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.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.