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L’Auberge Del Mar

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L’Auberge Del Mar

The lobby at L’Auberge has a bar off to the side for an evening cocktail.

Arthur and Lyn Dobrin.

L’Auberge Del Mar in a Nutshell:

There’s good reason why L’Auberge ranks high on the Conde Nast Gold List and in Travel + Leisure as well as among discriminating vacationers themselves. The boutique hotel, set on five acres in downtown Del Mar north of San Diego, personifies California-style luxe.

There is a lightness and casualness at L’Auberge that reflects a Southern California sensibility attuned to health and beauty that honeymoon couples are likely to appreciate. Stylish and airy, the hotel overlooks Pacific Seagrove Park and Del Mar Beach, two blocks away. The inn is at the center of this small, affluent city’s beautification program begun in the 1990s.

Set right off the main street, L’Auberge is hidden from street view and offers just what couples want from a romantic getaway in the San Diego area: understated charm, comfortable rooms, an easy walk to the ocean, superb food and, for those not from this part of the country, one of the star attractions, the near-perfect Mediterranean-like climate.

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Guest Rooms at L’Auberge:

The 120 comfortable rooms at L’Auberge are decorated in soothing light colors. Each comes with a balcony with two chairs; some have a fireplace. Since the two wings of the inn are perpendicular to the ocean, most rooms have partial ocean vistas. Request a room on the top (third) floor and one nearest to the sea for the best sunset views.

Rooms have cushioned chairs, a large flatscreen TV, free wi-fi and a library of coffee table books depicting California homes and photos of the ocean. The marble bathroom features a step-in shower with a bench built into the wall. There are plush robes in each closet, along with an in-room safe. Turndown service is available on request.

Dining at L’Auberge:

Dinner at Kitchen 1540, L’Auberge’s restaurant, can be spectacular. We decided to eat on the walled patio outside — a great option in temperate San Diego — and went with the chef’s six-course tasting menu. Every dish was packed with multiple ingredients yet each component could be separately tasted and also blended well with the others. The BBQ beef tenderloin came with caramelized onion powder, grilled romaine, crunchy potato, toasted brioche and heirloom tomato. Roasted beets included fromage blanc, watercress, yuzu, candied hazelnuts and beet foam.

You may prefer the dining room with its vaulted ceiling, fireplace, modern furniture and a private wine room where the walls are wine racks. If you’re hoping to see a sunset — another San Diego specialty — the Waterfall Terrace offers the best view.

Weddings at L’Auberge:

L‘Auberge contains six event spaces; the largest can accommodate up to 200 people. Ceremonies can be set up so the couple has the backdrop of the Pacific. Many twosomes head down to the beach for their wedding pictures.

Activities at L’Auberge:

The spa, in a separate building, has a cozy cottage-like ambiance. “Perfect Pairing” treatments for honeymoon couples and other lovers include a Chardonnay sugar scrub, a body wrap or an al fresco couples bubble bath, plus a side-by-side massage.

The hotel also has two tennis courts and two swimming pools. The fitness center offers a variety of cardio and strength equipment.

Take an easy hike along trails that look down upon the Pacific Ocean and lead through the Torrey Pines State Reserve. The Torrey pine is the rarest pine species in the United States, growing only in southern California.

Nearby L’Auberge:

The City of Del Mar is just outside the door and uphill from L’Auberge. It's a good place to walk around, checking out the shops and restaurants. We especially enjoyed browsing in Fair Trade Decor, which imports handcrafted home goods from places such as South Africa, Bolivia and India.

Downhill there is the public beach. In addition to the sand beach, there are large expanses of green grass.

Couples who visit in the summer often visit the Del Mar Race Track, where Thoroughbreds race during the day and concerts are held on many evenings. There’s a farmer’s market on Saturdays from 1 pm to 4 pm in the City Hall parking lot where you might want to pick up some fresh fruit and local cheese for a picnic.

L’Auberge Del Mar Info and Reservations:

L'Auberge Del Mar
1540 Camino Del Mar
PO Box 2889
Del Mar, CA 92014
Reservations: 800-245-9757
Note: L’Auberge accepts dogs 15 pounds and under if couples notify the hotel in advance.
Official Hotel Website

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As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation and meals for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.

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