Travel & Recreation

A Grand Resort and Spa in Del Mar – World-Class is not a World Away

A magical world unto itself lies just outside of San Diego. It’s found at an amazingly tranquil resort reminiscent of a Mediterranean palace, nestled within the beautiful Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. It’s luxurious and elegant with breathtaking views – the perfect place to stay with your family or to say “I do.” With a Tom Fazio-designed golf course, 47 miles of trails for hiking and cycling, four heated pools, tennis courts, premier dining and a plush spa, there is nothing you can’t do at The Grand Del Mar.

The Mediterranean of Southern California

From the moment glide through the gated entry you are transported into another world. A splendidly green golf course and lush vegetation surround the resort from all angles, much to the surprise of visitors who know how close to the hustle and bustle of San Diego they really  are.

A grand marbled entryway sets the tone of elegance with ornate stone, wrought-iron accents and sweeping archways.  Inspired by famed architect Addison Mizner (1872-1933), who mixed influences from Spain’s palaces, Florence’s decorative arts and France’s sun-washed coastal retreats into his work, The Grand Del Mar easily combines artful details with attention to open space, which lets you bask in soft natural lighting at this Southern California gem.

In the Lap of Luxury

At The Grand Del Mar, there is practically no reason to leave your room. The resort’s 242 rooms transport you to a far-away place, with no attention to detail spared. Beautifully decorated in Mediterranean style, the views from the private balconies do nothing to ruin that illusion. The rooms feature pillow-top beds with Pratesi linens, large marble bathrooms with super-deep European-style soaking tubs, a 40-inch LCD TV, free wireless internet access and plush bathrobes.

The rooms are large and airy with plenty of natural lighting, allowing you to feel comfortable and not cooped up. The resort even offers 31 suites with 1-3 bedrooms and a comfortable parlor area for a true feeling of a home-away-from home.

Amenities and Activities, Oh My!

Should you wish to leave the luxury of your room there is no lack of activities. The Grand Golf Club is San Diego’s only Tom Fazio-designed golf course. With it’s private rolling greens and chaparral-lined hillsides, this premier golf resort offers year-around play for Grand Del Mar guests and villa owners.

The resort’s neighbor is the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve which offers an unparalleled option to explore its rich natural resources and beauty. The Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve features over 500 plant species and 175 types of birds, along with bobcats, raccoons and even mule deer. The Grand Del Mar offers guided hikes through the preserve, or bike rentals for those who want to explore nature on two wheels.

For relaxation or play, the four heated pools offer something for everyone. A children’s pool with wading area, an adult-only relaxation pool, pool bar, sand seating areas, poolside refreshments and glowing fire pits make water play an option from morning ’til night.

The Movement Studio has complimentary fitness classes ranging from yoga to Pilates, and the large fitness center is equipped with much more than you would expect from a “hotel gym.”

If you need more outdoor exercise two pro-style tennis courts with stunning views of the nature preserve allow you to practice your swing. Seasonal tennis clinics are available if you want to brush up on your skills, or private instruction can be arranged.

The Explorer’s club is the perfect solution for kids of all ages who want to play. Video- and board games abound, with structured supervised programs also available. Explorer’s Night In lets kids eat, play and be merry while parents head out for a relaxing dinner or a romantic stroll around the property.

Tastebuds Rejoice

The Grand Del Mar provides food options for all, from casual dining at theAmaya, elegant fare at the Addison, casual restaurant with bar at The Clubhouse Grill, light fare and exceptional drinks at the Lobby Lounge, poolside refreshments, and even a coffee shop/light food pit stop at Cent’ Anni.

The pièce de résistance of dining at The Grand Del Mar is the Addison, run with passion and skill by Chef William Bradley. It is Chef Bradley’s vision that made this fine dining establishment Southern California’s only five-star, five-diamond restaurant. With its outstanding four-course menu anchored by contemporary French influences, world-class wine tasting room and elegant atmosphere, dinner at the Addison is an event, not just a meal.

You have to commit on all fronts”, says Chef Bradley about the Addison experience. “My vision is to be committed to quality and perfection on a daily basis. You’re only as good as your last meal”.

The Grand Del Mar also offers ongoing culinary and mixology classes led by the talented personalities that haven taken the resort the top of its class.

Pampering at Hand

Who was voted “Best Day Spa” by the discerning readers of Luxist? The spa at The Grand Del Mar.  Enveloped in hushed elegance and supporting natural therapies, the coastal canyon spa is the perfect way to unwind, relax and beautify. Every detail at the spa is perfect, from the ability to arrive unnoticed by others in your luxurious room robe, the relaxing and plush waiting area with a choice of teas and sumptuous light snacks, to the soothing treatment rooms where time stands still. The spa aims to connect you to the surrounding nature with rich elements of the earth: calming botanicals, native herbs and warm mineral muds and clays. The spa uses an organic product line custom-made for the resort. Unusual for a spa is that the men’s lounge area is equipped the same as the women’s, so both men and women can bask in the European-style wet rooms and indoor whirlpools. Easy access to the relaxation pool means your spa stay can be extended to include some rest and relaxation poolside.

World Class Is Not a World Away

After The Grand Del Mar has surrounded you in natural beauty and stunning elegance, you will not want to return home. The employees are thoughtful and welcoming, and the ambiance of the European palace is one that you will truly miss. With no finishing touches left undone and no European-looking stone unturned, The Grand Del Mar is an elegant experience you won’t soon forget.

For more information, visit www.thegranddelmar.com

About the author

Helen M. Ryan