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The Grand Del Mar

The Grand Del Mar offers the San Diego area's only Tom Fazio layout

With its shops, restaurants and galleries, the tony oceanfront burg of Del Mar, just north of Torrey Pines, more resembles a European village than a California town.

So the Grand Del Mar, a cozy 249-room Mediterranean-style resort, is of a piece with its setting. The resort was inspired by the work of early 20th century architect Addison Mizner, whose works included the original Cloister at the Sea Island Resort in Georgia, as well as many of the mansions of Florida's Boca Raton and Palm Beach.

But as much as the architecture asks to be appreciated, this is Southern California, after all, and guests will be lured by the pull of the outdoors. There are 37 miles of hiking, bike and horseback-riding trails at Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, which sits next to the hotel, and four pools catering to visitors of all ages.

Golfers will want to tackle Grand Golf Club, the only San Diego-area course designed by Tom Fazio. The 7,160-yard layout winds through canyons and offers the visual elegance long associated with Fazio while providing enough challenge for anyone not competing in the nearby U.S. Open.

The clubhouse is also home to the resort's flagship dining experience at Addison, named for the architect. Some of the highlights of the modern French menu can include baked Scottish salmon in black truffle-miso broth and spring lamb persille. The expected riches of California wines is bolstered by selections from around the world. Those looking for more-casual fare can try the Clubhouse Grill, have a snack at the poolside bar, or nibble on pastries at the afternoon tee in the Library.

In all, guests at the Grand Del Mar will be enjoying themselves in a way that contestants at nearby Torrey Pines surely will envy.

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