Visiting The Lodge at Torrey Pines During a Pandemic

We did it; we traveled for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Isn’t it funny how that seems like such a big accomplishment these days, even for someone who normally spends half the year abroad? It’s no secret that travel looks very different now, and as a family with small children, there are more considerations than ever before. Yet that does not mean that travel is not doable and even enjoyable during this time. As a mother of three, my biggest concern, of course, is the safety of my family. So when I planned our first getaway during this pandemic, which was quite literally the first time we left our home other than for groceries, I did my research. Top on my list of priorities was comfort, cleanliness, views, and amenities. Was it possible for us to relax and enjoy being away for a weekend while also feeling safe and social distancing? Well, I can tell you that The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California checked off all of my boxes and then some.

Just a short 20-minute drive from downtown San Diego, this Coastal California craftsman-style resort makes for an easy, sumptuous getaway. Overlooking the beautiful Torrey Pines Golf Course with direct views over the Pacific Ocean, it’s easy to fill your days when staying at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Just to the north of the property, you will find the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, an oceanfront reserve spanning 1,750 acres of unspoiled land that protects the Torrey Pine, one of America’s rarest pine trees. Immediately south of the resort lies the charming coastal town of La Jolla and the world-renowned beaches of San Diego.

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The author’s children practicing safety protocols on-property. (Photo credit: Mayra Bazavilvazo)

Safety During the Pandemic
The amount of uncertainty during this time is unprecedented, so it was important to me that any location we chose for our time away showed a true commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of its staff and guests. The Lodge at Torrey Pines is very transparent in its efforts to prioritize this through their Clean & Care Commitment protocols, which are published very clearly on its website and has earned them a Clean+Safe Certification from the California Hotel & Lodging Association. During your client’s stay, they will find that all employees and guest are required to wear face coverings in public areas, whenever social distancing is not possible. Enhanced cleansing standards are in place, with maximum occupancy rules in elevators and by the pool, and hand sanitizer is readily available throughout the property. Unnecessary items, such as magazines, pens, and throw pillows have been removed from the guestrooms, and a guest amenity bag with face covering, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes is available in every room.

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View of the Gamble Suite patio.

Charming Accommodations
Prepare to feel pampered at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. The guestrooms and suites are spacious and luxurious, decorated with hardwood furnishings and craftsman-style accents that exude a familiar warmth that will make your clients feel right at home. All of the accommodations offer a large patio or balcony, where guests can sip their morning coffee and take in the serenity of the botanical reserve or the stunning views of the California coastline and the golf course. Plush, cozy robes are provided for adults and children alike, and many rooms even boast a fireplace that provides the perfect ambiance on chilly nights.

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Entrance to the on-property restaurant A.R. Valentien.

Delectable Dining
The guestrooms at the Lodge can be enticing enough to persuade one to order room service throughout their stay. However, the two restaurants on property deserve special mention for you are just as likely to see locals there as you are to see fellow hotel guests.  They both focus on locally sourced ingredients and offer quaint outdoor dining spaces. Our dining experience at the elegant A.R. Valentien was definitely one of the highlights of our stay. It’s the perfect restaurant for families wanting a more sophisticated atmosphere that is still very much kid-friendly. Seasonal dishes are served on a spacious terrace with expansive ocean views; it’s the perfect place to enjoy a legendary California sunset.

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Culinary delights at A.R. Valentien.

The menu changes often, but if your clients have the chance, recommend they order the Japanese milk bread rolls—they’re served with prosciutto and honey butter, and they are simply amazing! For a more casual outing, tell them to head to the Grill at Torrey Pines. The outdoor patio shares the same panoramic vistas as A.R Valentien, and it serves wood-fired dishes paired with a selection of regional wines and beers. Tell them to make sure to snag one of their charming fire pit tables if they can.

Activities & Amenities
Whether your clients want to stay on property, or they feel comfortable venturing out, there is no shortage of activities and amenities to keep them entertained. At the resort, they’ll find a heated pool and hot tub, a full-service spa and fitness center (although these may be closed, depending on the state regulations at the time of their visit), croquet, outdoor yoga classes, and guided hiking tours, just to name a few.

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One of the author’s kids playing croquet. (Photo credit: Mayra Bazavilvazo)

Off-property, the choices are endless. If they don’t fancy tee time at the award-winning golf course or some sunbathing at one of the local beaches, they can visit the Del Mar racetrack for some live horse racing from July to September or catch a musical at the La Jolla playhouse. Longing for some retail therapy? Discover some amazing finds at the one-of-a-kind boutiques and art galleries in downtown La Jolla. And if they’re traveling with little ones, make sure they include the San Diego Zoo or Wild Animal Park on their itinerary. It’s one of the best animal parks we have ever visited.

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The author and her children looking out at an amazing view. (Photo credit: Mayra Bazavilvazo)

I can honestly say that my family and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Lodge at Torrey Pines, regardless of the new regulations due to COVID-19. The resort exudes comfort and low-key elegance, so guests can relax, enjoy the amenities and feel pampered in a safe and caring environment. It was a wonderful way to dip our toes into the world of travel again!

For more information, visit lodgetorreypines.com.

This story originally appeared in worldstompers.com, a family travel website created to inspire families with kids to expand their idea of adventures. You can follow the adventures of the Bazavilvazo family @worldstompers on Instagram and The Worldstompers on Facebook.