Family-Friendly Luxury Getaway at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Gwen Kleist Avatar

Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Set within Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve in San Diego, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar Golf Resort & Spa is a luxury resort located just five miles from the beach. Award-winning service, amenities and design deliver at every turn. It’s no wonder this resort was ranked TripAdvisor’s #1 Luxury Hotel in California. Here is a Fairmont Grand Del Mar review.

The writer was hosted.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar Review

The Fairmont Grand Del Mar combines the elegance of an old-world Mediterranean estate with Southern California charm. Though it looks like a grand Italian estate that has been around for decades, it was actually built in 2007.

Located in Carmel Valley, about 20 miles north of San Diego, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar offers endless luxury. From the moment you check-in, you’ll experience the refined service the Fairmont brand is known for, no matter which room type you choose. From the valet attendants to the concierge, everyone on staff is super friendly and helpful!

Fairmont Grand Del Mar Exterior
The Fairmont Grand Del Mar features architecture inspired by the Mediterranean. Photo credit: Fairmont Hotels

The Hotel

An intriguing mix of Mediterranean elements make up the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. The different styles lend a relaxed, yet sophisticated ambiance.

The interior and exterior details pay tribute to the indelible architecture of Addison Mizner, a turn-of-the-century visionary. His design approach defined the resort communities of Palm Beach and Boca Raton in the 1920s. Mizner’s exotic style is evoked throughout Fairmont Grand Del Mar. It can be seen in its arched doorways, rotundas, wood-beamed ceilings, wrought-iron accents, decorative columns and gracious verandas.

The architecture is complemented by lush landscaping, fountains, courtyards and meandering walkways. Even the hotel’s restaurants and pools reflect this opulent Mediterranean charm. Just take a look at the striped lounge chairs and sun umbrellas, as well as the towering palm trees!

In addition, the resort has a focus on wellness. This is reflected through its Fairmont Fit programs, miles of hiking trails, spa amenities and healthy menu offerings. There is even a shop dedicated to wellness.

Fairmont Make-A-Wish Ultimate Kids' Playhouse
The Fairmont Make-A-Wish Ultimate Kids’ Playhouse will benefit Make-A-Wish kids and their families. Photo credit: Gwen Kleist

Fairmont Make-A-Wish Ultimate Kids’ Playhouse

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has partnered with Make-A-Wish to launch a new global program, Wishes Start Here. Its goal is to provide one-of-a-kind experiences that transform children’s lives.

Wishes Start Here is dedicated to transforming dreams into reality. In recent years, one of the most requested wishes by Make-A-Wish children was for a playhouse. Fairmont has brought the concept to life!

The Fairmont Make-A-Wish Ultimate Kids’ Playhouse was unveiled in 2022 at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. The playhouse is located behind the hotel’s main pool – the perfect spot for families to check out this new feature at the resort!

The Playhouse is precious, and kids absolutely love exploring the adorable interior. It will be at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar through the fall and then move on to other Fairmont properties.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar King Room
Deluxe King Room at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Photo credit: Gwen Kleist

The Rooms

The Fairmont features 249 guest rooms and 31 suites, all with private balconies and beautiful views of the resort’s gardens, golf course or pools.

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There are several room types available, including rooms with two queen beds or one king bed. The deluxe veranda room and signature terrace room add an extra level of luxury. You can also reserve a suite. Whatever you choose, the rooms are simultaneously luxurious and comfortable.

At 550 square feet, standard rooms are larger than those at most other hotels. They are luxurious and spacious, with a deep blue and gold color palette, large flat screen TVs, minibar and cherry wood headboards.

Marble bathrooms feature upscale toiletries and thick linens. Bathrooms also have deep soaking tubs, a separate shower and long marble counters.

We stayed in a deluxe king room, with a lovely view of the golf course. The beds were very comfortable, and the bathroom was luxurious and well-appointed. In the bedroom, a pair of French doors opened to a small balcony with table and chairs. It definitely felt opulent and was a special treat!

As with many luxury hotels, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar provides turndown service every evening. Nothing makes for sweeter dreams than a chocolate-covered Oreo cookie on your pillow!

Amaya restaurant at Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Enjoy breakfast or dinner on the patio at Amaya. Photo credit: Gwen Kleist

Dining at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Six dining venues plus poolside service and 24-hour room service offer a wide array of dining options.

Enjoy elegant fine dining for adults only at Addison, or bring the kids to a family friendly meal at Amaya. You can also enjoy poolside dining, a meal at the Clubhouse Grill overlooking the golf course, a quick coffee and pastry off the lobby or afternoon tea.

We enjoyed dinner at the Amaya restaurant and loved the outdoor patio setting overlooking the hotel’s expansive lawn. Moreover, the food was amazing, though a little pricey. However it was worth the splurge for an elegant meal. Unfortunately there really are no budget options at this hotel.

Club M offers late night tapas, signature cocktails and live entertainment on the weekends. You can also sip a drink in the Lobby Lounge.

In the morning, enjoy breakfast at Amaya, or take a short walk to the Clubhouse Grill. This restaurant overlooks the Grand Golf Club’s 18th green. You can also grab a quick bite at Cent’Anni Café in the hotel lobby. This is what we ended up doing both mornings of our stay!

Fairmont Grand Del Mar Main Pool
The main pool at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar is popular with families. Photo credit: Gwen Kleist

Amenities

Enjoy the year-round amenities at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar.

There are four heated swimming pools, including an adults-only relaxation pool and spa. And by heated I don’t just mean “not freezing.” The water is downright delightful!

Equally enjoyable, relaxing on a comfortable lounge chair with my book, while the super-friendly poolside service staff kept the fresh towels and drink refills coming. Definitely a luxury experience!

The Fairmont Grand Del Mar charges a nightly resort fee, but you get a lot of great amenities included with your stay, and some unique options to try for an extra fee.

Hotel amenities include:

  • Four outdoor pools
  • Cabanas, poolside bar and padded lounge chairs
  • Fire pits
  • Tom Fazio-designed championship 18-hole golf course
  • Equestrian center and horseback riding lessons
  • Archery
  • 5-Star spa
  • Explorer’s Club kids club
  • Babysitting services
  • Fitness Center
  • Yoga and fitness classes
  • Personal training
  • Hiking trails
  • Pickle ball and tennis courts
  • Valet parking
Fairmont Grand Del Mar Spa
Relax in the lounge at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar’s elegant spa. Photo credit: Gwen Kleist

The Spa Experience

The Spa at the Fairmont Grant Del Mar is an absolute oasis! It is San Diego‘s premier 5-star resort spa, offering a comprehensive menu of treatments including facials, massages and salon services. The Spa has the prestigious honor of being one of Forbes Five-Star Spas.

I had a facial—which was fantastic—but it was the spa facilities that especially stood out. Adorned with marble, wood accents and tile, the spa is elegant and relaxing. Separate locker rooms for men and women each feature a lounge area, whirlpool, sauna, steam room and outdoor seating. The spa at the Fairmont is without a doubt the best I have visited.

Day guests are welcome at the spa. You can enjoy the adults-only pool after your spa service. Relax in a lounge chair, swim in the relaxation pool or take a dip in the hot tub. You can even order lunch!

Things to Do Near Fairmont Grand Del Mar

There are so many things to do near this resort! Located just minutes from some of Southern California’s most pristine beaches, you can easily spend the day on the beach and then have time to relax by the pool in the afternoon and have dinner afterwards at the resort.

San Diego’s many attractions, including SeaWorld, Balboa Park, La Jolla, Torrey Pines State Park, Coronado Island, the world-famous San Diego Zoo & Wild Animal Park, Legoland, Seaport Village, the Birch Aquarium and the wineries of Temecula are all located within a short drive.

San Diego International Airport is also less than 30 minutes away, making getting to the resort very convenient.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar golf course
The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is home to a championship golf course. Photo credit: Gwen Kleist

Final Thoughts on the Fairmont Grand Del Mar

The old adage is right – you really do get what you pay for! Even though room rates at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar are high, the quality, service, views and amenities make the price tag worth it.

In conclusion, we loved our stay at this resort! Although we are lucky enough to live in Southern California, a weekend at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar felt like an international vacation. If luxury, service and proximity to awesome attractions are high on your list, then this resort may be the perfect destination for your next California getaway!

Gwen Kleist Avatar
Gwen Kleist is an award-winning travel writer and author based in Southern California. She is the mother of one very active son who shares her love of travel and adventure. She is the owner and publisher of CaliforniaFamilyTravel.com, a family travel blog dedicated to sharing the best destinations and experiences in California and beyond! Her articles have also appeared in San Diego Family Magazine, Sunset Magazine, Cat Fancy, Huntington Beach Magazine, and she was a contributing author to Explorer Publishing’s guidebook, Los Angeles: The Complete Resident’s Guide.
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