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“Best birthday weekend ever!!” 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 17 Hotels in Newport Beach
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Irvine, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Best birthday weekend ever!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

I just returned from the resort, celebrating my birthday. I only live 20 minutes away, but I truly felt like I was miles away from my normal hustle and bustle. The staff was extremely attentive, friendly and helpful. It started w the email I received from Shannon, my guest experience concierge, who offered to book spa, golf and/or dining for me. I had her book my spa treatment and informed her I was celebrating my birthday.

The spa was pristine. I was greeted by Lidia, who was so helpful, and my technician (Erica) took the time to ask questions about my skin and what I really wanted. The result was one of the best facials I've had - my skin looks amazing! My bungalow was well appointed, quiet and beautiful - and the bed is soooo comfortable. I was surprised and delighted to receive a special delivery of chocolate covered strawberries along w a note wishing me a happy birthday. I truly enjoyed every moment of my visit to the resort and will be back again and again!

  • Stayed March 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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923 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (265)
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English first
Denver, CO
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

When we arrived at Pelican Hill, our room was not ready. If your room is not ready, they give you free gelato. The architecture is beautiful. All of the staff made sure that we were happy at all times. It has a nice pool and hot tub. It is right on the coast so you can take walks on the beach and not have to go very far. This was a wonderful trip. And I know that I will be taking my family back to Pelican Hill.

  • Stayed April 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

First off, the extraordinary physical facility that is this resort as well as it's breathtaking location on the Southern California coast will make you very happy that you decided to come and stay here. We have done so frequently since 2009.

As a local SoCal visitor and Golf/Spa afficionado, I can attest that the Resort at Pelican Hill, offers the best of both experiences in one sybaritic location. I have brought many guests to play the ocean front course as well as treated friends and relatives to the absolutely delightful and relaxing spa experiences. There is simply no equal to the skill, polish, service and attentiveness of the staff as well as the facilities for golf and spa at Pelican. Even if you decide NOT to stay at Pelican, try the Golf and Spa - it's that good and in this writers opinion, the best on the SoCal coast line, period.

The rooms are well designed, with modern conveniences if not cutting edge technology. Cleanliness and orderliness abound throughout the resort. Pricey and a bit uninteresting, but again part of an experience of staying in such an exclusive area.

Where the hotel Consistently falls down (and this is over a dozen visits and about four years), is in the food and beverage (and room service) areas. This is a failure of Hotel Management 101 and it is consistently sub par. Never encountered a rude or discourteous person in all of our trips, but the list of nits and picks could fill an encyclopedia. A few select examples:

1. At the Resorts "Signature" restaurant, Andrea, a business dinner of 8 guests waited over one hour for the appetizer course - when we finally inquired of our server why dinner was being paced so slowly, she scurried off to the kitchen and returned later with the straight faced explanation that "the Printer in the kitchen had jammed, so your order never made it to the Chef", seriously? And NO we were not comped for the wine, appetizers or toothpicks by the management. If only the restaurant was packed, but aside from our group there was only one other table occupied. Now we know why. PS - the food was equal to the service.

2. At a brunch for Mother's Day (as well as another general Sunday Brunch last year), Managers are seen standing around in groups on the terrace conversing, instead of tending to Patrons. Again I must stress that Everyone at the hotel staff level is pleasant and polite, if in a Stepford Wives kind of way. Also, the food was similarly boring, bland and unimaginative. For any Sunday or Special Event brunch, do yourself a favor and head down the Coast to the St. Regis in Monarch Beach.

3. Recently we attended a close friend's special event at the Hotel. The room was beautiful and the view spectacular, but Again the food was uninspiring, the service was robotic and simple requests ("more coffee please?") seemed to fall upon deaf (if smiling) ears. Even our close friend's frustration was evident when she asked for a show of hands to see whom of her guests wanted more champagne, after repeated requests of the staff were ignored. The answer was about two dozen (hands not requests). At the same event - a disabled guest was forced to wait over 30 minutes for a courtesy golf cart ride from the banquet facility up to the hotel parking valet so she could get back to her car.

In summary, I do recommend and endorse this spectacular property, stay there and enjoy the Golf, Setting and Spa, but by all means explore the myriad alternatives for dining and nightlife the area has to offer.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Saint Louis, MO
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

The service, food and property are excellent. This is a must-do if you can afford to experience a week of lavish views, spend time relaxing at the Collesium pool, golf a round at the North Course, and eat at one or two of the amazing restaurants. No matter the reason to be there, it will take your breath away.

Room Tip: Bungalows are great. You can request an ocean view or a garden view. They are very quiet and large.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 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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Irvine, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

Three couples decided to sneak off for a night at the PH, and we thought the annual Festa Dell' Autunno was the perfect excuse. Boy, did we choose wisely!
The hotel throws an annual three day festival to celebrate their olive harvest. It includes a street festival on site (including finger foods and wine), a delicious outdoor "family style" dinner featuring a selection of italian foods cooked by their reknown chefs, and a fabulous Sunday morning jazz brunch.
We were regaled by opera and pop singers, talented jazz musicians, local artists, a reknown Italian flag tossing troupe, and had to "endure" fascinating stories from our fellow diners during dinner.
Did I over-eat? You BETCHA, but who wouldn't when treated this way. It was fabulous!
I am a local, and for those that don't know it already, we in Orange County are fortunate enough to be surrounded by not one, but FOUR of the best resorts in the country. For those that don't know, these are the Pelican Hill, the Montage Monarch Beach, the Ritz Carlton Dana Point, and the St Regis Dana Point. Let's be real, you cannot go wrong at any of the four, but if I had to choose which was the best...after careful consideration, I'd go with the PH edging out the Montage, and let me be honest, it's NOT an easy choice.
Here's the scoop about all four:
The Montage and Ritz are right on the beach, while the PH and St Regis are on the other side of the road.
All four have incredible spa facilities, but the Montage and PH are two of the country's finest. That's the truth.
Food at any of the four is exceptional. Anyone that complains about a meal in any of these four places seriously needs some professional help.
The view at any of the four is OH MY GOD, GORGEOUS.
Rooms at all four are ridiculous.Ridiculous as in wow, this is really really nice.
The St Regis is billed as having Orange County's finest Sunday Brunch, but if that's so, the PH is right there with them. The Montage and Ritz only have brunches on special occasions (Mother's Day, etc.), although that may have changed since I checked last.
Service at all four is incredible. These are deservedly FIve Star resorts,and you are treated extremely well.

If you want to complain about the prices or "being nickled and dimed" at any of them, you shouldn't be staying here. Please stay elsewhere, and complain to others.

Back to the PH:
They have a round pool, which is enormous. It's difficult to describe, but the entire pool is 3 1/2 feet deep, and it's so large and so functional that you never feel as if you're cramped there.
You can book either "bungalows" or "villas". The "bungalow" is over 800 square feet, and is nothing short of perfection. Though I didn't stay in a villa, if the bungalow is that nice, I can only imagine how incredible the villas are.
I remember sitting in their coffee shop in the morning, looking out over the pool, the golf course, and the ocean in the distance, and though I live a whopping 8 miles away, I was on cloud nine just sitting there sipping my morning joe enjoying the sights.
After our event dinner, we retired to the main building, and enjoyed the incredible entertainment.
I've had the privilege of staying at three of the four, and have dined at all four. In three of the four resorts, some of Hollywood's elite were a table or two from us. Is that critical? Not at all. The point is, for those that know, this is the southern OC, a good distance from Beverly Hills, and if people like that, who can go anywhere, are coming here, it's for a good reason. These four resorts rock.
The PH is the newest of the four super resorts, and clearly the largest. It's been designed to resemble an Italian villa, and the specialize in Italian cooking. The place is seriously beautiful.
None of the four are inexpensive, but if you want to enjoy the best, splurge. You won't regret it.

  • Stayed November 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
189 helpful votes 189 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013 via mobile

What can I say? It's one of the finest  properties I've even had the pleasure of staying at with one of the most spectacular views on the planet. Should I stop my review now? Probably, but I'll share more details to give you and idea of what makes the property such a special place. I'l cover our room, services, food, ameniites, and scenery. 

First our room or in our case our villa.  Our 20 year old daughter was joining us for spring break so we reserved a two bedroom villa and due to our travel agent we received a complimentary upgrade into a 3 bedroom villa. We were told to stay in the SouthVillas and very glad we did as had a drop dead georgeous view. The 3 bedrooom villa was nothing short of spectacular, from three bedrooms, huge living room/dining room and wonderful garage. Tranquil, peaceful and tremendous.

Within short walk of villa was the Villa Clubhouse. Though not as big as the primary lobby, the clubhouse had very nice lobby, dining area and wonderful fitness center. It was never crowded and we ate breakfast there twice and was very good each time. Food was very good here along with the coliseum dining facilities.  

The property has a wonderful set of ameniites. I played golf one day at the Pelican Hill Golf Club North Course. I wish my game was better because the course had breath taking views and could not of been nicer. Each day I worked out in the fitness center in the Villa Clubhouse. It was never more than myself and one or two others. The facility was in tremendous shape and all equipment working terrific.

The service could not of been more attentive. Any wish we had was taken care of. Terrific.

Last, but not least was our view from our villa. We looked over the golf course and straight at Crystal Cove state park and the Pacific Ocean. Its impossible to say how much beauty and spendor our view brought us and we loved it.Each sunset was more beautiful than the last.

Checking out tomorrow. Cannot wait to visit the Newport Coast and hopefully enjoy Pelican Hill again. To all in market and planning a stay in the area cannot say enough good things about the property and hope if you try it you will have the same experience that we had.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Sacramento, Ca
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

I have stayed here 3 times now and surprisingly had a varied experience. My last two visits were not as positive as my first visit. The room I stayed in was as far away from the lobby as you could get and my room overlooked the road. Did not enjoy traffic noises and the view of bushes and weeds. Regardless, the spacious patio is a great place to spend time as the lounge chairs are a comfortable place to relax. I also really enjoyed the gym - went to a boot camp class that was intense and rewarding. Great job on the classes!

There was a large stain on the light colored carpet and I expect higher standards at a resort of this calibre. There was a cleaning rag left on the furniture on the patio and some empty wrappers that were on the patio. Seems minor, but this is an expensive hotel and presents itself as a high end resort.

The breakfast food was spectacular in the restaurant and I was always pleased. I ordered room service a few times and it could have come from Denny's. I ordered a veggie wrap and the veggies were bitter and I was unable to eat it. I spent $45 on coffee and a yogurt/granola parfait from room service and had a large bowl of granola and a pitiful amount of yogurt and berries.

The room is beautifully appointed with a fantastic gas fireplace, an entire wall is a glass door that opens onto the patio, a luxurious bathroom, and the best robe I have ever worn in my life. There are wonderul features of this resort, but it fell short for the price I paid on my last two visits. I would not want to stay here again for fear that I could never recapture the fabulous first experience I had here. The last two visits were disappointing.

Room Tip: Make sure you don't get stuck overlooking the road - The 150's and 160's are in a poor l...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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, March 12, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about your recent visit. I’m delighted to read that you enjoyed the gym, private terrace and other in-room appointments, but apologize that your recent experiences fell short of your expectations and our goals.

At Pelican Hill, we aim to deliver exceptional experiences for every guest, every time. I am disappointed to read about the housekeeping oversights and less than perfect in-room dining experience. Rest assured, I have taken the time to personally follow up with managers in each area you noted, so we can address your concerns.

No detail is too minor and I appreciate you providing your candid feedback, as we continually strive to heighten the guest experience in every corner of the resort. Should your travels bring you to Pelican Hill again in the future, we look forward to another opportunity to serve you.

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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Additional Information about The Resort at Pelican Hill

Address: 22701 Pelican Hill Road South, Newport Beach, CA 92657
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
#2 Luxury Hotel in Newport Beach
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Newport Beach
#2 Spa Hotel in Newport Beach
#2 Romantic Hotel in Newport Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Resort at Pelican Hill 5*
Number of rooms: 332
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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