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The Spa at The Grand Del Mar - Spa Review

A Grand Spa Getaway in San Diego, California

By Irvina Lew

The women's lounge at The Spa at The Grand Del Mar
The women's lounge at The Spa at The Grand Del Mar

The Grand Del Mar Spa Review

We've been treating ourselves to spa stays in Northern San Diego County since my first spascape at La Costa, in Carlsbad, decades ago. The sun-drenched area offers near perfect weather, a long coastline with beaches, hills and valleys that attract hikers. The area is studded with grand golf resorts, a couple of which are adjacent to fabulous undisturbed, pristine and protected-from-development lands. The Grand Del Mar, off Carmel Valley Road, is an over-the-top, recently built resort constructed like a Mediterranean palace designed for royalty. Its exterior pastel walls, red tile roofs and curved arches don’t hint at the extravagance within the massive structure. There are marble floors, hand-carved, marble columns, hand-painted ceilings, wrought iron stair railings, antique bronze chandeliers and huge curving staircases. Design details like key stones on the arched doorways and moldings abound. The accommodations are oversized with balconies overlooking the Tom Fazio golf course and bathrooms big enough for a family of five. For fine dining, Addison is considered one of Southern California's finest restaurants.

Enjoy a massage in the warm and inviting couples suite Framed Hermes scarves on the walls inside The Spa at The Grand Del Mar
The couples suite
Framed Hermes scarves as art

The spa is equally over-the-top. Situated on a lower wing, it opens out to an enormous adult-only lap pool (and a terrace for spa dining). The space features white Carrera marble, reflective crystal glass tiles and carved woods. On the one hand, it’s beyond plush — the robes, the upholstery, on the framed Hermes scarves walls—and on the other, it’s down-to-earth natural. The spa uses organic spa products that incorporate enriching elements of the earth: warm mineral muds and clays, native herbs, soothing stones and calming botanicals. Some of these elements are resourced directly from the adjacent Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, a 4000-acre natural wonderland replete with an abundance of flora and fauna including 175 varieties of birds.

Not counting the superb spa services — some available in the oversized couple's suite in front of a fireplace — the highlight of our three-day stay was a four mile hike with Dylan Jones, the resort naturalist. With his guidance, we discovered the pristine preserve which stretches seven miles inland from 1-5 past majestic oak and Sycamore trees, a fresh water marsh, a stream with a waterfall cascade and an adobe hut from 1823. Dylan noted that we were walking on an ancient Native American footpath which became the well-traveled stagecoach route between San Antonio and San Diego in the mid-nineteenth century. This property, with its lavish accommodations and spa, is well-situated to be an exclusive getaway for all.

The Grand Del Mar
5300 Grand Del Mar Court
San Diego, CA 92103

(Updated 3/21/13 KNF)

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