property that stand out most to us.
The Outdoor Activities
There is plenty of room to roam on this expansive 400-acre property. And with Southern California’s spectacular year-round weather, you’ll want to do just that. Located adjacent to the more than 4,000-acre Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, the resort offers a variety of outdoor opportunities, such as hiking and horseback riding along 37 miles of nearby trails.
Links lovers will appreciate the Tom Fazio-designed golf course, while those who prefer to do their hitting with a racket can take advantage of the property’s two pro-style tennis courts and even take lessons from former NCAA doubles champion Lynn Lewis.
With eight eateries, ranging from the Five-Star Addison Restaurant to the casual Clubhouse Grill, this San Diego resort is a foodie’s dream. Named for the architect who inspired the property’s European style, Five-Star Addison is the Fairmont Grand Del Mar’s most acclaimed establishment and the best spot in town for a romantic night out. Enormous arched windows overlook the golf course and, situated in the center of the dining room, the restaurant’s wine cellar overflows with a sense of place.
Helmed by chef William Bradley, the venue features a four-course menu of contemporary French cuisine, which he frequently changes depending on the season and local ingredients on hand. Smart diners know to order the wine pairing with dinner, as the chef and sommelier match the cuisine and the sips seamlessly. Even smarter is to request the chef’s tasting menu, which showcases the talented toque’s playful side.
The 21,000-square-foot Five-Star spa — which contains 11 treatment rooms, sauna and steam facilities, hot tubs, a fitness center, the renowned Haim Salon and a gift shop — is getting a facelift, but most of it still remains open, just with a modified treatment menu on offer in the Relaxation Suites. Sorry, gents, but the men’s lounge is temporarily closed during the renovations.
Signature treatments include the Grand Cru facial, which features an application of Repairing Grand Cru Gold Complex —made of an unusual blend of chardonnay, pinot meunier and pinot noir extracts and gold minerals — that’s followed by microdermabrasion and a VitaSkin ultrasound infusion.
When you need some primo pampering, the Grand Day Spa Retreat package — with both a massage and facial followed by a delicious poolside lunch — is an ideal way to spend the morning or afternoon. The enormous outdoor hot tub at the Relaxation Pool provides yet one more place to unwind before or after a treatment.
Four heated outdoor pools provide a picture-perfect way to soak up some of that famous SoCal sunshine. With vanishing edges, underwater speakers, private cabanas and an alfresco bar, these sparkling swimming holes might just convince you to laze the day away beneath the resort’s massive palm trees.
The main resort pool is at the heart of the action with a menu of light bites, a dedicated kid’s zone with a wading area, seating over white sand and fire pits that are just begging for a s’mores roasting. If you prefer a more serene retreat, then make your way to the adults-only relaxation pool. Adjacent to the spa, this is an idyllic spot to unwind pre- or post-massage.