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 were golfing our way up the CA coast playing golf at a few places. This property is huge - and I must add — very expensive. They maintain the property immaculately. Rooms are very spacious. We had a nice fireplace in ours. Not much of a view from most rooms because there are so many trees on the hillside. Bathrooms are quite large, well equipped except they did NOT include a magnifying mirror. Only issues had to do with cleaning - in the bathroom is they need to pay attention to the shower grout and the baseboard cleaning. There is a shuttered window that can be opened and closed between the bathtub and the main area in the room - did not like that. Some light and noise comes through even when closed. The staff was pleasant, extremely accommodating, and polite! We played golf on the South course while were there - Beautiful, scenic, and challenging course. Very hilly terrain. The pool is a vast circle. One of the larger resort pools I’ve seen - only 3 feet deep. They have a separate kiddie pool but I never saw anyone in it. Would have been fantastic to have a separate adult pool since we do enjoy peace and quiet - and with the kids screaming there was none of that. Restaurant food was good with a nice variety of choices. The Spa is nice - although prices are very high - I’ve had better treatments for less money elsewhere. There are plenty of places to walk. Lots of signs about theft (inside the room and outside on the property) so I imagine it is a big problem there. This is a place where the rich (or showy, or those in extreme car debt) come - as we saw 100 cars or more costing well over $200k each.
I have stayed at Pelican three (3) times. I have stayed in a standard room twice, once for a business event and once with my fiancé and then once in a 4 bedroom villa with butler with family of 6.
There is no doubt that this is a 5 star hotel shooting for the pole position in the Newport/Laguna competitive hotel line up. This is Don Bren’s (owner/founder of The Irvine Co.) baby and he wants this to be the best hotel in So./Cal. Pelican sits squarely up there with Montage Laguna and The Grand Del Mar. Thus is a resort that you will likely not leave unless your hitting Javiers or Mastros for dinner.
The service level is high. The rooms are very nice. The pool is over the top. The food is good not great.
I prefer this hotel for adult get away or large business functions. When I brought the family, kids can get bored. There is only so much for them to do even in the pool. I found them often calling the butler for golf cart rides around the property (I know spoiled problems). If your kids are teenage age they will enjoy the pool and laying out while getting great service more. The villas are very large (over 3,000 sf) and are in town home structures with views, fire pits and large decks. There are full kitchens so you can cook food to save money.
They do some really cool things around Christmas and holidays that keep this hotel changing.
Golf course is good and Spa is great.
Top notch So. Cal resort.
The Pelican was incredible I cant actually fault them in any way, everything runs like clockwork and the staff are some of the most helpful polite staff I have ever had in a hotel. We had a Villa Suite which was huge and looked beautiful, the housekeeping service was brilliant even folding up our kid's clothes and putting them tidily away. The grounds where amazing, food was great one of kids fell in love with the veggie burger and could not stop eating it. All in all a great experience and really look forward to returning again one day. Well done Pelican for providing an overall great experience and fantastic hotel.