Rooftop nuptials: The hotel’s Pacific Terrace serves as a romantic venue for the ceremony and the reception.
Step inside L’Auberge Del Mar and your eyes immediately travel beyond the almost-always-open glass doors that span the lobby’s length to the stunning water views of the Pacific Ocean. The comfortable and inviting lobby is simply a stepping stone to the outdoor decks where most guests enjoy the Southern California sunshine. Upstairs, a row of rocking chairs provide a relaxing spot with a straight view to the sea. Want to get up-close with the surf and sand? It’s a short walk away.
These nice touches are sure to impress guests arriving for a destination wedding; there are plenty of scenic venues to host the nuptials. Among them is the option of holding the ceremony and cocktail reception for up to 200 at Seagrove Park, a lawn area overlooking the beach and ocean near the property. The Pacific Terrace can accommodate up to 230 for the ceremony and/or cocktail reception. A ceremony and reception for up to 130 and sit-down dinner for up to 120 can be held on the Sunset Terrace in the resort courtyard. Inside, the Platinum Ballroom can be set up for weddings of up to 175. Senior Wedding Manager Adele Meehan ([email protected]; 858-793-6437) can arrange any couple’s dream wedding. Note: Many of these same spaces are among those that can be used for meeting groups looking for a boutique seaside setting. The hotel can also host rehearsal dinners and farewell brunches.
When guests do come inside the property, they are not disappointed. The seaside resort, which is set on just a little over five acres, has been designed to be reminiscent of a coastal estate; guests are even greeted at check-in with the personal touch of delicious mini cupcakes. The 120 guest rooms and suites have a beach cottage feel with artwork and accessories from the sea, white shutters on windows, and balconies that overlook the village and gardens and offer coastal views. Many also feature fireplaces.
Pictured: Sense of Place: A daytime ceremony overlooking the Pacific Ocean will provide traveling guests with a vacation vibe.
The bride and groom will likely opt for the top suite in the hotel, the Magnolia (also called the Presidential), with one bedroom and two living room areas—one in the bedroom and one larger one outside the bedroom—with a dining area, plus two balconies and 1.5 bathrooms (including one with a large whirlpool tub). A smaller suite can be attached to make it a two-bedroom suite.
Premier Deluxe category rooms are the most popular and offer the best views, with private balconies overlooking the inner courtyard/poolside area and partial coastal views. One-bedroom suites offer more space, especially for families, with king-size bed and queen-size pullout sofa, separate living area, two balconies with partial coastal views and either 1.5 or two full baths. Only suites have bathtubs, with other rooms featuring oversized showers with waterfall heads. Families staying here can also opt for two connecting rooms, with one king bedroom connecting to two doubles. The small family dog will be welcomed here as well.
The betrothed couple and their guests can primp and be pampered at the 5,000-square-foot free-standing Spa L’Auberge, which continues to provide the beach cottage feel with signature treatments aptly titled “Seaside Sojourns.” Ingredients and techniques are drawn from exotic regions from around the world, but the end result is pure California: relaxation. The most popular treatments to receive are the detoxifying seaweed body wrap and the lightening and brightening facial. An outdoor lounge area with an open fire pit accommodates wedding parties and group functions, where guests can socialize while being pampered. Spa Receptionist Christee Cupples ([email protected]; 858-793-6493) can help make these arrangements.
Wedding guests will never get bored here—the hotel sits across from Del Mar Plaza—with upscale shops, restaurants and cafes, art galleries and entertainment just steps from the resort. Concierge Vicki Hornaday ([email protected]; 858-259-1515) can help guests make the most of their stay and the majestic location around them by planning such wonderful outings as anything from a champagne picnic lunch on the beach, private chartered boat or surfing lessons to a nature guide at nearby Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. She can also arrange golfing privileges at the private Del Mar Country Club. Considering a venue to help propose marriage? Hornaday can assist with a picnic for two, a sky-written proposal message and have a photographer on hand to record the moment.
The modern-chic design of the restaurant boasts an open presentation kitchen, fireplace, white-vaulted ceilings and contemporary table settings indoors, but once again it is the outdoors that will lure guests. The spacious outdoor patio features private cabanas to make the occasion uber-special. The garden-like setting offers a waterfall, rectangular fire pit, hanging lanterns, and even an unusual vertical, hydroponic garden that provides herbs and flowers for the restaurant. Kitchen 1540 tries to use local and seasonal products whenever they can for its modern American cuisine. For a front-row seat to the culinary excitement, sit at the restaurant’s wine bar with 24-bottle Cruvinet for a view of the open kitchen.
Another spot for drinks as well as decadent desserts is in the lobby at the Living Room Bar. The Bleu Bar next to the pool provides drinks outdoors at the bar or around the fire pit. Dining al fresco can also be enjoyed at Waterfall Terrace Restaurant, where, once again, the resort’s lovely ocean views can be enjoyed.
The hotel, a member of Destination Hotels & Resorts, is about a 20-minute drive from San Diego International Airport.