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“True 5-star Resort”

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Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Ranked #2 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 25 January 2014

My wife and I recently stayed at the GDM for 3 nights. It was all first-class from the time we arrived until the morning we left. The staff was very friendly, engaged, and professional (and not just to us, we saw it with the other guests). We had a first floor room w/ a patio that lead out to the (adult) pool. Our (standard) room was large w/ 2 desks, a sitting area, comfortable bed, N'espresso maker, and large bathroom/vanity area that included a 2-pp soaker tub.

The resort grounds were gorgeous. The Addison restaurant was as good as advertised (and there were reasonable alternatives for lunch/dinner). And while we did not really expect much from Club M being from Miami, it turned out to be a lot of fun w/ a good dj.

Hotel also offers free sedan service around the grounds and local area (which we think should be the norm at a 5-star resort and given the cost).

This resort is expensive, but def worth it. Perfect for a getaway.

  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank Adrian F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,032 - 1,038 of 1,773 reviews

Reviewed 25 January 2014

We stayed at the hotel for about a week recently. The hotel is truly "grand" architecturally, much more so than most luxury hotels. It is somewhat odd to be in the midst of such extravagant architecture while suffering from the absence of ordinary comforts (e.g. a good bed which any Westin or Marriott would have) and services (e.g. a prompt coffee refill). I could not wait to leave.

Our bed was extremely soft (having a massive pillow top on the mattress) and quite uncomfortable to sleep on such that my wife ultimately decided to sleep on the sofa. I slept on the bed each night (the floor being the only remaining alternative) but never once got a good night sleep. I learned that the key was to stay up as late as possible so as to be so tired that I could sleep regardless of the quality of the bed.

We observed many other minor oddities of lesser consequence, but which were indicative of the strangeness of this hotel. For example, our large and luxurious bathroom had no towel bar or hook in or near the shower. Such a minor design element is taken for granted even in hotels costing 1/3 the price. Our newspaper delivery was erratic, but when asked the restaurant produced at least half a dozen alternative newspapers. Each morning we found that service levels at the restaurant fluctuated radically. When seated near the maitre d' we received service such as one would find in a normal restaurant. When seated slightly farther away or outside, we were on our own and suffered lengthy delays in even the simplest desires (e.g. receiving the food we ordered). The delay to prepare my diet coke exceeded the time required to eat my entire poolside lunch. The fact that it eventually arrived proved that they had not forgotten the order, it just took a really long time to make and deliver the glass of diet coke. These irked me as one assumes perfection at these prices, and routinely obtains it at ordinary luxury hotels. Seeing routine contrast throughout the day between good and bad service, and grandeur and ineptitude in the same hotel was very confusing.

We principally chose the hotel because the website appeared to state that the pools were heated. Unfortunately in practice it seemed that only the "small" pool was heated, while the "grand" pool was nice to look at and remained empty although it was so nice to look at that it attracted an audience of non-swimmers who lounged around it. I don't believe we saw a single person swim in it.

In the end the experience just doesn't add up. I have not stayed at many other hotels in San Diego, the Coronado and Hyatt being the only two and I would vastly prefer either of them. I would not return to the Grand Del Mar. I cannot comprehend how one could compare the Grand Del Mar to hotels such as those operated by Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, St. Regis or various others. Ranking it in the "top 10" in the US is completely preposterous- it does not belong within the top 10 for Southern California. You can't even get a decent night's sleep.

Room Tip: Find another hotel.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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13  Thank Duke K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheGrandDelMar, Executive Director of Rooms at Fairmont Grand Del Mar, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2014

Thank you for sharing your review. Guest feedback is essential to our success, and we would like to speak with you personally. We kindly invite you to respond to our private message.

Sincerely,
Nenad Praporski, Executive Director of Rooms
The Grand Del Mar

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2014

I was here for a meeting and for some reason my expectations were not that high. i was not at all familiar with the reputation of this truly 5 star resort. Wish I had brought my wife along as she would have really enjoyed the stay! They had everything I needed including a great little product called freshends...
Felt like I was in another country, but really only in San Diego!!! Almost felt like a private Italian villa or castle!
Would highly recommend it for a couples weekend!

Room Tip: The room felt like a suite, excellent amenities and turn down service..they even tied my charger wit...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Craig R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2014

The Grand del Mar is top notch as a resort hotel. Very luxurious. Great service. Great facilities for family, spa'ing, business, dining, sleeping, etc. The beds are so comfortable, you want to peek under the sheets to see what brand of mattress you're sleeping on, and the bathrooms are large, luxurious and have every amenity you could ask for.
Our room was quiet and had a beautiful view of the grounds and hills in the distance.
The Addison and Amaya are flawless restaurants. Great wine lists. Terrific food. The Grand del Mar offers great outside dining as well as elegant formal, or casually elegant indoor dining options.
The only negative about the Grand is that it's not at the beach, but that also means you get warmer, drier, less foggy weather. They have a nice golf course, hiking trails, spa and gym, and they are not far from everything San Diego has to offer, although you'll need a car to stay here and get to other sites.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank EllesTravelbelles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2014 via mobile

Leave the real world for a few days to be calmed and thrilled all in the same place! Being ere is wallowing in spa-like serenity while perched in the middle of an architectural jewelry box. Add a massage, a vista-laden canyon hike on property, an evening in any number of dreamy spots around the hotel and you are in paradise. Only wish I could see the ocean, but it's just a short bit away and leaves room for the sumptuous golf course to surround the resort. Really could not be happier. Pricey but so unique.

  • Stayed: January 2014
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2  Thank ksbeachlover54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2014

We stayed for four nights beginning New Year's Day. We stayed in Rm 316 and it was so quiet we heard nothing when inside our room. The room was extremely sound proof. We were surprised at children in the dining room on our first meal at The Amaya. Some kid noise...but it was Winter Break so guess to be expected. The food is amazing there. We had two dinners and a breakfast at The Amaya.
We were thrilled to be greeted the first night with Champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries for our 25th - a very nice touch!
The room was just beautiful - nothing forgotten.
Everyone of the staff so willing to help you. Highly recommend.

Room Tip: The veranda pretty cold in winter - might not want
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Sedonachick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2014

1st off the staff is second to none. Everyone was great and the concierge service was over and above any service we have had here in the states or internationally. Grounds are quiet and immaculate. By all means, visit the Addison, the on property restaurant. Unreal food and again the service is top notch and makes everyone feel special. Food at the Addison is on par with Petrus, French Laundry or any big name French restaurant for that matter. Make time for the spa, facilities at the spa are nothing great, but again the staff waits on you hand and foot to make it memorable. Our new favorite place in one of our favorite cities.

Room Tip: Rooms around the spa pool are very quiet.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Phillipzee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Address: 5300 Grand Del Mar Court, San Diego, CA 92130 (Formerly Grand Del Mar)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in San Diego
#1 Spa Hotel in San Diego
#1 Family Hotel in San Diego
#1 Business Hotel in San Diego
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#11 Green Hotel in San Diego
Price Range: £346 - £711 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Fairmont Grand Del Mar 5*
Number of rooms: 249
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Capturing the elegance and comfort of an old-world Mediterranean estate, San Diego's luxury Fairmont Grand Del Mar golf resort and spa welcomes guests to Southern California with signature charm and impeccable service. Magnificently situated on 400-acres in a pristine coastal canyon five miles from the Pacific Ocean, Fairmont Grand Del Mar shines as TripAdvisor's #1 Luxury Hotel in the United States. Vacation at this Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond luxury San Diego resort featuring the private Tom Fazio designed golf course, A Five-Star spa, four sparkling pools, tennis courts, yoga and fitness classes, Explorer's Club for kids, nightlife and exquisite dining - epitomized by Addison, Southern California's only Five-Star and Five Diamond restaurant. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Grand Del Mar Hotel San Diego
Grand Del Mar Hotel
Grand Del Mar San Diego

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