I booked our stay through American Express Platinum Travel. We arrived with happy anticipation of a lovely stay. That feeling only lasted until we reached the front desk. We were met there by Carly, whose professional goal, it seems, is to make one feel like a number or "just another sheep in the herd". She recited her spiel about check-in being at 4:00 etc. No mention of our reservation being with Platinum Travel Services until I asked if they could honor the early check-in which is one of the benefits. No mention of any of the other benefits of our AMEX reservation either. I wondered if she was even familiar with the program.
When I mentioned that, in addition, we were members of the Resort's own Exclusive Privelege Program she had no idea what that meant, or it meant nothing to her. In fact, no one seemed to know anything about the program which is supposed to include a complimentary room upgrade if available (as with AMEX) and discounts at the resort. We were informed that they had no idea what type of room would be available and that we were "in the queue".
TWO hours later, after politely inquiring a few times as to the status of our room (and getting the runaround) we were finally informed that our room was available. She said that, unfortunately, an upgrade was impossible (we also know that the resort was only at 73% occupancy) but that she had made an effort to get us an "ocean view room". Which was no effort on her part because THAT WAS WHAT WE RESERVED and were paying for. Neither she, nor the front desk supervisor really seemed to notice or care about us personally. Neither welcomed us, apologized for the wait, or offered so much as a glass of water.
When we finally got into our room, exhausted after a long day of traveling, imagine our dismay at our "ocean view" room actually being a room where the main view was the rooftops of rooms below us and the road. Sure, you could see the ocean if you squinted into the distance and then it was about an inch worth at best.
At that point, we had had it. I contacted Platinum Travel and they had to get on the phone with the resort to try to make it right. We were ultimately given another room with a nicer view.
We travel the world regularly and prefer to stay at hotels in the Fine Hotels and Resorts program. We are accustomed to a much higher level of service than we have received at this property thus far.
This is our first night of a four-night stay. I will reserve judgment about our overall experience until the end, however I must say that the resort gets a failing grade for first impressions.
- 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