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“Wow... Fantastic” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Resort at Pelican Hill

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The Resort at Pelican Hill
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   22701 Pelican Hill Road South, Newport Beach, CA 92657   |  
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Ranked #3 of 17 hotels in Newport Beach
Redwood City, California
Top Contributor
179 reviews 179 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Wow... Fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

This resort was wonderful. Arrived and marvelled at the architecture of the buildings and paths. Check in was prompt and efficient. Quickly whisked away to guest room. Wow! Lots of plants and the room was spacious. Nice view out towards ocean. Staff was constantly available to offer rides, but preferred to walk.
The Coliseum pool is a marvel. Not a fan of 3 1/2 feet depth, but otherwise, what a great design. Lots of area for sun and shade. Food service was courteous and fast service.
The grounds were spectacular with several breath-taking ocean views. Walking the paths along the golf course was an excellent workout. The walk down to the ocean was also a good workout. Shuttles were available to avoid the hike back up the hill.
The car show (both guest's and rentals) outside the lobby was very fun browsing. Ferraris, Porsches, etc. made for great window shopping.
The Golf Course Pro shop was a bit of a hike and very pricey. The staff was the least helpful at the resort. The poor girl working alone in the bakery/cafe seemed startled that anyone would visit in the afternoon but she was very polite and friendly.
Definitely not for the budget minded.
The bar cocktail service was very friendly.
The landscaping on the grounds is fantastic. Not being a particular fan of gardening, the work that the staff must do is unbelievable.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (211)
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English first
Anaheim Hills, California
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Being local, we stayed one night for a wedding celebration, which was at the Hotel. We had requested an early check in, 2 pm, which did not happen, but we had been warned. However, they upgraded us from a one room, ocean view bungalow, to a suite. Sixteen hundred feet of luxury that you can really live in. As mentioned elsewhere, the ocean views can be limited by over-grown landscape and the terrace you are on, so check the room first if view is a big factor.
Room service for breakfast was excellent. On time with well prepared HOT food. For a wedding, this resort is superb, but expensive. In this area, Pelican Hill is second only to Montage.

Room Tip: Check the 400 area for views.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

We stayed for 4 nights in a bungalow-garden view. The resort is gorgeous! Often you see pix on a hotel website that dont live up.. this place is as beautiful as it looks. Its a bit pricey & out of our normal lodging budget but we got a good deal on-line. The room & bathroom were large & very well appointed. High ceilings, nice tv, wet bar, fire place, seating area.. a really comfortable room you just feel relaxed in! Cozy & comfy.

The patio was also nice (although a bit warm as the glass panels trap the heat) The resort should make them standard on all patios, but ask for lounge chair covers. Its very private and a huge plus that you park your own car near your door..no waiting for valet. We really appreciated that as we could come & go without delay to visit the sights.

Some reviewers commented on the "condo-like" set-up.. honestly we really enjoyed that..nice change from hotel rooms. It was great to have your own "place".. quite, couldn't hear our neighbors.

Location is great & made it easy to see the sights in the area...dont miss a walk on crystal cove beach! (they have free shuttle service to/from this beach) The pool was fantastic & the grounds are really pretty. We don't golf but still enoyed the property for morning/evening walks. Ate at the Coliseum Pool & Grill for lunch & dinner a couple of times, food was great.

We had a small fridge brought to the room so we could keep some drinks/snacks as this is not all inclusive.

Great service, lovely resort. It is a little pricey but you can look for on-line deals.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Visalia, California
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

Mr [--],
I recently was a guest at the Resort at Pelican Hill. While the resort was in a great location and had many great amenities, the service I received at the resort was less than that received at a Holiday Inn.

Here is a letter I submitted to Mr [--]...

Late Check-In
I arrived at your resort at approximately 3pm and was informed my room was not yet prepared. I was informed that when the room was ready, I would be contacted. I was not informed regarding the “Guaranteed Check-in time of 4pm” when I initially arrived at your resort. It was not until 4:28pm I was contacted to inform me that my room was ready.

Room was not adequately prepared, prior to my arrival
When I arrived at my room, I found that the room was not adequately prepared. I found that the carpet was dirty and not vacuumed. Large pieces of bark and dirt were found on the carpet, requiring me to contact the front desk to have the carpet vacuumed.

Unable to get a different room, since “fully committed”
When I checked in to the hotel, I was not asked regarding my bed preference. Arriving in my room, I found that my room had two queen beds. As I was staying at the hotel with my wife, I had only desired a single king bed. When speaking with the front desk regarding changing rooms, I was told, “We are sorry Mr. Weber, but we are fully committed”. Sorry is an answer that I receive from a lower quality hotel such as Holiday Inn, not an answer I expect to receive from a hotel that receives praise from Conde Nast Traveler and is advertised in the Wall Street Journal.

Did not receive newspaper, as discussed with front desk (preference of Wall Street Journal)
Checking in to the resort, I was asked if I had a preference for newspaper. I requested the Wall Street Journal. The next morning, when I went to retrieve my newspaper, I did not find one hanging from the front door. This issue was brought up with Michael [--] that morning (Monday) and my concerns were addressed to him. That following morning (Tuesday), I found that I once again, I did not receive a newspaper at my front door.

The bride and groom should not have to worry about their guests as they were already under a lot of stress. The fact that I was not satisfied with my accommodations and voiced that with the bride and groom, requiring them to speak with Pelican Hill was totally unnecessary. I was contacted by Maria [--] and received a voice mail after she had spoken with Rodhelen and David. I then attempted to contact Maria and was informed that she was not available and Michael [--] was the manager of the Bungalows. I spoke with Michael and feel that my concerns were not taken highly. I feel that none of my issues were addressed during my stay at the Resort at Pelican Hill and accommodations should have been made for my inconvenience. I do not feel the service received during my stay warrants the same recognition as the Conde Nast Traveler survey. There is much room for improvement to be made with your staff and do wish your staff makes changes for the way in which issues such as mine are addressed in the future.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PelicanHillResort, Manager at The Resort at Pelican Hill, responded to this review, September 24, 2012
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your recent visit. As expressed by our management team in their discussions with you, we truly understand your level of disappointment and regret the unfortunate circumstances you encountered with your accommodation and newspaper delivery.

In consideration of your experience falling short of your expectations and our goals, a room credit was provided to you and a complimentary room upgrade was offered by our Managing Director in his correspondence that was mailed September 14, 2012. Unfortunately, it seems that this correspondence did not reach you before this review was posted.

As communicated in the response letter and in our managements phone discussions with you, we sincerely regret that you remain unsatisfied with your experience. Should you wish to discuss your experience further, I invite you to contact me directly.

Kind regards,

Scott Lundahl
Resident Manager
The Resort at Pelican Hill
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fullerton, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

This resort has had, justifiably, many wonderful reviews. But an area that is often overlooked, yet crucial to a meaningful and memorable stay is the service industry. In staying many times in the villas, my family and I can tell you of two absolutely wonderful front desk people at the villas that you must ask for when you stay there. Josh Smith and Casey Rodgers are truly the best. They both exemplify what their positions as front desk managers should be--namely, they actually listen, are extremely polite and helpful, and most importantly, will try their very best to get fulfill your requests. Make sure to ask for either of these two fine young men, because they are both 5 stars, to match the resort!

Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
british columbia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

We've just returned from a long weekend with our daughter at Pelican Hill and while the resort is lovely it does not merit the $700.00+ night room charge. We booked a one bedroom bungalow with Ocean View, the view was obscured by the trees in front of our unit and what we did see was water glistening in the far distance. The bungalows are huge, so maybe thats the trade off. That however is not the reason for this review. Our biggest problem was the unruly children at this resort, the kids in the pool scream non-stop, there's running and screaming and jumping into the pool, it was a nighmare. Our neighbours had 3 children and a nanny, we ended up asking for a room change since the screaming started at 6:30 and and ended well after dark. We chose not to spend to much time at the resort due to the noise. Don't get me wrong, we also have kids, albeith the youngest being 21 but we have never encountered that many children in one place. It seemed that the staff was unwilling to discipline or at least speak to the parents at all.

We certainly werent the only people who felt this way, especially at the pool, which by the way is huge. Shade is difficult to find, unless you book a cabana. I really, really wanted to love this resort, I read all the reviews and was weary of the service, which we found to be much better than expected. Give the breakfast at Andreas a miss, you're better off down the way 2 miles in Laguna or the other way to Newport.

I probably wont stay here again, which is a shame since as I said its lovely but for the overwhelming amount of young children and lack of good dining.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

We stayed at this beautiful resort in the week leading up to and including Labor Day and the dates are significant as they had a considerable impact upon our experience there. The first thing to say is that aesthetically, the hotel is breathtaking. The views are amazing and the architecture blends beautifully into its surroundings. We stayed in a garden bungalow which was within a minute of the pool and restaurants so we had no transport issues. The room was well appointed and certainly enough for our needs. The pool was certainly a focal point for the hotel, although little to no shade, and the decor throughout luxurious without being pompous.

We ate at the Coliseum Bar & Grill, the Andrea, the Caffe and had room service. The Coliseum Bar & Grill was always a great experience. It didn't pretend to be more than it was (a poolside restaurant), the food was good on the whole and the service was great until the Labor Day weekend when it became much, much slower although they were still polite and helpful. The Caffe service was fantastic although slow again though this was due to not enough staff during a busy time. The room service was mainly for breakfast and this was fine. Service was fantastic until Labor Day weekend when we had to wait for one hour and twenty minutes for granola, cereal, tea and fruit to be delivered.

The Andrea was the most disappointing experience for me. I have been lucky to eat in some of the best restaurants in the world and coming from London, I have high expectations from restaurants such as the Andrea which advertises itself in the way that it does. I found it pretentious and unfulfilling. The food was average. We had the tasting menu, but by the time we reached the risotto (salty) course, I was too full and my husband had to eat the rest of my meal. We couldn't eat the petit fours so the waiter asked if we would like a box to take them away. The box was then delivered to our table and we were expected to fill it up and take it away ourselves! The manager spent time talking with all other patrons except for us. It was as though he knew we were British and were not worth the investment of his time. The one saving grace here was the waiting service. Our waiter was attentive (with the exception of us boxing up our petit fours) and all of the staff who served our food were fantastic. I have been to Italy many times and eaten superlative, simple Italian food. Andrea may have Italian chefs but sadly this was not enough to provide a wonderful Italian epicurean experience.

My husband played golf on both magnificent golf courses and thoroughly enjoyed it although the experience was expensive but he felt it was worth it. I also went to the spa for a manicure and pedicure which were great and then a hair appointment, which was ok but made me appreciate my hairdresser at home who does my weekly wash and style. The use of the gym is free and it has a lot of equipment in it and the free wi-fi is great.

Which brings us to the overall service. The concierge service was by far the best experience we had. With their large screen TVs, they are able to show you the restaurants and the trips available to you. The female concierge was amazing. She was friendly, efficient and knowledgeable. Very impressive. This is the standard of service you expect at a hotel of this calibre. The staff who delivered the room service and turned down the rooms were kind and courteous and the staff in the Coliseum Bar and Grill were great. However, the speed of service and attentiveness took a nosedive as the hotel filled up for Labor Day. We couldn't get tables for lunch and it was impossible to get a chair by the pool if you wanted any shade.

Our kids enjoyed the kids club where the staff were attentive and really sweet. They loved the movie and popcorn night while we went to the Andrea (I wish I had gone with them!).

Also, the hotel has a great shuttle that takes you down to the beach and brings you back. You get bags with towels and water and complimentary umbrellas and chairs on the beach itself. This worked really well and Crystal Cove is a lovely spot.

I had been expecting a package and on enquiring whether it had been delivered at the front desk at 2pm, I was told in a very patronising way, that it would be in my room if it had been delivered. When I checked the tracking information, I discovered that it had been signed for at 12 noon and was not delivered to my room. The person at the front desk did not even offer to check for me. This was a lapse in service but I was more upset about the attitude of the front desk more than anything. Unfortunately, this attitude from the front desk was pretty consistent. Thankfully, the service from everyone else compensated for this.

On the whole, the resort was a great experience until Labor Day. It cannot really cope well with a full hotel. There are some really great things about it, but some very minor service issues let it down. That said, I would stay there again. I know what to expect now and the rooms and aspect were all wonderful. I just would stick to the Coliseum restaurant and stay away from the Andrea reataurant. Oh, and I would stay away from any major US holiday as the service cannot possibly withstand it.

Room Tip: We stayed in the garden bungalow with two adults and two children. This was more than enough space...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Resort at Pelican Hill

Address: 22701 Pelican Hill Road South, Newport Beach, CA 92657
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Newport Beach
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Newport Beach
#1 Luxury Hotel in Newport Beach
#2 Romantic Hotel in Newport Beach
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Newport Beach
#2 Spa Hotel in Newport Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Resort at Pelican Hill 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on 504 acres by the Pacific Ocean in Newport Beach, The Resort at Pelican Hill(R) features: 128 two-, three- and four-bedroom villas with magnificent coastal views and an unparalleled array of appointments, immersing guests in the absolute finest of everything; 204 luxuriously appointed bungalow guest rooms and suites with private terraces; a rejuvenating Five-Star spa with a menu of the world's most celebrated therapies; world-class restaurants, including Andrea serving authentic Northern Italian cuisine; an iconic "Coliseum Pool," one of the largest circular pools anywhere with tiered decks and luxurious cabanas; and Pelican Hill Golf Club with 36 dramatic holes by Tom Fazio, nearly all with ocean panoramas. A Five-Star, Five-Diamond destination, Pelican Hill has earned acclaim as the 2012 Grand Resort selected by Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report; as Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards Top Southern California Resort (2013 & 2012), Top U.S. Resort (2011), Top-Rated Golf Resort Worldwide (2012) and Top-Rated California Resort Spa (2012); in Travel + Leisure's "Top 100" World's Best Hotels (2011 Readers' Poll), and with two courses ranked among Golf Digest's America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses (2011). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pelican Hill Hotel Newport Beach
Hotel At Pelican Hill
At Pelican Hill Hotel

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