If you’re looking for a hotel near LEGOLAND California Resort, Grand Pacific Palisades Resort and Hotel is an excellent option for those who are looking for home-like accommodations with resort amenities. My daughter and I were hosted there recently for two nights in order to explore the Carlsbad area including, of course, LEGOLAND California.

A vacation rental set-up is ideal for families with young kids though it can also benefit a wide range of travelers.

Easy Location Near LEGOLAND California

legoland california rides

Grand Pacific Palisades sits on twelve lush, expansive acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Carlsbad, just west of the I-5 off Palomar Airport Road and across the street from LEGOLAND.

In fact, you can cross the street and cut across the LEGOLAND parking lot to arrive at the front gates in less than 10 minutes. It would take you 5 minutes or so to walk from your car to the gates anyway if you drove to the park.

California Casual Rooms and Suites

Grand Pacific Palisades Carlsbad Resort Villa Suite

Our one-bedroom villa suite was fully decorated in a pretty sea-themed, neutral palette to feel like home with a comfortable sofa and formal dining room table which made an excellent place to tackle a LEGO set. We slept well in our plush, king-sized bed despite the presence of a giant panda my daughter won at LEGOLAND. Blackout shades kept both rooms pretty dark though the blinds in the kitchen let in a tiny bit of light (that wasn’t a big deal).

Having a fully-stocked kitchen is incredibly convenient with kids in tow. I saw a number of families making trips to the nearby Costco to stock up for the week or grab a couple of pizza for a casual dinner. Coffee (one packet), tea and hot chocolate are provided in the room upon check-in but you’ll need to get your own supplies after that.

Grand Pacific Palisades Resort Villa Kitchen

Flat-screen TVs in the living area and bedroom meant one for each of us and air conditioning is available though you probably won’t need it in the temperate coastal climate.

The huge bathroom included a combo shower/tub, another separate shower, two sinks, and Bath and Body Works amenities. It had sort of a 1980s feel and could use an update but it certainly gets the job done and you could not complain about the amount of space available!

A number of rooms, like ours, have sweeping views over Carlsbad straight to the ocean resulting in truly spectacular sunsets that we could enjoy from the comfort of our patio chairs.

View of Carlsbad beach from our room at Grand Pacific Palisades Resort and Hotel
Eat In or Out

Very nice barbecues are sprinkled throughout the resort for guest use. As mentioned earlier, Costco is just a few minutes away along with a number of convenience restaurants. Traditional grocery stores aren’t that far away either. The in-room kitchens have plenty of storage space and there are carts to use in order to get your goods from the car to your room.

Karl Strauss Carlsbad Breakfast Buffet

But, having Karl Strauss Brewing Company as the onsite restaurant is pretty cool. During our stay, they opened at 7:00 a.m. for a fairly decent buffet breakfast with custom omelettes, fruit, pastries, bacon, French toast, potatoes, scrambled eggs, cereal and a make your own waffle station (from a mix, I think). Though it feels a bit strange to be eating breakfast in a brewery, the price before tip for my daughter and I was about $20 which is a pretty good deal.

And, in case you didn’t know, San Diego is famous for its craft beer scene so this is a place you’d want to sip suds anyway (I have no idea if you can at breakfast… I didn’t go there). Later in the evening, I sampled the Oktoberfest which was delicious. Ages 21 and up can sign-up for brewery tours.

Grand Pacific Palisades Resort and Hotel Amenities

Family pool with cabanas and water play area at Grand Pacific Palisades in Carlsbad

Guests are presented with a busy calendar of events upon check-in including day trips from San Diego, poolside bingo, chances to make-your-own root beer floats, sunset s’mores, pool table challenges, face painting and much more. The upshot to the events is that they are an opportunity for kids on the property to get to know each other. Isn’t vacation more fun when there’s someone new to play with?

A quieter, Olympic-sized adults pool with an ocean view is set just off the lobby and perfect for swimming laps. All ages gather at the family pool which has cabanas and a water play area for the kids. Also nearby is a basketball court, shuffleboard court, playground and a huge patch of grass for more outdoor fun. To pump young kids for a visit to LEGOLAND, LEGO figures are sprinkled around the resort.

Grand Pacific Palisades Carlsbad Resort Kids Play Area

A small sundry store in the lobby provides snacks, coffee drinks and other conveniences for purchase and there’s a great arcade with air hockey, video games, and more kid fun. It looks like babysitting can be arranged in the kids club but it wasn’t open during our stay. A courtesy trolley can escort guests to places within a 5-mile radius of the resort.

Things to Do Near Grand Pacific Palisades Resort and Hotel

In addition to LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium, the Carlsbad Premium Outlets are a haven for shopping enthusiasts. The resort also overlooks the famous Carlsbad Flower Fields which is a must-visit San Diego attraction when blooming. The Museum of Making Music is also within walking distance and has a room at the end where kids can play a huge variety of instruments.

Palomar Airport, now servicing major airlines like United, is just down the road. Of course, the nearby beaches and golf courses are gorgeous. There are a number of things to do in Carlsbad these days!

Final Thoughts

Grand Pacific Palisades Resort suite living room

Grand Pacific Palisades rooms and suites are vacation rentals and I did receive a few phone calls in-room with soft pitches for future stays and the like. However, the future stay was something incredibly enticing like four nights for $250 total so that did not bother me.

The resort definitely suits family travel and those who prefer conveniences of home or are in need of accommodation for an extended period of time. I would say that if you’re traveling without kids, try to book a room or suite on the upper level or away from the family pool area for a bit more quiet. During the weekend of our stay, there were kids running around and riding their toys brought from home all over the ground floor sidewalks… which is great for families like mine.

*Thank you to Grand Pacific Palisades and ResorTime for hosting us. Opinions are my own.

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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