THE LODGE AT TORREY PINES
Whether you’re a die-hard golfer or simply someone who just wants to get away from it all, The Lodge at Torrey Pines is the place for you. The La Jolla-located Lodge – a location of which is often referred to as the Beverly Hills of San Diego, has been awarded the AAA 5 diamond rating for 12 consecutive years, and for good reason. It is rustic luxury at its best in a prime location: it overlooks the 18th hole of Torrey Pines, the legendary golf course and home of the 2008 U.S. Open (the scene of Tiger Wood‘s last major victory) and the future home of the 2021 U.S. Open.
The intimate Lodge has five grand suites, a selection of signature suites and well-appointed rooms with Stickley-style furnishings of fine woods and leathers. We were blissed out in the Thorsen Room, where we caught all the action on the 18th hole. A heads up to those who want to book a room for the 2021 Open — book this room now. The 800 square-foot room included an indoor and outdoor fireplace, a 400 square-foot balcony, Egyptian cotton bed linens and amenities including a Bose wave stereo system and 24-hour room service. In particular, we loved that part of the bathroom felt like a spa: in addition to a jetted Jacuzzi with a built-in pillow, we relaxed on an in-suite lounger bed.
If you love golf, there’s little we can tell you about Torrey Pines that you don’t already know. In addition to being the home of the aforementioned U.S. Open, it is home to the Farmers Insurance Open, the PGA tour’s stop in San Diego, a FedExCup event during the “West Coast Swing” that helps determine the sport’s season-long champion. The Reed Jones-designed golf mecca has two courses: North and South. North is slightly easier to play, while South is more challenging, as well as the specific home of both tournaments. Reservations on the South course are hard to come by unless, of course, you happen to be a guest at the Lodge. When you book your reservation here, try to book well in advance: the Lodge has a specific number of spots that they can personally fill per day on each course.
If you’re not golfing, there are still wonderful activities at The Lodge. The fitness center is superb, and the warm Southern California weather means that lounging poolside is a year-long option.
To us, relaxation means one thing, and one thing only: spa time! The Spa at Torrey Pines celebrates La Jolla’s coastal freshness of sea, land, and air. Signature treatments here are themed around the natural timelessness and purity of the ocean and seacoast. The spa itself is gorgeous with comfy chairs and a roaring fireplace, though the mood was less tranquil and more of a fun-filled girlfriend’s retreat prior to our treatment. Regardless, this spa offers it all, from European facials to water therapies to therapeutic massages. We recommend you try the Spa at Torrey Pines’ Signature Ritual, which uses the spa’s signature line of products to create a unique experience that will leave you feeling euphoric. This ritual begins with a warming soak in a hydrotherapy tub with lemongrass and sage bath salts before moving on to its Coastal Sage body scrub, followed by a personalized massage. Heaven.
A.R. Valentien isn’t just a great hotel restaurant, it is, in fact one of the best restaurants in San Diego county. The eatery, which takes its name from an early-1900’s California artist whose works in ceramics, watercolors and oils are now collectors items, features fresh SoCal cuisine in an elegant, timbered room overlooking the 18th hole of the Torrey Pines Golf Course. There are, of course, a plethora of original Valentien pieces hanging on the restaurant’s walls.
Valentien’s ambiance is pure magic, especially as the sun set and dusk came. We loved sipping wines from the curated, California-heavy list (featuring everything from San Diego-based wineries to Northern California varietals) while taking in the restaurant’s Craftsman architecture with metal-strap post-and-beam structure, handcrafted wood-framed windows, stained glass lanterns and a frieze painted with pine boughs.
Start with items including the mouth-watering Chicken Liver Pate with pickled carrots, grain and dijon mustards, a fabulous salad of green kale, quinoa and strawberries with crispy pork belly and Humboldt Fog cheese and Butter Poached Maine Lobster with tempura squash blossom, carrot, citrus and green coriander. Stellar entrees include the Oak Fire Roasted Niman Ranch Pok Loin with roasted apricot, young chard, red walnuts, tropea onion and pickled mustard seeds, as well as well as the Pan Roasted Swordfish. The charcuterie and artisanal cheese are also out of this world.
The Jaguar brand is synonymous with the words “sleek” and “chic”, which makes it a perfect vehicle for your trip to Torrey Pines.
The XJR provided us with a smooth, tranquil trip (and not just because of the front seat massage function, either). It was a joy to drive when we wanted to pass the slowpoke in the fast lane thanks to its high-performance 550hp supercharged V8, more than roomy enough to hold several sets of clubs and luggage, and even kept the SoCal sun out of our eyes with its power rear side window sunblinds. A smart car you, say? We do.
The car is also fuel efficient, in the sense that it has an intelligent Stop/Start system. With the use of a twin solenoid starter, the engine is able to restart in less time than it takes for the driver’s foot to move from the brake pedal to the accelerator.
With the luxe interiors, three massage settings and premium audio systems from Meridian, the renowned British maker of high-end home audio equipment and speakers, we were in heaven riding to and arriving at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. It was only leaving that was the problem.
The 2014 Jaguar XJR retails for $119,000