With modern luxuries and old-world charm, The Grand Del Mar in San Diego evokes Italian elegance in a sunny SoCal setting. by Julia Weiler With spectacular year-round weather, miles of Pacific-kissed coastline, and infinite opportunities for fun in the sun, San Diego hardly requires another enticement. There is, however, yet another reason to visit America’s Finest City. Boasting AAA Five Diamond status—plus a tripartite sweep of the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Rating for its lavish lodgings, sumptuous spa, and fine dining venue—The Grand Del Mar is an oasis of polished opulence and a destination unto itself.

Located inland of the classic beach town of Del Mar, The Grand lies in the sun-splashed embrace of rustic canyons, rolling hills, and the undulating emerald fairways of the resort’s Tom Fazio-designed golf course. The regal Mediterranean-style property possesses the ambiance of an old-world Italian estate, for whose creation no expense was spared. From elaborate fountains to intricate marble floors, Venetian plaster walls, and hand-painted frescoes, every detail was attended to with artistry and expertise. 

The resort’s pool

The resort’s 249 guestrooms, suites, and villas reflect these exquisite facets. A rich palette of sapphire, citrine, and emerald hues mingles with gold and crystal accents. Custom furnishings are draped in brocades while Pratesi, the legendary Italian linen maker, dresses pillow-topped beds in fine Egyptian cottons. Balconies ensconced by filigreed ironwork command stunning canyon or golf course panoramas and provide a secluded space for basking in the California sunshine.

At the spa, treatments are designed to renew mind, body, and spirit via nurturing therapies merged with healing elements from nature. Soothing indigenous herbs, calming essential oils, and detoxifying mineral muds combine with facials, hydrotherapy treatments, and massage techniques to restore balance and induce deep relaxation. Separate lounge areas provide serene sanctuaries offering feminine pastels and plush furnishings for ladies and fireplaces and leather chairs for men. An alfresco pool with a state-of-the-art underwater stereo system presents a pleasant setting for all to swim a lap of luxury.

Addison, the resort’s signature restaurant, takes diners on a culinary journey helmed by Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef William Bradley. During the multi-course experience, guests savor superb contemporary French cuisine delivered at nearly metronomic pacing. Each perfectly prepared dish may be paired with wines from the resort’s 37,000-bottle cellar, masterminded by wine director and sommelier Elizabeth Huettinger.

The Grand Del Mar’s succession of luxe amenities, legendary service, dramatic features, and breathtaking scenery make this splendid resort a destination worthy of returning to time and time again.


The Agenda

Starry Nights 

“Cinema Soto Le Stelle” invites guests to relax under the stars for Italian movie nights at the resort’s alfresco tennis courts. Moviegoers are treated to espresso and biscotti as they view classic or contemporary films. thegranddelmar.com/upcoming-events

Surf and Turf 

Explore San Diego’s abundant natural beauty with guided hikes through the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve with onsite naturalist Dylan Jones. For oceanside adventures, learn to surf, embark on a sea kayaking expedition, or simply take advantage of the resort’s chauffeured beach butler service complete with beach chairs, umbrellas, towels, and bottled water. thegranddelmar.com/san-diego-outdoor-recreation

High Tee 

Take in breathtaking canyon views from lofty fairways at the resort’s exclusive Tom Fazio-designed 18-hole, par-72 golf course. Dramatic elevations, mature trees, vibrant flora, and an elaborate 18-foot waterfall are just some of the features highlighting this beautiful course. thegranddelmar.com/san-diego-golf-resort