Fairmont Grand Del Mar in Carmel Valley celebrates launch as newest member of global luxury chain


As the sun was setting over the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve on a recent evening, the scene from the newly named Fairmont Grand Del Mar looked less like San Diego and more like a secluded Andalusian enclave.

Enjoying the serene view from the terrace just beyond the Manchester Salon — along with a fine spread of lobster, jumbo shrimp, tenderloin and rack of lamb, paired with blush champagne — was an exclusive guest list that included representatives from local media and several top executives from Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, now the parent company of Fairmont Grand Del Mar.

The occasion worthy of the lavish affair was the official launch party for the resort, the newest member of a global luxury hotel collection that comprises more than 65 hotels globally.

Its flagship landmarks include Fairmont San Francisco, The Plaza in New York and The Savoy in London, along with AAA Five Diamond properties Fairmont Mayakoba in Mexico’s Riviera Maya and notable California hotels, including Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows, Santa Monica, and Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa.

Kevin Frid — president, Americas, FRHI Hotels and Resorts — served as host and introduced guests to a video assemblage that presented a visual timeline of the history of the Fairmont collection of hotels and resorts which reaches back to 1907 with its premier hotel in San Francisco.

Generations of British royalty have made Fairmont properties their home away from home. John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their Bed-In for Peace at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal in 1969; Claude Monet painted famous scenes of London from his room at The Savoy; playwright Noël Coward created his work “Private Lives” while in residence at Shanghai’s Fairmont Peace Hotel; and photographer Yousuf Karsh captured images of the 20th century’s greatest figures from his studio at Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa.

Hollywood stars have traveled to Fairmont Hotels through the decades for rest and relaxation, and many of the hotels have served as movie locations.

“Adding this gem has been fantastic,” said Frid. “This is a great addition to our portfolio; we are very proud to be here.”

Usually there is an extensive amount of renovation to be done when hotels are acquired, “but this has been one of the easiest transitions we’ve ever done,” Frid said.

“What are we going to change here?” he asked rhetorically. “So far, absolutely nothing!”

Frid introduced Christof Leudi, regional vice president Fairmont and general manager at Fairmont Grand Del Mar.

“Our vision is very simple,” said Leudi. “We are going to continue to strive for the stars and diamonds, we are going to continue to provide the most excellent service that we can, and we’ll continue to do whatever we can to stay very relevant in the luxury hotel business in the world.”

Also present at the soiree were Jennifer Fox, president, international FRHI Hotels and Resorts; Jeff Doane, vice president of sales and marketing, Americas, FRHI Hotels and Resorts; and Jane Mackie, vice president for the Fairmont brand.

“Papa” Doug Manchester originally developed and built the resort property seven years ago, “putting his heart and soul into it,” said Frid, adding that FRHI is developing a convention hotel with him that will open in Austin, Texas, in 2017.

Fairmont is renowned for its luxury offerings and extraordinary service, “connecting guests to the very best of its destinations worldwide,” said Luedi.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar features a 21,000-square-foot spa, a Tom Fazio-designed golf course and clubhouse, and six food and beverage outlets including Addison, the resort’s Five-Star/Five Diamond-rated signature restaurant, named for Addison Mizner, the early 20th century architect who transformed Palm Beach, Fla., with his Mediterranean-type resorts inspiring the Fairmont Grand Del Mar’s architecture.

It showcases 249 guestrooms, 31 suites and eight villas offering 80 fractional ownership opportunities in a residential setting and was named Trip Advisor’s Number One Luxury Hotel in California for 2015 and a Forbes Travel Guide Triple Five-Star Resort for the fourth consecutive year.

Visit https://www.fairmont.com/san-diego for information on Fairmont Grand Del Mar.