ESCAPE LONDON-VISIT AMERICA : The Fairmont Grand by Name and Grand by Nature, Del Mar, California

Grand by nature and grand by name!
With the opulence of an historic European manor, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar hotel in San Diego, California, was an utmost pleasure to review.
From the moment you walk through the front door,  to the time strolling through the beautiful 17th century English Levens Hall-style garden topiary
and rose gardens (rather rare in California), or lazing by one of their three luxury pools, you feel such a warm sense of traditional elegance.
The beautifully intricate, solid wood, wall paneling,  carved stone and wrought iron staircases reminded me of many a visit to English manor houses (think Downton  Abbey). In fact, I do believe they had a very suitably themed Downton Abbey event recently.
The attention to authentic Victorian detail and the design of this 12 year old hotel is extraordinary.
Relaxing and enjoying the Fairmont Grand could not be easier. I chose the “relaxation pool” which had joyous and vibrant splashes of bright red and white decor. The “no children and no cell phones” notice was a Godsend and, to top it off, it boasted the biggest jacuzzi I think I have ever seen. It’s a must!
Moving on to the dining experience, and I do say “experience”. Even if one is not staying at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, I simply have to recommend the restaurant Amaya. It is worth the trip into the hills any day of the week.
What was even more impressive was the ambience; the al fresco dining, with the moonlight, the embers of the fire pit keeping you warm, overlooking the delicately lit gardens; it couldn’t be more serene, calming and utterly enjoyable. The food was exquisite. After 3 hours of lazy dining on deliciously seasoned meatballs, filet mignon, along with the scallops and fine wine, we shut the restaurant down.
Sometimes you just want to enjoy a meal, with good conversation, without interruption for as long into the evening as happens. The Fairmont Grand certainly gave this type of five star “European” style customer service. I’m happy to report it’s clear they have taken a leaf out of the European book, and respond to guests individual needs.
In the morning, the brekky was utterly delicious! Hot crispy potatoes, perfectly  poached egg, and hand-made, tasty herbed chicken sausage was finished off with a freshly baked, soft and buttery pain au chocolate. Again, Prince Harry would say “yummy” !
The 18-hole golf course…..
….and the pro-tennis courts  are there for the sports fans with a calming spa to soothe away any sore muscles and stress afterwards.
The beautiful scenery, views and hotel is just perfect for romantic weddings.
One additional thing which I was pleasantly pleased to see and that I’ve not seen in any hotel yet, is the earth-friendly mindset of the Fairmont Grand Del Mar.
Their objective to consider the environment, people and world around them, was very refreshing. The recycling bins in each room and throughout the hotel, and donation of left over food to food banks is a worthy cause. This unique thoughtful fairness of the Fairmont Grand will go a long way.