For a classic luxury resort experience, complete with a golf course, multiple swimming pools, ocean views, and almost every service you can dream up, stay at the Four Seasons Aviara (7100 Four Seasons Point, Aviara, 760/603-6800, www.fourseasons.com, $395). You’ll find everything in your guest room exactly as you’d expect from a Four Seasons hotel, from the L’Occitane toiletries to the specially made comfy beds to the tasteful tropical decor.
Downstairs, the lobby and common areas shine with marble floors and columns. You can indulge at the various independently owned shops, including a wonderful little jewelry store that specializes in unique colored gems, many of which are mined in San Diego County. The concierge and desk staff are as friendly and helpful as possible at all times—you can get whatever you want whenever you want, pretty much.
On the Four Seasons property you can play 18 holes of golf, a set of tennis, splash with the kids in the family swimming pool, or get serious in the adults-only lap pool. Round out your day with a treatment from the hotel spa.
In the evening, dine at one of the three on-site restaurants. If you’ve come with your family, you can get the kids involved in a number of activities tailored for the younger set, and escape and enjoy some of the more adult aspects of the resort.
For another tip-top resort experience, book a room at the newly reopened L’Auberge Del Mar (1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, 800/245-9757, www.laubergedelmar.com, $425). Enjoy the elegant guest rooms, posh spa, upscale dining, and superior amenities, all with glorious views overlooking the ocean. For guaranteed access to the tennis courts, book a court and a time in advance.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition