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
We stayed in room 416 (Ocean view King room). The entire resort is immaculate, the service is outstanding, the food is delicious, and the value for money is good.
What we liked the most about Pelican Hill is all the cost of staying at Pelican Hill is in the room charge e.g. self vehicle parking and golf range usage.
When we arrived to check-in our room wasnt available. Pelican Hill made it memorable by giving us a simple voucher to enjoy a cup of tea in their cafe with a view of the resort grounds. This resort knows the ethic of service and has got it right.
Let me preface this review but stating I did not choose this resort...I was gifted to us, so for a spur of the moment staycation where we just had to pay for food, drinks etc.. it was a nice weekend but nothing that set it apart from the experiences I have had a similar type properties.
I will give you a few positives and a few negatives but just keep in mind we prefer boutique hotels. If we were paying top dollar to go to a coastal area, I would situate myself closer the the beach where I could smell and hear the ocean.
Room service- 2 of 3 times the food sucked
What was supposed to be a bungalow w/ ocean view not what I envisioned. The room was very nice with vaulted ceilings, gas fireplace, comfy bed and a big bathtub perfect for a lovely bubble bath but the view was a joke and I am sure there was a premium paid for that (see photo) and just seemed like a normal room vs. calling it a 'bungalow'. The only good thing about location, it was close walk to pool, spa and main area but they do provide a shuttle you can call if further away.
The only Adult Only pool there is reserved for guests of their Villas so be prepared for a lot of kids making a racket. My husband wouldn't even go in since he was afraid of swimming in pee.
Make sure to bring sun tan lotion- they charge $36 for cheap drugstore stuff
Upon check in, I mentioned it was my birthday and they did nothing special for me.
There was an issue with a promotion but I won't get into it just be sure you read the Amex fine print.
I don't know anything about golf but did look like a nice course. Nor did I visit the spa. We did go for a walk on the beach which was enjoyable but it was very confusing to figure out how to enter so read over it or ask concierge first- there are multiple places to enter but at the Reef entrance you have to walk down a bunch of steps and pay $15 to park even just for an hour. Apparently there is an easier place to access.
They do have live music in certain areas but acoustic guitar...snore. So really nothing to do there at night aside for dinner.
I hope this review gives you some helpful info in planning your trip... Even if it is not over the top, it is always great to get away with your loved one/s for a little break from every day life.
This is a great staycation resort if you don't feel like traveling far and want to feel like you are in an island resort getaway especially if you have young kids. Our kids enjoyed camp Pelican very much throughout our stay. The kids club keeps kids busy with arts and craft, sand pit, swimming and they even provide many choices for snacks and drinks and lunch. While the kids were engaged, mom was having spa time and relaxing in the steam room and Jacuzzi . I had a ocean view bungalow with a great view and the fireplace was lit during my stay... all in all a great stay and would definitely come back.
Staff were very attentive and other patrons were friendly. Got to meet the hawk and see it at work... it chased a bunch of crows away like a scene from discovery channel.
As a Luxury Travel Designer, I am constantly staying at luxury properties all over the world. I reside in So Cal, not far from The Resort at Pelican Hill and this remains one of my very favorite places. Whether I stay for a weekend or just the day, I love it every time. It's magical, so much so that my husband and I got engaged and married there!
We have always loved the Resort at Pelican Hill and come regularly to the spa and restaurants. We stayed in the ocean view bungalow a few years ago and now that we have two children, we decided to book a staycation in a three bedroom villa.
It was simply amazing! We all wanted to stay forever. The stacking doors open up to a gorgeous ocean view; the kitchen is fully stocked (a major plus when traveling with your little ones); the fireplace was a hit with everyone; every bedroom had its own beautifully appointed bathroom. Having a private garage and washer/dryer was also an awesome perk.
We dined at all the restaurants but our favorite was probably breakfast and lunch at the Coliseum Grille.
Service was truly outstanding from start to finish. We did not encounter a single grumpy face. Everyone was courteous, prompt and uber friendly.
The villas will become part of our family tradition and we can't wait to go back!