The Grand Del Mar Hotel - San Diego, California - Award-Winning Lodgings with Mediterranean Elegance

Located within the Los Pesasquitos Canyon Preserve, some twenty miles north of San Diego International Airport, The Grand Del Mar Hotel mixes the old-world elegance of a Mediterranean estate with the luxury of a modern upscale resort. Condy Nast Traveler has named it one of the "World's Best Places To Stay,'' and Spa Magazine dubbed it the "Favorite New U.S. Spa.''

The architecture and dycor borrow heavily from turn-of-the-century designs found in Palm Beach and Boca Raton in the 1920s. Gilded gold and wrought iron accents can be seen against a palette of deep blues, pale yellows and gold. There are hand-stenciled ceilings, brocade upholsteries, cut crystal lamp bases, and wood furnishings with burnished gold accents.

The resort's 249 elegantly appointed guest rooms include 31 luxury suites. Among the latter are two opulent presidential suites that can be expanded to three bedrooms, five one-bedroom specialty suites, a dozen luxury one-bedroom suites, and twelve executive suites. The floor areas of the suites range from 1,010 to 2,840 square feet. Marble-clad bathrooms with European-style soaking tubs and separate showers come standard.

With six dining venues, The Grand Del Mar Hotel makes choosing where to eat a difficult decision. The casual Clubhouse Grill serves breakfast and lunch from 7am to 4pm, while Cent' Anni offers light, Italian-inspired fare from 6am to 7pm. Amaya has indoor and outdoor seating for American cuisine with Mediterranean influences all day long. Drinks and snacks are available in the Lobby Lounge as well as al fresco at Poolside.

The top spot for evening meals at the resort is Addison, Southern California's only 2010 Five-Star and Five-Diamond restaurant. Acclaimed Chef William Bradley uses local ingredients to create seasonal menus with contemporary French influences, such as Brittany Turbot and Lamb Persille. Dinner is served on Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30pm to 9pm.

The Spa at The Grand Del Mar covers 21,000 square feet with eleven treatment rooms, separate male and female club-style locker rooms, a stone fireplace, shower, steam and sauna areas, an indoor Jacuzzi, a spa pool, and a fitness room with equipment and free weights. Guests may book natural therapies, cleansing facials, hydrotherapy body treatments, fitness consultation, and classes in Pilates and Yoga, as well as such salon services as hair, nails and waxing.

The recreational needs of guests are met by four heated swimming pools, one of which caters to children while another is an adults-only spa pool featuring cabanas for privacy. Also on site are two tennis courts, numerous hiking and jogging trails, and a Tom Fazio-designed championship golf course available for guest use. The latter opened in 1999 and features a newly renovated 50,000-square-foot Clubhouse.

Activities available nearby range from fishing, surfing, diving, kayaking, and boating to bicycling, horseback riding and hot-air ballooning. The resort also offers The Explorer's Club, with supervised programs and organized excursions in Los Pesasquitos Canyon Preserve, such as bird watching, nature walks and mountain biking. For shopping, conveniently located on the premises are the Golf Shop and Spa Boutique, along with shops offering designer clothing, accessories, and home furnishings.

Offering more than 20,000 square feet of function space, The Grand Del Mar can handle groups of up to 300 persons. Indoors, the 10,000-square-foot ballroom can be divided into six smaller sections. Outdoors, the 8,200-square-foot event lawn overlooks the golf course, as does the 2,500-square-foot Manchester Salon with its dual stone fireplaces indoor and out. For weddings, a 3,330-square-foot chapel provides ceremonies for up to 350 guests. Elsewhere, three wine-themed meeting rooms and a private dining area can be found in the resort's wine cellar, and a replica of Yacht America, winner of the 1851 America's Cup, can accommodate events of up to 85 people.

The Grand Del Mar Hotel is located at 5300 Grand Del Mar Court, San Diego, California 92130. By car, take Interstate 5 North to the 56 East/Local Bypass (Exit 33A). Get off at Carmel Country Road (Exit 2) and turn right. Follow Carmel Country Road to Grand Del Mar Way and turn left to Grand Del Mar Court. Take a right downhill to the resort entrance. Complimentary transportation is provided by the hotel within a 14-mile radius.

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