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Visitors to North County gain more options with hotel developments

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Further removed from the bustle of downtown, North County visitors experience some of San Diego's most prized beaches and smaller communities. In addition to the various hotels in the Del Mar area, developers are moving further North to Carlsbad and Oceanside.

The Grand Del Mar Resort and Spa, a Manchester Grand Resorts project in Del Mar, will offer 249 rooms plus 39 partially and wholly owned residential villas beginning Oct. 1. Situated on 24 acres, the resort will offer two outdoor tennis courts with a croquet lawn; 30,000 square feet of event space; a full-service business center; and an Activity Center with games, computer stations and a children's program.

The Grand Del Mar will include an 18-hole, Tom Fazio-designed, 7,160-yard golf course, spa and restaurant perched on the edge of the Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. Designers were inspired by the architecture of Addison Mizner, a turn-of-the-century designer who brought Spanish influence to his buildings in Palm Beach, Fla. According to a Grand Del Mar spokesperson, there is no other development in the area with architecture reflecting Mizner's.

Oceanside will see two new hotels in coming years. The Marriott Residence Inn will open at the end of September with 125 suites, and Wyndham Resorts will open the Wyndham Resort at the Pier.

The Marriott Residence Inn's suites will range in price from $159 to $229 a night, depending on length of stay. The hotel will include an on-site workout room, fully equipped kitchens in all rooms, an outdoor recreation area, and a pool.

Offering 146 timeshare condominiums, the Wyndham is expected to open this December. Units will be one- to four-bedroom condominium villas, with eight presidential suites. The resort will be located adjacent to Oceanside Municipal Pier, and will include a public promenade and plaza with retail shops, a restaurant, outdoor café and more.

All units are fully furnished with living and dining areas, full kitchens, washer/dryer and more. Resort amenities will include an outdoor pool, spa, children's play area and exercise facility.

The Grand Pacific Marbrisa in Carlsbad belongs to the Hilton Vacation Club group of hotels. This 350-room timeshare resort situated on 41 acres will open Feb. 28.

The Spanish Mediterranean-style resort will feature studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom vacation villas, each with a private patio or balcony. Amenities include a freeform pool in a tropical setting, a full-service spa, elevated terraces and fitness center.

Also opening in Carlsbad, the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort of the Grand Pacific Resorts Co. will sit at 5900 Pasteur Court. The 329-room hotel is set to open on the same day as the Grand Pacific.

Two Hampton Inns are set to open in the coming years. Carlsbad will welcome a 145-room Hampton on Palomar Airport Road, with an estimated opening date of Aug. 31 as of press time. Another inn will open in Poway the following year with 111 rooms. Construction for the Poway hotel is not yet under way, but financing has been secured, and the estimated opening date has been set at July 31, 2008.

Homewood, the Hilton-operated chain, is schedule to open on Sept. 30 a Carlsbad location on Palomar Airport Road with 145 rooms.

The Homewood Suites Carlsbad hotel will offer one- and two-bedroom suites featuring a fully equipped kitchen including a full-size refrigerator, high-speed Internet access, sofa sleeper, two TVs with on-demand movies and phones with dataports and voicemail. Other amenities include a business center with fax and copy services, outdoor heated pool and spa, and fitness studio.

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