Fall in Love with the Fairmont Grand Del Mar

By Elizabeth Kang

Perched on a throne of 400 acres in the lush Los Penansquitos Canyon Reserve — and just five miles from the beach — the Fairmont Grand Del Mar is an idyllic and luxurious fall getaway. Voted by TripAdvisor travelers as the number one luxury resort in California, tourists and locals alike flock to this stunning resort in summer, but fall is also a wonderful time to visit, when the crowds disperse, the room rates descend, and the weather is warm, clear and crisp.

We recently visited this sophisticated, sprawling resort and the experience left us wanting more. We wanted more days lounging by the sparkling pools, more mornings wandering the pristine grounds, more mouth-watering meals at the Michelin-starred restaurant, and more time exploring the old-world, Mediterranean-inspired grounds.

Whether you’re traveling for a romantic getaway, wellness trip, or family vacation, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar is a top-notch choice for upscale luxury, sophisticated fun, and rejuvenating solitude.

Brimming with opulent fountains, tropical palms, lush lawns, and sweeping views, stepping onto the grounds of the Fairmont Grand Del Mar instantly transports to a world of tranquility and luxury. The seamless, flawless service is exactly what we’ve come to expect from the Fairmont brand.

Accommodations are the ultimate experience in upscale comfort, with spacious, well-appointed rooms, nightly turn-down service, marble bathroom finishes, expansive balconies and sweeping garden and canyon views. There are 249 guest rooms and suites, all tastefully decorated in warm, rich fabrics and colors. A variety of room sizes ensures everyone is perfectly comfortable, with adequate space and privacy.

Del Mar, Hotel, Fairmont, Lifestyle

Room service in your suite or guest room is always a great option, but there are also five other fantastic dining options to choose from on the property, including the Michelin-starred Addison, San Diego’s first two-starred restaurant. Addison is an unforgettable experience, offering an inspired menu that highlights regional ingredients and Southern California influences. Chef William Bradley designs an elevated dining experience with a sumptuous nine-course tasting menu, with the option of paired wine and champagne from the restaurant’s 12,000-bottle wine room.

Other dining options include Amaya, a California-bistro-style eatery serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Golfers and their guests enjoy fish tacos, salads, cold beers and craft cocktails at The Clubhouse Grill, overlooking the fairways. Diners with little ones in tow will appreciate that children ages five years and under eat free at The Clubhouse Grill, while those ages six through 12 receive a 50% discount on menu items. Del Mar Social Club in another fun dining option, offering wood-fired pizzas, craft cocktails and other casual fare on the expansive front lawn. Lawn games, private fire pits, and live music make for a fun, lively and social experience. 

As far as recreation and relaxation goes, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar had us covered, and then some. We loved that there were four gorgeous, temperature-controlled pools to choose from, and an adults’ relaxation pool to enjoy where the joyful screams and splashes of children become a distant memory. The children’s pool is perfectly designed for little ones, with a shallow wading area, and white sand seating areas. Poolside service is available for drinks and light bites, and poolside cabanas are available to rent by the day.

Other fun diversions include horseback riding on picturesque trails, with rides that are accommodating to guests of all ages and experience. There are also electric and BMW bicycles to borrow at the resort, where guests can explore paved trails at their leisure. On foot, there are a whopping 37 miles of hiking trails that begin on the property grounds.

Del Mar, Hotel, Fairmont, Lifestyle
Del Mar, Hotel, Fairmont, Lifestyle

Sporty types will appreciate the resort’s award-winning private golf course “The Grand Golf Club,” designed by Tom Fazio. This challenging yet approachable course features meticulously manicured fairways, dramatic elevations, cooling Pacific breezes, and fun, challenging holes. For even more activity, there are pickle ball courts and a well-equipped fitness center onsite to keep active and on track.

When it’s time to wind down and re-center, the fabulous onsite spa is waiting. The Center For Wellbeing is one of only 60 Forbes Five-Star spas in the world. With a huge menu of inspired treatments, a custom organic product line, and serene, breathtaking surroundings, a spa treatment at the Grand Del Mar is an unforgettable experience that’s not to be missed.

Adult’s traveling with children won’t miss out on spa time or dinner at Addison, thanks to the resort’s onsite “Explorer’s Club” for kids. Here, children can be dropped off in a safe and secure play area that’s fully staffed by trained and licensed professionals. Set free to explore, create, play and socialize, the Explorer’s Club may be the highlight of your child’s trip.

The highlight of our trip, however, is hard to pin down. In between scenic horseback riding adventures, delicious sunset dinners overlooking lush scenery, and lazy afternoons lounging poolside with a refreshing aperol spritz in hand, it’s difficult to say what the best part of a vacation at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar is. The only way to find out is to come stay and decide for yourself. I guarantee your fall hard for this stunning, one-of-a-kind resort.

Farimont Grand Del Mar, 5300 Grand Del Mar Ct, San Diego, CA 92130, www.fairmont.com/san-diego