Fairmont Grand Del Mar, one of the world’s only Forbes fifteen-star properties, is also one of San Diego’s best luxury hotels for families.
Its peaceful and central location in the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve opens up a wide range of outdoor activities that all ages enjoy while placing guests within a short drive of San Diego’s most popular attractions. That is, if you can bear to leave the resort.
Families choose Fairmont Grand Del Mar San Diego for the reasons listed below and many others. I know because it’s one of my most booked San Diego family hotels.
See also: Best Luxury Hotels in San Diego
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1. The Explorer’s Club Kids’ Club
Fairmont Grand Del Mar’s is one of the few San Diego hotels with a year-round kids’ club.
Kids ages 5–12 adore spending time in the state-of-the-art Explorer’s Club with its traditional games such as foosball, ping pong, air hockey, and board games, in addition to the latest video games for Nintendo Wii, Kinect for Xbox One, and PlayStation.
Creatives draw all over the floor-to-ceiling Seawall, an illuminated plasma mural, and make crafts from fully-stocked arts and crafts stations. Explorer’s Club participants also head outside for hula hoop competitions, scavenger hunts, animal visits, and more. Kids join for half or full days, and a fee applies.
Kids ages 5 and under may participate in the Explorer’s Club when accompanied by an adult. Fairmont Grand Del Mar can arrange childcare, too, for babies and toddlers.
2. Main Pool with Sandy Area
It’s pool weather in San Diego nearly year-round. Families spend time at the heated Main Pool with its cabanas, Pool Bar, and underwater music.
A children’s pool with a wading area and a sandy play area round out the poolside fun.
See also: Best Hotel Pools in San Diego
3. Beach Butler Service
Beach butler service seamlessly transfers guests to and from Del Mar’s family-friendly 18th Street beach with towels, water, umbrellas, and beach chairs with advanced notice.
The resort requests you to make reservations for beach butler service in advance through the concierge desk.
4. Trails for Walking, Hiking, and Biking
The 37 miles of trails in the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve also provide plenty of opportunities for hiking and biking past some of the 500 species of local flora and 175 types of birds in addition to lizards, deer, creeks, remnants of prehistoric sites, and more.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar offers a complimentary, guided Saturday hike for guests. Or, grab one of their BMW bikes (including kids’ bicycles) and helmets and hit the trails on your own.
5. Onsite Equestrian Center
Speaking of trails, explore them on a horseback or pony ride. The Fairmont Grand Del Mar’s Equestrian Center also offers professional riding lessons and day camps for kids.
Note that the Equestrian Center’s days of operation are Tuesday–Sunday and that you’ll need to pack pants and closed-toed athletic shoes or boots, preferably with a little heel. (With our shorts and flip flops culture, this little reminder is necessary.)
Also, even if you don’t have a ride scheduled, you can walk down to see the horses throughout the day. They’re just a few minutes from the Main Pool area, near the tennis courts.
6. Junior Golf
Junior golfers ages 12 and under receive complimentary green fees on San Diego’s only Tom Fazio golf course when accompanied by an adult. Youths ages 13–17 play for half price. All can improve their skills at The Grand Golf Academy, and no need to worry about packing junior clubs as they have them.
7. Family Tennis
Families can play tennis together on their own or book a family tennis lesson designed to improve everyone’s skills that is also set to music.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar hosts seasonal combined golf and tennis camps that finish with an afternoon of swimming or fun in the Explorer’s Club.
8. Two Hours of Explorer’s Club with Spa Treatments
Book a treatment at the Forbes five-star spa and receive two hours of Explorer’s Club for one child. Yes, they do want you to relax.
In addition to a treatment, spa guests can use the adults-only relaxation pool, wet and dry saunas, whirlpools, relaxation lounges with teas and snacks, and more.
9. Family Activities
Fairmont Grand Del Mar offers a variety of family activities year-round with a more robust schedule during peak family travel seasons such as summer and other holidays.
In the past, these activities have included animal visits on the Garden Lawn, Dive-In movies, magic shows, and a family par three golf course.
10. Special Dining Programs for Kids Who Are Resort Guests
The food throughout Fairmont Grand Del Mar is outstanding, and kids get to enjoy it for less. Kids under the age of 5 eat complimentary when ordering from the Amaya children’s menu when accompanied by a registered adult guest.
Kids ages 6–12 who order from the Amaya or The Clubhouse Grill menu receive a 50% discount when accompanied by a registered adult guest.
Book Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Fairmont Grand Del Mar is one of my favorite hotels in San Diego because of its excellent service, amenities, and spacious rooms. My readers can book in with special Virtuoso amenities that add value to a stay and may include breakfast for two, an resort credit, upgrades, occasionally a 3rd night free, and more.
Book only with the number of adults traveling to get the correct rate, and I’ll add on your kids later.
- Upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability (excluding suites)
- Daily breakfast for two guests per bedroom, served in Amaya or in-room dining (up to $70 per bedroom per day)
- $100USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
They are offering a 4th night free promotion in 2022 on certain dates. You may need to be logged into Virtuoso.com to see this rate.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar sometimes offers a Grand Experiences rate that can be more beneficial than Virtuoso for stays of two nights or longer as it has a daily $100 resort credit. Look for this rate on their website as it is not available for all dates.
Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).
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