L’Auberge Del Mar is a very chic couples’ retreat along the Southern California coast in the heart of Del Mar Village. L’Auberge, French for “The Inn,” reflects its European roots with quaint, cottage boutique cues with sophisticated style. The AAA Four Diamond Property is definitely in with the in crowd — and it’s been that way for decades.
Sepia shots of Hollywood stars such as Esther Williams line the hallways. Ever since the Del Mar Race Track opened in 1937, the area has been a hot spot. And while the modest 1930’s women’s one-piece swimsuits have been replaced by flashy gold bikinis poolside, L’Auberge Del Mar holds true to its carefree lifestyle mixed with modern swagger.
The resort’s mantra is “relaxing by day and spirited by night,” and this is exactly the scene at the hotel. The days are quiet and laid-back at the pool, then the place comes alive at night with the lobby and outdoor bar areas being the place to be. Dining at Kitchen 1540 also draws crowds.
The pool bar area, Bleu Bar, lights up at night to a glowing aqua shade with the music almost pulsing, while the Lobby Bar is buzzing with conversation, cocktails and live music Thursday through Saturday. L’Auberge Del Mar definitely isn’t the sleepy, romantic retreat where you can hear the crickets singing at night and fountains flowing. It has spirit to it, so don’t be surprised if you hear live bands or partygoers into the later hours.
The hotel has a great “insider” feel during both day and night. Guests undoubtedly have been coming back to the boutique stay for years. Some new guests, however, may be visiting for the first time—via word of mouth from a trusted friend, who’s most likely stayed there many times.
The design of the hotel is fabulous. Executive Architect Joseph Wong Design Associates captured the French flair perfectly. And the Interior Design by Barclay Butera works beautifully. The rooms have chunky, crisp white shutters, pale yellow walls and vintage beach design elements, as well as all the modern amenities.
There is a definite ease and elegance to L’Auberge Del Mar at every turn. White rose bushes surround the property, almost inviting you to relax as you walk around during the day. A private walkway to the beach allows for a quiet, direct path of access to the beach. Also close by is Del Mar Plaza, located directly across the street from the hotel. It offers world-class shopping, boutiques, art galleries, entertainment and restaurants.
But save your appetite for Kitchen 1540; it really is divine. The award-winning, signature restaurant is an open-presentation kitchen with contemporary table settings, a private dining room wrapped in wine-encased walls, an inviting charcuterie and wine bar with 24-bottle Cruvinet that doubles as a dining counter and a spectacular white vaulted ceiling. New Executive Chef Scott Dolbee offers s a “playful, whimsical and modern” dinner menu. Presentation is perfect. Dining outside on the patio makes for a loving evening of fine food.
L’Auberge Del Mar
1540 Camino Del Mar
Del Mar, CA 92014