We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Not worth the visit!”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 12 more sites!
Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Ranked #2 of 286 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 24 October 2008

Just last week when a couple of business travelers from the Northwest walked through the doors of The Grand Del Mar. Little did they know, they soon would become famous for having a terrible hotel experience, and creating one of the most entertaining Power point decks ever made to share with all our clients.

This classic Power point deck will take you through the duos late night discovery that guest just don't matter. From there these two detail what exactly a reservation agent "described" is (maybe not as rock solid as we all think), night clerk Mike's career path, and their forced to accept par service.

The hotel appears to have lost all of what was the good staff. No one knew what was going on and things were a disaster. We arrived late and with very few bags. The pushy doorman insisted on taking our small bag to the room. ( We let him because we understand that everyone could use a buck today) All was good but it was late and after two phone calls to the desk and 40 minutes later the little bag arrived. When we asked what appeared to be a housekeeper bringing it up, we were told that the bellman had gone home for the night.

The next day we just wanted to share the story with the manager and were told he would contact us shortly. “Surprise” we never heard from him.

We had our meeting and it was fine. They had problems with the AC but often in monster hotels this can happen.

When we went to check out they said that they could not find our car keys, after about 30 minutes they found that they had been tossed to the bottom of their storage area.

So the rule is don’t bother with this one. It is very grand in structure but poor in service.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
26  Thank tvlingjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (1,808)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

1,721 - 1,727 of 1,808 reviews

Reviewed 19 October 2008

This resort was way up there in luxury and service - the second best we've ever stayed at - very opulent. In the words of the in-room guest book: "...inspired by the rich, decorative arts of Spain, Portugal, Italy and Morroco"; "colorful palette, graceful arched doorways, rotundas, vibrant tile, wood-beamed ceilings, ornate stone and wrought-iron accents, decorative columns, parquet flooring and gracious verandas.". More simply put, you walk in and say "Wow!" - several times.

First impressions were exceptional, from the eucalyptus-scented hand towels presented at the front desk during check-in, to the fresh lemonade, iced tea, and cookies and huge, aromatic, floral arrangement in the lobby. The concierge desk was very nice and helpful, especially Gabrielle and Lynette. We asked their advice every day.

We requested and got a room with a fairway (golf course) view - the one downside is there's only a standing balcony, with insufficient room for chairs to sit and enjoy the view. We found the room to be very luxurious - all the amenities you could possibly want and more. The room (389) had a great layout, including a bathroom with a huge tub, two sinks, separate shower and toilet, and a folding window above the tub that opens into the main bedroom. There are lots of subtle, sometimes hidden extras, like a vanity with a top that opens up to reveal a large mirror and provide a compartment for your wife's things. The bedroom offered plenty of drawer space, slide-out table tops, a beautiful corner couch, cushions, and ottoman for relaxing, and a large flat screen TV on the wall. Two newspapers were delivered to the room each day, and we were asked if we wanted any others.

Valet parking is the only available option, and they charge quite a bit for it ($30 plus tips). I complained because I didn't see this spelled out up front until my reservation was confirmed - the resort very kindly said they would waive the fee. Each time you leave the premises, the valet offers bottles of cold water for the road. Nice.

A plus for us was that we rarely heard or saw any other people in the adjacent rooms - either the walls are nice and thick or no one was in them.

A couple of relatively minor downsides:

We only got turndown service on the first night of our four night stay. Not sure why. We loved it when we got it.

We were offered and accepted an in-room coffee maker, but housekeeping just didn't seem to know how to handle this extra. They consistently failed to clean and provision it, even bringing coffee bags without filters on the last day. On a similar note, we requested extra towels (to their credit, the hotel asks before you arrive), but housekeeping had to be reminded to keep replacing them.

We used in-room dining several times, but got tired of it. Would have liked some simpler, less "frou frou" options to choose from. We switched to muffins from the coffee shop (Cent'Anni) for the last couple of mornings.

Speaking of dining, we opted not to eat at their highly touted restaurant, Addison - settling instead for "second best", Amaya. It was fine - great decor, nice waiters, good food, very classy - frankly it was hard for us to believe Amaya wasn't the best!

I can't emphasize enough how pleasant and accommodating the staff was. We had the feeling they would do anything within their power to make our stay a nice one (and they succeeded). Also, the resort is absolutely beautiful. Be forewarned, though - it's about a half hour drive north of San Diego just off I-5, so it's not right in the heart of the city if that's what you're looking for.

We loved it!

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Brian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2008

Earleir this month my wife and I arrived at the hotel for what was to be a romantic getaway, it turned out to be less romance, and more of a disappointment.

We arrived at the hotel at about 2pm, found it desolated; no concierge and only one person behind the desk who appeared to be overworked and having a horrible day, made us feel like an imposition, yet another person tasking her patience. We were understanding since we could see how understaffed and overworked she was however, arriving in our room to find that both trash bins; bedroom and bathroom had not been emptied, we wondered if the rest of the room was clean. It did not instill the confidence we expected for the price we paid.

Later that evening while at dinner, we chatted with another couple with a similar experience, which confirmed our fears. Our “dining experience” as they described it was less than impressive and average at best. You are better served by traveling far, far, away to La Jolla where a lovely diner is easier to find at a more reasonable price with better service.

We left the next morning and stayed in La Jolla, that made our trip to San Diego worth wile. If you are looking for overpriced service with little to show for it, you will love The Grand Del Mar.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
26  Thank mikemyers999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2008

We just returned from a 4 night stay at this resort, and it is easily one of the best resorts we have stayed at-worldwide.
I only learned of the resort while researching private golf clubs in the area, and was directed to the resort site. We have stayed or visited the 4 Seasons, LA Quinta, Rancho Bernardo, etc., and our experience at the Del Mar far exceeded any experience we have had at any of those.

From check in, we were treated like royalty. Our trip was planned for our anniversary, and they not only knew of the event, they knew what year anniversary it was (not sure how they figured that out yet). We were given an upgraded room overlooking the quiet spa pool. The room/suite was beautiful; the amenities were top notch (4 flat screens, enormous bathrooms, comfortable furniture, great bed, etc.). The room was extremely quiet, we never felt crowded or rushed, and the service staff and employees are extremely polite and helpful, knew us by name, and catered to us. Also, we were surprised by a very generous gift for our anniversary the first night.

We decided to take the "shuttle" to La Jolla the first evening. The shuttle is a Mercedes S550! There was no fee, no charge, the driver was great, and they dropped us off at the restaurant, and picked us up 2 hours later right in front. I could not believe it. My wife asked what they use if there are more that two passengers, and we were told that have an Escalade and a Luxury Coach for the bigger groups. We ended up taking the ride again another night, and the driver gave us a nice guided tour through La Jolla before dinner. We never touched our car the entire time we were there.

We ate each breakfast, most lunches, and 1 big dinner at the resort. One very pleasant surprise was that the cost of the food was very reasonable by resort standards. We had a big breakfast each morning on our porch, and I remember thinking that the bill was about half of what I was expecting. The food at the bigger pool was great, and there was never a big crowd or a lot of noise. The dinner we had at Addison, their signature restaurant. We spent about a half hour at the bar talking with the bartender and manager who were both very generous and thoughtful. Once we were seated, we told the server to surprise us, and he did. The service was great, I think we had 6 different people attending to us, and the food was spectacular. We enjoyed 6 courses, and were delighted and surprised by each serving. Even after the drinks, the food, dessert, etc., I was again surprised that the bill was not higher.

I golfed two separate days. The clubhouse and personnel were great, and the caddies were very helpful. The course itself was not in the greatest shape as they had recently over-seeded., and they were undergoing some maintenance on a few of the holes. After the second round, I thought I might mention something to one of the starters but never did. After another day, I mentioned my experience to the manger back at the resort. I told him the truth that while the course was not in "excellent" shape, I still played out my round and enjoyed the course. He told me how important it was that I mentioned it to him and thanked me for bringing it to his attention. He was very sincere, seemed genuinely concerned, and told me he would take care of it. Later that night we had a hand written note and an expensive gift in our room to thank us for telling him, and I learned on our final day that he had given us a significant credit to our bill to accommodate our experience on the course.

I will say that this is by far one of the best experiences we have had at an exclusive resort. I have not even mentioned the great work out room, the number of free exercise sessions available to guests, the tennis clinic we took, the mountain bikes and trails right outside the gate, the spa sessions my wife loved, etc.

Lastly, one other point of note-there was a large wedding at the resort on Saturday night. We had heard from some of the staff about the wedding, and jokingly told each other that it might be the one night that we would have to wait for a drink, seat, etc. Just the opposite. The wedding and most of the big halls are on another side of the resort, so that we never heard or even saw most of the group. I never would have known that they were hosting such a large event that evening.

We live less than 50 miles from this resort, but will absolutely go there again and recommend it to everyone we know. We felt as if we were miles away, and it is one of those experiences were we were in vacation mode the minute we walked through the front door. It was spectacular.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
5  Thank kissell_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2008

This resort is amazing. We stayed there for two nights in a beautiful room that overlooked one of the pools. The staff was amazing and exceeded my expectations. The rooms are gorgeous and the bathtub is gigantic, perfect for bubble baths. The food was excellent. We dined at the restaurants and we also ordered room service a couple of times. The spa was equally great with a beautiful lounge area. The only downside was that the golf course had recently been worked on, and my husband said that the grass was difficult to play on becayse of this. Overall, I highly recommend this resort to people who are looking for a great relaxing vacation. I would also pick this hotel over the Four Seasons in Carlsbad, which says a lot!!

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2  Thank melfreeman08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2008

We stayed at the Grand Del Mar over Labor Day weekend. We were extremely impressed with the quality of service, even during what was presumably one of the busiest weekends of the year.

We stayed at the hotel with our 5 month old baby. We requested a crib for the room when we made our reservations. The hotel contacted us before our stay and asked us the name of our baby. When we arrived in our room, the hotel had spelled out our baby's name in colorful sponges around the bathtub. The hotel also gave us a gift for the baby upon our arrival. We were blown away by the attention to detail.

The food at the resort is better than most other hotel food, and there are plenty of options. We also thought the food was reasonably priced, especially compared to other hotels of this class.

The pool area was very crowded, but the staff still managed to help us quickly.

The hotel is a little isolated, so a car is a necessity. But, the isolation also makes for scenic views of the golf course and the mountains. The hotel is in a beautiful setting -- much nicer than the Four Seasons.

The staff consistently impressed us. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to help us. The concierge and bell man remembered our name after our first meeting.

We are usually very picky travelers, but the Grand Del Mar exceeded our expectations in every way.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank gemes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2008

My fiance and I recently had the pleasure of staying at The Grand Del Mar in August (I was invited to stay at the resorts for two comped nights through a work contact). This place is absolutely amazing!

We had a 1-bedroom Palazzo Suite that was extremely luxurious. The decor was perfectly done and the bathrooms were palatial. There wasn't a detail missing: ipod sound-dock and Bose speakers? Check. Champagne flutes and highball glasses? Check. Books in case you forgot reading material? Check. DVD's? Check.

We are quite familiar with Del Mar, and yet didn't feel the need to leave the resort ONCE during our stay! We made great use of the pools (there are several), we had an amazing spa day (see my review of their spa), we enjoyed brunch at Amaya and had an 8-course tasting dinner at Addison.

The staff could not have been more polite or eager to help!

I highly recommend this resort to everyone.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank CACouple111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these San Diego hotels
Pantai Inn
#1 of 24 in La Jolla
1,058 reviews
Pacific Beach
Pacific Terrace Hotel
Pacific Terrace Hotel
#6 of 286 in San Diego
2,067 reviews
Downtown
Pendry San Diego
Pendry San Diego
#3 of 286 in San Diego
417 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
La Valencia Hotel
#5 of 24 in La Jolla
1,212 reviews
Downtown
Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Fairmont Grand Del Mar? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 Spa Hotel in San Diego
#1 Business Hotel in San Diego
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#1 Family Hotel in San Diego
#1 Luxury Hotel in San Diego
#11 Green Hotel in San Diego
Price Range: £321 - £706 (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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Fairmont Hotels, Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking.com, Prestigia, Travel Republic (UK), Evoline ltd, Ebookers, 5viajes2012 S.L., getaroom.com, HotelQuickly and Cancelon so you can book your Fairmont Grand Del Mar reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Grand Del Mar Hotel San Diego
Grand Del Mar Hotel
Grand Del Mar San Diego

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing