You don’t have to go to Italy for an elegant Mediterranean vacation. Not when you can spend a few days at the sumptuous Resort at Pelican Hill in nearby Newport Beach. A Forbes five-star resort for the seventh consecutive year, Pelican Hill sits on 504 manicured acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The architecture throughout is inspired by Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, the grounds are enveloped in lush foliage, and all of it is washed by ocean breezes worthy of an Italian idyll. With 900 employees and occupancy that tops out around 1,000, the nearly 1-to-1 employee-to-guest ratio is reflected in attention to the smallest details and impeccable, gracefully delivered service.
Lodging options are numerous, with 204 bungalow guest rooms and suites and 128 two-, three-, and four-bedroom villas. Bungalows range in size from 847 to 2,846 square feet, all with soaking tubs, 500-thread-count sheets, Italian limestone fireplaces, and panoramic ocean views. The villas, from 2,200 to 3,581 square feet, provide the same luxury and a good deal more, including gourmet kitchens sporting Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, and 24-hour butler service.
Guests can relax at the Coliseum pool; at 136 feet in diameter, it is one of the largest circular pools in the world, and it’s covered in 1.1 million hand-cut glass mosaic tiles. Available only to Villa guests is the elegant 10,000-square-foot Villa Clubhouse offering serenity, private gourmet dining, and access to luxury cabanas at the exclusive Villa Pool.
Overlooking the iconic Coliseum pool is the Coliseum Grill, serving delicious fare from pizza and paninis to seafood, salad, and smoothies. The Pelican Grill offers al fresco dining with an ocean view and a menu of locally sourced dishes. At the Villa Clubhouse, Villa guests can get breakfast and lunch daily, and on weekends an exclusive small-plates tasting at the pop-up Piccolo. For casual fare there’s the Caffé & Market, but for a real gastronomic experience make a reservation at Andrea Ristorante. This is white-tablecloth northern Italian and Tuscan cuisine at its finest.
GOLF & SPA
With 36 holes designed by famed architect Tom Fazio and perched above the glistening Pacific, the Pelican Hill Golf Club provides a world-class golf experience. Everything from the 44,000-square-foot clubhouse to the 18th green contributes to the club’s perennial appearance on best-of lists throughout the golf world.
The Spa at Pelican Hill has been awarded the Forbes Five-Star award, is one of only 64 spas in the world with a Forbes five-star rating, which it has received every year since its opening. With 22 treatment rooms, steam rooms, a sauna, and saltwater soaking tubs all housed in a beautiful environment The Spa at Pelican Hill is your ticket to relaxation and rejuvenation. A full menu of spa treatments and massages is available.
Photos: Courtesy The Resort at Pelican Hill