FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Fairmount Grand Del Mar

by Francis X. Gallagher

Feb 1, 2019
February 2019

Arrival/Check-In: I arrived a little early before check-in time and found my room was not ready. Not a problem; I figured I could check my email in the Lobby Lounge and have a late lunch. I enjoyed a really lovely cheese plate while I waited to be notified my room was ready. About an hour and a half later, I checked again and was told it still was not ready, which was disappointing. Finally, two hours later, I returned again to discover it was ready; the individual had not bothered to inform me. There is no question the hotel was busy; and people were checking out late; and many guests were arguing over the resort fee, which they claimed they did not know about. It was a little embarrassing to overhear these conversations. The fee is reported on the hotel website to be $40 per room per night; some of the families checking out had multiple rooms, so you can imagine their concern.

A wonderful bellman took me to my room and brought my luggage; he worked there since the hotel opened, and I recalled him from my previous stays.

Guest Quarters: By the hotel’s standards, my room was small and the balcony was tiny, but the enormous bathroom made up for this. From the room entrance, a long hallway led to the bathroom on the right, then to a nicely set-up minibar and the open room with a king-sized bed flanked by two nightstands. One wall of the room included a cut-out from the bathroom tub, which could be opened or closed as you soak away. A little vanity was positioned in the cut-out area, and the far right corner was complemented with a curved sofa and small table. A desk provided ample room to set up shop, but the electrical systems by the desk seemed antiquated. A large TV was oddly mounted in a gaudy picture frame, making it hard to view from the desk. The room was comfortable, and I was able to sit on the mini deck and watch people enjoying the gardens below.

The bathroom was a tub lover’s dream with a large soaking tub on the left; double marble sinks; a huge, separate shower stall; and a commode with its own door for privacy. A large changing area was helpful for me, as I was transitioning between trips and was shipping some clothing back home as I continued onward.

There is no question the resort is now fully family-friendly, and there were virtually no couples or singles staying at the hotel, mainly families with children and their multigenerational relatives.

Services/Amenities: I cannot say enough about the golf course and the service there (see my review in the September 2018 issue). There are many restaurants, and I encourage guests to try them. Addison has always been one of my top favorites and features Chef William Bradley’s artisanal approach to creating a lovely experience (GT interviewed Chef Bradley back in 2007). Amaya offers Mediterranean cuisine and great views of the course and makes a good spot for breakfast with your extended family. I find the Lobby Lounge cozy and friendly, a great place to unwind. The golf course offers the Clubhouse Grill, and you can easily walk there. As I was teeing up early and had some work to catch up on, I chose room service the first night but was disappointed at how slow it was, and I had to call down for status at both dinner and breakfast — something I never recall doing before. The food was well done, however; I just think in-room dining became overwhelmed when people like me decided to stay in for the evening.

I also had a hard time securing a simple box to ship some items. I can’t be the only guest who looks for this service.

TOP TAKEAWAYS:

◆ Grand as grand can be, with beautiful gardens!
◆ The property offers a fantastic golf experience.
◆ The bathroom included top amenities and shampoos by Red Flower.

FAIRMONT GRAND DEL MAR

5300 Grand Del Mar Court
San Diego, CA 92130
tel 858 314 2000
fairmont.com

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