If you find your princess fantasies stymied by California’s penchant for too-cool-for-school resorts and retro beach bungalows, cast your eyes on this lavish compound just outside of San Diego. Part Mediterranean villa, part Spanish castle, The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is dripping with stone fountains, carved fireplaces, massive chandeliers, and gilt-embellished staircases. The whole place looks as though it was built for a royal wedding.
They’ve got the whole thing fine-tuned to the last detail. You’ll meet your dedicated wedding specialist in the wedding showroom, stocked with albums you can flip through to peruse real weddings, decorating ideas, and local vendors. Want a religious ceremony? There’s a chapel on site with pews imported from Italy and a baby grand. Want to invite every one of your FB friends? There’s a ballroom that seats 600, complete with a stage that can accommodate a small orchestra. Want to host a whole week of activities? The resort has four pools, an equestrian center, a Fazio-designed golf course, bocce, croquet, and tennis courts, and a five-star spa—good luck fitting it all in.
Nestled in Los Penasquitos Canyon, you’re 20 miles north of the San Diego airport. The coastal towns of La Jolla, Del Mar, and Rancho Santa Fe are nearby, and while most guests will want to rent a car to explore the gorgeous territory, the resort offers free transportation most anywhere you’d want to roam.
Keep in mind
Although it’s unlikely you’ll be the only princess in residence, the resort is large enough and smart enough to keep bridal parties far apart.