L'Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa
1540 Camino Del Mar
Del Mar, California 92014
Phone: (858) 259-1515
Fax: Phone: (858) 259-1515
L'Auberge is perched above the glorious Del Mar beach with a stroller-friendly pathway that leads almost to the shore.
L'Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa maintains a more intimate ambiance than some of the larger resorts. Situated on 5.2 prime ocean view acres with only 120 rooms and eight suites spread across three stories, the smaller size creates a highly-exclusive and romantic feel.
The ocean view from the balcony of my third floor room was not dead-on,
but I could certainly see and hear the Del Mar beach through the trees.
You do espy models and other celebrities whisking in and out of the beautiful resort now, just as one did between 1909 and 1963 when the resort was the Hotel Del Mar and served as the playground for the Hollywood elite. Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Bing Crosby, W.C. Fields, Betty Grable and Jimmy Durante warmed themselves around the huge, double-sided brick fireplace. This is the same fireplace that sits in the center of the resort today but now it is renovated, just as much of the lovely building has been. Today's Hollywood equivalent also graces the hotel; Naomi and Wynonna Judd are known to be regulars here, as is Bonnie Raitt. George Harrison, Connie Chung, Jane Seymour, Bruce Willis, and Demi Moore have all been guests at this hotel.
If one had carte blanche ability to pick 5.2 acres for an intimate and exclusive resort, there could not be a more perfect spot than where this one is located: situated in the heart of the high-class village of Del Mar, the L'Auberge directly overlooks the Del Mar bluffs. Settings do not get much more glamorous and romantic than this. The view is beautiful and inspiring. My family visited this resort during the Christmas season. During the holidays, the hotel is decorated with festive white lights and a stunning Christmas tree, high and elaborately colored and decorated, stands dramatically in the lobby. A chocolate house, a variation on the Ritz-Carlton's annual gingerbread house, is also part of the seasonal decorations.
- J. Taylor's of Del Mar, the resort's only restaurant during the time of my stay, serves a variety of salads and southern California cuisine, including fish, steaks, salads and Sonoma lamb. I enjoyed a nice seared Jumbo Scallop salad. The restaurant is appealing with plenty of natural light.
- Room service is available and very fast.
Facilities for guests include two tennis courts, indoor and outdoor fitness equipment, an outdoor Jacuzzi and a small lap pool in the center of the courtyard. Services are also available through the European health spa.
The hotel has several upscale boutiques located on the left side of the resort, one of which is a high-end boutique for babies, toddlers, and children called Les Papillions.
- Les Papillions, the children's store mentioned above, sells elegant and hip styles for babies or toddlers. Unusually mod clothes for the youngsters are the rule in this pricey but chic store.
- I found the attitude toward children and babies in this hotel to be generally accommodating and positive. There were many babies there when we visited.
I had a personal incident that recalls this. As I brought my room service tray outside, my room door suddenly closed behind me. Mandalin was locked inside. Even though she was in her playpen, I panicked and ran downstairs to the front desk where I told the clerk on duty that my baby was locked in the room. She immediately understood a mother's panic and gave me another key to my specified room without slowing me down by asking me for a lot of identifying details. I know she recognized me from earlier, and didn't feel the need to go "by the book" when a child could potentially endangered alone in the room. To my relief, Mandalin was fine, playing in her playpen and watching a cartoon.
- Apparently a bonded baby-sitting service is available.
- Admittedly, I would not describe Del Mar as the most pedestrian-friendly village for any traveler, with or without children or babies. Like many southern California beachfront towns, Highway One runs right through its center. However, if one is planning to be in Del Mar, the L'Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa is the centrally located in the village, making walking less of a hassle than other locations in Del Mar. For instance, several hotels are located on the outskirts of Del Mar Village, making it necessary for guests to walk down Camino Del Mar, the main thoroughfare. Portions of this street have no sidewalks at all, making it awkward and dangerous for strollers or for pedestrians in general. However, the shops surrounding the L'Auberege offer stroller-friendly walking with ramps leading in and out of the hotel. Once you cross the necessary highway/intersection, you are at the beautiful Plaza, an elevated shopping enclave replete with upscale shops, restaurants, and sweeping ocean views. From here, you can push your baby around and enjoy the view, with no cars or busy intersections with which to deal.
- The location of the L'Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa, on the bluff above the Pacific Ocean, provides a beautiful, romantic view through the trees, while the sound of the crashing waves creates a soothing sound. The resort, quite conducive to intimacy and romantic encounters, offers private balconies from the rooms that are somewhat small but quaint and allow a charming peak beyond the courtyard to the ocean behind the trees.
The view of the ocean is not dead-on, but this is partly due to the structure of the Del Mar, as well as its many trees. From the balcony of my third floor room, I could certainly see and hear the ocean, but it was through the architecture of the building and the trees. From the upstairs terrace, the ocean view is much more clear and full. Our fireplace in the room enhanced the romantic feeling, and a private path led directly to the gorgeous Del Mar beach. The Del Mar Beach, if not the most secluded, is certainly among the most popular beaches in San Diego County, with good cause. Strolling on this beach, from which you can see all the way to the Laguna Beach coastline, is a romantic treat, especially for sweethearts.
- Picnic lunches are available and conducive to creating romantic memories, especially if you decide to picnic on the beach.
- The long, flat Del Mar Beach allows for plenty of easy beach strolling. It is not a rocky terrain.
- The elegant, English Tudor style decor of the resort adds a touch of formality to the ambiance with antiques in the lobby and four-poster beds and crisp, bright colors in the rooms. Rooms also contain seating areas with couches and cushioned chairs, as well as desks.
- The hotel's location in the center of town makes the whole Del Mar experience feel like an extension of the hotel. If upscale excitement is a goal of your vacation, L'Auberge is the place to be. Being situated in the heart of downtown Del Mar, a feeling of glamorous activity takes place like an electrical buzz surrounding you. Celebrities and socialites flock to Del Mar to enjoy not only the shopping and views, but also the happening night life.