Perched atop a hill in San Diego’s Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, Fairmont Grand Del Mar is somewhat of a secret, even to locals. But once you’ve been inside, you’ll wonder how anyone could keep a place like this to himself.
From the opulent European estate architecture, two pools and tennis courts to the 18-hole golf course, nightclub and Addison Restaurant (the only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant in the San Diego area), the hotel offers much to explore.
Even if you can’t squeeze in all the available amusements, there’s one amenity you mustn’t miss: the hotel’s The Spa at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Spanning more than 21,000 square feet, the Five-Star sanctuary has 11 treatment rooms, sauna/steam facilities, Jacuzzis, a fitness center, a salon, a gift shop and a team of warm, professional staff members.
Here are the five specific reasons we love it so.
Distinct men’s and women’s relaxation lounges
When it comes to the rooms, pre- and post-treatment, most spas have the same look and feel for both men and women. Not at The Spa at Fairmont Grand Del Mar.
The men’s relaxation area is a cross between a gentleman’s lounge (minus the drinks and cigars, of course) and an elite hunting lodge (red leather sofas, a giant flat-screen TV and walls lined with leather-bound books).
Conversely, the women’s retreat space is light and airy in ocean blue and neutral tones accented with framed Hermès scarves in the entrance hallway.
Taking a dip and getting a spa treatment are two separate events at most hotels. But here, the spa and adults-only pool are connected. It makes the experience a no-fuss double whammy of pure, uninterrupted downtime.
In fact, you could make a day of it by having a service in the morning, taking lunch by the pool, returning to the spa for a bit of steam, then lounging again by the pool for the rest of the day.
Champagne and chocolate
Nothing signals that something special is about to occur better than a glass of champagne. (Well, on second thought, chocolate doesn’t hurt, either.) Beyond the lovely self-serve teas and snacks at the spa, a tray of dark chocolate nibbles and a glass of bubbly are laid out when you arrive.
So, before you even undress, you’re welcomed with indulgences. It’s little personal touches like these that make all the difference between a good spa experience and a grand one.
In addition to traditional pampering options like facials, massages and wraps, the spa menu has unusual treatments as well. Take the Renaissance routine. This session includes a wrap, a rosemary-scented Swiss shower and touch therapy while resting in a floatation tank. It’s like getting a massage on a waterbed.
The Grand Masterpiece facial utilizes products by Dr. Ivo Pitanguy, one of the world’s preeminent plastic surgeons.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar’s oasis is also one of the only spas in California to offer manual lymph drainage by highly trained therapists.
Complimentary child care
It’s a simple yet wonderful detail to ensure you can unplug without worrying about your children’s safety or boredom.
Thankfully, with your spa treatment, two hours at the hotel’s Explorer Club — the perfect place for young ones between the ages of 5 and 12 — is included. The club offers supervised, age-appropriate activities — both indoor and outdoor.