I had overheard quite a bit of buzz about this two-plus-year-old property, just north of downtown San Diego tucked in the sprawling hills of Del Mar. Granted all the talk had been glowing, but it wasn’t until I recently experienced that often discussed destination for myself that I truly understood what everyone was raving about.
Recommended Resort: The Grand Del Mar. Think of it as staying at an affluent (very affluent) friend’s glorious villa in the heart of Tuscany. Doesn’t everyone have one of those? Truly, it really feels like that…or at least I imagine it to be. The property IS enormous, expanding well beyond 249-room centerpiece building to include an expansive golf course, private villas, a 5-star restaurant and more. Yet, you feel like a special guest at some marvelous Mediterranean estate, on the outskirts of a nearby village (though, truthfully, the freeway is just over the hill). Much of this can be accredited to the thoughtful design, inspired by the indelible creations of 1920s architect Addison Mizner. This integration of structure, décor and landscape also boasts a rich combination of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Moroccan influences. From the minute you pull up to the driveway rotunda, prepare yourself to be fully transported into old-world elegance mixed with new-world luxury.
Check In: The Grand Del Mar, 5300 Grand Del Mar Court, San Diego. 888-314-2030, thegranddelmar.com.
Check Out: The Spa – A 21,000-square-foot facility with gorgeous club-style locker rooms and wonderful wet rooms. I can only speak for the one treatment I enjoyed, but from what I hear, they are all amazing. My morning of bliss was aptly named the Renaissance, a mixture of mineral mud, Swiss shower and relaxing massage. If reviving the senses was the goal…mission accomplished. I also recommend one (or three) of the resort’s outdoor activities. From the high-tech services at the Golf Club, which enjoys a magnificent Tom Fazio-designed course, to a canyon walk with passionate naturalist guide, to tennis lessons with pro, there are plenty of reasons to take advantage of the entire property.
Don’t Miss: Addison. This is the signature restaurant of the property and one of the premier dining experiences in San Diego, and California for that matter. Executive Chef William Bradley served us an impeccable four-course meal, each plate competing for the title of “most delicious.” The food was creative, beautifully plated, often witty and, best of all, absolutely scrumptious. Jesse Rodriquez, the Wine Director, also poured some fabulous bottles, from crisp bubbly to complex reds and everything in between. The elegant ambiance and staff were likewise highlights of the evening, both a glowing standard throughout this exceptional resort. Go. Now.
Blog Post by Always a Bridesmaid Columnist Darren Elms.
Photos courtesy of Grand Del Mar.