Even though I lived in Del Mar, California and have traveled back several times a year, my May trip was transformed into a Hotel Indigo vacation.

Imagine, an unsmiling, tense, anxious guest arriving for her first stay at Hotel Indigo, a bit wrung out from a two day desert crawl in the Van.  

Then, I looked around the lobby, and I felt like I was in Tangiers. The Moroccan blues and reds poked at my sleeping senses, and the gentleman, who checked me in, was as well mannered as Cary Grant. The sun-light that flecked the lobby beckoned me to the adjoining deck, where comfortable sofas, and tables formed a circle around a fire- pit.  The ocean fills the gap between an expansive deck and the horizon. I imagined I’d be there later, when the sun drops down.

Still pestered with a needle of tension, about the room, as rooms booked online may be virtually enticing, but in reality, end up cheating us. My room theme, as all the rooms have themes reflecting the neighborhood story, was a sea-shell. Every room is dressed in a mural, with matching fixtures, and coordinated bedding.  The furnishings are new, unmarked, and the bedding stacked with pillows. I flopped on the bed and stared into the tunnel of a white shell. I closed my eyes, and just as suddenly sat up and called the Spa.

The whole concept of Spa is so luxuriating, and indulgent, some of us feel uncomfortable. This spa has the vibe of a nurturing and harmonious enclave. While waiting for the therapist I drank Tea, nibbled on trail mix, and read Travel & Leisure.  Danielle, a woman with a childlike smile and rosy cheeks escorted me into a spa room, and while she prepared me, I was already feeling the drainage of tension.  Eighty minutes later,(and only $125.00)I lay there like seaweed; boneless, semi-conscious, and grateful. I floated by the pool, and decided to walk into town and have lunch at the Secret Garden since the hotel restaurant wasn’t open for lunch yet. (one more week)

Secret Garden sidewalk Peruvian bistro serves the best Ceviche this side of Spain.  Afterwards I vacillated between senseless shopping or going back to the hotel, and the hotel won.  It takes fifteen minutes to walk to the village; and you can take the beach route, the bluff route or Camino del Mar.

With a few hours before dinner, I followed my instincts and took a day nap, at a time one can be interrupted by guest noise, but I heard nothing. It was when I woke up, that

the transformation came full circle.  My fatigue was subdued, and my head empty of annoying chatter. As I passed through the hotel lobby, the conversation from the dining room, was joyful, and inviting.

We chose to dine in the village, at IL Fornaio, where we have spent so many festive evenings over the years I lived in Del Mar.  After a day of decompressing, the evening

was like being in an out of focus movie. The restaurant was crowded, a lot of pretense and showiness, but it wasn’t annoying. My body and mind were at peace.

The next morning, I rose to birds singing, and sun splashed curtains.  After a dip in the very deep and powerful spa, I strolled into the dining room for breakfast. Now, deeply committed to spa weekend, I passed on the Breakfast Panini and Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict and ordered the Fruit Plate, ($12), deliciously fresh and large enough for two persons.  Once again I took notice of the authentic and bountiful attitude of the staff; they are obviously professionals in a business that has moved civility to the back burner.

Propelled by the excellence I hunted down the manager to

Pass on my Spa Experience. Susan Knapp, is the answer, she is vivacious, warm, and a gentle person, who took me by the hand and explained the coming attractions.

  • Poolside cabanas with massage.
  • Race Track Events
  • Live Music

I asked Susan how she managed to employ such a brilliant group of people. “I hire people with personality. You can train them on all the other facets, but you can’t educate someone on personality.”

Hotel Features:

State of the art gym with steam

Two Pools and full service Spa

Completed $7,000,000 renovation in 2012.

94 Units with 26 suites, (kitchenettes)

Rates: $119-$350

Conference Room

Boutique in the Spa

Dining Room and Full Bar


  1. After reading this, I decided to take a well earned vacation and have booked a week at this Hotel Indigo. It sounded so marvelous.


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