The Fairmont Grand Del Mar: One Of San Diego's Grandest Hotels

San Diego's north coast promises 70 miles of silky white beaches, enthralling vistas, secluded parks and gardens, intimate cafes, and enticing restaurants. One resort in this area houses everything needed for a perfect weekend getaway: The Fairmont Grand Del Mar.

Located 20 miles north of San Diego in the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, the Mediterranean-style luxury resort offers an equestrian center, Tom Fazio-designed golf course, tennis courts, fitness center, hiking and walking trails, and four heated swimming pools. The 21,000 square foot spa features lounges with fireplaces and indoor Jacuzzis. There is also a quiet relaxation pool and a salon. For guests who want to head to the beach, the resort offers free transportation and chairs, umbrellas, and water for the day.

Inspired by the villas of Spain and France, the resort's 249 rooms are lavishly decorated with gold brocaded chairs and loveseats, separate soaking tubs and showers, crystal lamps, antique furniture, and Pratesi linens. Some rooms include fireplaces and all have tranquil canon views.

Food lovers can spend their entire stay enjoying the culinary options at the resort's six venues. Elegant fine dining at Addison, the Grand's signature restaurant, features Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef William Bradley's seasonal French inspired menu. Housed in a building away from the main resort, Addison's big leather banquettes, wooden floors, high ceilings, marble bar, and wooden chandeliers offer a regal old world atmosphere. Guests can order from the chef's tasting menu, which recently featured oysters with Asian pear; mussels in green curry and coconut; foie gras pot de crème with a passionfruit gelee; crab and smoked bacon; mascarpone agnolotti; seasonal seafood with fennel and saffron; coddled egg with mushrooms and white asparagus; escargot; sablefish and kale; and a choice of lavender panna cotta, apple parfait and strawberry matcha for dessert. A smaller four-course menu is also offered including a tableside cheese service.

Equally beautiful is the on-site restaurant Amaya offering views of the Mediterranean-inspired architecture and golf course. Offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the Italian-inspired main dinner courses include meatballs; a variety of pizzas; a seafood platter with mussels, prawns, oysters, tuna crudo, and octopus; steaks and grilled fish options; eggplant parmigiana; fettuccine carbonara; gnocchi Bolognese; mushroom risotto; cioppino; Jidori chicken; and lamb with creamy polenta.

There are several more dining options: The elegant lobby lounge serves a wide variety of seasonal cocktails and small bites; the Clubhouse Grill's menu includes breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner dishes; the dark wood accented Cent'Anni Café serves gourmet coffees, teas, pressed sandwiches, and gelato; and the luxurious library hosts an elegant afternoon tea with pastries, cakes, tea sandwiches and teas. Guests can also dine poolside or enjoy a large in-room menu.

The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is one of the most luxurious resorts I've ever encountered. The only drawback to a stay here is having to check out!