Lavish, luxurious and opulent are among the adjectives describing the Grand Del Mar in Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve of sunny California. Becoming the Fairmont Grand Del Mar has only enhanced the property. Just five miles from the Pacific Ocean, complimentary shuttles transport guests to the coastal towns to shop, dine or watch the seals on the shore of La Jolla.
When Fairmont executives took over, they wisely kept two key personnel onboard, Chef William Bradley and Golf Director Shawn Cox. Chef Bradley’s five star Addison Restaurant is popular for locals’ special occasions but Amaya is equally tasty from the lump crab eggs benedict with chipotle sauce for breakfast to fruits de mer for lunch, topping off with lobster for dinner and ending the night in the lobby with fantastic live music and a final libation. On the weekends Club M overlooking the golf course comes alive with a DJ and dancing.
The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is a Mediterranean style estate with sculptured gardens. Every hole of the Tom Fazio designed golf course feels like a private encounter winding through the lush canyon. Leveraging nature’s elevation and landscape, it’s a dream like state of golf until the awakening of the last 3 holes. 16 is a long downhill par 5 lined by dense brush with a lake behind the green that illuminates at dusk. Tee over the water on 17’s par 3 and steady yourself for one of the most beautiful and challenging finishing holes. A chute like fairway rolls into the swans’ stream with cascading waterfalls above the green. Difficult to reach in two, M Club patrons in the clubhouse are easily entertained by the attempts. Just like your stay, you hate to see the round end. It is playable over and over again. Fore caddies enhance the experience, as does instruction onsite. The practice area is high above the driving range for a more intimate experience without the distraction of onlookers. Golf Director Shawn Cox leads the team with steady patience. Having instructed Phil Michelson’s kids reflects the level of trust in his knowledge and expertise.
Hiking trails, tennis courts, workout facility and an equestrian center complete the sports mix. After all that, get stoned at the spa. The 90 minutes “Stoney Silence” is a hot rock treatment like none other. Make time to relax before and after, slipping into the eucalyptus steam room, dry off in the sauna and whirl in the Jacuzzi. Comfy chaise lounges with soft blankets and magazines in front of a fireplace further relax the body and spirit. The grandiose fountain and floral foray lead to the most luxurious of accommodations with a balcony view of the course or garden. Complimentary shoeshine is offered over night. How grand! www.granddelmar.com