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Fairmont Grand Del Mar Hotel at dusk

Message from the Executive Team

April 20, 2020

Dear Grand Heartists,

We never could have imagined that something like COVID-19 could come along and so quickly turn our lives upside down.  With all of the turmoil, communication is more important than ever so we wanted to create a weekly newsletter to share the most current information with all of you.

It was with deep sadness that we temporarily suspended all resort operations effective April 3rd due to the COVID-19 crisis.  There is not currently a reopening date to share until the Governor of California and local authorities provide updates to closure and shelter in place regulations so we look to share updates on our reopening date later in April. This short-term closure resulted in additional furloughs throughout the resort and we are now working with just a small skeleton team to maintain emergency services.

The hallway may be dark, but the spirit of all we have accomplished is alive and well.  We all look forward to the day in the not so distant future when we are all back together taking care of our guests and each other.  In the immediate future, we need to continue to stay home, stay healthy and focus on flattening the curve.

We are thinking of all of you and your families and wanted to use this opportunity to tell you a little about what is keeping all of us inspired and giving us comfort from the stress of this crisis and the 24 hours bad news cycle.  We plan that each week a member of the Executive Committee will share a brief update and ways they are spending time at home.  We are starting with Sales & Marketing to talk a little bit about our grand future and how we remained focused on rebounding strong after this crisis. 

Until next week, be well

Your Executive Committee

Joern, Christina, Tanya, Peter, Juan, Francois & Charles

Key Contacts

Joern Schwaiger


Christina Del Castillo


Tanya Matthews


Peter Pagano


Juan Alvarez


Francois Bouffard

Please contact Joern Schwaiger during closure

Charles Stewart

Please contact Tanya Matthews during closure

Talent & Culture

We truly appreciate your incredible patience and understanding during this challenging time. We care for you and your loved ones and want you to know that you are our key priority. As shared, medical benefits will continue through April & May to all of our colleagues on furlough as a result of the unprecedented impact of COVID-19.

It is our sincere desire to support, assist and inform you and ensure you have access to the resources you need as we navigate through this unexpected situation together.  The Talent & Culture office is open Tuesday-Thursday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm to answer your questions. You may also contact me at or (858) 314-2082 for assistance.

Please stay safe!

Christina Del Castillo,

Director of Talent & Culture

Medical Benefits

The resort will continue to fund our portion of your benefits for April and May.  To pay for your portion, to pay by check:

To pay by check: In the memo details on the check please put “April Benefits”

Please mail to the following address:

Attention: Finance

5200 Grand Del Mar Court

San Diego, CA 92130

A Message from Tanya Matthews, Regional Director of Sales & Marketing

This continues to be a challenging time for me both professionally and personally.  The last few weeks have been the hardest of my career, faced with tough choices our team and our business.  I was touched but in no way surprised by the professionalism, every member of my team displayed during the initial crisis.  They were all so incredible, strong and compassionate.  They displayed nothing but care for our customers and fellow colleagues, all while they faced incredible personal challenges of their own.  There will still be tough times ahead, but seeing the spirit of the team in this crisis makes me proud to be part of the family at Fairmont Grand Del Mar. 

Right now, the number one question that I am asked is about our business for the future.  Throughout this crisis, we continue to receive leads for new business later in 2020 and beyond.  While it remains much quieter than usual, customers are telling us they will continue to hold events and come stay with us when it is safe to do so.  Our focus remains on rebounding strong, one-step ahead our competition with plans to start by welcoming our local backyard market as soon as it is safe to travel.  While we do not know exactly what the next few months will hold, I strongly believe in the words of our Chairman and CEO, Sebastien Bazin – that there will be a future and we will be a part of it! #reboundstrong.

I have had the opportunity to work for a number of our properties all along the west coast and over the years have enjoyed time in Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco and Maui before joining the Fairmont Grand Del Mar.  As I always seem to be making new friends in each new place, I have developed a passion for entertaining and cooking.  With this terrible crisis and all of the worry about our health, I take great comfort in preparing nutritious home cooked meals for my husband and practice new recipes for a time when it is safe to have a few more friends over for dinner. 

A good tomato sauce is the cornerstone of hundreds of recipes and I wanted to share an easy recipe that I have adapted.  My husband thinks it tastes better if you crush the tomatoes by hand in a bowl before you add them.  I like things more rustic and let them soften on their own.  You can try it both ways and let me know how you like it best.  Make this ahead and keep in the fridge for up to a week or freeze and enjoy later.  With this basic sauce you can make pasta, use it as a base for ragus, soups, braising or pizza.  Delicious food is the best medicine to stay healthy so that we really can #reboundstrong!

Enjoy and be well,


Man and young girl sitting by a pool on a sunny day


Ingredients: (I use all organic but up to you!)

¼ Cup                                 Olive Oil

1 Medium                           Red Onion cut into ¼ inch dice

2 cloves                              Thinly sliced garlic

3 Tablespoons                    Chopped fresh Thyme

½ Carrot                             Shredded

2 28oz Cans                       Whole Peeled Tomatoes (San Marzano Tomatoes will make it taste best)

Salt & pepper                     Lightly to taste (Kosher salt is best but not necessary)


In your favorite saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, cook over medium heat until light brown and soft – about 8 minutes.

Add the thyme and carrots and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices and bring to a full boil stirring frequently.

Lower the heat to a simmer for about 30-40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Easter Givingback

Traditions and memories are at the heart of what we strive to create for our guests and community.  Last Easter we welcomed over 1,500 guests from the local community to Fairmont Grand Del Mar and were well into the planning stages to continue this grand tradition for 2020.  As the holiday approached, we knew that with the COVID-19 crisis it would not be possible to hold these celebrations so we reached out to our partners at Rady Children’s Hospital to continue our Easter tradition.  We were able to share the majority of the 5,000 Easter Eggs procured for our annual egg hunt with patients and their families, bringing some Easter smiles to those in need. 

Young girl with arms raised as confetti falls

DIY – Face Mask

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Please visit to read the full details including CDC guidance and instructions on how to wear, care for, or make your own mask. Here is a quick no sew method:

Closeup of mortar and pestle

COVID-19 CDC Information please click or tap HERE

File an Unemployment Insurance Claim HERE 

For the latest updates and news, visit our internal Instagram page @GRANDHEARTISTS

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