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“terrific overall experience”

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Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Ranked #3 of 286 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed January 15, 2012

Attended a business conference at this resort last week and found it exceptional. Top shelf service from beginning to end. The rooms are beautiful, spacious and everything I expected. Food and lounge service was very good. One dinner at Amaya and I had no idea that such a high-end restaurant was on property. The golf course is quite challenging (lot of elevation changes) and my one complaint was poor forecaddy service. I jogged the trails in the hills behind the resort and loved the back-to-nature aspect just steps away from the pool and tennis center. An interesting service element - staff steps to the side of the hallway as you pass and always says hello. Unique. Truly one of the nicer places I've stayed.

Room Tip: Rooms at the end of the hall are quite a walk from the center of the hotel/lobby.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled on business
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4  Thank jlfor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 12, 2012

My family ( 13 y/o and 10 y/o, husband) stayed for 2 days on Jan 1-3rd. It is an incredible place and all of the excellent comments are spot on! It's too bad that nowadays you have to pay alot to get attentine, friendly service and a clean beautiful room, but if you can splurge- DO IT! It was a beautiful weekend, with great weather, and fortunately we arrived just as the holiday crowd was leaving. We lounged by the pool, went horse back riding and just had a relaxing couple of days. My kids were sad to leave, and are already planning our return.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Chasity N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2012

This weekend was a one of the best experiences we have ever had! The service was wonderful; everyone went above and beyond to make our time very special.

  • Stayed: January 2012
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2  Thank SuzanneCC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2012

I stay in San Diego / Carlsbad are a couple of times a year, and I've had some disappointing experiences in the hotels; my guess is that with the neve-rending supply of tourists the hotels have a steady stream of customers no matter how bad they are. Over the years this has led me up the food chain of hotels in the area, culminating this past Thanksgiving with a 5-day stay at the Grand Del Mar.

Location: Far from the city proper and the beach. Think of it as a retreat.

First impression upon driving up: I know someone's going to tell you it's chic, but the Grand Del Mar looks like the architectural love child of Hearst Castle and a Rapallo waterfront hotel.

Car valet: I don't grok the "cars impart status" meme. I drive a Subaru Forester - very practical. After driving down I-5 from San Fran, my car looked like a dirty little troll next to all the Escalades, Mercedes, Audis, and BMWs in front of the Del Mar. Whatever.

Front desk: Impeccable service at check-in. We asked for accommodations near the adult pool. Because I'd asked for a suite and one wasn't available, they gave us a room with an unusually large balcony. Thank you, front desk man. A+

Room: The room was extremely clean and about 1.5x the size of a typical hotel room, with fresh furnishings and upholstery. The bed was too soft for my taste but other people will probably like it. The bathroom was modern and spacious as well - lots of stone and glass and mirrors but didn't tip over into the Vegas Zone. Shampoos and lotions were of good quality. Overall, the room met expectations given the price.

Room service: Completely awesome. Everything we ordered was always correct, on time, warm, well-prepared, and well-presented.

Pool: I often choose hotels because I want to do lap swimming. The Del Mar's adult pool (they call it the Quiet Pool) was definitely usable for this purpose. It's longer than 25 meters, super clean, and non-crowded in November (I was often the only one in the pool). However, it's way too warm for exercise. Also, there was new age music playing *underwater* at one end of the pool, which was a little weird till I figured out that I wasn't experiencing auditory hallucinations. After my swim an attendant unobtrusively brought me a glass of ice water, which was a first for me and a very nice touch. He also brought a menu, and if the day had been warmer I'd have ordered lunch and some sort of fruity cocktail - the pool area just puts you in that sort of mood. Overall, I'd give the Quiet Pool and its surroundings an A for design and service, B- for lap swimming.

Grounds: Cutesy, utterly non-creative landscape-design. Very well-manicured. Lots of courtyards, fountains, gazebos, tiny privet hedges, rose trees, citrus in amphorae, and other cliche'd frou-frou, but it's restful to the eye. There's a croquet lawn with a St. Francis statue, and we often saw people playing, which was anachronistically delightful. I very much enjoyed watching the Brits turning croquet into an extreme sport... don't ask. B- for the grounds because they was sort of fun to stroll through. Once.

Addison restaurant: We had Thanksgiving dinner at Addison. The food was very good but no way was it worth $600 for two people. Service was good but a little slow - I'd give them a pass on this because it was Thanksgiving, but the restaurant was over half empty. I checked the prices on the wines we were offered on my phone: they were selling $18 bottles of wine for $80+. Not unusual, I guess, but I wouldn't eat here again.

Amaya restaurant: We had brunch and lunch on Amaya's heated patio several times - everything was delicious and the service was great. They even brought a water bowl for our dog, and let him sit under the table while we ate. Top notch casual dining! A+!

Golf course: Dunno. The grass was green and rolling and there were holes here and there for balls to roll in and dudes dressed all preppy and plaid-y driving little clown cars around. Some people like this sort of thing.

Hiking and horseback riding: Ok, this is not a hiking destination but we were traveling with our dog, and he's large and needs exercise. So I took him out on the Del Mar's horseback riding trails. I appreciated the convenience of having a trail on-site. The horseback riding is for the kiddies: just a couple extremely agreeable horses, and some short trails 'round the golf course. Kids under 12 will like it fine. Hiking D-, dog-walking A, horses B+.

Dog friendly: Their website says they're dog-friendly, and before booking my reservation I called to confirm - we were showing up on Thanksgiving day and I didn't want to have any problems. The agent assured me that our dog would be welcome. And sure enough, when we checked in, nobody raised an eyebrow when we walked in with our 80-lb Rottie mix. HOWEVER. In our room, the binder of hotel services said that they only welcome dogs under 25 lbs. Nobody questioned us or gave us a hard time in the 5 days we were there, but we were *aware* that he wasn't really supposed to be there. It cast a bit of a pall on our whole stay. One big demerit to the Del Mar for not stating this on their website or when I called.

Overall, the hotel was expensive but served up the value. The food at Amaya and from room service was very good. The room was nice and the pool was usable for lap swimming. The place is a tad clubby / smug with itself, but after 5 days I felt relaxed and as if I had been well cared for, so I might return anyway. I still feel bad about the dog, though.

Room Tip: Rooms on the near side of the Quiet Pool will not get any sun in the winter. If you want sunlight st...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank drustrange
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2012

Gang, please know that this is one of the best properties that I have visited in a long time. I can give our experience here an unadulterated "excellent" rating.

It appears that "all" the rooms are well appointed with views of the beautiful courtyards or pool areas. Bathrooms have carrera marble with beautiful double vanity. Butlers pantry area is nice touch. If it feels that I am in love with this property, you would be correct.

Staff is very friendly and professional, without being pretentious .

It is about a 25 minute car drive from the San Diego airport to this hotel. The taxi fare is about $60 one way.

  • Stayed: January 2012
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1  Thank Wetravelthere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

This property is nested in a secluded area of San Diego. As you pass the gated area, the attendant will check your name and the front desk will have all your documents ready by the time you arrive at the hotel entrance.

You will be spoiled from the minute you check in. We arrived at the hotel on December 25 for 5 blissful days. We checked in and after a warm welcome extended by the staff we were given a small hot towel at the reception desk to freshen up. In the lobby hot cider and sweets were being served.

We walked around the manicured Christmas grounds and admired the splendor of the hotel. Our room was on the first floor and faced the relaxation pool. The terrace in our room was the perfect place to relax in the afternoon while enjoying the sun. The room was more like a suite very spacious and impeccable in every detail. The amenities included a Nespresso coffee machine and a fully stocked refrigerator and bar.

In the evening, the maid turned down our bed and left a nice touch of rose petals and chocolates next to our bed and the oversized tub in the bathroom. The bell man will offer to shine your shoes at night and have them ready for the next day. The room was cleaned promptly every day and attention was given to details to make sure it remained impeccably clean.

Concierge services were excellent and they would go out of their way to help make sure our stay had all the options we wanted. The large foyer has 2 fireplaces and we enjoyed having drinks and listening to live music in the evening.

We visited the main dining room every day for breakfast and sat outside. The waiter staff was very attentive to details and made sure our meals arrived promptly and warm.

Did I mention that there is a gorgeous golf course? Horseback riding and tennis are also available. And let’s not forget a great spa to be fully pampered.

Alas, we had to leave. I cannot say enough about this 5 Star Resort. It was a delight to be there and we will return very soon.

Room Tip: The terrace rooms by the relaxation pool are fabulous.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank pascalphx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2012

Everything about this hotel is great. The rooms are enormous, beds the most comfortable I have ever slept in and the staff unbelievable. We couldn't fault it in any way.

The patio rooms overlooking the spa pool are brilliant as it is like having an enormous private pool area.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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2  Thank jane_eyles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Address: 5300 Grand Del Mar Court, San Diego, CA 92130 (Formerly Grand Del Mar)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#1 Family Hotel in San Diego
#1 Business Hotel in San Diego
#2 Luxury Hotel in San Diego
#2 Spa Hotel in San Diego
#11 Green Hotel in San Diego
Price Range: $483 - $984 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Fairmont Grand Del Mar 5*
Number of rooms: 249
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Grand Del Mar Hotel San Diego
Grand Del Mar Hotel
Grand Del Mar San Diego

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