You’ll know you’re in for an epic holiday before you even see the resort when you arrive at The Grand Del Mar, located just outside of San Diego.
It is a gated community, smelling fresh, green and woodsy — and you must be announced to even enter.
When you’ve been given clearance, which feels like the password to a very elite secret society, your journey into a world of absolute, self-contained luxury begins.
The resort is a hidden treasure and, should you need further proof, it is San Diego County’s only Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five Diamond destination.
Despite the opulence of the Addison Mizner-designed property — think arched doorways, ornate stone and wrought-iron accents, parquet flooring, verandas and rotundas — there’s something relaxed about the property, evocative of a lazy afternoon lounging on the Italian Riviera.
You can get lost on the grounds, which are punctuated with fountains, courtyards, patios and Mediterranean structures as designed by Robert Altevers.
You’ll also find generously-sized tennis courts, four heated swimming pool, a maze of hiking trails and, for true enthusiasts, the epic, 380-acre, 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed golf course.
Those who plan on doing nothing more than lounging around their rooms have an easy, elegant place to relax in style. There are 249 guest rooms on premise which include hand-stenciled ceilings, brocade upholstery, crystal lamps and distressed wood furnishings to give your room that old-fashioned, rich feel.
Each of the rooms features 13-inch flat screen TVS (in-bathroom, no less!), marble European-style soaking tubs, top-of-the-line Red Flowers bath products, Pratesi Italian cotton linens, complimentary Wi-Fi and a wet bar.Those who seek an even more VIP experience can choose to stay in one of the 31 suites, two presidential suites (with private balconies) or the 1,010 square-foot executive suites.
But it more than just attention to detail and a luxurious place to rest your head that makes The Grand so special. Those who run the resort make sure that every need and wish is accounted for, from the chauffeured driving service, to providing activities like horseback riding to its exceptional Renaissance Spa, a 21,000 square-foot den of relaxation adorned wiith imported white Carrera marble, framed Hermés scarves and gilded mirrors.
Last but not least is the resort’s wide array of culinary options. For a truly special evening, try Addison, a 5-star restaurant which features the award-winning French cuisine of Chef William Bradley or the elegant Amaya, an all-day restaurant offering upscale service; there is also the Clubhouse, a spot on the green for golfers on the go.
Even those who frequent The Grand Del Mar are in for a treat this summer, as the resort is offering a slew of new activities in the coming months.
Among the activities included in its Grand Masterpiece Series are an art and architecture tour, a ‘painting and vino’ session featuring wines and paintings from the Mediterranean regions of France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, a natural perfume-making workshop with high-end perfumier Joanne Bassett, ‘Cinema Sotto Le Stelle’ — Italian movie nights under the stars with espresso and biscotti — and s’mores roasting sessions.
Additionally, there are ladies-only days of golf and wine with PGA-certified director of Golf Shawn Cox, glow-golf driving contests and a summer concert series with performances by All-4-One, Delta Rae, Vienna Teng and Italian vocalist Patrizio Buanne.