The Lodge at Torrey Pines, La Jolla California

By on July 16, 2013
The Lodge at Torrey Pines Porte Cochre

By Michele McIntyre –

Oh, Lodge at Torrey Pines.  You had me at hello from your doorman attired in kilted Scottish dress.  The bellman (he’s dressed in traditional bellman dress from the early 1900’s), probably more helpful and knowledgeable than any I’ve encountered, dispenses advice on where to park for best access to my room, how to maneuver the resort layout and what to order for dinner at The Grill (the drugstore hamburger and chicken with waffles are favorites).  And I haven’t even checked in yet! But don’t be put off by the formality; The Lodge at Torrey Pines is one of the most unpretentious five diamond resorts you’ll ever step foot in. You’ve probably already garnered that service is tops: enthusiastic, refreshingly polite and genuinely warm.  It’s the kind of place that brings about feelings of nostalgia before you’ve even left.

By the numbers: 170 luxurious guest rooms including 8 suites ranging in size from 520 square feet to more than 2,000 square feet.

The Lodge at Torrey Pines Signature RoomThe rooms: You’ll want for nothing with nightly turndown service (the works: slippers, relaxing music, dark chocolate with sea salt, cards that offer a message for inspirational sleep), room service, in-room coffee/tea, large marble and granite bathrooms and many rooms feature gas fireplaces.  Rooms feature balconies or patios from which to view the Pacific, the golf course or the meticulously maintained gardens.

We stayed in the extra bedroom section of the The Gamble Suite;  a luxury suite with walk out access to the world-famous Torrey Pines Golf Course and distant views of the Pacific Ocean. Our room had a giant private patio, oversized bathroom with a walk-in shower and tub, fireplace and two Queen sized beds.

Torrey Pines State Park What you’ll find nearby: Begin your day at The Lodge at Torrey Pines with a walk or run along the recreation path at Torrey Pines State Reserve, where cool fog rolls in off the ocean and surrounds the rare and endangered Torrey pine trees. You can join up with a paved walking path just outside the front doors of the resort that leads you to the gate at the beginning of the trail. It’s mostly flat for the first two miles followed by a steep hill that rewards your quads with Torrey Pines State Beach and breathtaking views of the Pacific. After breakfast spend the day wandering around the charming and picturesque village of La Jolla and La Jolla Shores, making frequent stops anywhere that piques your interest. A few suggestions: Walk out onto the breakwater for an up-close view of the seals and sea lions on the beach or offshore on Seal Rock in La Jolla Children’s Pool, stroll along the sandstone cliffs high above the waters edge, duck in and out of La Jolla’s high end shops.

Two sights not to miss: The Torrey Pines Gliderport, known as the mecca of free flight in the US, and Mount Soledad. If you’re really brave you’ll try a tandem flight with an experienced pilot at the Gliderport, but casually observing is fun too. It’s not a bad place to grab lunch of gourmet sandwiches at the Cliffhanger Café as you watch the paragliders and hang gliders take flight. Million dollar views of La Jolla and the surrounding area can be found at Mount Soledad, the sight of a Korean War memorial and Mount Soledad Cross.

The Lodge at Torrey Pines poolFavorite amenities: As the sun makes its decent toward the horizon, this is your signal to spend some much deserved time in the infinity-edge hot tub. With sweeping views of the Torrey Pines Golf Course in the foreground and the Pacific Ocean in the background, you won’t want to miss this! A dip in the pool will reward you with classical music piped in through underwater speakers. About an hour before sunset is the perfect time to stroll along the walking path at the Torrey Pines State Reserve. Just be sure to be off the trail at sunset when the park closes.

Hot dishes: At The Grill, the casual restaurant at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, our meal began with an addicting starter of house made onion dip with a modern twist and homemade potato chips. I rectified some of the damage by opting for the simple and straightforward heirloom tomato salad, bursting with the bright flavors of chimichurri sauce, blue cheese and local tomatoes. Truthfully, any menu item you get will be a winner.

The Lodge at Torrey Pines spaDon’t miss:  The Spa at Torrey Pines. The 9,500 square foot spa with 14 treatment rooms is immaculate; all stark white marble, pearlescent tiles and granite.  In my large, deep locker is a pretty little gauzy bag with a shower cap, razor and shaving gel. It’s perfect.

It will feel remarkably indulgent to have the 140-minute Spa at Torrey Pines Signature Ritual. Yes, that’s 2 hours and 20 minutes of remarkable indulgence. Every bit of this treatment is infused with the spas custom- blended lemongrass and sage products. Your ritual begins with an exfoliating Coastal Sage Scrub followed by a private soak in a steamy hydrotherapy tub with colored lights, massaging jets and bubbles. Your therapist is an expert in the art of draping and is trained to respect your privacy, so don’t worry even if you’re a little modest. The icing on the cake is a customized full body massage. Warning: Have someone else do the driving immediately after this treatment; you’ll be a puddle.

The fireside relaxation room is decorated in white leather chase lounges with black accents and throw blankets, and offers tea, fresh fruit and chilled fruit infused water while you wait for a treatment or after your treatment.  There are perfect pyramids of expertly rolled towels artfully displayed; grab one after a steam, dry sauna or visit to the room temperature inhalation room infused with clary sage for deep breathing.

Parting words: Bid a fond farewell to this splendid property; you’re probably ruined forever.

As is common in the travel industry, The Lodge at Torrey Pines provided the writer with a two-night stay and a spa treatment to research this article.  The opinions of the writer are her own.

Michele McIntyre is a freelance writer who covers spas, travel, fitness, wellness, beauty and healthy living/eating. She is happiest when lying face up on the treatment table, writing about her spa and travel experiences or testing new products to share with her readers. She lives near Syracuse, NY with her husband and son. Michele is a regular travel contributor to LivingBetterat50+ and has written for Today’s Central New York Woman Magazine and online at Tripology, TripAtlas, and Splash Magazines Worldwide. When she isn’t writing about or visiting spas, Michele loves traveling, hiking, skiing, camping, yoga and reading. If any of these pursuits can be combined with a visit to the spa, even better! Michele can be reached at [email protected].

About Michele McIntyre

Michele McIntyre is a freelance writer who covers spas, travel, fitness, wellness, beauty and healthy living/eating. She is happiest when lying face up on the treatment table, writing about her spa and travel experiences or testing new products to share with her readers. She lives near Syracuse, NY with her husband and son. Michele is a regular travel contributor to LivingBetterat50+ and has written for Today’s Central New York Woman Magazine and online at Tripology, TripAtlas, and Splash Magazines Worldwide. Michele blogs about the spa and travel industry, and anything else she can think of, at everythingspa.wordpress.com. When she isn't writing about or visiting spas, Michele loves traveling, hiking, skiing, camping, yoga and reading. If any of these pursuits can be combined with a visit to the spa, even better! Michele can be reached at [email protected]

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The Lodge at Torrey Pines, La Jolla California