The Grand Del Mar wants to wrap its arms around you.
Southern California's most luxurious resort, just up the highway from San Diego, is itself wrapped in the midst of the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve five miles from the Pacific Ocean and a pleasant jaunt to the quaint village of Del Mar.
From the time it opened in 2007, the resort has put the grand in the Grand Del Mar. Its opulent Mediterranean design pays homage to the grand estates conceived by Addison Mizner in Palm Beach—there's some Spain here, some France there, some Italy around the corner.
And all of it is lush and aesthetically appealing, if not downright inspiring: Italian marble, Venetian plastered walls, Portuguese tile, ceilings with murals, burled wood. The 249 rooms and suites are as comfy as they are elegant. There's even a chapel.
The Grand Del Mar is an indulgent place for all manner of guests. It's both an adult retreat and a family destination.
If it's a pampering experience you want, then fine dining at Addison and the treatments at The Spa will be your thing. Award-winning chef William Bradley will arouse your taste buds with his savory offerings that have made the restaurant a culinary destination for the San Diego area (his fish dishes are sublime).
The Spa has a large menu of treatments, and conducts the Explorer Program, which will tend to the children while mom and dad are being tended to by the spa staff.
Golf at the Grand Del Mar is of the highest order. The Tom Fazio-designed course makes the most of its setting in the Los Peñasquitos Canyon and is as much a nature tour as a day of ball bashing. The flora and fauna are a treat.
Under director of golf Shawn Cox, the superb professional staff is available for lessons, from an intense regimen to a session with a few laughs thrown in. The facility maintains a membership club, and Cox can set you up with a member if you would like to play with someone who knows the course.
In fact, the Grand Del Mar feels like a club. And that's because its ultimate opulence is a staff that wraps its arms around you.