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“Nice but not amazing - not quite 5-star” 3 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
Louisville, KY
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“Nice but not amazing - not quite 5-star”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

This is an interesting property that surprised me due to it's ratings. This property is a 5-star that should really be a 4-star. Understand that I am comparing this to other 5-star properties I have stayed in. I was extremely surprised that both Andrew Harper and Conde Nast voted this property a #1. Let me say I had very high expectations for the property, room, service, food and golf. They disappointed me in every way except the golf. We drove in to the resort. The view from the lobby is of the lovely circular pool and the ocean in the distance. Valet service extraordinary - so fast that they whisked the car off before I could get my phone out of the car! There is no complimentary welcome beverage, glass of water or tour. We were just told at 2pm that our room was not ready and they would call when it was. I thought I might use the time to walk down to the beach, but the ocean is actually over a mile walk or drive away on a busy street! OK, so let's go to the pro shop and look around. Well, need to drive there too. I looked for a quiet spot to sit and read a book and found that there are not really too many "relaxation" areas away from the pool to just sit and enjoy. I watched a bird fly into one of the glass walls and hurt itself and was told by an employee that the glass is so clear that the birds fly into the glass and hurt or kill themselves all the time. (Can we maybe fix this?) Sad. Oddly, you need to drive (not walk) everywhere (i.e. to golf, to the beach, The Grill, and some drive to the pool). Walking can be hazardous by the pool as some of the drivers are driving a bit too fast for a parking lot. Room was spacious, lovely, clean, well stocked mini bar, great deck with lounge chairs and table for outdoor relaxation. But, the table was not wiped after a room svs meal or housekeeping though, so when I put my book down later...well, it got wiped then! Kind of a lot of traffic/car/other noise in the room starting at about 3:30-4:00am if you sleep with the deck doors open. I guess I had expected to leave my doors open by the ocean for the breeze. Food...we ate at the bar when we arrived, as our room was not to be ready until the scheduled 4pm. 2 drinks and 2 apps were $70 - drinks good but food not. In CA, I expected a better bar menu with some healthy items. I had to specially request veggies with the hummus (vs. pita). The hummus tasted like a can of garbanzo beans put in a blender without any flavor. I didn't eat it. My husband couldn't eat his deep fried peppers either as the spicy first one burned his mouth. The Pelican Grill food is not much better. Not bad but not great. Few healthy non-meat-based dishes. We ate one lunch and one dinner there. The food is decent...but for the price we expected much, much more. Had some guests join us for dinner at Andrea's. The view of the sunset was spectacular. Service was good and the food was good but not great and definitely not worth the extraordinary prices. Room svs breakfast the same (i.e. 1 plain oatmeal, 3 croissants (or at least pastries called "croissants"), 1 regular coffee and 1 skim milk around $55-60). No little slices of fruit on the side or anything. You get oats. This seems to be the theme here. The golf, however, is one of the most organized operations I have ever seen. From the moment you pull up to valet until you leave the course, the service and organization will astound you - my shoes needed spike replacement - and in 10 mins all spikes were replaced and my shoes were clean & neat. Play time is good...fast but not rushed at all. Course is beautiful. Drink cart well stocked and readily available, smiles everywhere, and the experience was great. Overall, would definitely golf there again but unless I got a great deal, perhaps I would stay and/or eat elsewhere for the money.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PelicanHillResort, General Manager at The Resort at Pelican Hill, responded to this review, November 9, 2012
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your recent visit. I’m delighted to read that you enjoyed our golf experience, but sincerely regret that your stay and dining experiences were less than perfect. I understand your level of disappointment and have taken the time to follow up with the appropriate managers about the comments you kindly detailed here.

As you mentioned in your review, we offer complimentary transportation around the expansive 504-acre property and to the adjacent beach at Crystal Cove, located just a few minutes from the Resort. While it is possible to walk to the Golf Shop, beach, pool and restaurants, we provide complimentary coach service for guests’ convenience. Pelican Hill also provides complimentary parking, Internet access and no added Resort fees for spa, pool and fitness center access.

Once again, I am sorry to read that your experience fell short of your expectations and our goals. Should you wish to discuss your visit further, I invite you to contact me directly. As we continuously strive to heighten the guest experience at Southern California’s top-ranked resort, I kindly thank you for providing your candid feedback.

Kind regards,

Giuseppe Lama
Managing Director
The Resort at Pelican Hill
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (215)
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English first
woodland hills, california
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

The Villas at The Resort at Pelican Hill are spacious and luxurious. The 4 bedroom 4 bath ocean view Villa was outstanding in every respect. The restaurants, spa, pools and golf course are not to be missed. Adjacent to the resort are many first class shopping opportunities. The Resort is only 35 miles from LAX and is great fun bringing family and friends.

Room Tip: choose the Villas and split the cost with other couples.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, CA
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We stayed here with several other couples on a "retreat" a few weeks ago. The bungalows are amazingly large with every amenity you could ever want. The property itself is gorgeous and our room had an beautiful room overlooking the ocean (though quite a long ways away).
There are "guest cars" (black Cadillac Escalades) available for free guest transportation throughout the property and the majority of staff went way over and above what we expected. The men golfed and everyone was very impressed with the golf course as well as with the "caddy" that was assigned to each group of golfers. NICE PLACE!

Room Tip: Request a bungalow with an ocean view.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

5 star property with outstanding views of the Pacific Ocean. We stayed in a King room- spacious with beautiful view of the ocean - around Rm #400. Shuttle provided down the hill to lobby or spa- but totally enjoyed walking back to the room each night. Great area to walk right from the hotel- @3-4miles to Corona Del Mar public park by ocean and easy 2 miles walk on sidewalk the other way along residential/condo area. Newport Beach rocky and dirty- but park path paved and very nice.
Conceirge service was terrible - to say the least. We we're trying to arrange a private dinner party at Andrea's and they consistently NEVER returned emails or phone calls. The party turned off without a hitch- pasta amazing, but rest of food overrated for the price.
Golf - very expensive- but again with beautiful views and course.
Colliseum Grill food yummy...but we only had appetizers.
Overall- would return to hotel for amazing views, rooms, spa and pool- but service definitely lacking and food average at best. Hotels of this rating need excellence in all areas - not just the view! Would choose Florida or Mexico before this area.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Newport Beach, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I attended a wedding at the Pelican Hills a couple of months ago and must say I was very disappointed with the property. There is nothing special about this resort as I have seen and stayed at much more beautiful resorts around the world. I do agree with the other reviews regarding "lack of character" and quite frankly, I also don't understand all the hype. The food quality served at the wedding was good but nothing exceptional.

I do hope they make all the necessary changes to get customer service to an exceptional level.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, KY
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We had just dropped off our youngest daughter to UCSD to start college. We decided to take a litte down time and relaxtion for ourselves and start our journey as empty nesters so we drove one and half hours from La Jolla to this little paradise in the sun. Oh my!
Well, what a wondeful surprise upon our arrival to this fabulous resort. From the time we checked in everything was perfect. This is truly one great place. It has the largest circular pool in the world.....the restauants were also excellent no to mention the great ocean views.
Something interesting is they not only do they have single rooms where we stayed WITH a wonderful patio where we had breakfast. BUT also there are two, three and four bedroom villas for rent, great for families; Seven days for as long as you wish..some really great deals afetr 30 days. Gorgeous and very reasonably priced.
Anyway, you cannot go wrong staying here. It is the best place in this area for the price including the Ritz! Youwill think you have died and gone to heaven.
We left th resort a few night to try to local restaurants that the concerge suggested..again, excellet suggestions.
We left with some great memories and have no question planning on spending more time next Spring there.

Room Tip: Any....reuqest a ocean view.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

This hotel property is amazing. The customer service from the front desk, to housekeeping, to room service is really very high end.

My only word of caution is with respect to the view. Given that this property is very close to the ocean you might think that the rooms will all have a decent view -- no so. If ocean view is important to you be sure to ask. Our wonderful suite had a view of bushes, not even a glimpse of the ocean or horizon from where we were.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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
Amenities:
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 Luxury Hotel in Newport Beach
#1 Business Hotel in Newport Beach
#2 Romantic Hotel in Newport Beach
#2 Spa Hotel in Newport Beach
#2 On the Beach 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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