The Re­sort at Pel­i­can Hill

When Five Stars Should Be Ten Stars!

Golf Vacations - - News - By Barry Lotz

The Re­sort at Pel­i­can Hill is not sim­ply a golf desti­na­tion. It seeks to com­pete with nearby jew­els like the Ritz Carl­ton, Mon­tage and Ter­ranea, for guests who come for spa ser­vices, pool­side loung­ing, beaches, and nearby at­trac­tions, or to live the chic South­ern Cal­i­for­nia life­style. Golf is just one of the re­sort’s most prom­i­nent ameni­ties, and what a lure for peo­ple who love the game.

I gave this re­sort a 5 rat­ing, how­ever, hon­estly it de­serves a 10. If one item in par­tic­u­lar stands out above all the ex­em­plary traits found at the re­sort, it is that ser­vice is supreme.

The Re­sort at Pel­i­can Hill is not sim­ply a golf desti­na­tion. It seeks to com­pete with nearby jew­els like the Ritz Carl­ton, Mon­tage and Ter­ranea, for guests who come for spa ser­vices, pool­side loung­ing, beaches, and nearby at­trac­tions, or to live the chic South­ern Cal­i­for­nia life­style. Golf is just one of the re­sort’s most prom­i­nent ameni­ties, and what a lure for peo­ple who love the game.

Lo­cated be­tween the toney towns of La­guna Beach and New­port Beach, abut­ting Crys­tal Cove State Park (a re­sort shut­tle ush­ers guests to the park’s beach), Pel­i­can Hill Re­sort is so “un-ho­tel”. There are no el­e­va­tor lob­bies to the guest’s rooms in the main build­ing. The 332 guest ac­com­mo­da­tions are set apart and in two dis­tinct ar­eas – the Vil­las (128) and the Bun­ga­lows (204), both reach­able via per­sonal au­to­mo­bile, or ho­tel trans­porta­tion.

The ar­chi­tec­ture of the main build­ing, in­spired by the de­sign prin­ci­ples of the 16th Cen­tury Ital­ian Re­nais­sance ar­chi­tect An­drea Pal­la­dio, is a res­i­den­tial-style lux­ury re­treat re­sem­bling a Mediter­ranean vil­lage. And, with the de­sign ge­nius of Tom Fazio, the two golf cour­ses at­tached to the re­sort, are sim­ply mar­velous to play and the views of­fered are out­stand­ing.

The set­ting, to­gether with the well-man­i­cured grounds and Olive trees, is rem­i­nis­cent of a Tus­cany vil­lage.

Over 750 hand-picked ma­ture olive trees help com­plete the Mediter­ranean patina of Pel­i­can Hill.

Ar­riv­ing at the re­sort, you first see this grand her­ring­bone-bricked square, one of the largest of its kind in the US. Then, at the porte cochère you are met by the valets, and that’s when the im­pec­ca­ble de­tail to ser­vice be­gins and con­tin­ues through­out your stay at the re­sort.

The spa­cious lobby vestibule and the Great Room at the Re­sort have been trans­formed re­cently from an el­e­gant, for­mal lounge area

into an up­beat gath­er­ing spot, called a so­cial lounge. The Lobby ter­race of­fers great views of the ocean, golf course and the Coli­seum pool.

The very invit­ing Coli­seum Pool is the largest cir­cu­lar pool in the world, 136 square feet — and en­joys a coli­seum set­ting. Its wa­ter is in­cred­i­bly blue, thanks to more than a mil­lion irides­cent glass mo­saic tiles on the pool bot­tom. Pool­side ca­banas are avail­able as well.

The lux­u­ri­ous low rise guest bun­ga­lows and the 2 to 4-bed­room vil­las are on lit­tle lanes ter­raced into the hill­side. Each one-bed­roomed bun­ga­low con­sists of no less than 847 square feet, is a sin­gle story with 15-foot wood-beam ceil­ings, and has a lime stone fire­place and some bun­ga­lows of­fer a pri­vate ter­race over­look­ing the ocean.

What also makes the bun­ga­lows so invit­ing are the lux­u­ri­ous beds, Kings or Queens, the large flat-screen tele­vi­sion, Bose sound sys­tem, gran­ite wet bar, re­frig­er­a­tor, coffee grinder (and coffee beans), with a mar­velous bath­room con­sist­ing of a sep­a­rate soak­ing tub and over­sized shower. Bath robes are avail­able.

The Villa Pro­gram of­fers an en­tirely per­son­al­ized, ul­ti­mate res­i­den­tial ex­pe­ri­ence, right down to mag­a­zine pref­er­ences and fa­vorite foods.

Pel­i­can Hill’s links-style Ocean North Course fea­tures glo­ri­ous Pa­cific panora­mas from ev­ery hole.

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