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“The Little Things”

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Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Ranked #2 of 279 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“The Little Things”
Reviewed March 4, 2014

I
I would like to tell of the "little things" that mattered that make this a 5-star resort in my mind. There's no need to repeat what other reviewers have written about the ambience, the service and elegance of the resort. I agree with all of them. We arrived on a day when a much-needed rain was finishing up in San Diego. Being on a golf-package we were anxious to get on the links early to avoid an approaching shower. The manager "John" checked us in and (our room not ready yet) walked out to the valet with us to insure that we would be whisked away to the golf course. Oh, and he also called the pro shop to see if we could get out earlier than our assigned tee time. We could.
We were celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary. The highly-acclaimed French restaurant "Addison" knew this because I told them when I made the reservation. They must have communicated to the hotel because waiting for us upon check- in was an iced bottle of champagne and a tray of enormous chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Our forecaddie, Brad, who took care of us for three days of golf could not have been nicer. He was enthusiastic and dedicated. Not only could he read the greens but he was an expert on the beautiful landscaping that surrounded the golf course. It certainly added to the experience of our golf package.
The server who brought us room-service breakfast on our first morning ran to get us a hiking map and brought it up to our room when he knew that we were interested in some exercise.
Housekeeping noticed that we were enjoying one certain flavor of Nespresso coffee that is complimentary in the rooms. She replaced it with an entire sleev
of coffee capsules.
One final 5 star memory: having a glass of dessert wine in front of the fireplace in the beautifully appointed main drawing room in the downstairs lobby of the hotel on our last night.
The Grand Del Mar is truly deserving of the accolades it has received. We'll be back.

Room Tip: Although I read that being on the 3rd floor and having a golf-course view was preferable, we had a s...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mary M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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nyc
Level Contributor
126 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2014

The Grand del Mar is one of the finest resorts in the world. It is grand, upscale and simply gorgeous. The service is impeccable and this beautiful resort which was build in 2007 is truly a worthwhile destination. The spa is excellent and so is the golf course. Each room is beautifully furnished and is rather over sized. My room had a terrace and faced the adult pool- such serenity. The resort restaurants are excellent. I love this resort and can't wait to go back

Green Features: i thought it was so nice that they asked us if we want our sheets changed daily
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank looshi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2014

I have had the good fortune to stay at a modest number of luxury resorts and hotels over the years and The Grand Del Mar is simply the best ever. My wife and I were there for a 4 day Valentine Weekend getaway. The property is gorgeous and immaculate. We had a King room overlooking the adult pool that was spacious, well appointed, huge bathroom, comfy bed and great, relaxing view. I am most impressed with the service. It is always attentive but not overbearing or intrusive, something that sometimes happens. For example, at the adult pool, an attendant would seem to appear immediately and quietly and provide help with towels and a glass of ice water. Additional food and beverage service was always available but never "in your way". Great golf course on the premises. Usual array of spa and food services. The in house restaurants are excellent although pricey. Located in north San Diego area, still easy to get to all San Diego attractions including very close access to Torrey Pines State Preserve, La Jolla, and other beach areas. Definitely will be back.

Room Tip: We loved the room overlooking the adult pool.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank TroutFisher14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 1, 2014

It's hard to say much new about this resort. It certainly deserves all of the accolades it's received in recent weeks. Although my stay was only 24 hours and I was traveling alone, I made a point to spend time in several areas of the hotel.

First, the food and beverage outlets:
The lobby lounge in the evening was a relaxing place to people watch. It was a Saturday so there were a variety of people coming and going for events at the hotel or for a nice dinner with friends. Although they serve a limited menu, I was able to order from the Amaya restaurant menu without issue.
Amaya is a wonderful restaurant for any meal. The service is outstanding. Don't miss an opportunity to sit on the patio even if it's a bit cool outside. They have clear glass to block the breeze and heaters if needed.
There is a market/cafe that serves coffee, sandwiches and my personal favorite - a fresh-squeezed juice of the day. The staff are so friendly and quick to suggest a beverage or baked treat.
Before I left on Sunday, I took advantage of their afternoon tea service. It's a very nice 3 course high-tea in the lobby lounge and library. My server was the same young woman who had served me the night before in the lobby lounge and she remembered me and asked if I enjoyed the sparkling wine that I enjoyed the night before - but I opted to stick with the tea.
At all of the above, there was one thing that impressed me consistently -- the quality of the baked goods and pastry items. I know it's an odd thing to notice, but from the pretzel rolls at Amaya to the bread on the finger sandwiches, to the scones, to the cookies and pastries in the market - every item was pure perfection. The tea server asked the kitchen and confirmed that all items are baked on site but I would venture to say the are baked by one of the best pastry chefs/bakers I've come across.
I regret I didn't get to try Addison, but look forward to doing so next time.

As for the other amenities on property...
The Spa is a beautiful and serene environment. One thing about the service that really stood out is that the therapist greets you in the relaxation waiting area and after making introductions they let you know that they are taking you through a quiet area and will wait until they get to the room to discuss your treatment. That is such a nice touch! Not only does it keep things quiet for the patrons, but it's a nice of them to be so communicative. I did have one small issue in the spa that's worth remembering if you go...I'm a size 10 and the spa robe that was a medium was a little too small. They were able to give me a large when I walked back to the entry of the locker room.
The main pool area looks smaller than you'd expect, but after spending some time there I realize it's kind of an optical illusion. And I actually think it's a good thing. They've made it feel very exclusive and somewhat cozy with large awnings, over-sized lounge chairs and very spacious cabanas. There is also full bar service, light menu and table seating. The staff at the pool bar is on top of it, keeping things picked up and checking in with new arrivals.

So that's all great, but is it a nice place to SLEEP? Yes, the rooms are beautiful and the bathroom/closet combo is one of the best layouts I've seen. The hotel was fairly busy when I was there but I didn't notice any noise coming through the walls or from the hall.
Not to be forgotten is the housekeeping staff. Although I only had turn-down service, and hadn't really unpacked when they came through, they carefully gathered all of my charging cords and tied them with a bow. In the bathroom, they unfolded a washcloth and draped it on the sink. Very nice touches that show a mind for the customer experience.
So despite thinking there was nothing more to say...I see I've written quite a bit. Which is only appropriate for a resort that seems to be unending in it's ability to exceed expectations.

Room Tip: Garden and Valley Views provide quiet overlooks to small courtyard areas and other relaxing views.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank SMcCorison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonoma County, California
Level Contributor
102 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2014

Large expansive grounds, three pools, spa, and attention to detail impeccable. Well appointed large rooms, amazing design of common areas and rooms, terrific staff. What's not to like here. Spa was only minor flaw, massage just OK but staff very attentive. Had dinner at their 5 star restaurant Addison - very French Laundry like. Had breakfast at their hotel dining room, great waiter Vladamir, but food just OK.

Would go back to this hotel in a heart beat.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the golf course
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank kp14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2014

This is a beautiful hotel with grand charm. Every member of the staff was professional and hospitable. Nespresso machines in the room. The gym is amazing, one of the best hotel gyms I've ever used. Beautiful grounds, lovely bathroom. Loved staying here and would do so again.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank fabulassy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ventura, California
Level Contributor
202 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2014

Really Nice -LUXURY. The Grand Del Mar is now my favorite place in California to sneak off to for a respite from work.

The front staff and concierge made us feel like old friends returning, even though this was our first visit. The first room offered was VERY nice, but overlooked the "adult's pool" and my husband preferred a golf course/mountain/gardens view. "No problem" we were promptly switched.

The Deluxe King room was large and elegantly appointed with a sizeable bathroom/dressing area sporting a shower large enough for two persons and a Jacuzzi tub which also would accommodate a couple.

The setting for the hotel is high on a mini mountain with wonderful views in every direction. We played golf on the Grand's challenging course both days of our stay and found the Golf package offered a good value. The course was not crowded either Monday or Tuesday and both days our fore caddy was ready and waiting even though we moved up our tee time on Tuesday. The caddy is a requirement for your first play of the course and Chase our Tuesday caddy was a wiz at reading the greens.

Even if you don't play golf, the pools, tennis courts and spa looked wonderful and if the service at each is a fraction as received at the golf course then you'll have nothing to desire. The equestrian center is currently closed but we spied walking trails throughout the luxuriant grounds.

We only ate breakfasts and lunches at the golf course restaurant but the menu was satisfying, the food was delicious and the waitstaff very accommodating.

We felt like royalty during our entire stay and certainly see why the Grand Del Mar is rated so highly. We can't wait to return.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Bellauno
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

Property: 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 Spa Hotel in San Diego
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#1 Family Hotel in San Diego
#1 Business Hotel in San Diego
#1 Luxury Hotel in San Diego
#11 Green Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Fairmont Grand Del Mar 5*
Number of rooms: 249
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, triple Five-Star Fairmont Grand Del Mar seamlessly combines the old-world charm of a Mediterranean estate with the modern luxury of an elegant resort. The result: TripAdvisor's #1 Luxury Hotel in the United States. Little wonder, given the sun-drenched climate, stunning natural beauty, championship golf course, one of only 25 Five-Star spas in the United States, 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 Fairmont 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

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