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“Amazing place” 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
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Amazing place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

Our stay at Pelican Hill was beautiful. We arrived and after check-in, they show you how to drive to your villa. The room was gorgeous and the view is beautiful. You feel like you in Tuscany. The only bad thing in the room was the shower head, it was really bad with the worst water pressure ever. And no hand-held shower head. It really didn't match the rest of the opulent bathroom. The breakfast delivered on our terrace was amazing. The coliseum pool is fabulous with very good service. The lunch menu is ok but not great. We drove one day to Laguna beach which is fun. We went to Sol Cocina for dinner one night and it was excellent. As well as Pizzeria Mozza. My husband loved both golf course at the resort, said it was amazing. We would definitely come back.

  • Stayed August 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.
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764 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (216)
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English first
Chatham, New York
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

I just returned from four nights at the Pelican Hill Resort. I went to Newport Beach to visit family and was told that this would be a beautiful place to stay, right on the Pacific. Our spacious room with a large terrace hovered over lush greenery with a breathtaking view of the ocean. Everyone on the staff was helpful and greeted you by name and with a smile. The food was excellent at all of the restaurants. We enjoyed breakfast each morning overlooking probably the most magnificent pool I have ever seen which also had a view over dunes to the ocean. While I am not a golfer, i couldn't help but notice how inviting the course looked, but also quite challenging with hills and valleys and the ocean. Unfortunately, the weather was most uncooperative but it gave me hours in the cafe chatting with family. There we got to sample the homemade gelato which was delicious, especially the blood orange. The best part however, was the spa. I have been to spas all over the world and this experience was among the best. The facilities are excellent and the technicians all excellent. The resort is located within steps of a state park along the beach where you can walk and bike along trails. In the mornings we would head down for a morning fitness walk with a trainer from the gym. I highly recommend the resort and hope to return myself, perhaps when I can enjoy the outdoors a bit more.

Room Tip: Most rooms offer complete privacy. I did notice however, that some of the garden rooms face the roa...
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  • Stayed November 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
    • 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.
CA
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
146 helpful votes 146 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

I live very close to the resort, and after many many bike rides thru the property, I read that Pelhill received the 1 ranking in my favorite travel magazine. I never really like the Suburban street vibe of the property, but thought I must be missing something and should drive the 1 mile to Pelhill on 4 wheels and check out the hype. I rented a very nice second floor suite. After about an hour, I wanted to go home.
- check in process was lackluster and very cold. Umm, I'm not bad looking, why do you not want to look at me front desk lady? I have a nice car, why is valet asking about dinner ressies and bugging me about if anyone else will be joining me during my stay? R u kidding me? What business is this of yours? I had the feeling they thought I was a low spender. Um, check my license, I Iive In a more prestigious area than the hotel!
- ok, so I am spending well over $700 a night, and I ask for the shuttle to pick me up for dinner out to crystal cove. I want to have drinks out and not drive. No one calls me back. I want to go home.
- the property, or what I saw of it on my walk that evening, was nothing more than average oc streets with 'mature' Landscaping and A lot of concrete. These kids driving by in escalades like they are the guests, rather than the employees. It's all rather weird - no character or charm at all.
- Locals know that montage is the best resort if you want to be near the water and not be stodgy. Stodgy and on water is the ritz. Fun and views of water is St. Regis. I have stayed at all lot all of these properties many times. They are all wonderful. I did not want to go home when I was there.
So at Pelhill, i watched tv and worked out and checked out within 16 hours of checking in. I am now going to call this place Pel hell.

Won't be going back. Will be telling others about being underwhelmed and overcharged. Will not be trusting my magazine reviews anymore. Will be staying home for at least a week, until I get wanderlust again. Then will probably head up to Ojai valley inn, or someplace nice and amazingly serene, without traffic outside my window and weird garages up and down the Masterplanned hotel street.

Room Tip: Go to montage or someplace that feels like a resort, not a Masterplanned community.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
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 13, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about your recent visit. I understand your perspective and sincerely regret that your experience was less than perfect.

For locals and Resort guests alike, we aim is to deliver exceptional experiences and the finest in anticipative service, which includes inquiring about guests’ interest in dining reservations, special occasions, accommodations for additional members of your party and much more. I sincerely apologize if our staff’s offers of assistance fell short of your expectations and our goals.

The design and vision of the Resort, brought to life after decades of detailed planning, is crafted in the style of the Italian Renaissance and intended to be timeless, aesthetically pleasing and a seamless fit within the master planned community of Newport Coast. The unprecedented attention to detail throughout the Resort has set us apart as one of the world’s finest Resorts. As you mentioned, Pelican Hill has been recognized with top national and global accolades from Condé Nast Traveler and many others since opening in 2008. I understand if the design concept and style of the Resort does not match your personal preference.

Once again, I appreciate you providing your candid feedback and invite you to contact me directly, should you wish to discuss your visit further.

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.
Redlands
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

We've stayed at Pelican Hill for weekend getaways twice now and we're addicted. Unbelievable grounds and view, even though you are a ways back from the ocean. Great staff, and always great service. The tasting menu at Andrea is wonderful and we had terrific waiters both times. We really enjoy spending evenings in the Great Room listening to Adam Michaelson; the Andrea menu is available in there if you ask. The spa is also a highlight; the couples hot stone massage followed by the aromatic will relax and re-charge body and mind. The Coliseum pool is spectacular, pleanty of lounges, some in the shade but most out in the open. Service there has always been good and breakfast overlooking the pool with the ocean in the background doesn't get much better. Go.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012 via mobile

Pelican Hill is the type of resort that makes you feel welcome whether you are staying for one night, a week or a month. Service was excellent and always helpful. The villas are perfect for our family and give us just the right amount of homeyness while still making us feel like we are in a hotel. I highly recommend this hotel. We will be going back again next summer.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

You will never be more impressed by a resort in the US. This property is AMAZING, the setting is amazing. The rooms are amazing, the staff is amazing and the food is extremely amazing. It's expensive but worth it! The Pelican Grill is one of the eateries on the property and it's exquisite. The restaurant overlooking the pool, which is HUGE has excellent food as well. It's will be perhaps the best resort you will ever stay in.

Room Tip: Beds are very comfortable. The bungalows (rooms) are like a small condo including a pation and firep...
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  • Stayed November 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 Business Hotel in Newport Beach
#1 Luxury Hotel in Newport Beach
#2 Spa Hotel in Newport Beach
#2 Romantic 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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