L’Auberge Del Mar, in Southern California, far surpasses a trip to the South of  France.

It’s a romantic getaway weekend without jet lag or airport security lines.  This French inspired inn redefines the charm of Provence with newly inspired contemporary seaside elegance.

You have arrived to celebrate in style.

This was a special birthday weekend for my husband.  I chose the L’Auberge  because their reputation for Four-Diamond service, gourmet dining, spa pampering,  beautiful lighted tennis courts with Pacific Ocean views, heated swimming pool and world class design would make my husband feel better about those extra candles on his birthday cake.

Furnishings and decor don’t make a hotel, celebrating life experiences does.

L'Auberge's exquisite lobby.

Every amenity at this hotel shouts “celebrate.”

The lobby of the L’Auberge felt like our own private living room; but it overlooked the Pacific Ocean.  We indulged in fine wines and cocktails served from the elegant lighted white alabaster bar.  We played cards and visited with our kids toasting to a life style filled with a European warmth and  California lov’n'.

The casual elegance of the layered green patterns and textures of the furniture, the dark wooden floors the cozy lighting,  and beautiful fresh flower bouquets that graced the tables were glamorously special.

The crisp ocean scents of the Del Mar evening made me tingle.  Cameras flashed brightly, as we captured birthday smiles like seashells from the shore.

Beachy vibes at bedtime.

Cozy up to your bungalow fireplace.

The “beachy” vibes of our guest room immediately made me want to snuggle and relax. The shell lacquered bed lamps cast off a golden glow from their smooth burlap shades.  The textured sandy woven grass wallpaper looked like the expansive Del Mar pristine beaches.

The sea foam green and pale sandy carpet was speckled with golden tan accents.  The white plantation shutters opened to a balcony covered by a wooden shingle roof.  I stepped out and gazed at the resort's opulent white rose garden that shimmered in the moonlight.  The seven x four foot art deco mirror with three inch silver inset frame on the far right of the wall gave an expansive feeling to our bungalow. 

The mahogany desk, antique white washed armoire,and wicker chaise lounge were casually elegant.  The tropical palm shams with beige and dark green accents nestled comfortably against the chocolate small woven leather head board. Like a three year old’s first visit to the ocean, I picked up the large conch shell on the desk and listened.  There were shell treasures everywhere in our room.  There was a large mussel shell on my bed stand, a deep orange coral shell on the seven foot white smoothly painted bookcase.

Contemporary chic bath.

The fifteen foot vaulted ceiling and the eight inch white crown molding on the floor gave me the feeling of European elegance.  The bed was divine, with linens lined in sandy taupe, sea weed brown and sea grass green.  Sprawling under the duvet, it was just the place to dream about sweet seaside memories . . . after watching my favorite movie, on their huge flat screen television.

The marble bathroom was opulent.  The dark wood vanity, with polished silver towel racks gave it a fresh pristine out of the ocean feel.  The six foot vanity mirror had two sliver glass lights on each side.   The soaps and lotions were divine. The enormous walk in shower for two was refreshingly fun!

Afternnon siestas poolside.

My morning coffee was brewed in a shiny Kevrig coffee maker that was placed on a large grey marble topped bar.  The oversized closets had doors that opened to full length mirrors that made me want to go shopping and fill it with treasures from the Del Mar shops across the street.  We didn’t want to burn anymore daylight so we were off to explore all that Del Mar had to offer. 

Besides the shops, there were amazing hiking trails nearby, but the beach is the best I’ve ever seen. The Race Track (horses) is right up the street; tee times at the Del Mar Country Club were available at the resort; or you can take  a hot-air ballon ride above the polo fields of Fairbanks Ranch.

We opted for the shops, the beach, and then enjoyed a late afternoon siesta in the resort's pool side cabanas, served with cocktails.  We toasted to the magnificent fiery sunset of the Pacific Ocean, birthday’s and laughed out loud when we witnessed the legendary “green flash.”

KITCHEN 1540 with Executive Chef Paul McCabe gave the birthday weekend the perfect passionate setting to celebrate. 

KITCHEN 1540 is passionate about fine dining.

KITCHEN 1540 was casually elegant; our waiters with red docker tennis shoes served us a meal infused with tastes from Hawaii, Asian touches, and classical tasty ribs.

The red velvet cake was richly decadent for Steve’s Birthday wish.  The piece de resistance for the evening was meeting Chef McCabe. 

He exudes passion for food, his work, menu’s and life!  I could see why  his devotion to creating exuberant tasting menu’s named him a “rising star of American Cuisine” by the James Beard Foundation.  He told us that for six months he set up a culinary kitchen in his garage at home while the hotel was going through its 25 million dollar renovation so that he could taste and develop new menus for the restaurant.  His face beamed with pride when we complimented him on his choices.

Celebrate your special occasion al fresco.

Organic ingredients from local farms
are served at KITCHEN 1540.

Organic ingredients from local farms inspires his imagination to create menus that seasonally change.  The 1540 is a place to socialize over great wine, tasting menu’s and fun. 

The crackling fireplace, orchids, cathedral ceilings and French doors opening to an outside courtyard gives the restaurant a vitality sprinkled with the urge to linger over just one more glass of wine.  I can understand why Paul McCabe has been appointed San Diego’s “Crush of the Year.”

L’Auberge Del Mar, with its brand new era of style and sophistication, left us with memories brighter than the candles on Steve’s birthday cake.  Was it the crisp ocean scents, the succulent dining experience, the sand left between our toes, or the romantic beachy bungalow? 

I don’t know except Steve promised to take me back for my birthday celebration.  Now I can’t wait to be a year older!

Celebrate at L'Auberge Resort and Spa.

Hotel clubs and lounges are sometimes the venues for small San Diego entertainment events, particularly small concerts.

Feature by Janice Wilson, Jetsetters Magazine Hotel, Spa, Golf and Tennis Editor.