The Resort at Pelican Hill
What We Love
- Tuscan village vibe and the largest circular pool in the world
- Tom Fazio–designed 36-hole golf courses overlooking the Pacific Ocean
- World-class spa and daily fitness walks to nearby Crystal Cove
What To Know
- There’s a free shuttle for getting around the enormous resort
- Very popular destination for weddings
- Top choice for families, with enormous bungalows and a kids’ camp
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach in tony Orange County, the Resort at Pelican Hill is a 504-acre taste of Tuscany in the Cali countryside. Single-story Bungalows skirt the manicured grounds and start at an enormous 850 square feet. Done up in cool cream shades, all have limestone fireplaces, wood beam ceilings and marble bathrooms. Those with private terraces and Pacific Ocean views are well worth the splurge. Foodies get their fix at the resort’s multiple eateries, whether it’s traditional northern Italian fare at Andrea, farm-to-table favorites (and killer ocean views) at Pelican Grill, or poolside comfort food and kid-friendly options at the Coliseum Pool and Grill. The pool itself is at the heart of Pelican’s daytime action, especially if you pay extra for the huge furnished cabanas outfitted with sound systems, minibars and flat-screen TVs. Away from the pool, active types get their fix on the Tom Fazio–designed 36-hole golf course or in the state-of-the-art fitness center, while sybarites will be right at home in the world-class 22-room spa.
In the Area
Book a daytrip with concierge-approved Bill Hoffman of Hoffy Tours and visit lookout points from Crescent Bay Point Park to Dana Point Marina, plus stops at the San Juan Capistrano Mission and Los Rios Historic District. For families and nature lovers, the California coastline is full of adventures, from a visit to the Nix Nature Center to a hike in the Willow or Morro Canyon. Wine lovers should check out Hamilton Oaks Winery and Giracci Vineyards in Silverado and Trabuco canyons, or stay local with a stop at Laguna Canyon Winery. For a dose of retail therapy head to open-air mall Fashion Island, or escape the crowds and set up camp on the beach at Crystal Cove State Park.
How to Get There
The Southern California coast is paradise on its own, but Pelican Hill somehow manages to elevate it. The resort is nothing short of stunning. The rooms are absolutely top of the line. The service and the staff, from the shuttle drivers to the cleaners to the doormen to the laundry people and everyone in between, are beyond what is even remotely expected. I've stayed at top of the line hotels - St. Regis, Ritz-Carlton, etc. This is in a completely different league.
I played, and loved, both golf courses and my fiancee adored the spa. The on-site Italian restaurant, Andrea, was surprisingly fantastic - not "resort food" at all. Crystal Cove beach is within walking distance and there is also a shuttle. Laguna and Newport are a short 10-minute drive away and offer even more beaches and dining. I can't possibly explain how relaxing this trip has been and we will most definitely be back.
This was a wonderful property. The staff was amazing and couldn’t do enough to make our stay memorable. Our room was spacious and comfortable and housekeeping was prompt and efficient.
The golf course was scenic and challenging. The spa was well run and had excellent therapists.
The food was good in all restaurants and it was a very relaxing experience.
We would definitely return, especially in the fall when it is a little off season.
My high school friend and myself stayed a week at pelican hill. We chose a 2 bedroom ocean view villa.
Views were outstanding. The villa while impeccably maintained was a little dated in decor, although the furnishings were of very high quality.
The beds were extremely comfortable and we both noticed the best towels/ linens out of all of our previous 5- star resort stays.
We both appreciated the daily texts from housekeeping concerning our schedules and when we would like our villa cleaned and/or turned down.
Housekeeping kept our villa stocked with laundry detergent, bottled water, nespresso pods and an over abundance of fresh towels.
The resort also kept us stocked with ice as the sub zero ice maker was inoperative. Our villa kitchen was stocked with many niceties such as half&half, milk, assorted cereals, condiments, selection of beers and sparkling waters. All complimentary. Resort staff also thoughtfully brought us on our first night, a bottle of bubbly, assorted cheeses/ crackers and fruit for my friends birthday.
We both enjoyed the spa twice and selected 100 minute massages, my masseuse (Jeremy) was probably one of the best I've experienced. I was however surprised the spa missed (on both visits) offering us some bubbly while waiting for our appointments. Spa included the usual standards, eucalyptus steam room, sauna, nice showers and anything you may need such as premium razors, lotions, after shave etc..
We enjoyed the full menu in room dining option once during our stay. Keep in mind this is a very expansive resort and both the north and south villas are some distance from the restaurants so don't expect your meals piping hot. Food quality was as expected and generous in servings.
The weather was amazing and it was nice to enjoy a fire in the fireplace almost every night during our stay.
I would definitely stay at pelican hill on a future visit to Newport. The proximity to 73 toll road and of course the coast is very convenient.