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.
◆ 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
Once an abandoned 1923 constructed warehouse in Asheville, North Carolina, it took a creative group of designers, artists, musicians, chefs and business folks to transform a neglected, 100-year-old structure into one of Asheville’s most interesting and daring hotel projects.
Embracing a life well lived often means embracing a life well-traveled. Every journey becomes a canvas for experiences that shape our lives and at the heart of every adventure lies the indispensable companion: quality luggage.
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