You want a relaxing vaycay and your kids crave adventure. Have it all and then some with a staycation in the lap of luxury at San Diego’s Fairmont Grand Del Mar. From the immaculate grounds to the Five-Star restaurant, read on to learn more about this escape to a nearby destination that’s a world away from the ordinary.

photo: Fairmont Grand Del Mar

The Lay of the Land

This prestigious retreat boasts stunning architecture reminiscent of an old-world Mediterranean estate and is a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond luxury San Diego resort. Sprawling across 400 coastal canyon acres, here you’ll find first-class service, Southern California’s only Five-Star and Five-Diamond restaurant, an immaculate golf course, pools, tennis, an Explorer’s Club for Kids and much more. In spite of the luxe digs, you’ll find that this resort is totally kid-welcoming.

Family-Friendly Activities

Fairmont Grand Del Mar makes an unforgettable backdrop for special occasion events including Mother’s & Father’s Day and offers a posh way to spend spring break close to home. Golf enthusiasts will relish the opportunity to play a round on San Diego’s only Tom Fazio golf course and parents will be pleased that the green fees for kids 12 and younger are complimentary and half-price for ages 13-17. There’s also a Junior Varsity Golf Clinic for kids ages 5-12 as well as The Grand Junior Golf Academy. Junior TaylorMade rental clubs are complimentary, too.

Additionally, families can enjoy plenty of leisure pool time (more on this below), go on a guided hike through Los Peñasquitos Canyon with a knowledgeable naturalist, take a family tennis lesson, or have Grand Del Mar staff drop the whole clan off at the beach (just five miles away) complete with umbrellas, beach chairs, towels and bottled water. Other activities may be on offer during your stay, including a canyon to waterfall hike and kayaking the seven caves of La Jolla.

While children aren’t permitted in the resort’s Spa, services include two hours of Explorer’s Club use for one kiddo (age 5-12).

An Afternoon Tea to Remember

Looking for an unforgettable way to spend Mother’s Day or a birthday or other special occasion? Make a reservation for a decadent Afternoon Tea in the Fairmont Grand Del Mar’s Library. This time-honored tradition is truly next level in this elegant setting complete with picturesque views of the Resort’s grounds and Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve in the distance. Raise a pinky for a pot of tea in a wide array of choices in categories of black tea, green tea, white tea and herbal tea. We loved the Long Island Strawberry white tea: an exceptional blend of luxury grade Japanese Sencha layered with pleasant, grassy sweetness.

The good times keep rolling beyond the tea sipping as the Afternoon Tea includes finger sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream and preserves and an array of petite pastries from decadent layered cakes to profiterole delights. Choose between the ‘Grand’ tea which includes three courses and choice of tea or the ‘Royal’ tea which included three courses, choice of tea and a glass of fine rosé.

Grand Tea is $54/person. Royal Tea is $65/person. Call 858-314-1988 to make a reservation.

Make a Splash!

Dive into the high life at one of the Resort’s stunning pools, which are heated to the perfect temperature to take a dip any time. Three of the four pools are for everyone and there’s one adult-only pool. Kids will get a huge kick out of the music playing underwater. Other perks include a Pool Bar, a pool menu for appetizers and drinks, a kid’s pool with a wading section, and of course, laying on plush lounge chairs under iconic palm trees in the San Diego sunshine.

photo: Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Explorer’s Club

This amenity that’s just for kids has varying hours and advance reservations are required, so be sure to get your kids scheduled for some serious fun during your visit. The Explorer’s Club is available to guests ages 5-12 and features all the latest video game systems, board games, foosball, arts and crafts, air hockey and more! You’ll want to drop your little ones off here so you can go enjoy an adult-only dinner at Addison, the only Five-Star and Five Diamond restaurant in SoCal.

photo: Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Kids’ Dining Programs

We all know dining out on vacation gets costly, which is why it’s great to know there are several perks and dining options for kids at the resort, as well as special kids’ menus at Amaya, the resort pool and The Clubhouse Grill. Kids 5 and younger eat for free when ordering from the Amaya kids’ menu or dining from the buffet when they’re with a registered adult guest. Kids ages 6-12 receive 50% off when dining with a registered adult guest at Amaya or The Clubhouse Grill.

photo: Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Luxurious Accommodations

The guest rooms and suites at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar will truly make you feel like you’re royalty. Rooms are a fusion of comforting touches like cozy beds and robes and opulent design––which creates an ambiance that’s both welcoming and special. You’ll appreciate the chance to luxuriate in a deep soaking tub in the large marble bathroom. Experience the serenity of stepping out on your room’s terrace to soak up the peaceful silence of the surrounding canyon while enjoying views of the Resort’s lush gardens complete with endless flowers, fountains and gazebos. Kids will love soaking up nature right outside their door.

5300 Grand Del Mar Court
San Diego, CA 92130


Photos by Beth Shea except where noted.

This trip was paid for by Fairmont Grand Del Mar but all opinions expressed here belong to the writer.

––Beth Shea


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