Less than two years after opening, The Grand Del Mar Resort has earned a spot on the list of the World’s Best Places to Stay. With arched doorways, verandas overlooking the beautiful golf course and luxurious but comfortable surroundings, the resort spared no expense to create a memorable vacation experience for its guests.

I was fortunate to be invited for a travel industry golf event last weekend at The Grand Del Mar, so I thoroughly inspected some of the 249 rooms (including the 3-bedroom villas), the meeting space, spa, six restaurants, four swimming pools, wedding chapel and the golf facilties.

A local San Diego developer spent $300 million to create a lavish, European-style resort in the middle of the pristine Los Penasquitos canyon preserve about 20 minutes north of the San Diego airport. Crown jewel is the five diamond “Addison” contemporary French restaurant with its 2,500 bottle wine room and exquisite service for only 80 guests. (Even if you don’t dine at Addison, I recommend a cocktail on the restaurant’s bar terrace overlooking the 18th hole).

sbAnd the golf was fantastic. The Tom Fazio-designed 18 hole course was originally built in 1999 as the Meadows Del Mar. Winding up and down the scenic valleys of the Los Penasquitos preserve with varying elevation and championship quality, only private members and resort guests may play here. Forecaddies take the place of GPS, providing helpful yardages, strategy and lost ball assistance. Our caddie Joe shared high-fives and genuine delight when our putts rolled in the cup after his professional advice. The teaching facility and staff are top-notch under the direction of Shawn Cox, PGA Professional and former UW Husky football Hall-of-Famer. I thoroughly enjoyed my swing lessons with Shawn and Robert Gensler, Head Golf Professional, and, after two days of instruction, came away with a sense of real improvement.

Nearby activities include miles of beaches, art galleries, shopping and cultural activities. The resort provides transportation to these areas for its guests but I didn’t want to leave the resort. Various packages are available, some including golf or spa. In addition, Stellar Travel guests at The Grand Del Mar will receive complimentary daily breakfast for two in their guestroom or at one of the resort’s dining options; a $50 or $100 resort credit per stay and complimentary upgrade at time of booking based on availability.

Susan Bluhm/ Stellar Travel Co-President, Golf Travel Specialist – June 17, 2009


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