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“Style over Substance”

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The Resort at Pelican Hill
Ranked #5 of 18 Hotels in Newport Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 24, 2013

The resort is beautifully landscaped, built and furnished. Every view is gorgeous and every room we were in, public or private, was beautiful. I can't figure out if this is a three, four or five star resort though. In room amenities were scarce and cheap, inexpensive, no-brand mass produced lotion, shampoo and bath gel smelled strongly of chemical fragrance and were rather drying. Towels were cheap and smelled of detergent. The coffee set up was clever but we could not get service to refresh it so we made coffee and had no cups from which to drink. The bed is comfortab
E with nice sheets. We stayed in an ocean view bungalow with a fireplace and it was lovely. The food was clearly the products of a massive and probably over-taxed F&B system. Andreas, the fine dining restaurant in the main hotel was pricey and pomp but expensive and underwhelming. Our waiter diligently upsold us, including a big Italian red wine (for fish, which is fine bit he wanted a light red) which was $36 a glass and not on the menu. The Coliseum food and service were very good, not memorable. The Pelican Grill menu has a nice selection and decent pricing. Our waiter dropped a tray with two glasses of champagne on me and apologized, yes, but then made himself scarce, really dropping the ball on service recovery. Spa treatment was excellent, Brittany was great. VERY expensive and sullen front of house staff compromised experience.

Room Tip: Room 320 is gorgeous with view and very walk able to main building with pool, spa and two restaurant...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank K R
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 reviewResponded November 25, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I am disappointed to read that your Pelican Hill experience fell short of your expectations and our goals. Please allow me to address the concerns you kindly detailed here.

All Bungalow and Villa guests receive a collection of signature bath products, including shampoo with basil extract, conditioner with calendula extract, shower gel with lemon extract, body lotion with olive leaf extract, massage bar with Ceylon tea leaf and more, created exclusively for Pelican Hill by Gilchrist & Soames®. I appreciate your input on these products and apologize if they did not meet your expectations.

I sincerely regret that your overall experience was less than perfect. I have addressed your comments regarding dining, housekeeping and front desk with the appropriate department managers. We look forward to improving the guest experience, based upon the feedback you shared. Should you wish to discuss your experience further, I invite you to please contact me directly at your convenience.

Kind regards,

David Phillips
Director of Rooms
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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Reviewed November 21, 2013

I recently stayed at the Resort at Pelican Hill as a getaway with my girlfriend and all I can say is wow! From the moment we arrived until we had to depart, the experience was flawless. The room was absolutely breathtaking (bungalow suite)! Complete with fireplace and a balcony overlooking the ocean, it was incredible. Probably my favorite aspect was the layout of the resort. It is very spread out and feels more like a luxurious neighborhood than a hotel. The result, peace, quiet, tranquility. I loved having my car right outside of my bungalow. Rather than having to park in some lot very far away or valet my car each day, it was always accessible. However, if I just wanted to get around the resort, a complimentary shuttle could pick us up within a few minutes. Another incredible amenity was the spa. Though we didn't book any services, the facilities are included in your stay (we travel a lot, this is quite rare there is usually a surcharge of $30-$50pp). The steam room and jacuzzi were amazing. The spa atmosphere could not have been more relaxing! Room service was excellent and overall the service and the staff were top notch. This hotel truly lives up to all of its accolades! Prior to departing, we were fortunate enough to tour the Villas with one of the managers, Casey (who was very kind and helpful). The Villas are an exclusive area of the resort and are larger than the standard rooms (which are already VERY spacious). The Villas are more like individual homes with attached garages, very large and very luxurious. The hotel was warm, comfortable, and welcoming. Everything I could ever ask for in a luxury hotel and more, will be back without a doubt!

Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Mark G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2013

I recently stayed at this resort for business/pleasure, I am a semi-frequent traveler who appreciates luxury but doesn't need/require it. My review as per the following CAT's;

Room(s):
I stayed in a standard room for a few nights and moved to a 2bdrm villa for a few nights. As this is a newer resort the rooms have very little wear and tear, they are large, clean and high-end (fireplace was a beautiful touch). Now I am sure someone could come on here and write something negative but I am sorry these are very nice rooms by most standards unless you live in a $20M+ home. The villa was approx 2,200 sq ft and very comfortable for two couples, the appliances were all high-end (wolf range) and custom built in fridge/freezer etc.

Golf Course/Amenities:
Wow, find a place on this resort that doesn't have an amazing view and you are actually looking in the wrong direction... both pools have beautiful views (circular pool being the star of the show), both golf courses North and South have signature holes (multiple) looking out into the ocean and the restaurants here offer a choice for everyone, seriously even our friends two year old had menu options that were thoughtfully arranged.

Staff:
Now this is where I felt they really shined... I dare you to try and open the door for yourself, you would need to sneak up to towards the door and break into a flat out sprint for the last 10ft in order for a staff member to miss opening it for you. I had a very helpful staff member named Weston (spelling sorry) who graciously drove us around the resort and made sure we were well taken care of. The course provided my foursome with a caddie for the round, Casey saved me 4-6 very embarrassing puts and helped to speed up our round and overall enjoyment.

Issues:
First, long distance calling rates from the room are horrific... seriously horrific. That said who doesn't have a cell plan these days that accommodates LD calls, I guess me?
Second, golf course cancellation fee $75.. I wasn't feeling well from the night before and phoned to cancel my afternoon round the morning of and was hit with a $75 fee... not my favorite thing after spending $600+ on the previous round with 2 more rounds booked for the week at a similar cost.

Overall:
This is a 5 star property held up by a 5 star staff... hopefully they can keep this up so that I can come back to what I have left.

Regards,

Scott.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Scott I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2013

Our friends asked us to join them on vacation. We stayed in a 3 bdr, 3 bath south villa,overlooking one of the golf courses and the ocean. Beautiful view and accommodations, very comfortable living area and nice bedroom linens and duvets.
I have no idea what it cost them for the villa, but I am sure it was alot. The good points are stated above but so many things were missed from my point of view on what a true 5 star plus resort should be.
Housekeeping came really early in the morning ( who wants housekeeping at 8.00 in the morning on vacation), and one day just never came. They always missed putting towels in our bathroom only, either one face cloth, no bath mats, one towel etc. not enough for two people. One day I unrolled the bath mat we did get, and it had a huge dark stain on it. It should have never been used again. Pretty gross, I mentioned it to the housekeeping staff at turndown, but they did not seem to understand me. I am not saying that to be rude but it is hard to ask for anything when there are language barriers.
Another odd thing, we would shut the gates and the garage door every time we left, and every day we came home, the doors were open. We assume it was from the staff, but I did not like the fact that the doors were left open.
Bath amenities were only replaced once, on our second last day. but we also had our own products so not a huge deal. But we travel a fair amount and most places replenish more often than that.
The butler that comes with the suite was only there when we arrived. Never saw him again.
The kitchen was not well stocked at all. If you plan to cook, you better be prepared for a very sparse kitchen. No salad bowls, actually no bowls to mix, at all, no tongs, spatulas, grill pans etc. only a few dinner plates, small coffee cups, no side plates. It was hard to cook and prepare a nice dinner. I am sure they want you to go out to their restaurants.
We did eat at the pool, Pelican Grill, Piccolo, and the golf clubhouse. Good food, but extremely expensive for what you got. We went into Newport and ate a few times and the food albeit, still expensive was better quality.
The area is lovely, villa beautiful, pools were great, the kids had a great time. Rented a cabana at the private villa pool and it was very nice. But again, service was spotty at times. They just need to make it so when staying there, you feel like you are being pampered. I personally never felt that way.
The staff are nice enough, but for the cost it should in my opinion be over the top.
I am happy we had the opportunity to stay there, but if it was on my dime, I would have been pretty annoyed at what you get for the money.
Area is lovely though, stunning view from the south villas.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank sun987
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 reviewResponded November 26, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about your recent experience. I sincerely regret that your stay was less than perfect. I have addressed your comments with each department you mentioned. We appreciate the opportunity to heighten the guest experience, based upon the detailed comments you posted here. Should you wish to discuss your experience further, I invite you to please contact me directly at your convenience.

Kind regards,

Giuseppe Lama
Managing Director
The Resort at Pelican Hill

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Reviewed November 15, 2013

Very deifferent from a normal hotel. This is definitely more of a getaway spot. You'll love it! The only mistake we made was booking through a third party because they screwed up our bed situation. We paid for a king bed and they changed it to 2 queens. We sleep in a queen at home, so why wouldn't we want a king on a trip?! Especially if we're paying a good amount of money to stay there... They also charged our card twice. Anyway, don't book through Olotels.com, save yourself the trouble, and just pay the extra 5 or 10 bucks by booking directly through Pelican Hill :)

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Hayley G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2013 via mobile

Upon arriving at this hotel the staff scrambled to get us into our room early. Our flight got us here at 11:00am and they got us into our beautiful perfect bungalow with the most amazing real ocean view not a peek of ocean either. I am sitting on my private deck writing this review. I had lunch at the pool grill with a pitcher of sangria. Not cheap but worth every penny. Besides the Grand Wailea in Maui this is my new favorite California Hotel. Everybody needs to experience this hotel and their service. Tomorrow a 90 minute massage. I will send a review about it tomorrow. I'm in earths heaven right now.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
Thank oceanbchbby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2013

If Beauty, Serenity & Courtesy has a name, it got to be "The Resort at Pelican Hill". This was our (me & my wife) first stay here and we are glad we came here. The rooms/cottages were huge looking over the hill. The rooms and elegant decoration and a lovely fireplace. Having coffee at the balcony was a blissful experience.
However what made our stay was the friendly and courteous staff. We really liked the conversation that we had with all the staff.
The breakfast served in the rooms were awesome especially the muffins.

Another thing to do is the trip around the Golf course which is supposed to be one of the finest in the world.

I wish the massage session should have been longer :-)

Room Tip: All rooms are carefully well located.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RahulS679
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 92657-2008
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 ) 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 Romantic Hotel in Newport Beach
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Newport Beach
#3 Luxury Hotel in Newport Beach
#4 Spa Hotel in Newport Beach
Price Range: $369 - $1,305 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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