I spent 1 night with my family (7y/o, 5 y/o, and 1 y/o) and another friend's (2 y/o, and 1y/o) checking out this resort (for a potential site for a possible work retreat). I want to preface by saying that I have stayed in a number of other top notch resorts (Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, Ritz Carlton, JW Marriott, La Quinta Reosrt and Spa, etc.) and none can compare. I will try to break it down for you all...
Hotel and Checkin- This is a unique resort in that it is nestled in a gated community. I have never stayed here before and did not know anyone that has (much less heard of it). Upon driving up and valeting (pricey $30 per night), i was impressed to see a beautifully ornate lobby. Check in was a breeze. I requested a connecting room with the other family and that was quickly arranged. The receptionists actually greeted each of my children and offered them a toy from their treasure chest (never seen that before). He then walked us to the bellman and proceeded to lead us to the elevator. Very nice touch.
Rooms: The rooms were on the 2nd floor. Beautifully decorated (made me feel as if I was staying in a palace). The bathroom was large and contained the closet. The bathroom was so large that we were able to put the pack n' play in their for my baby to sleep in. Each room had an espresso machine, as well as complimentary bottled water.
Grounds: Immaculate. Very Very clean. Everything was in place. The pool area was very nice and even had soft white sand around the lounge chairs. They incorporated the golf course nicely and there were amazing views every where you look.
Food/bar: We tried the snack shop (same kitchen as Amaya) once and Amaya twice (Dinner and Breakfast). The food was amazing everytime. Amaya for dinner had a great selection of food. I was not disappointed with anything that I tasted. They also have a huge selection of wine and scotch (my favorite). The lobby bar was great and I had my first taste of Absinthe there. The best thing I had was the complimentary cookie (and bottle of milk) that was provided during the turn-down service. Absolutely wonderful
Golf: The course was in beautiful condition (even though it was at its prime condition). IT is pretty pricey but worth a shot if you are a golf fan. They included a fore caddie (my first experience with one) which made the experience wonderful. The practice facility was top notch (ProV-1 practice balls). Food/drink can be brought to you at anytime during your round. The course is private and closed to the public, thus the rounds are pretty fast pace and never crowded. Awesome golf experience.
Spa: My wife is a self-proclaimed spa connoisseur and proclaims this to be one of the greatest spas that she has ever been too. Well ahead of the highly rated Ojai Valley Inn and Spa and on par with the Montage (Laguna Hill). She couldn't stop talking about the facility and service.
Service: I have saved the best for last. The service is top notch. First class all around. I was expecting a snooty/snobby resort, but I could never have been more wrong. From the bellman to the waitress to the golf person to the cleaning lady, everyone was extremely polite and pleasant. Upon driving up, I initially laughed at the idea that this resort was "family friendly". I thought my family would be stared at and treated rudely, however, I could never have been more wrong. They bent over backwards to cater to my kids and family. They brought over a crib (with baby supplies) immediately. They found out it was my son's birthday and made him feel special the entire stay. They sent up a birthday dessert to the room. They gave him a gelato coupon (as well as one for each member of the family). He felt special the whole stay. There were also so many perks at this resort. I have also never been to a resort that offered 2 hrs of baby sitting (in the explorer club) while you are at your spa treatment. The wives and kids took advantage of the free shuttle (Mercedes Sprinter) to the local mall. Lastly, during our dinner at Amaya, everyone we encountered treated my family as if we were royalty. It wasn't the obvious things that caught my eye, but it was the attention to small details that amazed me. For example, my son was curious about our champagne, so the waiter went and put some Sprite in a decanter and pour it into a champagne glass for them (how awesome is that!). I can't say enough about their service...
Sorry for the long detail, but as you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed our visit. I can honestly say that you will get what you pay for at this resort.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Serenely nestled amidst San Diego's Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve and a mere five miles from the Pacific coastline, The Grand Del Mar seamlessly combines the old-world charm of a Mediterranean estate with the modern luxury of an elegant resort. The result: California's premier triple Five-Star destination and TripAdvisor's #1 Hotel in the United States. Little wonder, given the sun-drenched climate, stunning natural beauty, championship golf course, one of only 41 Five-Star spas in the world, and irresistible dining - epitomized by Addison, Southern California's only Five-Star/Five Diamond restaurant, helmed by Relais and Chateaux Grand Chef William Bradley. From the completely relaxing to the downright invigorating, you'll find a variety of ways to fill your days (and nights) at The Grand Del Mar. Engage in a seasonal mixology class. Take a dip in one of four heated pools. Enjoy an afternoon hike or horseback ride amid the pristine nature preserve. Or, sip signature cocktails at the resort's enticing lounges - all before retreating to your thoughtfully appointed guestroom. Welcome to The Grand life - just east of the Pacific and slightly north of expectations. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Grand Del Mar Hotel San Diego
- Grand Del Mar Hotel
- Grand Del Mar San Diego