***Special thanks to Fashion Valley Mall & Hotel del Coronado for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.***
Last week, I had the pleasure of spending a couple days in San Diego with David and my pug S’mores. Fashion Valley Mall invited me to spend a day with them to get pampered and do some shopping. Back when I studied at UCSD, I could only dream of such a unique experience. It was so much fun, and certainly refreshing to escape the desert heat for a while.
During our time there, we stayed at the iconic Hotel del Coronado, which is set on a beautiful beach. On our first night, we were told some fun stories and unique historical facts about the hotel over s’mores on the beach! The Del is equipped with many modern amenities such as concierge services, holistic spa experiences, and exquisite oceanfront dining.
The view from our suite was breathtaking, as we had the perfect view of the ocean, palm trees, and people enjoying themselves. We absolutely loved that the hotel was dog-friendly, and even met some other visitors with cute pups.
On our last day, we invited our friend Nancy over, who brought her pug to play with S’mores on the beach! It was a fun little pug date before we had to return back home.
After breakfast at the hotel, we were picked up by Porsche of San Diego and taken to the mall. Before this opportunity, Fashion Valley had always been one of my favorite places to shop, especially during my college days. I loved the variety of stores they had. Fashion Valley offers over 1.7 million square feet of retail space, making it the biggest shopping mall in San Diego and one of the largest in the state. Currently they have more than 200 stores, including many luxury labels like Prada, Hermès, and Salvatore Ferragamo, and leading department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom. Of course, it also has some of my favorite everyday stores such as Lululemon, Abercrombie & Fitch, Zara, and more.
Here in the desert, I’m not a huge fan of outdoor malls because it’s just way too hot to shop in the summer. However, in San Diego where the weather is pretty nice year-round, it’s wonderful being able to relish in the sunshine of the open-air environment! For all my foodie friends out there — Fashion Valley has ample dining options such as California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake Factory, and Stacked. In fact, we finished our shopping day with some bomb burgers and amazing lobster mac and cheese there!
Our day was pretty packed with exciting activities, and I really enjoyed learning more about some labels I had never heard of before and visiting some of my favorite stores. Our day started well with some pampering at Origins, Aveda, and MAC Cosmetics. I had a blast learning about new skin care products ideal for my occasional acne-prone skin, and getting my hair & make-up done. I don’t often get my hair done up so when the stylist at Aveda asked me how I wanted my hair, I asked for some fun braids! I really love how it turned out. She finished off my little styling session with a relaxing massage, which my body greatly appreciated.
After several hours of getting pampered, we had lunch at Neiman Marcus, where we learned more about their company culture and got to see all the different labels they carried. There is no Chanel boutique or store here in the desert, and the closest one is either the Neiman Marcus location in San Diego or the LA boutique in Beverly Hills. So naturally… I had to make a stop here. I’ve been wanting a small black boy bag for the longest time but never found the perfect one until this day. After browsing the boutique in Neiman Marcus, I found it hidden in a little corner, sort of tucked away. I’ll have to save the rest for another blog post. 😉 For now, let’s just say that I spoiled myself on this trip!
After lunch, we checked out some other stores including Johnny Was, Uno de 50, Swarovski, Madewell, Kipling, Cotton On, and Ted Baker. Of these, my favorites were Madewell, Kipling, and Ted Baker. I actually managed to find a pair of jeans at Madewell (finally) that fit me perfectly! It felt like a huge accomplishment (lol). I was a Kipling girl all throughout my college years, so it was nice to revisit to see the new styles they were offering. Both David and I always enjoyed walking into Ted Baker because of how elaborately they style their stores! Of course, they also have the cutest pieces and a fantastic shoe selection. I even picked up a pair of heels before I left!
By the end of the day, poor David was carrying probably at least 20 bags for me! Luckily, Porsche came back to pick us up after dinner and drive us back to the hotel. When we got back and finally set all the bags down, it had felt like Christmas came early. To say it was a memorable experience is an understatement… 😉
Since San Diego is only 2.5 hours from us, we’ll definitely be back for quick little getaways and the occasional splurge session at the mall. For both Southern California locals and visiting tourists, SD is the perfect vacation destination with so much to offer. I wish we were able to stay longer because there were so many other cool places we wanted to visit, such as Cabrillo National Monument, La Jolla Shores, and the San Diego Zoo! Until next time…
Have you been to Fashion Valley Mall or stayed at The Del? What was your experience like?
Photos by David Potter