The Center for Wellbeing at Fairmont Grand Del Mar

An elegant San Diego spa escape

Editor's note: The Center for Wellbeing at Fairmont Grand Del Mar is undergoing extensive renovations.

With its gleaming Carrera marble and warm wood accents, The Center for Wellbeing is elegance personified. The treatment rooms feel more like living rooms, with working fireplaces, fresh flowers and candlelight. Make time to soak in the enormous whirlpools in each relaxation lounge, or retreat to the outdoor adults-only relaxation pool, where you can order a spa lunch. The menu of wraps, massages, facials and salon services draw on natural ingredients inspired by a nearby nature preserve wherever possible.

The extravagant spa exhibits that Old World feel in its décor and its treatments -most notably the aptly named Renaissance, a replenishing signature service that includes a body wrap, a rosemary-infused Swiss shower and touch therapy. The spa’s goal is to deliver a sublime experience of relaxed, renewed and restorative wellness. The spa is all about that Renaissance-style renewal and reconnecting you to the earth and to yourself.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • Embracing the spirit of the Renaissance period, The Center for Wellbeing emphasizes a philosophy of renewal and rebirth that marked the bygone era.
  • The spa gleans resources from the nearby Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, a natural wonderland replete with an abundance of flora and fauna.
  • We love the triad treatment packages, which take a three-pronged approach to target your specific concerns. For example, the Sculpted Beauty triad treatment will have your skin glowing after a contouring massage, seaweed-clay wrap and Swiss shower.
  • Need a haircut and a massage (kind of like we always do)? The Five-Star spa’s famed Haim Salon can take care of your hair, while the expert spa staff addresses your aches, pains and skin issues.
  • You’ll have to stop yourself from overindulging in the buffet of truffles and mini-muffins. The snacks, along with the orange-infused ice water, are the perfect way to kick off a massage or facial.
Things to Know
  • When you’re in desperate need of a spa day in sunny San Diego, secure an appointment by calling the luxury spa’s reception desk. The helpful staff will gladly set you up with a massage, body wrap, manicure, facial or whatever pampering your stressed-out self needs.
  • The hotel’s concierge can get you a last-minute appointment as long as you arrive at least 75 minutes before the spa closes. When we visited, we booked our treatment for that same day without a problem. (Full disclosure: it was a weekday, typically less busy.)
  • Since not every treatment is available at all times, we recommend booking an appointment as far in advance as possible.
  • For a perfect day at the San Diego spa, we recommend a facial, followed by an immunity-boosting Manual Lymphatic Drainage treatment, then a haircut and blowout.
  • If you need to cancel an appointment for a treatment at The Center for Wellbeing, the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star spa requests that you notify it by 4 p.m. the day prior to your scheduled service.
The Treatments
  • Focusing on the face and neck, the rhythmic Manual Lymph Drainage therapy is designed to improve the overall functioning of your immune system. The lymphatic vessels play a key role in removing toxins and delivering nutrients, antibodies and other materials to the tissue cells of the body.
  • During the Decompression treatment, an invigorating body scrub of organic rosemary is followed by a hydrating body wrap of goat butter while you lie on a warm, free-floating bed. This soothing, luxurious treatment culminates with a customized body massage.
  • Art for Art’s Sake involves an application of warm oil massaged onto your neck, shoulders, décolleté, face and scalp, which is then followed by exfoliation, warm aromatic cloths and a remineralizing clay mask. This will leave your skin radiant and revitalized.
  • Sculpted Beauty is another favorite treatment of ours. Nutrient-rich, mineralizing clay paired with a contouring massage draw excess fluid from your tissues.
  • The Expression treatment involves a subtle, penetrating heat of warmed stones with an herbal salt scrub and a refreshing cleanse with a Vichy shower. Next up? A tonic massage with rich goat butter cream.
The Facilities
  • Chaise chairs surround the indulgent indoor hot tub, which overlooks an Italian-style lion fountainhead and fountain. While you’ll relish your surroundings from the tub, you’ll also do some good to your body; the mineral water is oh-so good for your skin.
  • It’s tough to top this steam room, which soothes and refreshes with a heavenly eucalyptus scent.
  • The locker room space is all about swank, with its European-style décor and large framed mirrors. You’ll be treated to spacious digital lockers, plush robes and rubber thong slippers.
  • The relaxation area and outdoor terrace might be an afterthought for most spas, but not here. Out on the terrace, you’ll find cabana-style chaise lounge chairs that make you feel like you’re soaking in the sun in Monaco.
  • The ocean-blue women’s lounge looks more like the den of a European palace, complete with regal furniture like canopy chairs, fireplaces and a pathway of Hermès scarves.
Getting There
5300 Grand Del Mar Court, San Diego, California 92130
The Center for Wellbeing at Fairmont Grand Del Mar
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