7 Reasons to Visit: Live Like Gatsby at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Posted in America, California, North America, On the Ground

In the first ever Fly&Dine “7 Reasons to Visit,” we head down to San Diego for a trip to the opulent Fairmont Grand Del Mar.

There are luxury hotels that feel like a nice place to stay and there are luxury hotels that feel like you get to step into a fantasy life. The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is the latter type of property. It’s a luxury hotel that feels like a sprawling Mediterranean estate that you get to call home for the length of your stay. Your first steps into the Fairmont Grand Del Mar will feel like you’ve gone back in time to 1920s Palm Beach. You’ll be greeted by the always-friendly staff, but your best greeting comes courtesy of a stunning floral arrangement like this:

a large vase of flowers

The palatial estate that doubles as the Fairmont Grand Del Mar sits just north of San Diego and only five miles from the beach. Immediately upon arrival, it’s clear that this place is something of an anomaly when it comes to San Diego hotels. There’s no aura of surfer chic here and despite being built just over ten years ago, the word modern doesn’t really apply. The Fairmont brand has a reputation for maintaining incredibly unique properties that exude high-class luxury and the Grand Del Mar is one of the jewels in their North American crown.

a building with a fountain and trees

7 Reasons to Visit the Fairmont Grand Del Mar

1. 15 Stars

Most luxury hotels are thrilled to tell you that they’ve won the Five-Star award from the Forbes Travel Guide. The Fairmont Grand Del Mar has the rare honor of claiming THREE Five-Star awards for a total of fifteen stars in celebration of their lodging, spa, and on-site fine dining restaurant Addison. That’s nearly enough for its own constellation. There are only eight hotels in the United States to claim triple Five-Star status and the Fairmont Grand Del Mar is the first property in San Diego to ever garner such an impressive accomplishment.

2. The Gatsby Effect

Although the resort was built in 2007, it was designed to look like the creations of famed architect Addison Mizner, who set the standard for opulence with his Palm Beach and Boca Raton properties back in the 1920s. “The property was built to be a luxurious 5-star resort, no expense spared,” says Amy Tew, PR Manager of the resort. “[Builder Doug Manchester] wanted it to be an over-the-top gorgeous Mediterranean estate five miles from the beach in Carmel Valley, CA.†The result is a Mediterranean-influenced gem with an exotic mix of Spanish, Portuguese, Moroccan, and Venetian design features from architect Robert Altevers and interior designer Warren Sheets. With 1920s glam and global charm, you can’t help but feel like you’re in the middle of The Great Gatsby as you walk the grounds of the Grand Del Mar.

3. Naturally Gorgeous

Speaking of the grounds, this property is paradise for nature lovers. Nestled in Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, the hotel sits in the middle of 4,100+ acres of verdant wonderland. With 37 miles of biking, hiking, walking, and horseback riding trails, there’s something for every type of outdoorsperson. If you’re a tree lover, you’ll enjoy the more than 10,000 mature trees on the property.

a pool with water spouting out of it

4. Relaxation with a View

There are 249 guest rooms on site and 31 of those are suites that start at 1,000 square feet. While the rooms themselves are extremely large (the standard rooms average 600 sq.ft.), it’s the views that make them so ideal. Every single room, suite or otherwise, has a “view of something green,” as Tew says. From gardens to canyons to the championship-caliber golf course, you may find yourself parked on your terrace just wondering how you got so lucky to be spending your day at the GDM.

5. Incomparable Dining

It seems like every major city has that one fine dining restaurant that serves as the go-to place for the biggest moments in people’s lives. In San Diego, that restaurant is Addison. Birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, and promotions are just a few of the reasons why it’s worth it to splurge at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar’s signature restaurant. Chef William Bradley is a giant in the San Diego dining scene and the French-inspired tasting menus and never-ending wine list are testaments to the magic that Bradley can work in the kitchen.

6. 18 Holes of Heaven

While your everyday Joe may not know Tom Fazio, any golf fan worth his spikes knows that Fazio creates some of the most legendary courses in the world. At the GDM, Fazio’s 18-hole masterpiece is only open to members of the club and guests of the hotel, which adds an element of sincere exclusivity to a day on the fairways.

7. Floral Fantasia

Brothers of the Bud, unite! Flower fans everywhere will cherish the gorgeous arrangements that can be found all over the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. The resort has a resident orchid caretaker on staff whose job it is to oversee the well-being of all of GDM’s orchids. To add to the bloomphoria, San Diego event planner and florist Kathy Wright brings in 1,000 fresh stems every Thursday to create the stunning lobby arrangement that greets every visitor (see photo above). If the smell of fresh flowers entices you, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar will satisfy you with their floral finesse.

There are, of course, many more reasons to visit the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, but these seven should be enough to get you thinking about your next vacation. For more information and to book a reservation, head over to the Fairmont Grand Del Mar website.


Main image courtesy of Fairmont Grand Del Mar

All other images © 2018 Fly&Dine


  1. Doug Manchester has supported anti-gay marriage efforts in California and his hotels (including this one and the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego) have been boycotted as a result.

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