L’Auberge Del Mar
Courtesy of L'Auberge Del Mar
The sunny seaside town of Del Mar, between L.A. and San Diego, offers an increasingly hard-to-find slice of old-school SoCal relaxation. Clark Gable and Lucille Ball both stayed at this classic 120-room property—which underwent a $26 million overhaul in 2008, removing any golf club–like stuffiness. Designer Barclay Butera combined dashes of elegant Hollywood Regency style (quilted-leather sofas and velvet seafoam settees) with nautical touches like seashell-covered consoles, matted vintage prints of sea grass and racing schooners, and stands of giant clamshells and white coral. Savvy O.C. weekenders and the La Jolla leisure sip hibiscus margaritas poolside, or dine on foie gras pop rocks and pan-roasted sweetbreads with smoked almond milk from Kitchen 1540, the hotel’s inventive restaurant.