Luxurious amenities and first-class service have landed Fairmont Grand Del Mar atop many best-of lists. From overnight shoeshines and daily newspaper delivery to free transportation to nearby beaches, anything you might need has already been thought of by the resort. Beach shuttles even include towels, cold bottled water, and chairs and umbrellas set up by staff. Designed by architect Addison Mizner, the property reflects SoCal inspiration and Old World European and Mediterranean styles. Rooms feature marble bathrooms with soaking tubs, high-end Italian linens, and an espresso machine. Suites up the ante with kitchenettes and separate living rooms, while 4,500-square-foot villas come with such perks as airport transfers, unlimited golf for two, and personalized stationery.
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One of the Grand Del Mar’s selling points is its proximity to Los Peñasquitos Canyon. Explore the preserve, or head to nearby Black Mountain Park for more trails and stunning views of downtown San Diego and even as far as Mexico. La Jolla, a short drive from the resort, has abundant dining options. Head to A.R. Valentien for farmers’ market–sourced brunch fare, including caramel apple sticky buns, homemade granola with Straus yogurt, and lemon-ricotta pancakes. Make a dinner reservation at Herringbone for fresh seafood in a unique indoor setting punctuated by century-old olive trees.
Need to Know
Rooms: 249 rooms, 31 suites. From $495. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Addison, the resort’s signature restaurant, approaches locally sourced ingredients with modern French techniques. Choose from a four-course or chef’s tasting menu. Seasonal options may include Kobe beef short ribs and coffee-roasted duck. Amaya serves Mediterranean cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with golf course views. Try the ahi tuna niçoise or the Catalan-style shrimp. For something more relaxed, the Clubhouse Grill serves such comfort fare as chicken ’n’ waffles and a signature burger. The Library offers afternoon tea, and the Lounge does appetizers and classic cocktails. You can also find an Italian café with sandwiches and gelato, as well as Poolside, where smoothies and snacks fuel swimming bouts. Spa and gym details:The spa provides a variety of treatments, from facials and massages to mud wraps and scrubs, in 11 designer treatment rooms. Haim Salon has a full menu of nail and hair services. Guests have access to both a 24-hour fitness center and a movement studio that offers daily classes.
Who's it for: Well-heeled couples and business travelers in search of the ultimate luxury resort experience. Our favorite rooms: The 1,100-square-foot Palazzo suites overlook the golf course and include a fireplace, kitchenette, and patio. For the best views of the nearby Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, request a room on the third floor. Local highlight: Two-hour guided hikes led by a naturalist leave from the Grand Del Mar every Saturday at 8 a.m. You’ll follow a trailhead that goes through Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve and past a waterfall before returning to the hotel in time for brunch.