My free night certificate from Chase Fairmont visa card (RIP) was expiring sometime in mid August. I had previously called and extended the expiration by a month time but extension wasn’t going to happen again. My actual plan was to use these certificate at Banff property but they had too many dates where booking with certificate was not possible and the dates that were bookable simply did not work out for me. Anyway, I eventually settled for Grand Del Mar in San Diego because it did fit my plan and I was curious to stay at one of the very few (like 11 i think) properties in US with 5 star rating for room, restaurant, as well as spa.
Getting to Del Mar
There is no public transportation and the hotel won’t pick you from the airport so we decided to take uber which cost around $30. Lyft is another alternative but since I had about $75 of Uber credit from Amex cards, I stuck with Uber.
I’m just going to jot down some of the first impressions I had.
- This property is huge.
- Golf course looks fantastic.
- The property only is 3 story tall.
- The exterior of the lobby doesn’t look great from distance.
- The lobby looks nice.
- The hallways go on forever and ever.
I had used a “Complimentary Room Upgrade” from Chase Fairmont Visa but I’m not sure how big of an upgrade it was. Our room “Deluxe Veranda Queen” was far away from the lobby and it felt like like we walked on the hallway forever. Thankfully there was a stairways next to our room so we stuck with taking strairs. The view from the room was okay but I knew there were rooms with far better views.
The room in itself looked splendid. I really dug the gold theme of this hotel. The theme was in the lobby, in the bed room, and even more so in the bathroom. They went as far as to get a fitting design for bathroom amenities which were pretty good by the way.
Also the minibar and coffee station were setup pretty neatly. I will always appreciate an extra sink outside of bathroom.
Around the Hotel
The property is huge so naturally there is quite a few things to see around the hotel. Within a minute of getting out of the building we encountered this bunny.
The hotel has many activities some of which change day-to-day. You can review a lit of what is offered by checking a brochure like the one shown below. Some of them are complementary so don’t dismiss them right away. If anyone is booking Fairmont then I suggest them to request a PDF version of such brochure in advance.
Among all the activities they offer, golf course is their biggest attraction. If you’re not a golfer then try tennis because racket and ball is complementary.
I think using a free night certificate at this property was a good choice sweetened by the fact that there is no resort fee. I suggest only going to Del Mar if you plan to stay in the area the whole time. I would not recommend going back and forth to San Diego city. I would recommend making use of complimentary transportation to nearby areas though.
P.S. Make sure to check out the USS Midway Museum in San Diego.