My SoCal Staycation at this Hidden Gem

fairmont grand del mar spa

I’d had a long and stressful week. Preparations for an upcoming trip to a foreign country turned into a never-ending saga of frustration and I was in desperate need of a SoCal staycation.

I was moping around in frumpy sweats and my face was breaking out. A lavish getaway to an exotic island sounded nice but I was wanted to go somewhere close by. I was on the verge of a mental breakdown when a grand idea finally hit me!

The idea was so grand that I shouted “OF COURSE! How could I not have thought of THIS before?”

The Fairmont Grand Del Mar Spa!

The spa is located in the Fairmont Grand Del Mar which is nestled away in the San Diego coastal canyons. 400 acres of groomed grass and rolling hills surround the hotel and spa, making it secluded yet intimate. It was designed after a Mediterranean estate and its creation required over 800 craftsman and a million man-hours of labor. Marble floors grace the interior while roman columns, stone arches, and large fountains can be seen outside. For these reasons and more, Grand Del Mar has consistently been recommended by Forbes’ Travel Guide, Travel + Leisure, and TripAdvisor. The Addison, the only Michelin-starred restaurant in San Diego is also here. And why yes, Lebron James had his wedding here.

Getting There

LA’s notorious traffic turned a 2 hour drive into a 3.5 hour drive. I was late to my appointment but the concierge was extremely accommodating. Despite their strict cancellation and rescheduling policy, I was able to rearrange my session at no cost.

Pro Tip: Take into account traffic when planning your trip and scheduling appointments.

Once I arrived, I ran in as fast as I could, bags flying everywhere and all like a maniac. The spa staff whisked away my bags, undressed me from head to toe, and a pair of doves slipped a plush light blue robe over my shoulders. My socks and shoes were replaced with amazingly comfortable dark blue rubber sandals- not the cheap paper ones. A choir of angels sang while all of this happened.

I’m kidding.

The Spa

Although that part didn’t actually happen, I was given a complimentary glass of champagne which made me feel JUST as good as that Disney fantasy. After I undressed myself, I strolled around in the best spa slippers ever and stumbled into the ladies’ lounge. Then I found myself at the complimentary snack bar with orange-infused ice water, a variety of tea, and healthy snacks neatly laid out. And then my masseuse called me in.

A 60-minute therapeutic massage was just what I needed from Grand Del Mar Spa’s extensive treatment menu. My upper body was the most agitated so the masseuse focused on those areas. She kneaded my stubborn knots away like a 50 year old Italian grandma transforming rough patches of dough with her bare hands into a thin sheet of pasta. About halfway through, I began to doze off and would have fallen into a deep slumber had the masseuse not asked me to turn over. All of that ugly stress I was describing earlier? GONE.

Pro Tip: Try the “Renaissance”, their signature treatment or go for less traditional like the manual lymph drainage.

whirlpool jacuzzi sauna room at fairmont grand del mar

It wasn’t the biggest spa I’ve been to but it was the least crowded one. This was essential for peace and tranquility, because the last thing you’d want during a staycation is to be in a crowded space like commuters on a Tokyo subway at rush hour! With the exception of a staff person restocking towels, there were at most two people in each room during my several hours there. I was also the only person in the steam room, the sauna, and the jacuzzi. So of course I skipped freely around naked for the most part inside 🙂 

Right outside is a co-ed adult-only pool and jacuzzi. Large palm trees, Italian cypress trees, and hedges add a layer of privacy in between the pool and hotel rooms.

It was the Little Things

That made the spa one of a kind. The helpful staff, that glass of champagne, the meticulous massage and the clean facilities was what made it grand. I could’ve spent all weekend there, but a day was just enough time to relax and reconnect with myself. With free activities, classes, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and more, it’d be ideal to spend a weekend at The Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Stressed or not, treat yo’self to a SoCal Staycation at this gem, just like you very much deserve.

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