We spent a beautiful weekend cooling off from the Arizona heat in San Diego. A weekend at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar makes for a perfect quick luxury escape.
It’s no secret how hot Arizona gets in the summer. It was a running joke with a lot of our friends when we told people we were moving out here. But lucky for us, just a five-hour drive west to San Diego and you will find yourself with temperatures a substantial 40 degrees less than in Arizona.
About the Property
We tend to gravitate to coastal towns north of San Diego such as La Jolla, Del Mar, and Carlsbad. The Fairmont is pretty central to all of the above. It is located just five miles from the coast. It is set back in a beautiful canyon and adjacent to the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. The property feels incredibly private and has the most charming old-world Mediterranean vibe. It features 249 rooms and suites, making it very stately but not so large that it becomes impossible to get around.
We spent most of our dining experiences at Amaya. It’s an expansive restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating options. Given that the weather was perfect, we opted to each outside for the two breakfasts and one dinner that we had there.
For breakfast options, you can order off of the menu or go for the buffet. I like to have a little bit of everything, so I default to buffets when they offer a larger spread.
Our dinner was incredible. Our favorites included the heirloom tomato salad, potato leek soup, verde pizza, foraged mushroom risotto, and California sea bass. OK, our favorites were basically the entire dinner. It was really that good. And to top it off, they brought us a dessert platter of three desserts. And once again, it was all delicious, especially the Tiramisu.
The property has a few other restaurants noted below. Other than a poolside lunch, we didn’t eat at any of these so we can’t speak based on personal recommendations. But as always, the Fairmont maintains a high standard when it comes to dining experiences so I’m sure these would be great options as well.
Addison is a MICHELIN-starred restaurant that offers a five or ten-course dining experience. They also have a Clubhouse Grill and the Cent’ Anni for quick bites if you’re on-the-go.
The Fairmont Spa was the highlight of my weekend. It would be a mistake to spend a weekend at a property like the Grand Del Mar and not take advantage of their spa offerings. I’ve experienced the spa at every Fairmont I have stayed at, and I can say they continuously deliver on quality and experience. They are known for their spas, and the spa here was no exception. Yes, their services cost more than most day spas, but you pay for what you get. If you want quality products, treatments, and service, it’s worth the splurge.
I typically get massages when on vacation, but lately, my skin had been a bit out of whack from travel and moving. Even though we moved from one dry state to another, Arizona is still significantly drier than Utah, and my skin was due for some TLC and extra hydration.
I had the Portrait Facial, which is their signature classic facial. If you aren’t sure where to start with a facial treatment, I suggest the Portrait. It’s a 60-minute facial that’s customized to your needs based on a consultation with your esthetician. The service is a full sixty minutes; it’s not one of those where the consultation cuts into your time. At the very least, I would reserve two hours for the entire experience: 15-minutes to lounge pre-treatment, 1 hour and 15 minutes for the consultation plus facial, and another 15 to 30 minutes to relax after. It’s definitely not one of those things you want to feel rushed with. The spa is beautiful, and the lounge areas are worth spending an extra few minutes to relax in.
Depending on the treatment you choose, sun/pool time post-facial may not be the best idea unless you sit fully in the shade under an umbrella. I would recommend doing your spa treatment on a day where you spend the first few hours post-breakfast at the pool and schedule your spa treatment for early afternoon. Below I’ve listed a recommended spa day schedule which I’ve found to be an ideal way to relax during the day, and then go out to dinner off property at night.
Recommended Spa Day Schedule:
- 9-10 AM: Breakfast at Amaya
- 10-2 PM: Relax at the adult pool + a poolside lunch
- 2-4 PM: Spa treatment
- 4-7 PM: Downtime/relax/get ready for dinner
- 7 PM: Dinner
You can find a full list of spa services, including pricing on their website here.
Pool & Relaxation
The Fairmont has a few pools to choose from. Their main pool is open to all ages (shown above), but our personal favorite was the adults-only pool. The adults-only pool was also conveniently located near the spa making it easy to go to before and after spa treatments.
We ordered lunch by the pool on Saturday, which was also our spa day. I opted for a non-alcoholic drink since I tend to stay away from alcohol on days I get spa treatments done. It sort of defeats the point to get a hydrating facial and suck down a cocktail that dehydrates you. I usually save those for later in the evening. 😉
Last but not least, I wanted to touch on our room experience. We had a beautiful King room overlooking the Rose Garden. The room itself was spacious, warm, and comfortable. Looking back I realized I didn’t take any good photos of the room, but you can explore accommodations at the Fairmont here. It’ll be hard to find a room that disappoints. Every view from the property is beautiful. Guestrooms start at 500 square feet, so every room is spacious. If you are looking for something larger, suites start at 1000 square feet. Skylar and I don’t tend to spend too much time in our rooms, so for us, a spacious guestroom is more than enough. If you have more than two people or want larger options`, then there are a variety of suites that offer that. Check out the highlight on my Instagram stories here if you want to see a room tour.
Overall we had a really wonderful experience in San Diego. We spent most of our time relaxing on-property and did escape to a few nearby areas when we were in the mood to explore (I’ll touch on that in another post). If you’re looking for a luxury weekend (or longer) getaway, I highly recommend The Fairmont Grand Del Mar. San Diego has always been one of our favorite places and this stay only enhanced it.
Interested in our stay at the Fairmont Orchid in Hawaii? Read more here.
A special thanks to the Fairmont Grand Del Mar for hosting us.