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A Family Vacation at Its Finest: Making Cherished Childhood Memories

Childhood is a magical time, and the memories of family vacations are among the most treasured of all. But how do you satisfy the needs of a diverse group while providing ample recreation and relaxation? It’s simple! Named TripAdvisor’s #1 Luxury Hotel in California, Fairmont Grand Del Mar is a Southern California vacation paradise. Evoking the mystery and majesty of a European villa, this beautifully landscaped wonderland is designed to stir the imaginations of young princes and princesses. A Five-Star and FiveDiamond rated resort, its sparkling fountains, European styling and posh interiors impart an indelible impression.

LDesigned for Families

Entertainment options are endless. Located within easy driving distance of downtown San Diego, miles of gorgeous coastline and shopping districts, this luxury hotel offers a cornucopia of family-friendly programs, events, classes and opportunities for unlimited quality time. Whether your clan is artsy or outdoorsy, you’ll find plenty of engaging and interesting things to do. Children ages 5-12 love making new friends at the Explorer’s Club, which features an interactive mural and backlit marine wall. They can delight in crafts, activities, movies and thrilling games. Lunch and dinner are included, and half-day or full-day attendance means you can luxuriate in the spa knowing your kiddos are busy and safely having a blast.

Of course, no sunny San Diego vacation is complete without a ride on the Giant Dipper, a classic wooden roller coaster at Belmont Park in Mission Beach, where arcade amusements abound, and LEGOLAND is just a hop, skip and a jump away. Budding wildlife biologists love local kid-pleasing Birch Aquarium at Scripps, San Diego Safari Park and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

Play as a Family

The very cool (yet heated) Resort Pool features white sand seating, fire pits, underwater music and a wading pool for little dippers. Light refreshments and cocktails are served at the Pool Bar. Better yet, book a cabana to secure your own private “island” escape or take your resort experience to the seashore with the Grand Beach Service, where hotel staff transport you to Del Mar’s 18th Street beach and set you up with chairs, sun umbrella, towels and water for a worry-free beach day.


Prefer to brush up on your backhand or get a grip on your swing? Family golf and tennis lessons are taught by seasoned athletic pros on the gorgeous greens and courts.Tennis lessons are customized to each player’s skill level, while music and fun games build both skill and a sense of camaraderie. Single or three-day junior tennis and golf camps for guests ages 7-13 balance focused training with play time at the pool or Explorer’s Club.Junior Varsity Golf Clinic attendees adore using smaller-sized TaylorMade clubs on the one-of-a-kind, Tom Fazio-designed golf course, and you’ll love the complimentary tee times and free (for ages 5-12) or reduced (for ages 13-17) rates.

Parents and college kids can maintain regular strength training and cardio routines with instructor-led yoga and Pilates classes or go solo in the fitness room furnished with the latest equipment and accessories, iced citrus water, televisions and towels. For those who prefer a slower pace, the resort’s lush lawns and walking paths offer a mellow contrast to high-intensity sports by inviting leisurely, twilight strolls. On Saturday mornings, connect with nature during a guided hike at Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. Explore vibrant local habitats to the peaceful soundtrack of rippling creeks and tumbling waterfalls in this 3,700-acre preserve featuring an historic, adobe ranch house and museum. Would you rather ride than walk? Saddle up on a pretty pony and take a jaunt on horseback along the canyon trails.

Family-friendly Dining

All this activity can work up a healthy appetite. The Clubhouse Grill is sure to be a favorite hang-out. In addition to tasty salads, sandwiches and burgers, the menu includes crowd pleasing chicken and waffles, fish n’ chips and mac and cheese, and the kitchen selects only the best sustainable, market-fresh foods. Whether your young ones are adventurous eaters or prefer to stick with their favorite dishes, the children’s dining programs are designed to cater to their taste buds with specialty menus at Amaya and the Resort Pool.

The adventures don’t end there. The Fairmont Grand Del Mar hosts seasonal events and activities for enticing experiences year-round. Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas buffets, afternoon teas and dining parties make holiday celebrations extra special. In December, Winter Wonderland at the Grand transforms the resort into a frosty playground. Sled down the snow hill, ride the carousel or Ferris wheel, toast melty s’mores around a fire and listen to carolers sing beside the 25-foot Christmas tree. There’s no end to the memories you’ll make.

You and Me Time

Remember to save time to rejuvenate in the hotel’s magnificent spa. Choose blissful massages, skin-soothing facials and body treatments. Scheduled treatments include two complimentary hours of Explorer’s Club use for one child. Teens feel extra special when you book mother-and-daughter styling services.

Everybody needs a little time away, and one of the most important rules of parenting is self-care. Whether you desire grown-up time in the Lobby Lounge, a romantic dinner for two at Addison, the resorts signature restaurant, or dancing till the wee hours at Club M, the Concierge is happy to arrange childcare for toddlers and kids.

A Memorable Retreat

The glorious guest rooms provide a tranquil family retreat. Even the most discriminating mother-in-law approves the goose down pillows and luxurious linens in the spacious, splendidly appointed guest rooms and suites. Each one showcases a unique view of the grounds. Rooms are fully stocked with amenities, including 40-inch, HD wide-screen TVs, high-speed Wi-Fi and ‘round the clock dining services. Precious pets are welcomed as four-legged family members, and Guest Services gladly accommodates any special or mobility needs.

A vacation at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar makes planning a breeze, and the dedicated, friendly staff provides a caring, inclusive stay for every member of your family. Memories made here will last a lifetime.



Kirsten Flournoy writes about discovering and enjoying the finer things in life. Her work and recreation have taken her to the U.K., the Netherlands, Greece and Romania. She lives in San Diego, California and considers pastry a food group.

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