DEL MAR, California- Overlooking the blue waters of the Pacific, the AAA Four Diamond L’Auberge Del Mar, was constructed in 1910 on the former site of the historic Stratford Inn. In its heyday, the resort hosted guests like Lucy and Desi Arnaz and Jimmy Durante. During WWII, the property opened its doors to soldiers and their families.
Falling into a state of disrepair in the post-war years, the hotel was demolished in 1969 and re-built in 1985 with the new incarnation re-opening in 1989. A 25 million renovation took place in 2008 as well as another more recent makeover. In addition to its storied past and exemplary upkeep, the property is green and is designated as an Ocean Friendly California resort by the Surfrider Foundation.
All 121 guest rooms, including 7 suites, feature village, garden, or coastal views and have up-to-date technology, luxurious bedding, marble baths, and private balconies or patios. Accommodations from which to choose include Coastal, Coastal Fireplace, Cabana, Village, Village Fireplace, Garden Terrace, Pacific Suite, Village Suite, Del Mar Suite, and Connected Patio.
The latter is a set of rooms connected by a large patio, perfect for larger parties who want to stay together. Special getaway packages like the Signature, Overnight, and Romance are available.
Del Mar Dining
Dining options include Kitchen 1540, Coastline, Bleu Bar, and room service. Kitchen 1540 offers locally sourced fare, including housemate pasta, prepared by Executive Chef Nathan Lingle. Dining hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 6:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Coastline serves breakfast and lunch and has a daily menu offered from 2 p.m. until closing. A selection of fish, tacos, salads, sandwiches, and a heartier fare is available. Bleu Bar, casual by day, hip by night, serves Bites like grilled fish tacos as well as salads and sandwiches. An extensive list of wine, beer, and handcrafted cocktails is also available.
Spa L’Auberge was among Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 25 Spas in the US. Facials, skincare, massages, body treatments, manicures, and pedicures are some of the services offered in addition to monthly spa packages. A year-round heated pool and a 24-hour fitness room are also on the premises of the hotel.
Outdoor activities in the year-round temperate climate of San Diego might include a visit to Torrey Pines State National Reserve, surfboarding lessons, cycling the coast, and a kayaking tour of La Jolla’s marine ecological reserve. Popular Sea Grove Park is within walking distance of the property and the beautifully manicured grass, flowers, and trees overlook miles of the pristine, sandy coastline. Additionally, the hotel’s front desk will help you plan activities from picnics to volleyball to hot air balloon rides.
US News & World Report named this resort one of the Top 5 Best San Diego Hotels, and it earned The Readers’ Choice Travel Award for being the Most Romantic from San Diego Magazine. If these accolades don’t persuade you, the resort’s proximity to the beach, the Del Mar Racetrack, and the shopping district of Del Mar Village should give you a few more reasons to visit L’Auberge Del Mar.
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Accommodations and meals were provided free of charge for this review. All opinions herein are the authors.