Birthday Vacation at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego



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OMG darlings! I have had the most amazing birthday week. While my birthday isn’t until a few more days, this year, Carol and the girls insisted we celebrate with a relaxing getaway at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. In addition to my birthday, we also celebrated Xia’s 20th birthday and TTL’s 6th year anniversary! You guys don’t even understand how truly magical this is, as I can’t remember the last time I splurged on a vacation with the girls. It has taken me far too long to realize that I am deserving of a birthday treat of this magnitude and it’s even better that I get to share it with my best friends and daughters!

Fairmont Grand Del MarWhen looking for a destination, I knew that I wanted to stay in California and debated between visiting Napa, San Francisco, and for a short duration even Mexico. However, Carol suggested San Diego, and I’m so glad she did! After deliberating over several hotels/resorts, we decided on the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. We wanted to stay somewhere beautiful, inspiring, and where we wouldn’t feel the need to leave. I have to say that I am so happy with our decision as the Fairmont has been such a dream!

Fairmont Del Mar PropertyFrom the amazing staff to the gorgeous rooms and awesome amenities, I just cannot believe what a lucky girl I have been! From their website I fell in love with its European and Mediterranean feel, and overall really chill vibe. To make the most of our trip, we booked reservations for dinner, spa treatments, and even activities (pickle ball) in advance. In fact, if you plan to eat at the Addison Restaurant, I suggest booking it as far in advance as possible. We were initially on the waitlist and were ecstatic when a spot opened up for us.

Let me share with you the highlights from each day of our trip!

Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego

Day 1:

The girls and I drove from LA to Del Mar in about 2 hours and 30 minutes, and I must say it was one of the easiest and non-stressful drives I could have asked for. There was zero traffic the entire time and that’s really all a girl can ask for LOL! Carol arrived from her flight and met us at the hotel within 20 minutes of our arrival. We couldn’t have timed that more perfectly. When we arrived we were absolutely in awe of the resort’s beauty and the size of the property. Everywhere are green hills sprawled out with a beautiful golf course, lush gardens, hiking trails and mini lakes and ponds. The hotel itself lives up to its “Mediterranean” vibes. It’s an absolute Italian oasis. Its pink exterior and Tuscan-style pillars make us feel like we were in an Italian peninsula.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar Golf CourseOn top of the beautiful property, our suite was absolutely perfect. When booking the hotel we knew we wanted to stay all in the same room, so we opted for the Palazzo 2-bedroom suite, and I am so glad we did! The room was spacious with a living room, dining area with full size dining table, three bathrooms, three patios, and enough room for all of our shit! Also bonus points for the weather. We were expecting it to be on the cooler side but we had the most perfect weather. Warm enough to lounge at the pool yet cool enough to enjoy outdoor hiking and activities. 

Garden at Fairmont Grand Del MarWe spent our first day celebrating Xia’s 20th birthday. After settling in, we enjoyed a birthday lunch at the Golf Club’s cafe grill with the perfect view to watch the golfers play their 18th hole. I never really knew golf was so interesting but we had fun cheering on the golfers as they drove onto their final green. When we returned to the hotel, we were pleasantly surprised with a birthday dessert treat courtesy of the hotel. After unpacking we all took an unplanned nap ‘cause lordy we were already tired LOL! For our first dinner, we dined at the Amaya restaurant which features a delicious California-bistro menu. We love to eat family style so we ordered two orders of Chilean sea bass, two orders of risotto, and broccolini for us all to share. Everything was delish! Honorary mention for their pull apart rolls with honey butter …yummmm! Our first day was pretty chill as we settled into “vacation” mode.

Day 2:

Fairmont Grand Del Mar Spa

Babes wait til you hear about this day! I cannot express how much of a spoiled girl I feel like and this whole day was truly a pinch me moment! We began the day with a “hike” that was really just a walk around the resort and it was such a nice way to get our bodies moving before our spa day. We then headed to the spa for the Grand Spa Day which included a massage, facial, and poolside lunch. The spa was so amazing and the staff was especially lovely. I enjoyed the best massage and facial from my wonderful masseuse Meghan.

Spa Day at Fairmont Grand Del MarEvery time I get massages I am reminded of how truly divine they are and also of how much of a treat it is. I almost completely dozed off during the second round (which was the facial), and decided to enjoy a warm cup of tea and the provided snacks while enjoying the outside patio area of the spa. It was nice to have a moment to myself, soak up the sun, and watch a movie. While I didn’t partake, the girls loved the steam room, cedar sauna room, and salt plunge pool. They took it all in! They have never used a sauna before and I am so glad that they got to experience it! We then shared a relaxing lunch at the pool with salads and (virgin ;)) mojitos. 

Fairmont Grand Del Mar PoolAddison, a 2-star Michelin Restaurant

Okay darlings if we thought this part of the day was insane, the next part of the day was truly memorable. We had dinner at Addison, a 2 star Michelin restaurant and the only Michelin starred restaurant in San Diego. The restaurant is gorgeous and sits high up on the bluff on property. Let me tell you the restaurant was very accommodating and had the best staff! Their waiters were like little fairy-men. Their precise movements from pulling out our chairs, to placing napkins on our laps, to even setting our purses on mini tables next to us. Babes! You don’t even understand how in-sync they were, it felt like I was watching a waltz. I mean they even folded my napkin when I went to the bathroom and were always in position to pull out our chair when we returned! They moved like clockwork and we were all entranced by their movements. 

Dining at Addison Restaurant in San Diego

But you’re definitely wondering, HOW WAS THE FOOD!? Let me tell you, it was  SUPERB, and worth every penny. We were served a 9-course tasting menu and requested a pescatarian friendly menu as the girls and I do  not eat red meat or pork. Let me tell you, if you love fish or sushi, you’d definitely love it here. I am blown away by what they were able to achieve with each dish. It was remarkable, and I’m almost at a loss for words for doing their cuisine justice. Each course consisted of bite sized foods that took only several bites to eat. Their impeccable pacing and thoughtfulness with flavors and presentation left us feeling in awe (and stuffed) by the end. Our meal lasted from 7pm to 11:15pm as we indulged in each beautifully curated course, each one with such thoughtful layers and complexities. I can only describe it as fine art meets fine cuisine. 

Golden Eye Snapper with garlic emulsion

Golden Eye Snapper with Garlic Emulsion

We all agree that the Kanpachi Sashimi course was the standout dish of the night. Wrapped into the shape of a rose, each petal consisted of thinly sliced layers of yellow tail, kiwi and pickled plum that you plucked and enjoyed layer by layer. It had a ginger sauce which our servers poured around it and babes, it was glorious. It was so fresh and flavorful! For me, the main course was so thoughtful and truly showed the chef’s culinary genius. Since we opted for the pescatarian menu, our main course was a mushroom dish (except for Carol who had wagyu beef with charred scallion which she said melted in her mouth). The mushrooms were savory and rich, and were served with a soup to cleanse the palette in between each bite. It was a gift to have been able to have enjoyed any of these dishes. Some honorable mentions would be their caviar over rice dish. I love that Xia had her first taste of caviar and she said it was *chef’s kiss. Our 9th and final course was dessert which consisted of FIVE different treats, each so decadent and rich. I loved each of them!  Also shout out to the coral shaped potato chips and their amazing sourdough bread.   

I also want to acknowledge our amazing main host, Patrick. He was so knowledgeable and showed true passion for the restaurant. Patrick took the best care of us and truly enhanced our experience. He made sure that we were accommodated for, and checked in on us on numerous occasions to chat and was overall really friendly. At the end of our meal we asked to send our compliments to the chefs and he offered to escort us to the kitchen to say thank you in person.  DUH OF COURSE, we would LOVE to see the kitchen! Can I just say it was the most pristine kitchen! As if the night wasn’t perfect enough, he gave us a beautiful jar of granola as our parting gift. Addison truly is a bucket list worthy experience. It was the most spectacular way to close out our second night! 

Day 3:

On our last full day at the resort, Carol reserved a pickleball court for us. You may not know this about me, but pickleball has become one of my favorite activities over the last year. One of the selling points of this resort for me was that they offered pickle ball and let me tell you it definitely is a must! The girls had never played pickleball before, but we laughed and had so much fun. Carol and I kicked the girls’ asses! We won 4- 0 and let me just say, lordy! My poor babies do not have the best hand-eye coordination but that made it even more fun.

After our pickleball date we enjoyed a nice lunch and then got to shooting content. I loved exploring the hotel and finding all the gorgeous spots for pics, and I’m excited for all the fun content coming your way ;)!

We ended the day having in room dining and watching the new Netflix Abercrombie and Fitch  documentary, which is a must watch! We had a delicious margarita pizza, fries (of course), and carrots with pistachio dukkah. And dinner would not be complete without dessert so we enjoyed a yummy toasted banana bread served with banana and peanut butter gelato. Truly the grand finale! The night was so wonderful and I’m so grateful we got to enjoy each other’s company and indulge in the much needed break. 

Day 4:

Checkout day is always the hardest. We had in-room dining as our final breakfast. By then, we had already established our breakfast favorites including ricotta pancakes, acai bowl, overnight oats, fresh berries, and English breakfast tea with oat milk. As a final treat, the hotel delivered freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Wow, they really know how to treat a girl. Needless to say, I started my juicing detox the next day. But it was so worth it!

Fairmont Grand Del Mar In room diningWe’ve already decided that the Fairmont Grand Del Mar needs to become an annual birthday tradition. It was everything I needed and more. 

  1. Shirley says:

    Looks like beautiful vacation 💜 I’m going to do something for myself this year for my 60th which was last December,,Thank you for the beautiful pictures

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I’m a clean beauty expert, a plant-based recipe guru, a fashion maven, and a mature black woman embracing my natural hair, silver streaks and all.

Welcome, I'm Tennille Murphy