Del Mar beaches are among the best San Diego has to offer, and luxury boutique hotel L’Auberge Del Mar is mere steps away. Situated on 5.2 handsomely landscaped acres with a private path to the beach, this Four Diamond seaside resort feels more like a private coastal estate. Located on the site of the original Hotel Del Mar, playground to Hollywood’s elite in the 1930s, the resort has maintained its historic elegance with a splash of casual SoCal charm. The hotel’s mantra “relaxing by day, stylish by night” has earned it the accolades of significant voices in the world of travel – Conde Nast, Travel & Leisure Magazine, and Trip Advisor among them.
The lobby is more like a great room with dark wood floors, luxurious area rugs, white pillars, beamed ceiling, and a wall that opens onto the patio, doing away with the boundary between the indoor and outdoor spaces. There is a long bar along one wall, several comfortable seating areas scattered about, a large fireplace, spiral topiaries, and elegant furnishings. The entire space is airy and awash with light. While it has remained true to the glamorous history that inspired it, the upgraded lobby is decidedly contemporary. The ambiance at L’Auberge Del Mar leans toward adult sophistication; think relaxing spa retreat or a romantic getaway.
L’Auberge Rooms and Suites
Each of the 120 estate-style guest rooms is designed with the comfort of home in mind. Warm cream-colored walls, dark wood furnishings, and splashes of greys, blues, and greens combine to give rooms a serene tropical feel. Wood carved, bamboo, shell, and coral accents, along with a collection of art and design books give rooms a beachy, personal touch. Large windows with plantation shutters and a door leading to either a patio or balcony ensure each room is airy and light. Beds are plush and comfortable, and seating areas are elegant. Bathrooms have rain showers, marble countertops, and signature spa products.
Each guest room is equipped with in-room coffee service, a fully-stocked mini-fridge, 42” or larger flat screen TV with premium HD channels, an iPod docking station, Wi-Fi, and an in-room digital security safe large enough for your laptop. Some rooms are ADA accessible. An attentive concierge service is available to assist you with your needs. Dogs up to 15 pounds may stay with you in your room under the pet policy conditions.
The most sought after rooms are the Coastal King and Coastal King Fireplace accommodations. These rooms are located on the second and third floors of the hotel, and include small private balconies that overlook the pool and offer partial ocean views. The two room styles and their amenities are identical with the exception of the large marble fireplace on the wall directly facing the bed in the Coastal King Fireplace room.
Village King rooms can also be reserved with or without a fireplace. These rooms overlook the gorgeous manicured grounds of the resort, Village Del Mar, or the pool. Like the Coastal King rooms, Village King rooms are on the second and third floors only, and each has a private balcony. Rooms are identical in style and amenities with the exception of the fireplace in Village King Fireplace rooms.
Cabana King rooms are on the ground level and open up to picturesque views of the pool, giving you that signature cabana feel. Garden Terrace rooms are also primarily on the ground level, although some may be on higher floors. Garden Terrace rooms offer private patios or balconies, and views of the resort’s flora.
Pacific Suites are the largest accommodations at L’Auberge Del Mar at 550 to 1,200 square feet. You’ll feel at home in your suite with a welcoming, fully-furnished living/dining area with flat-screen TV, and a separate king bedroom, also with a flat-screen TV. Suites offer balconies with either coastal or Village views, and marble fireplaces. Marble bathrooms include bathtubs, as well as rain showers.
Ocean-facing rooms are quieter. Third floor Coastal King Fireplace rooms offer views of the pool and ocean, the most privacy, and fireplaces for the ultimate romantic accommodation. Some guests have complained of noise in rooms that face the parking area.
L’Auberge Del Mar Hotel Amenities
L’Auberge offers guests an outdoor whirlpool spa, small outdoor recreational pool, and outdoor lap pool that are all heated year-round. The leisure pool provides an ocean view and cabanas with cabana service. If you prefer your morning swim non-chlorinated, walk on the terrace past the pool and you’ll find yourself on a beautifully landscaped private footpath on the way to Del Mar beaches.
L’Auberge Del Mar provides a 24-hour fitness center, and two lighted championship tennis courts where you can play and take group or private tennis lessons. When you’re finished working out, you can relax in the hotel’s award-winning wellness spa. Spa L’Auberge, their 5,000-square-foot full-service spa, offers massages and body treatments in 10 treatment rooms, along with herbal infused steam rooms. A menu of personalized natural treatments are ocean inspired and results-oriented. The spa also offers facials, waxing, and nail services.
The awards just keep coming at L’Auberge Del Mar, and the award-winning Kitchen 1540 is no exception. The restaurant has been honored by Wine Spectator Magazine, San Diego Magazine, and Ranch & Coast Magazine, to name a few. Executive Chef Nathan Lingle describes his menu at Kitchen 1540 this way, “Coastal harvest cuisine, simply prepared, showcasing bold flavors within the changing seasons.” A waterfall, hanging lanterns, and a vertical hydroponic garden producing edible herbs and flowers used in dishes and cocktails add a certain je ne sais quoi to the restaurant. Private patio cabanas are available for intimate dining.
Coastline Restaurant offers outdoor dining on the terrace off the main lobby with ocean and pool views. The casual restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; on weekends, they offer a brunch menu. Living Room Bar is located in the L’Auberge Del Mar Living Room (main lobby area) and features Happy Hour Sunday through Thursday, and live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Bleu Bar is the upscale and hip pool bar that is popular with local young professionals and others who want to “see and be seen” in the local social scene. Cocktails are also served around the bar’s fire feature for those chilly oceanside evenings.
Grab a rooftop rocking chair for a stunning and comfortable view of a radiant Southern California sunset. Resort fees are $12 per day, and valet parking is $25 per day; no self-parking is available. Be sure to bring your complimentary beach gear with you to the beach; it’s included in your daily resort fees.
L’Auberge Del Mar Neighborhood
Walk out the side entrance of L’Auberge Del Mar and you are at the doorstep to the Village of Del Mar and all it has to offer. Del Mar Plaza, which is across the street from the hotel, has more than 30 shops and boutiques. You’ll find a wide variety of offerings such as fine jewelry, interesting home décor, artwork and collectibles, and trendy fashions.
There are a number of popular restaurants near the hotel, but a few you won’t want to miss are Jake’s Del Mar, En Fuego, and Pacifica Del Mar. Jake’s is a beachside restaurant that is popular among locals and returning vacationers. They offer seafood, steak, wine, and a killer view. En Fuego is a bi-level Mexican bar and grill. The casual eatery offers outdoor seating on their patio and a festive and lively atmosphere. If it’s swanky you’re looking for, Pacifica Del Mar was listed among “Best Waterfront Restaurants in San Diego” by Zagat. They serve seafood, steak, and pasta in a dramatic setting.
The biggest attraction in Del Mar, of course, is the Del Mar Race Track opened by Bing Crosby in 1937, and where Sea Biscuit beat Ligaroti by a nose the next year, putting Del Mar on the map. Del Mar racing season begins in mid-July and L’Auberge hosts an epic Opening Day After-Party around the hotel pool each year. The Del Mar track now offers a post-summer 15-day elite Thoroughbred racing season in November. In June, before racing season begins, summer kicks off with the Del Mar Fair; the three-week event draws over a million people every year. If you’re here in the fall, the Fairgrounds hosts Scream Zone on Halloween. Holiday of Lights is on display at the fairgrounds in December.
If you’re an outdoorsy guest, walk along Powerhouse and Seagrove beaches in front of the hotel, swim, surf, play with your dog at River Mouth beach across from the race track, or hike Torrey Pines State Park for epic views. You can also rent bikes and join the throngs of bikers crisscrossing Del Mar, or leap from a cliff on a tandem parasailing or hang-gliding adventure. Torrey Pines Golf Course is the nearest public course where Tiger Woods beat Rocco Mediate on the first hole of sudden-death in the 2008 U.S. Open.
L’Auberge Del Mar Promotions
L’Auberge Del Mar offers a number of promotional packages designed to engage and pamper you. Past promotions have included Flight of Your Life hot air balloon or paragliding adventures and Get Wet surf instruction packages. Romantic packages include proposal, vow renewal, winter by the sea weddings, and August night weddings. Get Beachy is a summer promotion that includes a tote of upscale goodies, Bliss offers special spa services, and Bed & Breakfast includes guest accommodations, parking, and breakfast for two. Check out their website for current promotions.