During a recent 8-day filming trip for the new luxury hotel TV show, Great Escapes, I was able to stay and film some of the best hotels in all of San Diego, California. When planning the trip I knew that I wanted to stay at a variety of hotels to make sure I was able to experience all that San Diego had to offer. Thankfully, I was able to find four unique hotels that were a perfect fit for the new TV show and diverse enough to reflect all of San Diego. For anyone who can’t decide on where to take their next vacation, don’t overlook San Diego as a destination. Here is my hotel review of our stay at The Lodge at Torrey Pines!
16.4 miles from San Diego Intl. Airport (SAN)
Check-in: 4 pm | Check-out: 12 noon
Parking: $28/night self-park, $32/night valet
Pet policy: Less than 50 lbs, $75 fee
Room rates: $300+/night, plus taxes & fees
Check availability & make a reservation!
The course is named after the Torrey pine, a rare tree that grows in the wild only along this local stretch of the coastline in San Diego. The golf course has hosted the US Open in 2008 and will again in 2021. They also host the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open every year.
One of the first things that really shocked me about the hotel was that they had 170 rooms. The architecture of the building is so well integrated into the surrounding landscape that you couldn’t tell from the outside that there are that many rooms at the hotel. My room had the most amazing view overlooking the resort, golf course, and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
The Grill is located directly adjacent to the Torrey Pines golf course club house and is the typical “19th hole” for many golfers. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, The Grill menu is packed with classic soups, salads, and sandwich favorites plus many succulent items cooked in their massive wood-burning rotisserie oven and smoker. Portions are fit for a king without sacrificing quality or presentation. For lunch, I recommend getting their Drugstore Burger, which has won many awards locally and swap the fries for the onion rings, you won’t be disappointed. If you order the Cobb Salad make sure you have a hungry friend to share it with as it’s likely impossible to finish alone! For dinner, you must start with the Shishito Peppers topped with a Sriracha Crema and Almonds. Actually, get two orders of those because you won’t want to share. Then, go with the Brewmaster’s Plate. A traditional German dinner, three different kinds of locally made sausages, homemade sauerkraut, and some delightfully tart beer mustard to top it off. Don’t forget the fresh pretzel roll, too! Finally, wash that all down with some of San Diego’s best craft beers. Grab a table outside if you can and enjoy the evening with a cocktail in front of the many gas fireplaces.
A.R. Valentien, the hotel’s signature restaurant, is the epitome of classic white table cloth luxury dining. Picture this, impeccably dressed staff, dark yet warm wood surrounds classic oval plush booths, an endless wine list, homemade bread selections served table side, and always a choice of sparkling or still water with fresh cut limes placed into your glass with tongs by a veteran waiter. I’m in my early 30’s and I’d bet that many people my age would say the restaurant and service style is dated. However, there is one thing that never gets old and that is fantastic service, which A.R. Valentien most certainly can proudly boast about. They even still serve an amuse-bouche. Imagine friendly and attentive staff with enough menu knowledge and experience they don’t even write down your order. Pair that with perfectly timed courses and skillfully prepared food using the only the best of local provisions rotating on a seasonal basis, and you have a dining experience you won’t soon forget. For breakfast, I recommend the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes w/fresh Raspberry Compote. Bright and sweet citrus flavors pair perfectly with the tartness of the fresh raspberries. For dinner, go with the Seared Sea Scallops with Fennel and Meyer Lemon Risotto. Tender scallops paired perfectly with the rich lemony risotto and chunks of fresh Dungeness Crab. Most people don’t look forward to receiving the check, but when they deliver your bill they serve these amazing little lemon meringue dots with almost a light jelly consistency. I’m not 100% what they were but I would eat there again just to get some more of those!
Continuing with the classical theme, wood from the Torrey pine surrounds the rooms that have perfectly steamed sheets and stained glass lamps and comfy leather furniture. The bathrooms are the perfect combination of space and luxury fixtures with a huge lit mirror that everyone wishes they had in their house. They have their own line of custom formulated amenities with scents that focus on the natural surroundings by using sage, rosemary, and even lemongrass. I’ve stayed at hundreds of hotels in my life and consistently rank hotels in my head by how good their bathroom amenities are and as of today, The Lodge at Torrey Pines takes the #1 spot. The attention to detail with the room is what truly makes this hotel what it is. From the custom embroidery on the sheets with Torrey pine cones to all the bathroom towels having the hotel logo embroidered to the fresh fruit waiting in your room upon arrival, it’s truly a great experience. The absolutely best part of the rooms is your view of the golf course and the Pacific Ocean. I know not all of the rooms have the same view mine did, but it’s worth every penny to make sure you have one with a huge balcony with chairs to sit back and enjoy the fresh air and gorgeous views.
There is no shortage of activities do to at the resort and there is something to keep everyone occupied. Take a dip in their heated pool, play a game a croquet, take a yoga class, run a few miles on the treadmill, or follow one of their daily guided walking/hiking tours of the Torrey Pines State Reserve. The rustic footpaths wide through the 2,000 acre State Reserve and offer some of the best cliff dropoff views overlooking the Pacific Ocean. For those looking for a little R&R, schedule a spa appointment and make a day out of it. The spa has so many different ways to relax with fireplaces, steam room, dry sauna, and an endless list of treatments available to soothe whatever ales you. Finally, it really goes without saying, but Torrey Pines Golf Course offers some of the most beautiful views and challenging holes in the entire country. An added benefit of being a hotel guest is they will help you make a tee time. The City of San Diego owns and manages the course and it can be a little tricky to navigate their site.
If you’re looking for a relaxing and comfortable getaway from city life, The Lodge at Torrey Pines offers some of the best in luxury resorts in Southern California. The hotel design fits perfectly into the natural surroundings and even with 170 rooms, you’ll rarely see many other hotel guests. The privacy and seclusion this hotel offers are unique and a much-welcomed reprise from the busy city life. Whether you’re looking to challenge yourself with a full day of golfing or more interested in a quiet afternoon spent burning through pages of that book you’ve been dying to read, The Lodge at Torrey Pines can be the escapes you’ve been looking for.