Spent the weekend of 9/20- 9/22 at the Lodge for our company retreat. This is the 4th year that I have planned this (La Quinta, Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, and The Grand Del Mar) and I must say that we had a wonderful. This review will be from the perspective of hosting a group event here. If you want just the summary...It is advertised as a 5 diamonds resort...I would not go as far as that. It is indeed a fantastic resort but not in the same level as The Grand Del Mar or Montage...more like Park Hyatt Aviara or Ojai Valley Inn.
Service: This definitely sets the true 5 diamonds apart from the other. The Lodge was great, just not FANTASTIC. Moira was our group event coordinator and she was great in following up and making the adjustments. I just didn't feel that she went out of her way to cater to our "event". For example, we almost went over our original number of contracted rooms. Typically, I thought the hotel would be happy and want more guests (inc revenue, inc F&B)...however she said that she wouldn't have enough rooms and would have to put us in another category room...no problem, but she would charge us the difference...c'mon, we will be spending $40,000 plus overall, couldn't you just give it to us at the standard rate??? Another minor issue...We had originally booked a connecting room...you would think they would have made that the priority since I was coordinating this group event...however, upon checkin in, they told me the best they could do was adjacent rooms...I said no way...so they looked further and found connecting rooms (WTH?) but it would be another 1-2 hr wait (at 3pm). I asked if their was a hospitality room that my family could use. They said "No" but we could change in the spa facility...Not what I expected... Their spa coordinator (Alli and Cheri) were fantastic. I couldn't tell you the number of times I had to add or change the spa reservations...they were great. Other services were also good. Including the captain for all of our events. They made sure everything was in order.
Location: Good. Right on the Torrey Pines golf course...I think this really enhances the resort and makes it more appealing. Being next to the main street wasn't a problem. There is a mall about 3 miles away. Great beach view, just not access. Also loved seeing the paragliders throughout the afternoon.
Hotel/rooms: The hotel itself still had a relatively new feel. Did not seem run down and is well cared for. Some might find its design fascinating. The lobby isn't the grandest, but had a really nice view of the ocean and golf course. The hotel itself is reportedly family friendly, however, base on the design and clientele, I probably would not bring my kids here. It is not really set up for kids and is really lacking in their amenities and the design of the hotel. There is no kids club. No kiddie pool. There is a croquet lawn that the kids can run around in...but other than that, nothing really else. The rooms itself was nicely decorated. It is a good size. But to my knowledge, non of the rooms had couches that pulled out (another neg for family friendly). The room had nice bathroom amenities, but not over the top. Wifi was complimentary but spotty. We did not have a view but did have a patio. 1 Fiji bottle of water was comp as was the daily paper. Beds were nice. My biggest issue with the room was the lighting. I like the room bright and I just couldn't achieve it with the lamps there. Maybe that was part of their decorating plan.
Pool/Facility: There is one large pool that ranged from 3-5 feet. The kids enjoyed it even though the weather was on the cooler side. IT was mildly heated. My biggest issue with the pool was that there is a large overhanging pine tree that made the pool pretty dirty by late afternoon. There were cabanas available on a first come first serve basis. Pool service seemed pretty fast. Another point to make about the non kid friendly status of this resort was the location of the jacuzzi. It was located quite far (elevated set up) from the pool and was pretty isolated. It was really nice (seats 7) and have a fantastic view of the golf course. This was perfect for adults to utilize, but not really for kids. The grounds were nicely kept and beautiful. But other than that, there was really not much else.
Restaurants: We had a nice dinner at the Grill. Make sure you make reservations and specify booth or not. The place can get packed around 6pm due to the golfers coming off the course. The outdoor patio did not have heaters so go prepared. The Lodge had one lounge as part of their restaurant. It offered both indoor and outdoor terrace seating. Nice place to hang out (we spent both nights out late on the terrace) and grab a drink. I was a tad disappointed that there was no nightly music entertainment on the weekend. I would have also liked it if they had a fire pit or something to hang out at. The service was good at the Lounge and they had a decent selection of high end liquor. I wasn't impressed with the banquet menu. Our lunch (sandwiches) were not really good. Our dinner buffet (we ordered the most expensive package) was decent. But nothing to rave home about.
Spa: Per the wife (spa expert) it was good. Nothing compared to (once again) the Montage or The Grand. The fitness room looked decent.
Golf: Although not technically part of the resort, it was great to have it right there. You do have to pay a hefty fee to book a group reservation in advance (but at least you have that option). YOu can bill F&B you get on the course to your room. Nothing like playing the South Course.
All in all, I think the golf course really markets for this lodge. Its nice to say that we stayed at Torrey Pines and played the 2008 US Open Course...I would definitely return, but most likely without kids. The whole resort has a prestigious feel and I thought my kids took it down a notch (so I apologize to the other guests..). Overall, we definitely did have a good time.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.