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“Not to be believed”

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Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Ranked #2 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Rockville Centre, New York
2 reviews
“Not to be believed”
Reviewed 23 April 2014

Stunning hotel. Simply the most gorgeous grounds, decor, service. I could never do it justice in words. Can't wait to return! Wonderful for kids but not overrun by them. Kids played Bocce ball overlooking our magnificent courtyard full of fragrant roses and flowers. Food was fabulous and our room was very large. We had wanted a suite, but couldn't get the upgrade since booked. Really didn't need it. Loved the rose petals and chocolate covered Oreos on bed at turn down service at night. The mountains and golf course create a most beautiful view all around. Hotel sits up on a hill and feels so serene and quiet. Such a nice change for New Yorkers looking to escape the typical chaos of certain vacation spots during holiday weeks....

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lgenovese
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
385 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 227 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2014

I like this property. It pains me to have to remove a star at each visit. It has the potential to be a five star property but fails to listen to the advice of guests. This was my third visit and I expected, since we booked way in advance, to be given one of the better rooms on the higher floors with a porch (as we had previously). Apparently being a repeat guest is not important to the hotel so were given the worst room we have stayed at on our third visit. We were placed on the first floor (two floors down from the lobby floor) which required a fifteen minute walk through a maze of long hallways to find the elevator up to the lobby. This first floor is not great because you have to leave your curtains shut or have the entire world walk by and be able to look into your room. It is the "dog and kid floor" apparently since each room down there seemed to have several kids and dogs. Lots of door slamming. I don't mind the kids but I mind the dogs. First, one attacked my daughter in the hallway and nearly bit her (the owner pulled the leash just in time). Second, I do not relish the thought of having had a dog sleep in the bed where I now sleep (did it have an accident on the bed? Have fleas or ticks?). Third, I do not like seeing fecal presents on the walk way to the pool. The hotel left a message for us after the second day that we could switch rooms but there was no point after we had unpacked in the first room.

The room and bathroom are nice of course. Housekeeping does a good job. My only complaint is that the huge bed posts at the bottom of the bed always leave me with a huge bruise on my thigh since I forget about them as I'm walking past the bed. Also, the bathroom products are, as I have mentioned, are overly scented and not half as nice as the ones used in the spa.

Things I advised the hotel that they ignored: No screens in the bedroom so you can't air out the room. The foul smelling burning scented candle is still there as you walk in the entrance. The fake decorative books are still in the library for show. Real books would be more classy. The black mold is still all over the outside of the grill around the pool. There is still no hook in the lady's bathroom at the pool. Annoying. And worst of all...the gardeners have still not been given the instruction to do their work at times least likely to disturb the guests.

On Easter Sunday morning at 8:40 am we were rudely woken up by the gardeners using leaf blowers right next to our outside door! It was a nasty way to wake up and the hotel gave us a small compensation for this. However, it was completely unacceptable! The reason for this wake up call? The hotel was throwing an Easter brunch that hundreds of non guests were attending and they wanted to get the grounds ready for these non guests.

The pool is pretty with palm trees around it. It was nicely heated and the staff pleasant. Unfortunately the guests are still pretending that this pool is in their back yard. Lots of ball throwing inside the pool. One woman even placed a mini blow up jet ski in the pool for her daughter. She could not get the motor to work. Thank goodness. The food at the pool was not great. French fries that were overly salted, sorbet that was so sweet that my six year old refused to eat it. I also ordered toast for breakfast and it came with gigantic holes in it. I have a photo.

The grounds and gardens are pretty. The Amaya is still a nice place to eat breakfast and lunch. My favorite waiter is no longer there. The staff is pleasant. The guests, now more international than ever, do not necessarily keep their children as close to them as they should. One family let their baby/toddler walk up to other tables, climb up things and shriek loudly. I do not mind children making noise (my son is no angel) but there is a limit.

The Spa is terrific and the staff is top notch. My husband purchased, as birthday gifts for me and my teen daughter, a 90 minute couples massage and it was lovely! My lady was a beautiful Austrian named Brigitte and my daughter I believe had Kristie. Brigitte worked out a bunch of stress and I was very relaxed afterwards. Thank you. The spa gets five stars all around. If I return to the hotel it will be for the spa.

The hotel is overly popular. Many companies are using the place as a corporate treat for their employees and their families. From my perspective, it makes sense to go if your company is treating you. If you are spending thousands of dollars of your own money for a few days (as we just did) you might want a bit more peace and a lot more privacy. Also, it is not near a beach. You must get in a car and drive to the beach. I prefer to have beach access.

Room Tip: If you have a choice, get a room on the third floor with a porch.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank misanthropicdreamer
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 review, 12 May 2014
Thank you for providing feedback about your recent stay with us. We hold your comments and suggestions in high regard, and your loyalty is valued.

It is delightful to hear that you and your daughter found serenity at The Spa. Our experts pride themselves on customizing treatments to the individual needs of guests, and it sounds like that is exactly what you experienced. We appreciate the Five-Star rating — as well as your kudos to Housekeeping and Amaya!

Your guest prolife is updated with the noted room and product preferences. We would like to assure you that anytime a dog occupies a guestroom, the carpet is shampooed and the entire space is deep-cleaned before another guest checks in.

Additionally, I would like to mention that we add to our multilingual collection of books in the Library every year. You are right, there is nothing better than getting lost in a good book — especially while on vacation! You also might be interested to know that a revamped Poolside menu is debuting later this month, complete with a Curried & Smoked Chicken Wrap, Garlic Shrimp & Artichoke Salad and Traditional Root Beer Float.

It seems you were not made aware of The Grand Beach Service, which includes complimentary roundtrip transportation to/from Del Mar's 18th Street beach; set-up of beach chairs and umbrellas; beach towels and bottled waters. I apologize that we did not communicate the details of this special amenity.

Should you have any further feedback or if you would like to speak with me personally, please respond to our direct message at your convenience.

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
Atlanta
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2014 via mobile

Our stay has been a joyous surprise. We don't typically enjoy large resorts as we find the service spotty and the families/kids noisy. This was not the case at the Grand del Mar. While the property is large, it is very peaceful and extremely well maintained. It is just gorgeous. There were tons of activities for our boys (heated pools, golf, tennis) and the staff was very welcoming, friendly and attentive to all of our needs. The rooms were spacious, immaculate and so comfortable. There was plenty of room to unpack. The kids loved their daily visit to the gelato shop! The concierge was always on hand with suggestions and directions and the house car was a lovely amenity. This will be high on our list for a repeat visit!

Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Caren M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2014 via mobile

Very relaxing, peaceful, and quite. Perfect place for adults, children and the elderly. Rooms and bathroom are clean and new. The pools are clean, and well kept. The staff is pleasant and helpful. I will stay here every time I visit San Diego

Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
2 Thank rodney p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Worth, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
182 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2014

Every thing about this hotel IS Grand. The room, the service, the grounds. Just beautiful. Couldn't ask for anything else. We came for a business function with a large group, everyone I talked to raved about their room. The staff was marvelous. Never had so much service at a pool area. They bring you ice water wthout being asked. Towels of course, but also a cover for the plush lounge chair and oh yeah another towel for a head pillow. With such a large group usually the food suffers, but this time there were no complaints. No tips here since I couldn't think of anything that would improve the already great experience

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank janicefrogtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
110 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2014

I was unaware of the Grand Del Mar Resort until February of this year on a business trip with my husband. We spent 3 nights and 4 days in a beautiful room facing a quiet courtyard filled with flowers and fountains; I did not book the room so I was not aware of what level it was, but it left nothing to be desired. The room was nicely furnished (not to my taste as it was sort of over-the-top Mediterranean) but was clearly designed to be a Southern California take on an Italian villa.

Reception was handled professionally and with great care - we came in as a large group and were asked at check-in if we would like to be shown to our room - we declined, but learned quickly why; the hotel is sort of a maze of interconnecting hallways and can be very confusing. There are many wall plaques to show you where to go to reach your destination, however it could have been a drag to arrive late without a bellman to lug in luggage and golf clubs and such. (We are not golfers, which is probably why we were not aware of this resort).

No complaints whatsoever about the room - comfort and lushness were the key - the bed, chairs, tables, couches were all extremely lovely and provided a lovely spot to simply relax and enjoy the trickling sounds of the fountains and birdsong. The bathroom was beautiful done with granite and glass, the bathtub was massive and placed under a slatted door to the room. Amenities were plentiful and restocked twice a day, including Keurig coffee makings.

The grounds were lovely as a mountaintop villa in Tuscany - it was planned to have several smaller spaces within the hotel grounds, surrounded by the golf course. Perfect spots for weddings everywhere, though there were none the weekend we were there. We dined at the casual restaurant Amaya outdoors twice on the beautiful terrace overlooking a croquet lawn and pergola and the food and service were both very good if not excellent. The topper, however, was the beautiful and unbelievably delicious food and level of service at the 5 star restaurant up the hill Addison. Wow. Beautiful elegant delicious food, tip top level of service, stylish surroundings. Being from San Francisco, we are a bit snobby about food in SoCal, but this was a wonderful dining experience from tip to toe. Bravo! Our colleagues enjoyed the scene up the hill at the Club M which has a DJ and dance floor, and highly recommended it.

I had a massage in the spa, and it was also first class all the way, from reception, to locker room, to masseuse, to methods, to amenities in the lounge. Bravo again.

Although we do not golf, this would be a perfect peaceful spot for a girls' weekend or family reunion. We will be back.

Room Tip: All rooms overlook one of several courtyards surrounded by flowers and fountains - you can't go...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank sanfrann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level 6 Contributor
287 reviews
94 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2014

This hotel is very Grand and yet very comfortable. Staff is attentive without being overly formal which is what we like. We had eaten at Addison for our anniversary, so we opted to enjoy the music in the lounge and ate a light dinner there. The Crispy Tuna Roll is FABULOUS and filling! Wines by the glass were tasty and a good price. The spa was off the charts. I had the 1 hour body exfoliation treatment and will go back and do that again. It was heaven! Salt water Jacuzzi & saunas the best I have ever had.

Room Tip: Any room is good and quiet.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Conrad C
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

Property: 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 Business Hotel in San Diego
#1 Family Hotel in San Diego
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#1 Spa Hotel in San Diego
#11 Green Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Fairmont Grand Del Mar 5*
Number of rooms: 249
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Serenely nestled amidst San Diego's Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve and a mere five miles from the Pacific coastline, triple Five-Star Fairmont Grand Del Mar seamlessly combines the old-world charm of a Mediterranean estate with the modern luxury of an elegant resort. The result: TripAdvisor's #1 Luxury Hotel in the United States. Little wonder, given the sun-drenched climate, stunning natural beauty, championship golf course, one of only 25 Five-Star spas in the United States, and irresistible dining - epitomized by Addison, Southern California's only Five-Star/Five Diamond restaurant, helmed by Relais and Chateaux Grand Chef William Bradley. From the completely relaxing to the downright invigorating, you'll find a variety of ways to fill your days (and nights) at Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Engage in a seasonal mixology class. Take a dip in one of four heated pools. Enjoy an afternoon hike or horseback ride amid the pristine nature preserve. Or, sip signature cocktails at the resort's enticing lounges - all before retreating to your thoughtfully appointed guestroom. Welcome to the Grand life - just east of the Pacific and slightly north of expectations. ... 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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