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Pelican Hill site inspection

Pelican Hill site inspection

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Old Feb 6, 13, 12:49 pm
  #1  
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Pelican Hill site inspection

I spent two nights this past weekend as the guest of Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach, a Southern California town halfway between LA and San Diego. Occupying 504 hillside acres along the coast in upscale Orange County, Pelican Hill was designed with a Tuscan hillside village in mind. Built in a Palladian architectural style, rooms and public spaces use plaster imported from Italy, applied by master craftsmen, and evince a fine attention to detail. Guests wanting luxury accommodations would be extremely happy with both the space and quality provided by the accommodations.

Lead-in bungalows are generously proportioned Junior Suites, 847 sq ft, with King or Queen-Queen beds, a sitting area, and an outdoor terrace. Bathrooms have step-in showers, soaking tubs, double vanities, and WCs. Bungalow Suites have a separate living room of equal size equipped with a pull-out sofa and a second bathroom with step-in shower. Two bedroom suites are also available, the living room connecting to a Queen-Queen bedroom.

Mrs. DavidO and I stayed in a 4 BR villa along with another Brownell TA and her husband. At 3,581 square feet, 4 BR villas feature two Master bedrooms, a Queen-Queen bedroom, and a fourth bedroom with a double bed. Each Master Bedroom has the same fully-featured bathroom described above (with an immense step-in shower); the other two bedrooms each had a full bath with step-in shower. A large Great Room had a fully equipped gourmet kitchen (Wolf and Sub Zero appliances), dining area, living room with gas fireplace and 60” flat screen television, and stepped out onto a large outdoor terrace. The villa had commanding views overlooking the golf course and the ocean.

What to do on property? There are two 18 hole Tom Fazio golf courses, a wonderful spa with 22 treatment rooms (and one of the best massage therapists I have ever encountered), and two heated infinity pools (one for the exclusive use of Villa guests). There are a number of dining outlets, most notably Andrea, voted a top-50 Italian restaurant in the US, where we enjoyed a simply superb dinner. Camp Pelican provides a supervised kids program (at a charge) for children 4-12 years of age.


golf course with the Pacific Ocean beyond

Area attractions include the beach (complimentary shuttle service to Crystal Cove State Park), shopping at Fashion Island, cruising Newport Harbor in a battery powered Duffy Boat, or taking the Ferry for a day trip to Catalina Island. Pelican Hill should also be considered for visitors who plan to visit Disneyland (just 20 minutes away in nearby Anaheim) and Legoland to the south in Carlsbad.


the main swimming pool

A villa at Pelican Hill may be an ideal solution for a long-term stay for snowbirds wanting to escape an upper midwest winter, as villas will provide everything necessary for a winter home away from home including a two car garage, laundry facilities, and fully equipped kitchen. However, some guests will appreciate the style of the villa community while others will not. Ideal villa guests are persons who would have positive feelings about staying in a small and exquisitely maintained gated suburban community. Other guests may find the atmosphere of a gated community, and the uniformity of the resort’s villas, to be a turn-off.


villas in the gated community

Pelican Hill is a member of Virtuoso. Virtuoso guests receive:
  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Continental Breakfast for up to two in-room guests
  • A $100 USD equivalent Golf or Spa Services credit
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Old Feb 6, 13, 1:33 pm
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I am curious which property you would choose for family vacation at end of June, Pelican, Montage, Ritz Laguna or St. Regis, Beverly Wilshire or Peninsula? Family wants to do Disney, Universal etc...
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Old Feb 6, 13, 1:58 pm
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David,

Thanks for this. The resort looks stunning. I'm taking a trip to LA and San Diego next month and I think I"ll stop off at Pelican Hill for a night or two. If you happened to notice, how was the privacy/sound insulation in the regular bungalow rooms?

Thanks again!
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Old Feb 6, 13, 2:00 pm
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June is not the best month in Socal. The dreaded June gloom has usually not yet broken by that point.

Thanks, DavidO, for the site inspection. We have been looking at a stay in one of the villas. It looks nice.
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Old Feb 6, 13, 2:54 pm
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Originally Posted by nba1017 View Post
David,

Thanks for this. The resort looks stunning. I'm taking a trip to LA and San Diego next month and I think I"ll stop off at Pelican Hill for a night or two. If you happened to notice, how was the privacy/sound insulation in the regular bungalow rooms?

Thanks again!
I didn't stay in the Bungalows, but with the quality of construction - and plaster walls, I would assume sound insulation is pretty good.

I was told that the resort is spread out, so even when it's at full occupancy, you never get the sense of its being crowded.
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Old Feb 6, 13, 3:12 pm
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I live nearby and have a few notes to add about this local jem:

1. The main pool is the largest circular pool in North America. The pool is deceptively big and I've been there peak times and the pool and lounge areas never seem crowded.

2. Both the food and service at Andrea are spectacular. Food at the golf club and by the pool is also very good but obviously less formal.

3. Valet parking is free

4. South Coast Plaza offers a few more high end shopping options than Fashion Island (though I perfer Fashion Island due to the atmosphere) and is maybe 10-15 minutes away
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Old Feb 6, 13, 3:44 pm
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Nicest resort I've been to in the U.S. That said, it's still far behind many Asian and other international resorts.
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Old Feb 6, 13, 10:18 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2010
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Thanks DavidO for the thorough report. Pelican Hill is our family fave when visiting LA. (there's a toll road just down the road that is impressively efficient.)
FYI, PH is NOT on the beach. They've shuttles to the beach or one could walk as it's half mile away.
The hard product at PH is excellent!
I've learnt how to maneuver around the LA and Orange Cty area using PH as home base. We load up on groceries at the market close-by then hangout at the villa, cooking our own food, except for breakfast which we often eat in the clubhouse.
We recently stayed in a 3 bedroom villa which is most convenient to the clubhouse, as opposed to being on the other side of a road where often you'll see and hear lamborgini's going a 100 miles per hour, but the 2 bedroom villa would be my preference. The 2 bedroom floorplan feels more open with a larger 'great room'...and indoor laundry. (bizarre maybe but i love to do laundry.)
This resort has so much to offer, inclement weather has never hindered us from partaking in the multitude of offerings...kids club, surfing, spa, golf, walks, runs, swimming, weights, pilates and yoga classes or just staying put, fire in fireplace, enjoying the ocean views.
I've kids 14, 19, 21 and 23....they are all quite pleased with the amenities and if they NEED to run to fashion island mall there's a shuttle for that, too.
Indeed the circular pool at the main resort is massive. I much prefer the quieter months but we've been in June when the place was at capacity, no where to get a seat by the pool (only experienced this once), yet it looked like you could still get hundreds more people in that massive pool. This would be the reason I prefer the villas over bungalows....much more subdued atmosphere in the villa area.,,,you could certainly go about your day and not see a soul.
The bellman, concierge and housecleaning staff at the villa clubhouse are fantastic, front desk people, too...(had service issues in the bungalows).
PH villas offer just the right degree of pampering for my taste. Lastly, off season rates are quite good and with Virtuoso amenities...a must!
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Old Feb 7, 13, 5:09 am
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Lovely grounds.....
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Old Feb 9, 13, 6:49 am
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PELICAN HILL=Las Vegas in Southern California. If you like high end Las Vegas this is your place. I would take many other nearby choices resorts first. such as Montage, Surf and Sand, even St. Regis has a smaller feel although it is a large property. I can find plenty of large pools and cabanas Vegas.
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